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John Ruddy reveals what Wayne Rooney is really like after disastrous spell as Birmingham manager

Goalkeeper John Ruddy reveals what Wayne Rooney is really like after his disastrous spell as Birmingham City manager.

He appeared on the Fozcast YouTube channel and podcast with Jon talking about Wayne Rooney as a football manager and what he was like behind the scenes at the Blues, including playing in Air Force 1’s.

Birmingham City were 6th in the Championship when they sacked John Eustace and appointed Wayne Rooney in mid-October.

He was then sacked by the club after winning just twice in 15 matches, leaving Birmingham in 20th position.

Birmingham ended the season relegated to the third tier for the first time since 1995, with the sacking of John Eustace and appointment of Rooney being mentioned by fans and media as a leading reason for the relegation.

Foster: So Wayne Rooney comes in is he a completely different manager to John Eustace is he trying to play a different style of football how how does it all work

Ruddy: Yeah very different completely different and and I think again what John had done over that year and a bit was built a squad who he knew would be competitive physically and and be able to to get around the pitch and also you know we we weren’t an expansive football team but I don’t think we could have been you know we went to Peterborough in pre-season and tried to play football and we were 3-0 down in 20 minutes against a very good very good Peterborough team but you know I think John quickly realised that um you know we need a solid foundation to build off as I think most football clubs do you know if you’ve got the basis of a good defence and you’re going right well we’re gonna we’re gonna make sure we don’t concede too many goals and then we’ve got pace and we’ve got quality going forward and that’s what we had we had a good balance. Wayne came in and sort of wanted to try and I think the club put out this no fear brand of football which I’ve got no idea what that means and I still don’t and Wayne came in and tried to implement a style of play which was more possession base more building from the back with the same players and in fairness I said it after the second game we played Hull at home in the midweek and we lost 2-0 and I said in the change room afterwards ‘we’re not where you need us to be at this moment’ you know I don’t think ‘we’re good enough at this moment in time to play your style of football’ if we work on it and if you’re coaching it and we’re doing the work every day I’ve got no doubt we will be but it it was going to take a lot of work and a lot of of nailing down specific information and and roles for for every individual um and you know I don’t think we’ve done enough of it personally

Foster: Wow John you speak incredibly well by the way I’m just like I’m lost listening to it um what was he what was he like as a manager then was he was he on the training ground was he trying to show you what to do

Ruddy: Yeah he was he was always on the pitch and he was always he was more of an overseer so I felt like I got on well with him he might say different but you know I had a couple of nice conversations with him and he made it clear he wants to be a manager not a coach so he’s not going to be the one setting up the sessions and delivering sessions all the time you know he has his back room star for that but you know he’d dip in and out um during the sessions and you know it’s it’s it’s funny because you forget how good a player he was because you know we’re on the training pitch and he’s trying to we’re doing this little drill he’s like no lads listen just need want you to do this he’s taken a touch and just picked this ball over the top and it’s like inch perfect and you’re looking at him and he’s got Air Force Ones on and you’re you’re going ‘yeah that’s the that’s the level you’re used to we we’re not quite there the Lads are struggling to do that in boots’ like you know, but that’s that’s the level like his again his footballing brain is so advanced because of how he was as a player you know and I think it’s trying to get that dynamic when you’re someone like Wayne Rooney to understand you’re not dealing with a team of way so you know you almost have to just reel it back and go right what what can I what little bits can I start to implement within this group so they can almost get to that point hopefully but they’re still not going to be Wayne

Foster: What was his what was his demeanor like his character because obviously as a player you know what Wayne Rooney’s like he’s all action he is like a bull, he is happy to lose his rag a moment’s notice, what what was he like as a manager?

Ruddy: That’s the biggest thing that surprised me he was the complete opposite and and to be fair he he alluded to it in a couple of meetings where you know he’s he realised he was probably too hot-headed a lot of times as a player and when he stepped into management you know he made sure he was more conscious and more more concise with the way he spoke to people the way he delivered information and you know I think there was a couple of times where he probably could have or should have lost his head like but he he tried to remain calm and and be true to his demeanor that he wants to perceive as as a manager so you know that was like I said that was the biggest thing that surprised me of how calm he was

Foster: There’s a time and place for it I think especially in football isn’t there for your manager to give you a real dressing down to like give you a talent off basically it is it’s like getting told off by your dad sometimes isn’t it you do you need it sometimes it keeps you in line

