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Wayne Rooney reveals plan for Plymouth and talks of how he’s learnt from failures at Birmingham

Wayne Rooney reveals his plan for Plymouth Argyle and talks of how he’s learnt from failures at his previous stint at Birmingham City.

The 38 year old recently discussed the valuable lessons he has gained from his time as the manager of Birmingham.

In his first interview since becoming Plymouth boss, he has reflected on his experience at the West Midlands club, where he was dismissed after only 15 matches and 83 days in charge.

Despite Birmingham’s relegation to League One, Rooney acknowledged the opportunity to learn from his failures.

Now, just four months later, he has taken on the role of leading Plymouth, a team that narrowly escaped relegation themselves last season.

Interviewer: Let’s start at the start. Wayne. Welcome to Argyle. Welcome to Plymouth Argyle. How does it feel to be the new head coach of this football club?

Rooney: Yeah, exciting. I think, obviously first time here, had discussions throughout the last month, obviously, to get to this point. I’m really pleased and delighted, really excited to get started.

Interviewer: Tell us a little bit about why this job in particular was of interest to you.

Rooney: Yeah, well, I think since January I’ve had time to reflect on obviously my previous job and really coming here last season when I come with Birmingham, I was really impressed with the fans, with the setup. So obviously once this role was available, spoke with me agent and really wanted to explore him and see if there was an opportunity on me coming into the football club and went through a process, a thorough process, alongside a lot of other experienced managers and thankfully the board, the owner felt I was the right man for the job. So I was delighted with that and just really looking forward to getting started, really, and trying to. To help move this club forward.

Interviewer: You mentioned coming here last season with Birmingham. It was an absolute thriller of a game. So not a bad one to sort of show off what Home Park was like. But from an outsider then looking in, what was your perception of the club?

Rooney: I really felt it was, it felt like a real tight club and community. The fans, the whole club felt connected and that really impressed me. And I remember I actually got lost in the car park, I was walking around the car park and getting followed by a lot of the far guy fans and so got lost. So that was a good experience. But yeah, again, it was a good game, a really good atmosphere inside the stadium. So that obviously stuck with me. And as I said before, once this role was available, it was something which I had to really put my name in the hat and see if there’s an opportunity when you come in.

Interviewer: Yeah. At least you know your way around the car park now. So it’s fine. You know, you’ve had a few jobs but are still, you know, young as a coach and you kind of only learn from sort of the experiences that you’ve had, good and bad. So what do you feel in the time that you’ve had at Derby, over at DC and at Birmingham as well that has kind of shaped you to what you are now coming into?

Rooney: Yeah, I think as a coach and, you know, obviously I have my playing career, which I love, but then you quite quickly, if you want to go into management, you quite quickly have to move on from there and I’ve put a lot of work in a lot of time in to try and develop myself as a coach, try and improve, try and get better. I want to be a coach who helps players, helps teams, develops players. Academy players are very important as well to try and, you know, improve them because I think I was a player who come into 13 at 16. I think a lot of young players are good enough but maybe don’t get the chance. So I’ve got a real passion for that as well. And yeah, I think the clubs I’ve been at all had the challenges, obviously at Derby County administration I went out to DC to experience something a bit different ultimately to try and keep improving and developing and obviously that has a family with me here now to Argyle, which I feel I’m in the best shape I can be in to go and lead this team.

Interviewer: You mentioned young players there as well and I was going to bring up your journey into football, starting so young, but its something that Argyle obviously pride themselves on and there’s a lot of young players that have come through here and you kind of had to use a lot of young players at Derby, didn’t you? So how much are you looking forward to working with them and developing players like that?

Rooney: Yeah, I think not just the young players, you can also develop older players, I care to say just Phil Jagielka at the back end of his career and still felt like I developed them as players. So I think with all the players you can develop or I think with my. With young players coming through, it gives everyone, I think for the club, for the community, when you see one of your own players coming through, it gives everyone a massive lifting. Everyone’s really proud to see them players coming through into the team and it’s something which I’ve done. I’ve started a 15 year old at DC United at centre back. So I feel if you are good enough and you have the belief and of course the young players need protection as well. So at the right times I think it’s important if them players are developing, you give them that opportunity.

Interviewer: Your footballing journey started young as well at Everton and there was probably a name there that is now 30 odd years later come back and is working at Argyle in our director of football Neil Dewsnip. Can you talk us through your relationship with him?

