What happened to England stars after Carrick's spell as United boss?

Gerrard and Lampard are both in the dugout, while Neville and Carragher have formed an iconic duo in the studio… where England’s golden generation has ended up after Carrick’s spell as Man United boss

  • The next member of England’s golden generation has taken up management  
  • Michael Carrick enjoyed a brief spell in charge of Man United as interim boss 
  • Seven players in England’s 2006 World Cup squad have started coaching 
  • Others have chosen to go into punditry after finishing their professional careers 

It’s the moment you realise just how old you are – another member of England’s golden generation became a manager after Michael Carrick’s spell as interim boss of Manchester United. 

There were some terrific leaders in the 2006 World Cup squad that went to Germany under Sven Goran Eriksson, and it’s no surprise to see vocal characters like John Terry, Frank Lampard and Steven Gerrard make ventures into the dugout.

Carrick was always seen as a more quiet player compared to his other team-mates, a player who led by example on the pitch with his consistent displays – and was given a chance to show a different side to himself after leading his former side through a tricky period following Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s sacking. 

The former midfielder oversaw two games – both wins against Villarreal and Arsenal – before handing over control to Ralf Rangnick. 

But what happened to the rest of the group from that World Cup squad? Sportsmail takes a look at what steps they took after finishing their careers, with some going into coaching and others becoming pundits.

Michael Carrick became the latest England 2006 player to become a manager after his brief spell as interim boss of Manchester United

He is the the fourth star in the squad to take up a top job, while others have become pundits


Frank Lampard

One of the first to dive into management, Lampard made it clear he wanted to try his luck at coaching and that was hardly surprising after being one of big leaders on the pitch for both England and Chelsea. 

It helps as a player to play for a boss who has been there and done it – won it all. That was Lampard, who lifted pretty much every trophy in the game, including the Premier League and Champions League. His first job at Derby was a successful one as he got them to the Championship play-off final in his first season, in the 2018-19 campaign. 

Using his contacts in the game, he brought in the likes of Mason Mount and Fikayo Tomori from Chelsea on loan and Harry Wilson from Liverpool – building a young and talented team that was unlucky to miss out on promotion, losing to Aston Villa in the final at Wembley.

Frank Lampard was one of the first former England stars to become a manager after joining Derby, and later his old side Chelsea

But his work didn’t go unnoticed – Chelsea, the club he devoted 13 years of his career to – came calling after the sacking of Maurizio Sarri. The former midfielder did admirably to get a top four finish despite the Blues being under transfer embargo as he gave youth a chance, with the likes of Tammy Abraham, Mount, Tomori and Callum Hudson-Odoi featuring. 

Unfortunately for Lampard, his reign ended on a sour note as he was axed the following season after a poor run – with Thomas Tuchel taking over. He has since been linked with a handful of Premier League jobs, including Norwich, but remains a free agent for now.

Steven Gerrard

Another former midfielder who many expected to become a boss – the former Liverpool skipper is a natural leader who exuded passion and energy on the pitch, and he has been bringing those qualities to the dugout too after three years with Rangers in the SPL. 

Many will argue coaching in the Scottish top flight could be something of an easy ride for your first stint in management, but make no mistake about the challenge he faced in dethroning Celtic in the title race. 

Steven Gerrard is back in the Premier League with Aston Villa, after starting off at Rangers

The Hoops had won the league nine times in a row, and Gerrard finished runners up to them twice in a row before finally overcoming them last season. 

His side looked on course to do it again this season, but has now taken the opportunity of his first Premier League job with Aston Villa. He is already up and running with a 2-0 win over Brighton in his first game. It seems fate that he will some day end up as Liverpool boss when Jurgen Klopp leaves Anfield.

Wayne Rooney

When Rooney was a player, he often shied away from suggestions he could be a manager. He wore the armband for both Manchester United and England and was certainly influential on the pitch, but didn’t quite have that aura about him that a head coach should have. 

That all changed when he went to Derby County in the last playing spell of his career – working as a player/coach under Philip Cocu. He used his experience to inspire the Rams before taking over the top job when Cocu was axed. 

Wayne Rooney has endured a tough start to his managerial career with cash-strapped Derby

He couldn’t have picked a tougher job to start his management career with. While Derby were flourishing went Lampard was in charge, the club are in dire straits financially now and have been docked 21 points in total this season.

