Rooney To Join Derby As Player-Coach In January

DC United midfielder and former England captain Wayne Rooney speaks during a press conference at Pride Park Stadium in Derby on August 6, 2019 after Rooney agreed to a deal to become a player-coach.  Darren STAPLES / AFP

 

Former England captain Wayne Rooney is to leave Washington-based DC United after agreeing on a deal to become player-coach of  Championship side Derby County, the clubs announced on Tuesday.

The 33-year-old — the record goalscorer for both his country and Manchester United — signed an initial 18-month contract with the ambitious second-tier side, who under Rooney’s former England team-mate Frank Lampard reached the play-off final last season.

The high-profile signing has already paid off for the club.

“On the back of Wayne joining the club, we have just been offered a record-breaking sponsorship deal with our principal shirt sponsor,” said owner Mel Morris.

READ ALSO: German Football Officials Charged In World Cup Fraud Probe

Derby, two-time English champions back in the 1970s, have been rewarded for being quick off the mark when rumours surfaced that Colleen, Rooney’s wife and mother of their three children, was unhappy in the United States and wanted to return home.

Rooney, who is presently working towards securing his coaching qualifications, will work under former PSV Eindhoven boss Phillip Cocu.

“I am very excited about the opportunity that Derby County have provided me with,” Rooney told the club website.

“I am looking forward to joining Phillip Cocu, his coaching staff, and the first-team squad from the start of January.

“I am sure I can make a big contribution and can’t wait to meet everyone, especially the supporters.

“I am equally excited to begin my coaching career at Derby County working with both the first team and academy.

“I must also take this opportunity to thank DC United, their owners, executives and supporters who have been superb to work with.

“I want them to know that I will give my all in support of our push for the play-offs.”

 ‘Confidence or swag’ 

Steve Kaplan and Jason Levien, co-chairmen of DC United, praised Rooney for his contribution to the franchise — he has scored 23 times in 42 appearances since he joined from Everton on a three-year contract last year.

“After speaking to Wayne and understanding his difficult situation of being so far away from his family, we have accepted that this is the best decision for all parties,” they told the Derby website.

“Wayne is an exceptional leader and one of the most iconic players to play the game, so we look forward to his continued contributions to the team this season.”

Morris said Rooney’s arrival would bolster the reputation of the club.

“To have Wayne Rooney as a player, and equally as an aspiring coach, is incredible and I can only imagine the buzz this will generate amongst our supporters at home and internationally,” said Morris.

Cocu, who began his spell as manager with a 2-1 win over Huddersfield on Monday, said Rooney’s experience would be a massive boost to the club as they seek to return to the Premier League for the first time since 2008.

“It is an exciting prospect for him to be joining Derby County and he can bring so much to this squad, both on and off the pitch,” said Cocu.

“To have a player with his leadership, skill, experience, character and work ethic will be huge for us.

“The inspiration and motivation this can generate is massive for all of our players from the first team right through to the youngsters in the academy.”

Morris will be hoping Rooney wields a similar influence that he has done at DC United as attested to by his team-mate Steve Birnbaum.

“He’s changed everything, he’s changed the culture of the club,” Birnbaum told the Daily Telegraph.

“The work ethic he puts in during practice and you guys see it in the games. We have this sort of confidence or swag going into games because of him.”

AFP

Frank Lampard’s Derby County Beat Leeds 4-2 To Reach Championship Play-Off Final

 

A Frank Lampard inspired Derby County have secured their place in the Championship play-off final after beating Leeds United 4-2.

Derby County had lost the semi-final first leg 1-0 at Pride Park, however, events took a different turn on Wednesday with Jack Marriott bagging a brace, Chelsea’s Mason Mount netting and also Harry Wilson netted a penalty for the Rams.

READ ALSO: Lazio See Off Atlanta To Win Seventh Coppa Italia

Lampard’s side will now face Aston Villa in the final at Wembley on May 27.

