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Hodgson Warns Stars Like Rooney Have ‘No Magic Wand’

Crystal Palace boss Roy Hodgson believes leading former players such as Wayne Rooney often face “unrealistic” expectations when they become managers.

Ex-England captain Rooney, who played under Hodgson when the now 76-year-old was managing the national side, found himself out of a job on Tuesday when sacked as manager of second-tier Birmingham after just 83 days in charge.

The former Manchester United striker said he did not “believe 13 weeks was sufficient to oversee the changes that were needed”.

Birmingham were sixth in the Championship, the division below the lucrative Premier League, when Rooney replaced the far lower profile John Eustace as manager.

Rooney oversaw just two wins in 15 matches, however, with Monday’s 3-0 thumping by Leeds, Birmingham’s ninth defeat under him, proving the final straw.

The Midlands club — who have NFL legend Tom Brady as a minority shareholder — are embroiled in a battle against relegation, slumping to 20th since the 38-year-old Rooney took over.

Many leading players have struggled as managers, with Rooney’s former England team-mates Frank Lampard and Steven Gerrard enjoying nothing like the success of their playing days during their second career in the English game.

Hodgson, who himself returned for a second spell at Palace following France great Patrick Vieira’s sacking last March, said Wednesday: “It’s perhaps more a question of the climate people work in these days.

“I think sometimes the bigger-name players won’t be given a chance at a top club or a club in an elevated position.

“I’m thinking in particular Frank Lampard and Steven Gerrard even more than Wayne, but unfortunately the way the climate is these days is that the judgement on them will come very, very quickly and will be quite severe.”

– ‘Myth’ –
Hodgson, who in common with a number of managers had a modest playing career, added much of the blame lay with owners looking for a quick fix.

“They’ll be welcomed into the club because of their name and they’ll be expected because they are Steven Gerrard and because they are Frank Lampard (that) suddenly you’re going to come in and the team that you’re going to be taking over, which hasn’t been doing brilliantly is suddenly going to fly because you’re here.

“That’s unrealistic. They’ve got a point when they say, ‘I didn’t really get a chance. No one gave me two years. I didn’t get three or four transfer windows, I didn’t get a chance to really decide when I took over the group of players’.

“Let’s get Rooney, let’s get Lampard, let’s get Gerrard, and there’s no change? Well, that’s where the dream, the myth, is quite often proliferated, that a manager has some sort of magic wand and he will wave that wand and the team that has been doing badly will now do well, because he is there.

“Sometimes it works, but it is by no means a certainty,” added Hodgson, whose Palace side next play Premier League rivals Everton in the third round of the FA Cup on Thursday.

AFP

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