Wayne Rooney does not believe it will be long before his former England team-mates Steven Gerrard and Frank Lampard are being lined up for Premier League managerial roles, saying that it is ‘the right time for English managers to step forward’.
Gerrard and Lampard have each taken their first steps in management this season, with Liverpool legend Gerrard moving on from his role with their academy to assume charge at Rangers, while Lampard has taken the reins at Derby County.
Rooney, who left boyhood club Everton earlier this year to move to MLS side D.C. United, played with the pair at international level for 11 years between 2003 and 2014, and expects them to move onto bigger things at the top table of English football in the not-too-distant future.
“I think it is brilliant for those two,” the 32-year-old told the Mail on Sunday . “It is the right time for young English managers to step forward.
“I am sure in two or three years there will be clubs in the Premier League coming to try to snatch them away.”
The former Manchester United striker, who has seen a rejuvenation following his departure to the USA from Merseyside this summer, also laid out his plans to move into management himself, reiterating a desire to move to the dugout when his playing days are over.
“Football is what I know. It is what I have done my whole life,” Rooney added.
“I just think it a shame when you see players who have had careers like mine, when they have been footballers from a young age, you see them finish and they just walk away from the game.
“A good way to start out as a manager is to, first of all, be honest with your players, but also know your players and know how to manage them.
“I think man-management is more important sometimes than the training you do.”
Rooney’s D.C. United defeated Eastern Conference rivals Minnesota United 2-1 on September 13 and take on New York Red Bulls today.
Gerrard’s Rangers drubbed Dundee 4-0 on September 15 and next face Villarreal in their first group stage game of this season’s Europa League, while Lampard’s Derby County will look to bounce back from a 1-0 loss to Rotherham when they host Blackburn Rovers on September 18.