Rooney: Yeah, Neil was obviously when I was in Everton’s Academy where I first met Neil and he helped my pathway basically through the academy and then went a long time not seeing him, not speaking to him, obviously we fell out of touch, really. And naturally you do. And I think the first time I seen Neil in a long time, maybe over ten years when we played. It was strange, obviously, coming up against Neil, it was his game, he was in charge of the team that day and so that was strange. And, yeah, its been nice to see him over, obviously, last couple of weeks when I’ve been going through the process and not just Neil, obviously with Sam, with the whole board, really, the process has been really thorough, which we’ve gone through and of course people will talk about my relationship with Neil.

Interviewer: But I think it’s only fair to say that this has been the whole football club, not anything to do with my relationship with Neil Dewsnip.

Rooney: Yeah. I suppose, though you were going to have to have a pretty good relationship with Neil over the next few years. Yeah. So I’m not looking forward to that, to be honest. But no, of course, now, obviously with Neil’s role at the club and my role at the club, it’s going to have to be a daily basis. I’m speaking to Neil now and I think ultimately the to do the right thing and we both want the right thing. We’re both on the same wavelength now to make sure the club moves forward on obviously, players coming into the football club style of play, how we want to move forward. That relationship now is going to be so important.

Interviewer: Let’s talk about a couple of those points then. So signing players, obviously we’re heading into this transfer window and it was, was kind of been floating around the social media. I think Gary Lineker mentioned it ahead of the cup final that you’ve actually never signed a player. So how are you feeling about that?

Rooney: Yeah, no, I have signed players but probably not spent any money on them. So there are three times players I’ve brought in and managed to get some really good ones, good players as well, especially in DC. But, yeah, no, hopefully the owner will allow me, will allow me to bring some players in. But no, I think important thing, it’s the right players. That’s the most important thing. And whether that’s obviously free transfers or whether that’s, you know, transfer fees for players, it’s important we get the right players in and there’s a process into bringing players into the football club and we make sure we go through that process and the data is really important alongside, obviously, your personal opinions as well.

Interviewer: Yeah. And, you know, the players you bring in will have to fit the style of play that you want to play. So what will Argyle fans see from a Wayne Rooney side?

Rooney: I really enjoy and I want players to play with the freedom. I think that’s really important because I think football has gone really structured in recent years and of course you need to have a structure important as well. But I think especially in the attacking areas, it’s important that players have the freedom to go and be creative and make mistakes as well because I think in the attacking areas, players, if they have that freedom, I understand players are going to make mistakes on the football pitch. They’re going to give the ball away, they’re going to miss a cross. But I think its important that the players have that freedom to try things and be creative because ultimately if you don’t do that, then you play within yourself. That’s a message and really put forward to the players. And then obviously, defensively, we want to be hard team competing full footed, aggressive, in tight, especially at home. I think when teams come to Home Park we want to be aggressive and make it as difficult as we can for the opposition.

Interviewer: You know, as a coach as well, what would you say your style is? Maybe away from the playing style of stuff like interactions with players and, and kind of the team cohesion and stuff like that. How important is that?

Rooney: I think the whole football club is. It’s important. There’s a real togetherness throughout the whole football club and that’s something I’ve drawn to every club I’ve been at. You know, every member of staff is important. Every member of staff has a… It’s important that when you win a football game, you know, every member of staff feels they’ve contributed to that victory and I’m someone who really believes in that. You know, whether that’s from the kit men to the dinner ladies, to the media team, whatever that is, everyone feels they’ve played a part. And that’s, I’m sure you’ll see obviously, throughout the next few months, that’s what I bring. And from a player’s point of view, I like to really get to know the individual. So every player is different, every player thinks differently, they have different ways about them. Its important that I get to know each and every one of them, players on a personal level. To know how you know, you need to speak to players, need different information, players need different. Have different figures which gets them going. So that’s my role, to make sure I do that. And obviously delegating well with the coaches to make sure that we’re all giving the players the best coaching they can get to go and perform.

Interviewer: And I suppose the next stage of all of that, it’s the supporters as well and this club over the last couple of years when, you know, everybody has been brought together like that. If you look at the Ryan Lowe and Steven Schumacher’s career in the start of the last season as well, that fan base created a huge momentum too. Is that something you’re looking to tap into and harness?

Rooney: Yeah, I can’t wait. I think obviously fans, you know, it’s their club, it’s the fans club. And obviously that was people like myself or players who are coming in who maybe different backgrounds and being at different clubs. But ultimately now we’re one. We’re together as one. I think what the fans will see from my tires, I don’t know how to play before. They will see open training sessions where they can come watch the training and really feel part of it as well. From that point of view, I’m a coach who really has nothing to hide. From that point of view. I think the interaction with players, with myself, with the fans is so important. I’ll be living here as well. The fans will see me out in restaurants or in cafes amongst the place. Feel free to come and say hello. Yeah, I’m sure we’ll have a great relationship.

