There’s always something slightly surreal about seeing a footballing legend take to the dugout to embark on their managerial career. To find a player who was once to be found marauding the pitch and getting in the faces of their opponents suddenly decked out in a suit and tie on the side-lines is a strange sight, but that is what we’ve been faced with in the form of three England icons that have begun their next chapters in earnest.
Wayne Rooney, Steven Gerrard and Frank Lampard all had their respective qualities as players, and they certainly all bring a different set of attributes to their management. Let’s take a look at all three and assess how they’re getting on so far.
Looking at the English Championship relegation odds, Wayne Rooney’s Derby County are fancied by many to drop out of the second tier this season. But even if the Rams were to ultimately slide out of the Championship, Rooney’s efforts cannot be underestimated.
Facing multiple points deductions and left with a threadbare squad as a result of Derby’s financial woes, Rooney has worked wonders at Derby to get them in with a shout of avoiding relegation. Were it not for the loss of points due to entering administration, Derby would be comfortably clear of the relegation quagmire, and that’s testament to Rooney’s ability to motivate his players.
The former England striker has brought all the fighting qualities and tenacity from his playing days to the dugout, and that clearly rubs off on the Derby players. The Championship predictions haven’t written them off just yet!
One of the great tragedies of modern English football is that Steven Gerrard never got his hands on the Premier League trophy. Try as he might, the Liverpool legend just couldn’t drag his team over the line, but now he has returned to the top flight in a coaching capacity, taking the reins at Aston Villa following a successful stint as Rangers manager.
Gerrard sets incredibly high standards of his players, and it’s fair to say that results have been mixed throughout his tenure so far. There have been some impressive performances from Villa, and the arrival of Gerrard’s former Liverpool teammate Phillipe Coutinho has brought plenty of excitement to Villa Park. Hopefully the club’s hierarchy will give Gerrard the time to really get into his groove in the job.
The managerial career of Frank Lampard remains something of an enigma. Having started out at Derby County, where he led them to the play-off final, much was expected of the former England legend. He soon earned his dream job at former club Chelsea, but despite promoting some exciting young talent at Stamford Bridge, Lampard was shown the exit door after just 18 months, with suggestions that he wasn’t quite ready for a job of such stature.
Now he finds himself back in Premier League management with Everton, and he’s got an almighty job on his hands to save the Toffees from the drop. A disappointing season has seen the Merseyside outfit slip dangerously close to the relegation zone, and Lampard will need to find the winning formula fast if he’s to avoid another red mark on his managerial CV.