He managed to save them from relegation by the skin of their teeth last season, but the trap door to League One looks inevitable now as they sit on -3 points. 

Rooney has committed himself to the job – sleeping on the sofa in his office to ensure he got players signed during the summer and has even dismissed links to the United and Newcastle jobs. 

John Terry 

We’re all waiting for Chelsea’s ‘captain, leader, legend’ to take that final step and stand on his own as a boss, but it seems Terry is playing the waiting game as he looks for the perfect start to his time as manager.

The centre-back – who skippered England in 2006 – is linked to pretty much every mid-table Premier League and Championship job that becomes available – including recently with Swansea, Newcastle and Norwich – and he is still biding his time after taking his first steps in coaching as Dean Smith’s assistant at Aston Villa. 

John Terry is yet to become a manager but has been working as a coach with Aston Villa 

It has taken him slightly longer than his former team-mates to get going, but he is expected to take a job soon after resigning from his post at Villa Park.

He said he would be spending time with his family and shadowing other managers around Europe to fully learn the trade before starting his career.  


Jamie Carragher

Arguably one of football’s most well known pundits, the former Liverpool defender and captain was a great leader but quickly went down the punditry route after his playing days came to an end.

The role has become a perfect fit for Carragher, often lining up against old Manchester United foe and now close friend Gary Neville for heated debates on the biggest topics in football.

Carragher is never afraid to give his honest take and was critical about Ole Gunnar Solskjaer before his sacking at United – calling for the club to make a change. While he has never tried his luck as a boss himself, his expert analysis in the studio and outspoken nature has been a hit with viewers. 

Jamie Carragher is one of the nation’s best known pundits and has formed an iconic pairing with old rival Gary Neville on Sky Sports

Rio Ferdinand 

Up there with Carragher and Neville as one of the most popular pundits out there. The former Manchester United and England captain has opted not to take up a managerial or coaching role despite his leadership skills and has instead found a place as a vocal and insightful name on TV.

He was a big presence on the BBC as the Three Lions reached the final of Euro 2020, and has been able to draw on his vast experience as a player to give his expert take on the hottest topics. 

Ferdinand has taken his coaching badges, but much like Neville and Carragher, losing him as a pundit would be a big blow for the TV stations that employ him as he is highly respected by fans and viewers. 

Rio Ferdinand is a highly respected pundit who has impressed with his insightful analysis

Michael Owen

England’s No 10 at the Germany World Cup, Owen was a prolific striker during his prime years for Liverpool, but his reserved nature always meant that discussing the game on TV was going to suit him better.

After rounding off his playing days with Manchester United and Stoke City, he decided to go down the punditry route too. 

He has been a BT Sport pundit for the last eight years and has also been lending his voice as a co-commentators for the biggest games. 

Michael Owen has often been seen in the BT Sport studio and also works as a commentator

Jermaine Jenas

Former Tottenham star Jenas retired surprisingly early – at the age of just 32 – after struggling to recover from a persistent knee injury. 

He hadn’t played professionally for two years and had been spending time on Match of the Day to keep himself busy, and seized the opportunity to become one of football’s most recognised faces discussing the big games.

Now the ex-midfielder is almost seen everywhere – and like Owen he has been heavily involved in the gantry as a co-commentator for BT Sport.

Such is the respect he has been receiving as a pundit, Jenas has been strongly tipped to succeed Gary Lineker as the next host of Match of the Day. 

Jermaine Jenas retired aged 32 and has worked as both pundit and commentator – widely tipped to become the next Match of the Day host

Peter Crouch

Sportsmail’s own columnist, Crouch has flirted with the idea of management and admitted on his podcast he could see himself coaching a team one day and has already started doing his coaching badges.

But for now Crouch – a huge personality on TV and other media – prefers to give his take on the game on his columns and other programmes. The towering former forward has appeared on the BBC and BT Sport alongside the likes or Rio Ferdinand and appears comfortable with his work.

Crouch – who was a secret weapon up front for Liverpool, Tottenham and Stoke to name but a few clubs – was a big character in the England dressing room and who can forget his iconic robot celebration after he scored against Trinidad and Tobago at the 2006 World Cup. 

