Birmingham City’s John Ruddy has lifted the lid on Wayne Rooney’s time at the club and revealed what he was like as a manager. 

Rooney was appointed boss at St Andrew’s in October last year, surprisingly replacing John Eustace despite the club being in the play-off picture after an impressive start to the campaign. 

However, things quickly went down hill for the former England international as he struggled to implement a new style of play and the Blues went from 6th, to struggling at the wrong end of the Championship.

Rooney was sacked in January after just 15 games in charge, and the rot at the club could be stopped as they were eventually relegated to League One at the end of the season. 

In the latest episode of Ben Foster’s Fozcast, Brum goalie Ruddy has reflected on the disappointing season and spoke about what Rooney was like to work under. 

Wayne Rooney endured a disapointing period in charge of Birmingham City last season 

Birmingham goalie John Ruddy told the Fozcast about Rooney’s time in charge of the club 

He said: ‘Wayne came in and tried to implement a style of play which was more possession-based, more building from the back, with the same players. 

‘He was always on the pitch – he was more of an overseer.

‘I felt like I got on well with him, I had a couple of nice conversations with him. He made it clear he wants to be a manager, not a coach.

‘He’s not going to be the one setting up the sessions and delivering sessions all the time – he has his backroom staff for that. But he’d dip in and out during the sessions.’

Rooney – who will take over at Championship side Plymouth next season – went into an management after an illustrious playing career that saw him become Man United and England’s record goal-scorer, and be regarded as one of the best talents of his generation. 

However, Ruddy says that it’s a level that Rooney sometimes didn’t realise that all players have reached. 

He continued  by saying: ‘You forget how good a player he was. We’re on the training pitch and he’s saying, ‘No lads, I want you to do this’. 

And he’d take a touch and pick this ball over the top, inch-perfect. You’re going, ‘Yeah, that’s the level you’re used to. We’re not quite there’.

‘His footballing brain is so advanced because of how he was as a player. It’s trying to get that dynamic, when you’re someone like Wayne Rooney, that you’re not dealing with a team of Wayne Rooneys.’

Since leaving his Birmingham post, Rooney has dabbled in TV work, working as a pundit across several different channels towards the end of last season. 

He is also joined the cast of Gary Neville’s Overlap series, and this summer will be part of the BBC’s coverage of Euro 2024. 

John Ruddy played under Rooney last season during Birmingham's disastrous campaign

John Ruddy played under Rooney last season during Birmingham’s disastrous campaign 

The former England star has moved in TV work before he takes over Plymouth next season

The former England star has moved in TV work before he takes over Plymouth next season 

His TV work has allowed fans to see a new side to Rooney after his playing career, and Ruddy said it was demeanour he saw at St Andrew’s. 

Adding: ‘When he stepped into management, he made sure he was more conscious and concise with the way he spoke to people, with the way he delivered information.

‘There were a couple of times when I thought he could have, or should have, lost his head. But he tried to remain calm and stay true to that demeanour that he wants to stay true to as a manager.’

Rooney will take charge of Plymouth next season, which will be his fourth stab at management following the role at Birmingham and previous stints with Derby and MLS club DC United.  

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