Wayne Rooney has made a good choice to join Derby but has not treated DC United fairly

Wayne Rooney has always said that he wanted to start coaching once his career was coming to an end and the latest news is that he will become a player/coach for Derby County in England’s Championship.

But how does that leave DC United, Rooney’s current team in the MLS?

The choice that Rooney has made is good for him and in some ways understandable but at the same time it does leave a question of loyalty to his American club. Rooney has made a fantastic impact in the MLS, Where DC United have gone from being near the bottom of their conference to mixing with the top teams, they will make the final play-offs this season as they also try and win their conference. On top of that Rooney has been amazing on and off the field. Scoring brilliant goals, linking up well with the team, being influential in the dressing room and the fans have absolutely loved him. Had he stayed it could be argued that he would have made a much bigger impact on American soccer than even David Beckham.

Rooney had signed a 3 year contract with DC United and that is set to be terminated after 18 months. Just half his time, and yes there is a question of what do contracts actually mean?

Of course there are two sides to Rooney’s switch. The first is that the move should be good for him. He obviously wants to coach and that is going to start in his home country England. Derby has been a good starting point, after all it worked for Frank Lampard who stayed just a season before getting the high profile job at Chelsea. Rooney will learn from current manager Phillip Cocu and will also play for the club possibly for six months, maybe a season and a half.

Still with Rooney’s career and time on his side from a coaching perspective ahead, DC United have the right to feel aggrieved about his decision. They haven’t said anything at this point, but he was so popular with the club and fans, that they thought he would be around until at least the summer of 2021. Instead Rooney will leave at the end of the year. That is something because at least he will be playing for them when the crucial play-offs come up. Had he left now, it would have been very wrong.

Rooney has made a good choice, but his swift decision is still evidence that footballers seemingly live on a very different planet to the rest of us, where sadly some of the loyalty and passion and a further bridging gap between fans and players has developed.

Wolves sack Jackett and appoint much travelled Walter Zenga as manager


Walter Zenga has been announced as the new manager of Wolverhampton Wanderers, and whilst the pairing of these two parties does seem rather odd, it will be yet another adventure for the Italian footballing legend.

Zenga has been appointed after Wolves sacked Kenny Jackett who was celebrating his 3rd year in charge of the club. Some fans feel that it was undignified that Jackett who was indeed one of the longest serving managers at Wolves even for just those 36 months was fired. And it’s easy to see why. True his win rate was just 46%, but he did in is debut season get the club promoted back to the Championship, achieved a record haul of points and was voted joint LMA Manager of the season for League One.

How times change and how quickly especially in football. The writing for Jackett was on the wall the moment Wolves were taken over by Fosun International who clearly wanted a more European brand to head the team.

However will all due respect to Walter Zenga their choice of appointment does if anything seem rushed and unprepared. Zenga of course will always be remembered as the goal keeper who lit up Serie A in the 1980′s and early 90s where he was a constant figure for Inter Milan. But a great player doesn’t always make a great manager- and so this has come to be.

Should the alarm bells not be ringing for Wolves fans who will notice that Zenga has coached 15 teams in 18 years? The longest he has ever stayed at one club has been two seasons when he managed Dubai club Al Nasr.

As far as trophies are concerned Zenga has three of them at coaching level. A league title with Steaua Bucharest in 2005 and a couple of cup wins with Red Star Belgrade the following year. And so he has won nothing for the past decade.

The list of clubs Zenga has managed seems incredibly random- and Wolves just seems like another. But the big worry for fans has to be the new owners and what seems to be a short sighted deal to bring in Zenga. One feels that a club such as Wolves could have looked much closer to home, surely whilst being in the Championship the goal is for stability.

Now Zenga could prove us all wrong but right now it seems and with his record of jumping ship and or being sacked that Wolves are not taking the right steps to play any time soon in the Premier League.


Don’t worry Aston Villa, Tony Xia has arrived


Aston Villa may still be licking their wounds after being relegated to the Championship but on Wednesday they did at least have something to cheer about with the announcement of a new chairman.

Meet Tony Xia a 39 year old Chinese millionaire who is walking the walk and talking the talk. Xia was quick to his marks commentating that he is ready to invest £50m into the squad and will weed out the talented but lazy players. He also assured fans to “forget the past and think we are going to enter into a new age.” Xia also backed the plan to use youngsters from the club’s Academy.

But Xia’s most striking remark was his ambition for the club where he insisted that within five years Villa could be challenging for a regular top six place. Xia didn’t stop there though and added that in the next ten years Villa should be aiming high amongst Europe’s elite.

Xia in one afternoon injected more positivity than Villa could in 9 months, though he was cautious and said that the main priority was getting out of the Championship. As for outgoing chairman Randy Lerner his ten year reign at the club was in short much ado about nothing. He did oversee three seasons where the club made the top 6, but Villa finished in the bottom five on five occasions under his chairmanship. Just two years ago Lerner put a price on the Midlands club at £200m but if reports are right Xia has landed himself a bargain with a £60m purchase.

But what do we know about the businessman? Well he is the owner of Recon Group and employs tens of thousands of workers in different countries. He is according to him an Aston Villa fan, might be good friends with the Chinese President and loves football. In fact he used to play non professionally as a striker.

He has already spoken to many candidates for the manger’s job according to his words and bookies believe that ex Chelsea boss Roberto Di Matteo who led the club to the 2012 Champions League title is the firm favourite. Also in the running is Nigel Pearson, Steve Bruce and David Moyes. Though reports say that the talks with Di Matteo are at an advanced stage.

The future then looks bright for The Villans who will want and need all the advantages they can get to get out of the notoriously difficult Championship and back where the club feel they belong in the Premier League.