Ex-England boss gives verdict on Golden Generation’s attempts at management after Wayne Rooney’s disaster at Birmingham

ROY HODGSON has backed Wayne Rooney and the rest of the Golden Generation to become top class managers – despite their early failures.

Birmingham City axed Rooney, 38, after just 15 games and 83 days in charge on Tuesday, with the ex-England and Manchester United skipper claiming he was not given “sufficient” time.

Roy Hodgson managed Rooney at England


Roy Hodgson managed Rooney at EnglandCredit: PA:Press Association
Frank Lampard and Steven Gerrard have also struggled in management so far


Frank Lampard and Steven Gerrard have also struggled in management so farCredit: Reuters

He joins the likes of Frank Lampard and Steven Gerrard who have had bumpy starts to their managerial careers, despite their glittering playing days for club and country.

Hodgson, 76 – who managed all three of them during his four-year stint as Three Lions chief from 2012 to 2016 – agrees that Rooney deserved more time in the Birmingham dug-out.

Ahead of an FA Cup third round clash with Everton, Crystal Palace boss Hodgson said of Rooney’s demise: “He has an outstanding football brain. I always thought he was very thoughtful and very astute tactically.

“He was a magnificent footballer. He is an icon of English football. One always hopes an icon gets a chance to step up [as a manager] to show what he can do.

“I can only agree with him. The amount of time he got to really show his ability and qualities was a short one. I am sad it happened. I know he will bounce back.

“I heard he will take a break, that’s an intelligent thing to do. There is no doubt Wayne will always be on people’s lips and on people’s minds for future jobs.”

Rooney’s sacking – taking Birmingham from sixth to 20th in just under three months with nine losses in 15 games – has sparked a debate over the Golden Generation’s coaching abilities.

Following a promising start at the helm of Derby County, Stamford Bridge legend Lampard, 45, is currently unemployed having been shown the door by Everton and Chelsea – returning to the latter briefly last season in an interim capacity.


Former Liverpool captain Gerrard enjoyed success with Rangers – lifting the Scottish title in 2021 – but was later sacked by Aston Villa and is now struggling at Saudi side Al-Ettifaq.

Rooney’s average win percentage across his three jobs so far with Derby, D.C. United and Birmingham City is 22.6 per cent.

But Hodgson – whose own career has spanned almost 48 years and 23 permanent positions, such as with Fulham, Liverpool and Inter Milan – has argued: “The way the climate is these days, the judgement comes very quickly and is quite severe.

“They will be welcomed into the club because of their name. They will be expected to suddenly make the club fly because of their appointment. That’s an unrealistic demand.

“All of them have got to say: I didn’t really get a good chance. No one gave me two or three years. I didn’t get three or four transfer windows. I didn’t get a chance to really decide.

“I wouldn’t want to cast aside any of those three in terms of their ability to be good managers. I might even say that these experiences will help them along the way.

“Somewhere along the way you are going to suffer some real blows in this game as a manager more than a player. They have suffered their blows early.

“If they survive them, they will come out even stronger. I believe, and this goes for those three and others in that group, have the qualities both as coaches, managers and leaders to succeed.”

Wayne Rooney was sacked by Birmingham after a poor run of results


Wayne Rooney was sacked by Birmingham after a poor run of resultsCredit: Reuters

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