Birmingham City appoint former Man United striker as new manager
Wayne Rooney, has been named Birmingham City’s new manager on a three-and-a-half-year deal. The England striker left his role as head coach of DC United, by mutual consent on Sunday after they missed out on the MLS Cup play-offs.
Birmingham then began talks with the 37-year-old, just hours after sacking boss John Eustace on Monday despite, the club sitting sixth in the Championship following back-to-back wins.
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Rooney will be supported by his former England team-mate Ashley Cole, who is the current England U21s assistant, John O’Shea, the assistant coach of the Republic of Ireland men’s national team, and Carl Robinson and Pete Shuttleworth, who both worked under him at DC United.
Maik Taylor will remain as goalkeeper coach. Cole and O’Shea will retain their coaching roles with their respective national sides. Following his appointment, Rooney, who has also managed Derby County, said:
“I am absolutely delighted to be joining Birmingham City Football Club at such an exciting time. It is very clear that they have a plan and are committed to realising their ambition for the club. We are fully aligned on what is expected.
“I have been building my managerial career, putting myself in challenging environments, to get me ready for this opportunity. It’s a project that gives me a sense of purpose and I can’t wait to get started.
“We have some exciting young players in the squad, and some who are still to break through into the first team, alongside a core of experienced senior professionals.
I have a clear way that I want the team to play, and my coaching staff and I will work hard to implement it. We will create a winning culture here with an identity that gets Blues fans on their feet.
“I’ve played at St. Andrew’s and Birmingham City fans were always loud and passionate about their team. It was a really difficult place to come as an opponent and now I get to experience what it is like to have them behind us.
“My job is to elevate the club to the next level and I can’t wait to get started. I know what the expectations are and our job is to deliver.
John Eustace has been sacked by Birmingham after 15 months in charge, Eustace oversaw 21 wins in his 63 games in 15 months in charge, the last of which came on Friday night in the 3-1 victory over West Brom in a West Midlands derby.
A Birmingham statement explained Eustace’s sacking by saying: “it is essential that the board of directors and the football management are fully aligned on the importance of implementing a winning mentality and a culture of ambition across the entire football club.
After securing Rooney as their new manager, chief executive Garry Cook added: “We are incredibly excited by Wayne’s arrival. When the opportunity presents itself to appoint a manager who shares your ambition and is both a student and a great of the game, then you act. This is what we have done.
“We are confident that his appointment, supported by his hand-picked coaching staff, will culminate in a young, attack-minded team that will excite our fans.
“The timing of the appointment will allow Wayne to evaluate the playing staff and work with Craig Gardner on the squad’s recruitment needs ahead of the January and summer transfer windows. This is a defining moment for the football club.”