Pundit Questions Plymouth Argyle Decision

TalkSPORT pundit Simon Jordan has questioned the reasoning behind Plymouth Argyle‘s decision to appoint Wayne Rooney as Head Coach.

The 38-year-old was named as Ian Foster’s permanent successor last week. His appointment came nearly six months after his ill-fated stint at Birmingham City came to an end, which played a huge role in the Blues’ relegation to League One.

Interestingly, the former England international’s new club maintained their Championship status at the expense of the West Midlands side. Entering the final day of the season just one point above the drop zone, they secured a 1-0 win over Hull City, meaning Birmingham’s victory against Norwich City proved to be in vain.

Rooney lasted just 15 games at St Andrew’s following his move from Major League Soccer outfit D.C. United. Taking over the team shortly after they had moved into the play-off places, he departed after picking up just two wins and left the club languishing 20th in the table.

It was thought that he may struggle to pick up another job within England’s top two tiers. However, Pilgrims chairman Simon Hallett revealed he was left impressed by his interview:

“We do think there’s more to it. Clearly, results were poor,” he told talkSPORT. “Results were particularly poor at Birmingham over the course of 15 games, which is probably not long enough to be statistically significant.

“The underlying data at Birmingham was also poor, but we know that there were certain circumstances that made it difficult for Wayne.

“There were also circumstances that made it difficult at Derby, most obviously the place was in administration. Wayne ended up having to do a lot more than just coach at Derby.

“At Derby though, he still managed to improve the defence. At D.C. United, a limited number of games, but D.C. United’s attack was strengthened, D.C. United’s defence was – more modestly – strengthened.

“So we believe anyway that you can’t just look at results, you have to look at the impact the manager has on the team. You have to look at the data, the underlying performances before the manager arrives and afterwards.

“That means looking at things other than just wins and losses.”

Simon Jordan was left bemused by the admission though, saying:

“I think that’s ridiculous. Everyone to their own. Ultimately, Simon has a job to do for his football club. He owns it, he makes his choices.

“It’ll be an interesting outcome. I mean, again, to suggest you don’t have to look at results, every circumstance has underlying reasons why people aren’t successful. It’s the ability to overcome them.

“Sometimes in adversity, like at Derby County, sometimes the best choices are no choices. I don’t think he did very much in improving D.C. United on any level, but that’s a different discussion.

“The orthodoxy of thinking is you have to take results into consideration. You have to take results into the thinking process.”

Writer’s View

You have to feel that this is Wayne Rooney’s final shot at proving his worth as a manager. He did a decent job at Derby under difficult circumstances, but his next two positions have dented his reputation.

Plymouth are a team that aren’t expected to challenge towards the top end of the table. As a result, this is perhaps a job which suits him. A comfortable lower mid-table finish would be considered a success, which is certainly achievable. He will be able to attract players to Home Park that perhaps wouldn’t have considered a move to the club previously, which could give him the tools needed to reach the desired outcome. It will be interesting to see this play out.

About Jamie Ward 676 Articles
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