Last-Gasp Goal Gives Lampard Winning Start With Derby

Last-Gasp Goal Gives Lampard Winning Start With Derby
(FILES) In this file photo taken on February 25, 2017, Chelsea and England former football player Frank Lampard gestures to the fans on the pitch at half-time during the English Premier League football match between Chelsea and Swansea at Stamford Bridge in London. Adrian DENNIS / AFP

 

Former Chelsea and England star Frank Lampard enjoyed a winning start to his managerial career on Friday when Derby County sealed a come-from-behind 2-1 triumph at Reading with a last-minute goal.

Tom Lawrence headed in the winner in the fourth minute of injury time from a cross by Mason Bennett just as the game — the opening fixture in the new Championship season — seemed to be meandering towards a draw.

His header sparked wild celebrations in the away dug-out at the Madejski Stadium.

“We have to enjoy this moment. It’s incredible character,” Lampard, 40, told Sky Sports.

“We were poor in the first half. Second half we showed some character. Mason Bennett’s come on and whipped in the most incredible cross from the right and Tom gets the header. An incredible moment.

“I’m sorry for Reading because they really didn’t deserve to lose that game for sure, but we’ve made our own luck today.”

Reading, who only avoided relegation on the final day of last season, had deservedly taken the lead in the 52nd minute when Jon Dadi Bodvarsson headed powerfully home a Mo Barrow cross.

Derby drew level on the hour when debutant Mason Mount, on loan from Chelsea, drilled in from long distance although Reading goalkeeper Vito Mannone was at fault, allowing the ball to slip away from him.

AFP

FA Cup: Chelsea Face Manchester City In Fifth Round

FA CupChelsea have been handed the toughest of fixtures in the English FA Cup fifth round.

The English Premier League defending champions, will face Manchester City after thrashing championship side Milton Keynes dons 5-1 away to advance.

A first half hat-trick by Brazilian Oscar put Chelsea in control by halftime.

Eden hazard, who had not scored for 30 matches, made it 4-1 from the penalty spot after 55 minutes before substitute Bertrand Traore, who had been on the pitch five minutes, scored his first goal for Chelsea to make it 5-1 in the 62nd.

FA Cup Defending Champions, Arsenal will take on Hull City in a repeat of the 2014 final.

Arsenal and Hull meet for the third year running, with the Gunners having eliminated the Tigers with a 2-0 win in the third round in 2015.

The fifth round ties will be played on the weekend of February 19-22.

Full FA Cup fifth-round draw

Chelsea v Manchester City

Reading v West Brom or Peterborough

Watford v Leeds United

Shrewsbury Town v Manchester United

Blackburn v Liverpool or West Ham

Tottenham v Crystal Palace

Arsenal v Hull

Bournemouth v Everton

FA Cup: Arsenal, Spurs, Man City Through To 5th Round

fa cupArsenal scored two fine goals to secure their place in the fifth round of the FA Cup at the expense of a hard-working Burnley side.

The first, from Calum Chambers, saw the right back arrow a curling shot into the top corner, before the visitors equalised through Sam Vokes.

Alexis Sanchez re-established the lead in the second half when he got on the end of a sweeping counter-attack and that was enough to see off the Clarets.

A brace from Nacer Chadli helped Tottenham to comfortably beat League One side Colchester United 4-1.

Nigerian striker, Kelechi Iheanacho, scored a hat trick to help Manchester City to a 4-0 victory over Aston Villa.

Manchester City’s hat-trick hero said after the match “I’m so happy and grateful to score a hat-trick today. I took my time with the third goal, I let the keeper show me where he was going and I put it to his left. It’s a great feeling to score my first hat-trick. I hope there’s more to come.”

Manchester United had on Friday defeated Derby County 3-1 to relieve the pressure on manager Louis van Gaal.

Leeds United, Hull City, Crystal Palace, Watford, Blackburn, Bournemouth, Reading and Shrewsbury all secured victories on Saturday to make into the fifth round of the FA Cup.

West Brom and Peterborough will go to a replay after playing out a 2-2 draw.