He admitted he was inspired by Steven Gerrard’s passionate showing in his first game at Aston Villa, so we could see him in the dugout one day soon. 

Peter Crouch has flirted with the idea of becoming a manager but looks happy as a pundit

He regularly appears on BT Sport alongside former England team-mate Owen Hargreaves (R)

Owen Hargreaves

The former Manchester United midfielder battled with injuries in his career, officially hanging up his boots aged 31, but the severity of his crippling knee injuries meant that he had effectively not played for four years.

Like Crouch and Jenas, he has popped up as a BT Sport pundit, acting as a prominent voice on United having played for the club between 2007 and 2011, while also working as a co-commentator at times.  


Gary Neville

His chemistry with Carragher is one of Sky Sports’ best selling points, but the insight Neville brings to the game has been highly praised – even though his knowledge didn’t quite translate to the pitch during his first and only stint as a manager. 

When his close friend Peter Lim – who owns Valencia – needed a new boss to replace Nuno Espirito Santo, Neville took up the call, leaving his successful job as a pundit at Sky to try his luck at the challenging role in LaLiga.

But it simply did not go to plan, and he was sacked after less than four months in charge – with his side hammered 7-0 by Barcelona in the Copa Del Rey and winning just three games, including zero clean sheets. 

Gary Neville tried his luck as a boss at Valencia in 2016 but it went disastrously wrong and he returned to his role at Sky

Neville later reflected that he had made many mistakes in Spain, as well as not being able to speak Spanish, and wasn’t passionate enough about the job. He has since returned to his job at Sky, where he seems most comfortable as both pundit and commentator alongside the likes of Martin Tyler.

The former England right-back is always at the forefront of discussions about his former club Man United and, after being sacked himself by Valencia, has been reluctant to criticise managers and call for their sackings – something which has earned him stick. 

Sol Campbell 

The former Arsenal and Spurs centre-back was one of the best defenders England has produced, but that hasn’t quite happened for him as a manager – despite him boldly calling himself ‘one of the greatest minds in football’.

So far, Campbell’s only opportunities have come in League One and League Two, and both ended on a sour note as he took over troubled clubs Macclesfield Town and Southend United.

He saved Macclesfield from relegation to Non League in 2019, but left by mutual consent the following season with the club struggling financially. He later took charge of Southend, moving up a division, but could not save them from the drop as they finished second bottom and were sent down after Covid scrapped their campaign. He left in June 2020.

Campbell hasn’t managed since, but has been a regular face as a pundit on the BBC and has often given his views on his old club Arsenal.  

Campbell has managed twice in the Football League but hasn’t coached since summer 2020

Joe Cole

The former Chelsea star – scorer of a stunning volley against Sweden at the 2006 World Cup – has been seen in the TV studios of the BBC, ITV and BT Sport on England and Chelsea games, but has made inroads in coaching too. 

In 2019 he worked as technical academy director at Stamford Bridge, working closely with the club’s young talent while his former team-mate Frank Lampard ran the first team, but left last summer to focus on punditry – as well as taking the chance to visit other clubs and learn more about the game.

He plans to return to the coaching scene however, as he explained last year: ‘I had a great time there and learned so much. It was really important in my development but I was planning on carrying my work with BT Sport and I was planning on doing study visits around the world with different managers and study visits within the FA.

‘That all got put to bed because of Covid but I’ll pick that up when I can and it’s back to normal.’

Joe Cole was given a chance to coach Chelsea’s academy players but is a regular face on BT 

Ashley Cole 

England’s undisputed left-back for more than decade, Cole is a highly experienced former player who won honours galore with Arsenal and Chelsea, before plying his trade abroad with Roma and LA Galaxy.

He has lended his know-how to the TV studio with both the BBC and ITV and Sky Sports, but has also shown his desire to make it as a coach too having followed Frank Lampard to Derby as a player before hanging up his boots and joining the staff at Pride Park. 

He followed Lampard to Chelsea, where he became an academy coach, and was recently named as an assistant coach to Lee Carsley with the England Under-21s. 

His former Chelsea team-mate Ashley Cole has also appeared as a pundit but is devoting most of his time as England U21 assistant coach

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