One of the biggest worries that fans had when Wayne Rooney made his way back over to English football was that he wasn’t going to have ‘it’ anymore. The 34-year-old veteran enjoyed a strong spell in Major League Soccer with DC United, but it had been a while since he’d been able to get the job done on a consistent basis over in England.
The Rams have been the definition of inconsistent throughout the season up to this point, with the loss to bottom of the table Luton Town leaving many fans wondering whether or not their top six hopes were dead and buried.
It doesn’t seem as if that’s the case, though, if only because the race for promotion in the Championship is so unpredictable. They may be lingering down in 13th place right now, but they’re actually only seven points off of sixth place. If Rooney has anything to say about it, they’ll be able to close that gap in no time.
Rooney had a few words to say after the full time whistle blew.
“I’m enjoying playing here and feel like I’m getting up to speed,” he said.
“I’ve enjoyed playing in lots of different roles during my career, and playing deeper in midfield here is just another example of that.”
Derby boss Phillip Cocu was clearly pretty pleased after the result as the Rams continue to go in search of a place in the playoffs.
Proving the doubters wrong
“I think it was one of our best games. We struggled in many games with production, especially in the last part of the pitch. Sometimes one more goal makes a difference, so you can play your game with more confidence and control. That’s what we did today.
“For the first 35 minutes we played excellent and we felt in the second half we did the same; controlled without conceding. Great goals and a great performance.”
Back when he first signed, Wayne really did seem as if this was a decision he felt like he needed to make.
“While the decision to move home was a tough one, family is everything to us and we make this change to be closer to the ones we love back in England,” he added.
“I am very excited about the opportunity Derby County have provided me with. I am looking forward to joining [Derby manager] Phillip Cocu, his coaching staff and the first-team squad from the start of January.
“I am equally excited to begin my coaching career at Derby County, working with both the first team and academy.”
As one of the biggest names in English football, even after all this time, it legitimately feels like he has to be back in the Premier League sooner rather than later.
Whether or not that happens, of course, remains to be seen.