Rooney under pressure as Birmingham eye move for sacked Premier League boss

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Written By Maya Cantina

Birmingham City are considering replacing Wayne Rooney with Steve Cooper – but the latter is poised to receive a better offer from the Premier League.

Rooney has made a dreadful start to his Blues career, winning just two of his 13 games in charge. Birmingham were sixth in the table when they replaced John Eustace with Rooney but are now 19th, just seven points above the Championship’s relegation zone.

That has forced Birmingham, who are co-owned by NFL legend Tom Brady, to start looking for replacements for Rooney. The Blues aren’t expected to sack the former England captain in the coming days but will make a change if results don’t improve soon.

According to The Sun, Cooper is at the top of Birmingham’s shortlist after Nuno Espirito Santo succeeded him at Nottingham Forest earlier this month. Cooper was axed after a run of one win in 13 matches – not to dissimilar to Rooney’s record at St Andrew’s.

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Despite being sacked, Cooper did a fantastic job at the City Ground. He took over Forest in September 2021 when they were bottom of the Championship and led them to promotion six months later. He then kept them in the Premier League last season.

Yet Birmingham’s hopes of landing Cooper are slim. As reported by the Daily Mail, Crystal Palace view Cooper as Roy Hodgson’s successor, with the 76-year-old boss set to leave Selhurst Park soon. Hodgson has already earmarked May as his retirement date.

But Hodgson could be axed much sooner, with Palace just three points above the relegation zone. It’s believed Cooper isn’t still contracted to Forest, meaning Palace would only need to pay up the rest of Hodgson’s contract to make room for the Welshman.






Steve Cooper is available following his Nottingham Forest exit
Steve Cooper is available following his Nottingham Forest exit
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Getty Images)

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As for Rooney, his hopes of achieving success in the West Midlands look slim. His team’s most recent defeat came on Boxing Day, as Stoke comfortably won 3-1 at St Andrew’s. Rooney was clearly furious with his players in his post-match interview.

“It’s hard to put into words. I didn’t see that performance coming. I didn’t recognise the team out there on the pitch,” Rooney told BBC Radio West Midlands. “That’s frustrating as, over the last few games we’d made some real strides – and this was difficult to take.

“We just weren’t doing the right things, the basics. It wasn’t lack of effort. That would be unfair to say. It was lack of game knowledge. Ideally, you wish you could have 11 subs – as I could have changed all 11 players at half-time.”

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