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Rooney taking a youthful approach as he prepares to start Plymouth job

Updated: 2024-05-29 10:29
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LONDON — Wayne Rooney has said he will give Plymouth Argyle's young players the chance to follow his example by making their senior debuts as teenagers.

Former Manchester United and England striker Rooney, who burst onto the Premier League scene as a 16-year-old at Everton, was appointed manager of the English second-tier club on Saturday — less than five months after being sacked by then Championship rival Birmingham.

The 38-year-old Rooney, asked about his management style, told Argyle TV on Monday: "Obviously I had my playing career, which I loved, but if you want to go into management, you quite quickly have to move on from there.

"I've put a lot of work in, a lot of time in to try to develop myself as a coach, try to improve, try to get better, and I want to be a coach who helps players, helps teams develop players, academy players.

"Academy players are really important as well, as is trying to improve them, because I was a player who came into the first team at 16. I think a lot of young players are good enough, but maybe don't get the chance, so I've got a real passion for that as well."

A move to Plymouth, in the southwest of England, is the fourth managerial role of Rooney's coaching career, which has so far failed to live up to his stellar playing days.

He was sacked after just 83 days in charge of Championship side Birmingham earlier this year, winning just two of his 15 matches in charge — a record which contributed to the club's relegation to League One.

He previously had a short spell with former club DC United in Major League Soccer.

But Rooney, Manchester United's all-time record goalscorer, did thrive in difficult circumstances during his first job at Derby, as the club entered administration.

He will now link up again at Home Park with Plymouth director of football Neil Dewsnip, who was the head of Everton's academy when Rooney was rising through the ranks on Merseyside.

"I think, ultimately, the important thing is that we're both trying to do the right thing, we both want the right thing, we're both on the same wavelength now to make sure the club moves forward how we want to move forward, with players coming into the football club and its style of play," said Rooney.


France forward Anthony Martial on Monday confirmed he will leave Manchester United after nine years.

"It's with great emotion that I write to you today to say goodbye. After nine incredible years at the club, the time has come for me to turn a new page in my career," Martial said in a statement on Instagram.

The 28-year-old joined the Premier League club in a 36-million-pound move ($45.9m) from Monaco in September 2015, but failed to live up to expectations. He has not played a senior game since December after undergoing groin surgery.

Meanwhile, Chelsea is holding talks to make Leicester's Enzo Maresca its new head coach, according to British media reports.

The Italian, who until last year was Pep Guardiola's assistant at English champion Manchester City, has overseen an immediate return to the Premier League for the Foxes following their relegation 12 months ago.

His style is also said to have impressed Chelsea chiefs, with Sky Sports reporting on Monday that the Blues had asked Leicester for permission to speak directly to Maresca, whom they added was the London club's preferred choice.

Chelsea is on the hunt for a new manager after parting company with Mauricio Pochettino.


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