Wayne Rooney: Plymouth Argyle boss talks Coleen, pasties and shopping (2024)

Brent Pilnick

BBC Sport England


Home Park, Plymouth

  • Published

After a couple of weeks working as a pundit for BBC Sport at Euro 2024, Wayne Rooney has now taken charge of his new side Plymouth Argyle.

So what did the former England skipper and Manchester United legend have to say in his first press conference as Pilgrims boss?

A pasty faux pas?

Image source, Getty Images

The pasty is the staple delicacy in these parts.

And whoever makes it, be it the local butcher or one of the pasty giants, you must have a steak one.

But Rooney's choice does not involve the West Country's finest beef.

"I actually like chicken and mushroom," Rooney said, leading to audible gasps from the press conference at Home Park.

Fortunately Argyle coach and local legend Kevin Nancekivell is doing his best to convert Rooney.

"I didn't know, so Nance has told me off and he keeps putting a meat one in front of me," Rooney joked.

'The Monaco of England'

Image source, Getty Images

It's a long way from his native north west to tropical Britain, even more so when you have a wife and four children.

And while Rooney has been away from home before as manager of DC United in Washington, he still had to try and sell the move to Devon to wife Coleen and the kids.

"I actually sold it to her that this is the Monaco of England," he said.

"I don't think she really quite believed me."

Well, Wayne may have a point - to a degree.

Plymouth has a rich maritime history and Princess Yachts are based in the city with many of their boats ending up in Monte Carlo's harbour.

"But it was an easy decision," he added.

"Of course I spoke to my family over it because it's such a big move like it was when I went to DC United.

"It's such a big move to move away from your family and a big decision to make, but it was the right decision for me in terms of my development and me trying to get back into management and work well, so it was the right decision for us and that was never going to stand in the way."

Trolling Gary Neville

Image source, Rex Features

Team-mates at Manchester United and England, pundits and podcasters Gary Neville and Wayne Rooney have a great relationship.

But when asked why he is putting his punditry 'career' on hold for the 'fun' of the team bus on a nine-hour ride back from Sunderland on a Tuesday night he said.

"I don't want to become the next Gary Neville."

Is there a bit of competition between the older Neville brother and Rooney for who can be the best manager?

Of course Gary had an ill-fated four-month spell in charge of Valencia from December 2015 and was a coach with England when they were knocked out of Euro 2016 by Iceland.

The former England right-back failed to win his first nine league games as Valencia boss and saw his side humbled 7-0 by Barcelona in the Copa del Rey.

Rooney was widely hailed for keeping struggling Derby County in the Championship before points deductions saw them go down in his second season.

But his time at Birmingham City last year did not end well after being sacked after just 15 games in charge.

How will Gary respond? No doubt we'll find out on their podcast.

Being mobbed in Morrisons

"I'm not someone who, you know, sits in an apartment all day," Rooney said when asked how he will adapt to life in Plymouth.

Much like in Newcastle, Barcelona or Exeter, the city's football manager is one of the most recognisable faces.

"I went into Morrisons yesterday to get some food and some toiletries and stuff and it was self checkout, so there were no bags," said Rooney of his shopping trip.

"So I was walking out with all my shopping in my hands and people were asking for pictures.

"I'm sure there'll be a few pictures of me walking around looking like I've just stolen stuff from Morrisons, but I had the receipt with me, I promise."

But people in Plymouth will be pleased to know that Wayne is happy for photos, autographs and voice notes.

"People will see me out and about, I am approachable and I've always been that way and so far everyone's been great," he added.

Related Topics

  • Plymouth Argyle
  • Championship
  • Football
Wayne Rooney: Plymouth Argyle boss talks Coleen, pasties and shopping (2024)
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