Ruddy: And I think especially as I alluded to earlier when you haven’t got those massive characters and leaders within that dressing room you know yeah you had a couple of people like myself who would come in and and you know I would lose my head every now and then at as you say at the right times I’d hope people agree it was at the right times you’d have to ask them but um if you’ve got probably three or four, five of those that’s no problem because you know they can do your dirty work for you, but if you haven’t got that many characters and that one voice so myself for example me coming in and moaning all the time or every few games it’s going to fall on deaf ears eventually so then you need a different voice then you need somebody else reiterating the the messages that I’m trying to put across on in the terms of it’s not good enough it needs to be better we have to get ourselves going you know and I think that would have been the ideal time for him to step up and become what a lot of people like you said there would perceive way Rooney as is someone who would let you know exactly what he’s thinking and let you have it when it needs to be

Foster: Okay then so we’re getting to the end of Wayne Rooney’s tenure, what I think it was 20 odd games or something, 15 games, did you know the writing was on the on the wall for Wayne?

Ruddy: No not at all it it was actually probably more of a surprise than when John left to be honest because um you know the owners had made such a decision with John where you thought well they’re going to have to back themselves they’re going to have to see this through because they’ve obviously got a long-term plan in place as well and and Wayne fits into that um you know I think he we played Leeds away New Year’s Day and then he was gone the next day and that was the biggest surprise for me because I thought they would have given him January to bring a couple of players in to try and implement his style, you know I got no doubt about it I think he would have tried to bring a goalkeeper in to try and and play his style a bit a bit better you know because with all I’m not a…

Foster: Was he asking you to play a lot more sort of like you know like the modern day goalkeeper passing out from the back little passes little one twos here and there

Ruddy: Yeah but not not anything overly complicated it was just you know you’ve got your passes to your centre half have you got your bounce into midfield you know have you got your clip to your fullback and I believe I’ve got them in my armoury, like I said I just don’t think we done enough in terms of, I can only do so much it doesn’t matter how good you are at football as a goalkeeper you’re still the worst footballer on the pitch, that’s why you’re a goalkeeper…

This is how fans reacted as John Ruddy reveals what Wayne Rooney is really like after his disastrous spell as Birmingham manager…

@_jsews494: Just listened to all of John Ruddy’s episode on the Fozcast. Brutally honest but delivered professionally. Although he doesn’t name individuals, we all knew what was happening behind the scenes, we all know where the mistakes lie and it confirms what so many of us thought. Pretty much confirms he won’t be here next season. Which is a shame because I don’t think youd get many no. 2 keepers as good as him. Clear leader, very honest & speaks well. Think he’d be a big asset for most teams. Albeit I don’t think he’d fit our new system or want to be no 2

@kaigoughy: Agree I thought he spoke well and brutally honest. And it was many of us thought from the outside that the players weren’t arsed/in pilot mode thinking they’re better than they are. Hopefully it’s upset a few in there and sure we’ll see most of them gone

@dani_scragg: He won’t be there next season after listening to that.

@MarkBevington: I’m watching it now. Some good insight into Tom Brady’s involvement with the club as well as his thoughts on relegation and the Rooney tenure.

@Willbcfc1875: Just listened to John Ruddy on Fozcast, really good pod and he speaks so well. From what he’s said I’m not sure he’ll sign the extension but my preference would be he stays the extra year. #bcfc

@LazyNumber9: John Ruddy coming out basically saying the players didn’t care, all those who tried telling us they did must feel a bit silly now 🤣 #bcfc

@TF8_MG3: Fair play to John Ruddy. He deserves his new contract just for being an honest and decent human being. Everyone could tell that the players downed tools. I hope he accepts his new contract.#bcfc #KRO @BCFC 💙

@bcfcm22: Nobody can convince me the players cared

@bluenose921: Really impressive interview with Ruddy. Saying how it is, players need long hard look at themselves. Get rid of them #bcfc

@J1875_: Sounds like Ruddy and the players actually liked Rooney. Ruddy saying he was too nice to the players and had to be nastier. Seems like Ruddy believes the players werent willing to work hard enough for Rooney, and they got away with it. Interesting.

@_chris96bcfc: It’ll be interesting now whether Ruddy stays, I honestly don’t think if we want to play progressive Football a goalkeeper like Ruddy is good enough with his feet. And I doubt he’ll want to be no2 in league 1

@mickyh01: He’s not the answer anymore. Especially now we have a coach who is gonna want to pass it around.

@1875Jake: How ruddy explained everything in that podcast was class but considering how he spoke about certain things I doubt he’s taken the contract #BCFC

@Nev_77_: He said his priority is to continue playing football. I think if he stays here he will be as number 2 whilst we look for a keeper more comfortable with his feet. Big loss for personality, but we need to look forwards

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