Interviewer: I’m sure they will make hay when the sun is shining down because it rains quite a lot when…

Rooney: I’m from Liverpool and live in Manchester. So I know that feeling.

Interviewer: Just to finish off on, we’ll just look at the next month or so. Today is day one. We’ve got just over a month or so until preseason starts. Players need to be signed. If we’ve just spoken about, you’ve got commitments out in the euros as well. So how’s that next month going to look?

Rooney: Yeah, really busy. I think. Obviously, every day now is a working day, if you like, whether that’s I’m here, whether that’s I’m with my children for days or obviously we’ve got some commitments with the European Championships as well. But ultimately, every day is geared up to time to bring players in, working with the coaches on how we want to play, on the structure of how we want to play, and getting ready for preseason training. So it’s a busy month, but I’m excited about it. And ultimately, the exciting thing is getting back into preseason and really getting to work with players.

Interviewer: Well, it’s been great meeting you, Wayne. Welcome to Plymouth Argyle once again, and hopefully it’s successful.

This is how fans reacted as Wayne Rooney reveals his plan for Plymouth and talks of how he’s learnt from failures at Birmingham…

@HodgeLuke: Get on that phone Wazza and find us some Loanee gems! 🤝

@jjrrbb25: Well he’s saying he’s everything foster wasn’t so that’s a start!

@MrsFoxtrotwhisk: All the key messages the fans want to hear are there. Well done gaffer and Charlie, a good start #pafc

@RobHall697: Come on Wayne let’s prove to everyone 👍🏻💚

@TheTotherOne: Better than Foster already

@CarlBarnard15: Really impressed with the first interaction from the gaffer, complete opposite from what we heard from Foster, which is a great start. But it’s only talking at the moment. Fan engagement impressed me “come and say hello” I’m sold. Welcome to Home Park Wayne. 💚 #pafc

Thoughts on Rooney’s 1st Interview? 🤔
💚 Impressed by Fans & Set Up
📅 Time to Reflect since Jan
👶 Wants to Develop Youth
💙 Relationship with Dewsnip
✍️ Bringing in the ‘Right Players’
📊 ‘Data is really important’
🚀 Style: Attacking Freedom
🤝 Togetherness Matters

@TimCotton81: Great first interview! Rooooooooney!

@CMpafc: No matter the doubts I initially had over Rooney that first interview has me fully onboard with him now. Couldn’t give a fuck what any Birmingham fans say. Wayne Rooneys greens 😎 #pafc

@StevieWotsa: You will have a completely clean slate at a very well run football club with fantastic and realistic owners! They will give you every chance to succed with realistic expectations. There is no better place to do so than at Plymouth Argyle. Welcome to the club Wayne 💚

@jam1stcream2nd: Wayne Rooney wearing the Argyle badge is some sight to be fair 😎👍 #pafc

@CryptionUK: I had my doubts with Rooney at first, but I think understandably so. After having seen the First Interview, those doubts are starting to clear up. He understands the club and what it means to this city, can definitely tell he’s not here to piss about. #pafc

@jbrent01: Well said. He has already listened to the sensible advice given to him and has produced more good PR than the last one managed in his whole tenure!

@gmail_bernard: Buzzing, Wazza is the manager of Plymouth, master stroke, @SimonHallett get that chequebook out, Rooney Rooney will be the chant 💚

@Jakeyates__97: It still hasn’t sunk in that @WayneRooney is our new gaffa and now seeing his first interview with the club crest on his chest just looks like something straight out of fifa absolute madness I have had my fair digs at the owners and the bored but I think this could work for us

@Scudda85: Speaks so well, and definitely has us fans onside 💚🙂

@dylan_hainey: idk what it is but I can see this clicking a charm.

@Charlie72169993: I mean he’s saying the right things. He’s acting the right way. A lot more enthusiastic than Foster and seems like he’s ready. Nervous but also excited for preseason and see who he brings in and how we shape up for a massive season 👀 #pafc

@BRFC1875_: Class interview 👏🏻

@S_Anderson1: Whether you agree with the appointment or not. Fuck it, go with it. Back him. It’s going to be a hell of a ride. Rooney is our leader… #PAFC

@HodgeLuke: What’s great to see regarding his interview is his charisma starting to come out. Having a bit of a laugh and joke and cracking a smile after he got lost in the car park! 😂 Fun times await hopefully! #pafc #rooney #greenarmy #utba

@TomHarris_PLYM: Don’t want to get ahead of ourselves but… Rooney said all the right things in that interview. He has clearly been inundated with the character and the uniqueness of Argyle since his arrival. It’s a gamble, but really hoping he, and Argyle have got it bang on. 💚 #pafc

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