Rooney’s phone call with Alex Ferguson hints at future help in coaching career

Manchester United and England legend Wayne Rooney has retired from playing to become the new permanent manager of Derby.

The 35-year-old had been in interim charge of the Rams since Phillip Cocu was sacked in November.

And on Friday he signed a two-and-a-half year contract with the Championship club after winning three and drawing four of his nine games as boss so far.

It will be intriguing to see how Rooney fares as a manager as he follows the likes of Steven Gerrard and Frank Lampard into the dugout.

And he may well draw on the help of his former mentor, the legendary Sir Alex Ferguson.

Rooney won five Premier League titles, two FA Cups and a Champions League under Ferguson, and while the two had an up-and-down relationship, there is clearly still great respect between them.

This was confirmed by Rooney after he revealed he had spoken to both Ferguson and fellow former manager David Moyes in December as he began his fledgling coaching position.

"Yes, I’ve spoken to Sir Al, David and a few other people," he said.

"It was good to catch up, but also to get some advice on certain things.

"It wasn’t about how the team is playing or set up. It was just a general chat, but if you have the chance to be able to speak to Sir Alex Ferguson about things, it’d be a bit naive not to do so.

"David also offered to help me if I needed him which is great."

Ferguson hinted at his belief that Rooney could become a manager during his time as a player when he praised the former forward's leadership skills.

He said all the way back in 2011: "Energy burns in him. Wayne is ready now to take his career up a further notch and become a leader himself.

"He has already put a marker down on a personal level but now he can assume greater responsibility, and I see his colleagues responding."

A number of players have also commented that Rooney is one of the most vocal members of the squad they have shared a dressing room with.

It remains to be seen whether or not Rooney can repeat the vast success he experienced as a player.

But he will certainly have an advantage in being able to draw upon the wisdom of arguably the greatest manager of all time in Ferguson.

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