Derby County manager Phillip Cocu is under serious pressure right now.
The Rams are going through a miserable spell which has seen them fail to win any of their last seven matches.
Saturday’s 2-0 defeat at home to Barnsley left them bottom of the Championship and with plenty of work to do.
Cocu guided Derby to a 10th-placed finish last season - their first campaign outside the top six since 2016/17 - and they’ve taken a step backwards in 2020/21.
Cocu, 50, will be relieved it’s the international break, that’s for sure.
Anything to get away from the job.
However, that reprieve isn’t expected to help him keep his job. The Mirror report that Derby’s new owners will appoint their own manager once Sheikh Khaled bin Zayed Al Nehayan’s takeover is completed.
Might that person be Wayne Rooney?
Rooney has been linked with the role since the pressure on Cocu began to rise and Sky Sports pundit Jamie Carragher says he has “no doubts” that the former Manchester United forward will be Derby’s next manager.
“I think first of all he would have envisaged going to Derby and propel them to the Premier League,” Carragher told talkSPORT.
“There’s no doubt for me, Wayne Rooney will be [the] manager of Derby County next. That was one of the big reasons why he came in.
“I’ve read his newspaper articles that he’s done. He’s got a really great brain on football, Wayne.
“We’ve had him on Monday Night Football at Sky and he does columns for the Sunday Times.
“His understanding of football is fantastic. There’s no doubt for me he will go into management. It just seems like the next natural phase for Derby.
“They’re struggling near the bottom and eventually the manager will probably lose his job, unfortunately for him, and I think it’s all set for Wayne to take the job.”
GIVEMESPORT’s Scott Wilson says:
Yeah, it wouldn’t be a massive shock if Rooney is given the job if and when Cocu is sacked.
As Carragher says, Rooney has a good footballing brain, and there will be no better way for the new owners to bring some publicity to the club than my hiring him.
It will be his first job in management and will be a great test to see if he’s cut out for the big leagues.
Frank Lampard earned his first shot as a manager at Derby and look at him now - his Chelsea side are three points off top spot in the Premier League.
This could be the proving ground for Rooney before he ends up taking on Lampard's men in the Man United dugout!
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