Stories abound in soccer circles about legendary players who have shown unmatched passion, leadership, and talent on the field, forever altering the course of the game. But it’s not usually a picnic making the jump from great player to great manager.

Amazing performance on the field and managerial achievement are like two halves of a jigsaw puzzle. For example, Zinedine Zidane won three UEFA Champions Leagues in a row while managing Real Madrid. For him, it was a transition he made with flying colors.

On the other hand, legendary players have struggled to find managerial success that matched their on-field brilliance. Such examples are Diego Maradona, Thierry Henry, Gary Neville, Frank Lampard, and even Wayne Rooney have not matched their playing career to their managerial career. So not even the most renowned players can figure out how to be the best managers.

Birmingham sack Rooney with 13% win percentage

Birmingham City’s dismissal of Wayne Rooney as manager was inevitable. In all honesty, the only shocking thing is how quickly it all ended. After 83 days with the Blues, Rooney’s tenure was cut short at 13 weeks.

In fifteen games, he managed only two victories and 10 points, while losing nine of them. The deciding factor was the 3-0 defeat against Leeds on New Year’s Day. Consequently, Birmingham dropped to 20th position in the Championship, barely six points above the dangerous zone.

“I do not believe 13 weeks was sufficient to oversee the changes that were needed”, Rooney said, seeming dissatisfied with the amount of time he was given. Considering the disastrous string of outcomes, it is difficult to feel any compassion. The scenario would have deteriorated worse had the Englishman been given further time.

Rooney may still be coaching a respectable level of soccer. However, he has just departed from his third management position. And it seems to have given him more problems than solutions.

American owners angry

This development hurt the 38-year-old professionally. It also humiliates the American firm Knighthead Capital, who purchased the Championship side in August.

The club’s bigger aspirations were encapsulated by Rooney, a world-renowned superstar and their most prominent management acquisition. The veteran had no track record of success as a manager, having held similar positions at Derby County and Major League Soccer club DC United. However, this didn’t seem to matter much.

He may complain about the lack of time, but at least it’s a spell from which we can see clear results. While his last two jobs were successful, this one was a total bust.

Win percentages for Rooney at Derby and DC United were 28.2 percent and 25.9 percent, respectively. An even more alarming 13 percent occurred at Birmingham City.

There were flashes of success at Derby when he was thrust into the position after his playing career came to an end. However, his performance was difficult to evaluate due to the financial disaster he was dealt. Returning to DC United in Major League Soccer, evaluating Rooney’s impact was once again hindered by restricted ownership ambition.

The effectiveness of his managerial skills was unclear in his first two positions. His ideal club would have allowed him to play the kind of soccer he desired and would not have made firefighting their priority.

What now for Rooney and his managerial career?

Naturally, a lot of excellent managers have lost their jobs. This included Sir Alex Ferguson’s dismissal from St. Mirren, which was a political one. Rafael Benitez and Arsene Wenger were both demoted during their first spells.

Jurgen Klopp spent what seemed like an eternity failing to lift Mainz from Bundesliga 2. Other clubs saw improvement and promise in every instance. They need to decide whether they feel the same way about Rooney.

Oftentimes, this is not obvious. Still, few people could accomplish as much in 38 years as Rooney has. His occasional craziness belies his intelligence, and he is a natural performer onstage.

Without knowing the specifics, it’s hard to judge, but you get the impression that Rooney is dying from a lack of energy. For the last 22 years, he has worked nonstop.

His management career is no exception; he went directly from playing on the Derby field to managing the team. He left Pride Park and took the position in Washington, DC, in the span of a few weeks.

At least four days passed between his departure from the Audi Field. And his announcement in Birmingham, but in practice, that gap was almost nonexistent. After this, what is Rooney to do? Not a single thing.

Relax for a moment and expand his horizons beyond soccer. Get to the bottom of his true desires. Until now, he hasn’t been able to muster the mental capacity to comprehend all of it. This is a perfect chance for him to do it.

It would be disastrous for him to accept a job simply because that is the next opportunity he has, out of fear of falling behind in the game.