Birmingham City appointing Wayne Rooney ‘absolutely STINKS’, insists CHRIS SUTTON on Mail Sport’s It’s All Coming Up podcast… as IAN LADYMAN looks ahead to Wagatha Christie part two when the Blues take on Jamie Vardy’s Leicester
- Birmingham City sacked John Eustace despite sitting sixth in the Championship
- The Blues replaced him with former Derby and DC United boss Wayne Rooney
- Listen to the latest episode of Mail Sport’s podcast ‘It’s All Kicking Off!’
Chris Sutton has hit out at Birmingham City sacking John Eustace and replacing him with Wayne Rooney as he insisted ‘the whole thing absolutely stinks’.
Eustace was controversially dismissed on Monday by the Blues – who are co-owned by NFL great Tom Brady – with the club sixth in the Championship heading into the international break.
After much speculation – which was first revealed by Mail Sport in September – Birmingham confirmed the appointment of Rooney on Wednesday, just days after he left DC United after failing to get them into the MLS Cup play-offs.
Birmingham’s move, which was driven by chief executive Garry Cook – who has a relationship with Rooney – has caused much discussion in the footballing world, with many slamming the club for their harsh decision to dispense of Eustace’s services.
And former Premier League winner Sutton, speaking on Mail Sport’s It’s All Coming Up podcast, joined those dissenting voices when questioned by co-host and football editor Ian Ladyman.
Chris Sutton slammed Birmingham’s decision to sack John Eustace and bring in Wayne Rooney
Rooney was appointed as the new Birmingham City manager on Wednesday
Eustace was dismissed on Monday despite Birmingham sitting sixth in the Championship
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‘I have total respect for Wayne Rooney as a player,’ he said. ‘And actually, you know, what he did at Derby County as a manager, but it (this situation) stinks.
‘The whole thing absolutely stinks. It stenches. It just does – the whole Eustace sacking and then, you know, that period of time before Rooney was announced. I mean, this was always bound to happen.
‘This was the worst kept secret in football, wasn’t it? When Eustace lost his job, we all knew who was going to take over. But there was that.
‘I feel for John use just more than anybody else. Look, it’s up to Birmingham and the owners, the route they want to go down. And essentially, the proof of the pudding is in the eating.
‘If Wayne Rooney does a really job, a good job and gets Birmingham back to the promised land, the Premier League, then you’ll have to say it’s the right decision. But based on where Birmingham were and the direction they were heading in under John Eustace…’
He continued: ‘This is a major gamble from Birmingham. And they’re probably looking at the commercial value, the sponsorships, that people will look at Birmingham in a different way.
‘But essentially if you’re a Birmingham City fan you just want to get promoted. And you want the best person in place, the best person for the job.
‘And it’s questionable whether Wayne Rooney is the best person for the job. But you have to give him a chance, of course.’
Rooney returns to English football with the Blues after a mixed stint in America with DC United
He outlined his ambitions with the club and is targeting immediate promotion to the Premier League
Ladyman echoed many of Sutton’s points but also pointed to an example from January 2013 when Southampton made the unpopular decision to change manager despite being three points clear of the Premier League relegation zone.
He added: ‘The wisdom of this decision will be born out by the results. And I have to say it can occasionally happen.
‘I remember years ago when Southampton sacked Nigel Adkins, who was doing a good job for them, and they hired this coach from Argentina that none of us knew anything about.
‘And everybody criticised Southampton endlessly. That coach was Mauricio Pochettino and look what happened to Southampton while Pochettino was there and look what he’s gone on to do subsequently. It can work.
‘However, this feels a bit different. It’s very hard to predict, but I think they will do OK. Because I think that Rooney so far has shown himself to be an OK manager with some potential.
‘But, by that I mean that they’ll be a top half Championship club. I don’t think they’ll fly to the moon, which is what Garry Cook hopes that they will do. But I might be wrong.’
Rooney’s return to the Championship will see him come up against Jamie Vardy at Leicester City, with the Blues set to meet the Foxes on December 16 at St Andrew’s.
Their partners – Rebekah Vardy and Coleen Rooney – were involved in a high-profile court case last year after Rooney accused Vardy of leaking posts from her private Instagram account to The Sun.
Ian Ladyman also looked ahead to Birmingham’s game with Leicester in a few months time
Rooney and Vardy’s (pictured playing for England in 2016) partners – Coleen and Rebekah – were involved in a high-profile court case last year that became known as ‘Wagatha Christie’
The dispute became known as ‘Wagatha Christie’, with the judge ruling in favour of Rooney. Vardy was subsequently ordered to pay a substantial proportion of her legal expenses.
And Ladyman poked fun at what could happen when their husbands come up against each other in a few months time.
He said: ‘Wayne Rooney vs Jamie Vardy. I wonder if the two wives will be coming to watch that one. And if so, whether they’ll be in the same executive box. I mean, that’s gonna be a cracker.
‘I mean, there’ll be Instagram posts. There’ll be more Instagram posts than you can shake your left foot at. Seriously, that will be one to look forward to. Birmingham City versus Leicester.’
IT’S ALL KICKING OFF!
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