Wayne Rooney was a history-making striker in his playing days, becoming the all-time leading goalscorer for Manchester United and England, and the experience he picked up along the way is being put to good use as a manager.
Having worked under some iconic coaches, a modern-day great is looking to forge a successful career of his own in the dugout after being thrown in at the deep end by Derby County.
Plenty of challenges have been faced early on at Pride Park, but they have been faced with the same level of enthusiasm and determination that once made Rooney such a star on the field. How has he fared with the Rams? GOAL takes a look...
What are Wayne Rooney’s managerial stats?
Rooney initially took the reins at Derby as part of an interim four-man coaching team following the sacking of Phillip Cocu on November 14, 2020.
Table correct at time of writing on 20/01/2022
With positive progress made off the bottom of the Championship table, the 36-year-old – who had returned to English football with the Rams from MLS side D.C. United – was appointed on a permanent basis in January 2021.
Plenty of hurdles have been placed in front of him since then, including a 21-point deduction and embargoes on the signing and registration of players, but a remarkable bid for second tier survival is being pieced together in the 2021-22 campaign.
Rooney’s stock continues to rise as a result, with talk of him returning to his roots in a Premier League post at Everton when the Toffees took the decision to part with Rafa Benitez in January 2022.
What is Wayne Rooney’s win percentage as a manager?
Having seen his hands tied in the transfer market, Rooney has had to make the best of those at his disposal.
That has not always been easy, with Championship survival in 2020-21 only secured on the final day of the season.
He had faced questions of his ongoing presence during a battle to stay up, but proved his worth when getting the Rams over the line and has got everybody pulling in the same direction this season.
As a result, his win percentage as a manager has started to rise, with Rooney up to 27.7 per cent after picking up 18 victories from 65 games at the helm at the time of writing.
What is Wayne Rooney’s management style?
Having been a no-nonsense performer as a player, Rooney - who is set to star in a new documentary on Amazon Prime - was never going to change his ways when taking to the touchline.
He has been eager to make it clear who is boss at Derby, with anybody not towing the line having it made clear to them that their services are no longer required.
Rooney has told the Derby Telegraph: "The one thing I demanded from the players is respect - respect to the coaches, respect to the staff around the training ground and respect for each other and for this club.
"If a player doesn't do that, and doesn't show the respect, and doesn't put the effort in that we feel is necessary then they won't play. I have told the players that.”
Rooney has also looked to take important lessons from all of those that he once worked under, with the likes of Sir Alex Ferguson and Jose Mourinho providing inspiration when it comes to tactical nous.
He has told Sky Sports of his management style: "I think there is a mixture of different managers I've worked under, and I've always tried to spot their strengths. But their weaknesses are just as important.
"The obvious one is Sir Alex and the way he managed each player individually and the way he kept them all eager and ready to play. That was incredible.
"Then there was [Louis] van Gaal who was more tactical, and the way he set the team up not to concede goals was incredible, but there was not so much from a tactical point of view going forward.
"Jose Mourinho was a winner, he would do anything to win. So it's been different with all the managers I've worked under, and I can take bits from each one.
"But the thing I need to do is be myself, and manage my team and the players the way they feel they need to be managed - both from a team point of view and individually."
He added: "I've always loved the tactical side of the game. I believe that's why I was always able to play in so many positions. I could take the information and perform it on the pitch.
"I always liked to look at the jobs of other players during games. It's something I always believed I would be good at, and that I wanted to do."