Former England international and Derby County midfielder Rob Lee has been sharing his thoughts on who the permanent successor to Phillip Cocu at Pride Park will be following the Dutchman’s sacking last month.
Derby are yet to appoint their new permanent manager, with Wayne Rooney currently in charge of the Rams’ first team in a caretaker role.
Speaking exclusively to This Is Futbol, Lee has criticised Cocu’s stint as Rams boss and shared that he thinks the East Midlands club will now either go down a similar route to the one they went down when they appointed Frank Lampard as their manager in 2018 – despite him having no senior managerial experience at the time – and give Rooney his first permanent managerial post, or recruit “an experienced manager,” seemingly suggesting that, in his view, Cocu’s lack of experience of working in English football harmed his chances of succeeding at Pride Park.
Here is what Lee had to say on this topic in full: “Derby have gone from Frank Lampard having the team to get in the play-offs, to actually struggling for relegation with similar players, [the] same sort of squad, so that [Phillip Cocu experiment] hasn’t worked.
“It’s either going to be an experienced manager or it’s going to be [they] go the way that Rangers have gone with [Steven] Gerrard and Frank’s doing great at Chelsea, and he did at Derby, and put Rooney in charge. That’s the only two ways I can see them going, but as we know, when new owners come in, they’ve probably earmarked their own people to take over and push the club forward.”
Should Rooney become Derby manager on a permanent basis?
Given that Lampard guided the Rams all the way to the Championship play-off final in the 2018/19 campaign – his first season in senior management – there is perhaps an argument to be made for the club to give Rooney the job, with the 35-year-old in a similar position to the one Lampard was in when he got the job.
The Rams have also seen a positive upturn in form under Rooney, as they are now undefeated in each of their last four Championship games, prior to Saturday’s clash with Stoke City.
Additionally, perhaps ex-Rams boss Steve McClaren, who has returned to the club to become their new technical director, could help an inexperienced manager like Rooney, thanks to his own vast experience in football management, and as a result, Lee’s suggestion that Rooney getting the job permanently is one of the most likely paths for Derby to go down may not be too far off the mark and may not be a bad idea at all.