Wayne Rooney's unique managerial hurdles at Birmingham City revealed by insider

Wayne Rooney's class as a player compared to the level of those he coaches was one of his key hurdles, insists John Ruddy.

The ex-Manchester United star, who has recently taken the helm at Plymouth Argyle after brief spells with Derby, DC United and Birmingham City, was let go from St. Andrew's despite the team being in a strong position. His tenure lasted only 15 games and he didn't have the chance to shape the squad during a transfer window. Ruddy, speaking on Ben Foster's Fozcast, remarked on Rooney's exceptional skill level that often left his trainees in awe. He explained: "You forget how good a player he was.

"We're on the training pitch and he's saying, 'No lads, I want you to do this'.", reports the Mirror. "And he'd take a touch and pick this ball over the top, inch-perfect. You're going, 'Yeah, that's the level you're used to. We're not quite there. His footballing brain is so advanced because of how he was as a player. It's trying to get that dynamic, when you're someone like Wayne Rooney, that you're not dealing with a team of Wayne Rooney's."

Despite the challenges, Rooney made a lasting impact on Ruddy - who had a spell in Scotland with Motherwell during his career - who noted that while the former England star aims to manage from a distance, he thrives on being involved in the day-to-day action. The 37-year-old added: "Wayne came in and tried to implement a style of play which was more possession-based, more building from the back, with the same players. He was always on the pitch - he was more of an overseer.

"I felt like I got on well with him, I had a couple of nice conversations with him. He made it clear he wants to be a manager, not a coach. He's not going to be the one setting up the sessions and delivering sessions all the time - he has his backroom staff for that. But he'd dip in and out during the sessions."

Just last month Rooney took over the reins as head coach of Plymouth Argyle and reckons it's just the job for his next stride forward. He said: "Taking this role at Plymouth Argyle feels like the perfect next step in my career and I would like to thank the chairman and board for the faith they have shown in me.

"This is an opportunity to be part of an exciting project. I look forward to helping to build a squad of players to play expansive football and to entertain the Green Army. I have experienced first-hand how talented the existing group of players is here and also the incredible atmosphere at Home Park. The club is on an exciting long-term journey, with a progressive plan in place. I am grateful for the opportunity to be part of it."