Ex-England teammate calls on Wayne Rooney to pick himself for Derby County

wayne rooney derby

Micah Richards urges Wayne Rooney to pick himself.

Wayne Rooney has been urged to pick himself for Derby County by ex-England teammate Micah Richards in the pundit’s column for the  Daily Mail.

Rooney was named permanent Derby manager in January and to say it’s been a baptism of fire for his coaching career would be an understatement.

Wayne Rooney retired from playing in January.

The Rams are mired in financial difficulty and were placed under a transfer embargo earlier this summer, leaving Rooney with the thinnest of squads to choose from.

They have been able to bring in free agents such as Phil Jagielka and Ravel Morrison, however the Pride Park outfit are still extremely stretched, with youngsters like Wexford native Festy Ebosele getting a run in the team.

The whole situation has left Richards wondering why Rooney isn’t tempted to pull on his boots himself in a bid to get the The Rams moving up the table.

Rooney has only been officially retired for seven months, announcing the end of his playing days upon taking the Derby manager’s job, and Richards feels that he would still have enough talent to make a contribution.

“How does he get his team moving forward?” the ex-Manchester City defender asks. “If I was in his shoes, I know what I’d do. I’d pick myself.”

“He is obsessed with football.”

“Wayne might be out of condition but are you telling me he wouldn’t be the best player in Derby’s team? Imagine the lift he would give to those around him if he pulled his boots on again.”

Richards also offered his opinion on why Rooney would place himself into such a volatile situation so early in his managerial career.

“He is obsessed with football, it is his life,” Richards says. He’s got something burning inside him that says he has to win or be the best at whatever he does. He can’t live without the feelings football gives him.

“I remember being with him on England duty. He wouldn’t finish shooting practice until he scored the most goals. He’d have free kick competitions and would not come in until his was the best. He’d tackle you in games as if it was a World Cup final, everything was done at 100 per cent. He won’t let this challenge beat him.”

Wayne Rooney and Micah Richards.

Richards picked up 13 England caps between 2006 and 2012 as Rooney was on his way to becoming his nation’s record goalscorer.

The ex-Manchester United man leads Derby out for the fourth game of the EFL Championship campaign today as they face Middlesbrough at Pride Park.

The Rams currently lie 11th in the table after picking up four points from their opening three matches.

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