Allardyce has no regrets about hooking Rooney

Sunday 8 April 2018  53 Comments  [Jump to last]

Sam Allardyce defended his decision to take Wayne Rooney off in yesterday's Merseyside derby saying that his substitutions proved to be a turning point for his team in the game.

Allardyce was asked if things were alright with Rooney after his visible irritation at being substituted a few minutes shy of the hour mark in the goalless draw at Goodison Park.

“Things are alright by me,” he replied. “If Wayne's not alright he'll come and see me.

“At the end of the day, the substitutes made the difference today in helping us get back in the game.

“My job is no matter who you are or how big you are, you can be substituted when I feel it necessary to help the team and I thought all the substitutions contributed quite a considerable amount to getting us much more into the game and much more quality going forward.

“In fairness to Tom, Wayne and Yannick, they'd worked their socks off before that, they were tiring, and the substitutes are there to get fresh legs on.

“When the substitutes make the impact that they made, I was feeling that was the right thing to do today and, as a coaching staff, we've all come off the pitch and agreed that was a turning point for us — the substitutions.”

 

Reader Comments (53)

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Dave Williams
1 Posted 08/04/2018 at 11:05:24
Dead right, Sam. Wayne wasn't in the game and neither was Bolasie – apart from his shot. Calvert-Lewin played well and it was a shame about his miss near the end.

Tom Davies takes a lot of stick but he plays at a high tempo and it will all come together for him eventually. He reminds me of Colin Harvey in his early days – hard worker and tackler but suddenly he blossomed into the best ball-playing half-back I have ever seen – I expect Tom to become our own version of Gerard.

The subs were all good which is more than can be said for the initial team selection!

Jim Bennings
2 Posted 08/04/2018 at 11:26:43
Dave,

I don't want to be critical but it's those type of views that mean Everton never move on as a club.

“Calvert-Lewin played well” – No he didn't, mate; he worked hard, which should be the minimum requirement for any professional footballer, there are lads working their socks off week-in & week-out in League 2 so I'm not one of these that subscribes to the axiom working hard is playing well.

He missed a glorious chance that at Premier League level you simply must take and it's his overall inability to look like a striker or hit a ball with any power that means he is not a top-flight player at the moment; I'm not really arsed about 5 years down the line... here and now he is not!

“Tom will be our own version of Gerrard” – Again, I've not seen a single thing from Davies so far to suggest he's any better than the likes of Dan Gosling, Jack Rodwell, Leon Osman were at that age. Davies is living off the back of that goal against Man City last season.

Comparing him with Steven Gerrard who, at 19, was a powerhouse roving quick strong midfielder who could shoot, score, pass and head a ball is just ridiculous.

I always get slaughtered for trying to talk a bit of sense but fans are blinkered by the age of players; they need to understand just because a player is 18 or 19 doesn't necessarily mean he's going to be great in 5 years time.

We had fans going on about Ross Barkley being one of the best midfielders in Europe by the time he's 25 or 26... well, where's he going with his career now? Has he ever progressed from Martinez's first season?

Everton can't be relying or starting with the likes of Davies, Calvert-Lewin, Rooney (see not just slaying youngsters, before people jump on the 'criticism' wagon) next season if they are genuinely serious about being a proper ambitious club.

It's down to those in power to find quality footballers that can take Everton up a level now.

Chad Schofield
4 Posted 08/04/2018 at 13:01:48
Can't disagree there. I also agree with Dave that Calvert-Lewin played well... inversely to Bolasie who, other than that shot, was poor, Calvert-Lewin got stuck in, provided some energy, but fluffed his shot.
Jay Harris
5 Posted 08/04/2018 at 13:09:00
Personally, I thought Calvert-Lewin played well apart from that miss. He held the ball up and linked up well with the other players. Far more effective than Bolasie and I think, once the lad starts scoring, he will have a big future.

Tom Davies in comparison has been poor this season even before Allardyce came. Our midfield is a major cause of concern. Rooney and Schneiderlin are not up to standard and should be unloaded asap

We need midfield players who can close down, tackle, create, and chip in with some goals.

David Reid
6 Posted 08/04/2018 at 13:50:43
Spot on, Jim (#2) – that's why getting a proven manager who knows what players he wants is essential regarding the future of this club, whether that player is a young prospect or mature campaigner. A player who can play the way the manager wants to play is so important.

A manager who will tell the DoF what to look for regarding purchasing players and, if it doesn't work,put up his hand and admit the error and move on. Meanwhile, we supporters keep patient.

Pete Clarke
7 Posted 08/04/2018 at 14:05:46
Calvert-Lewin buries that chance yesterday and he would be getting praised for his performance on here today. These, however, are not small margins, they are huge.

With Jagielka, Coleman and Baines back in the team, the young lads should be left in the team for experience. We now have nothing to play for, except the place money I suppose, but these young lads cannot just be written off based on this chaotic season.

Dean Cooper
8 Posted 08/04/2018 at 14:11:21
I hate to say it, but Schneiderlin was our only midfielder yesterday (before Gana came on and made a massive difference). So our midfield is a massive cause for concern.

People bang on about Davies, but I haven't seen a good player there this season. I don't see high-tempo, I see a headless chick with a worse touch than Rom. He should be on the bench but it shows our lack of options right now.

It pains me to see Wayne play in a deeper role. He is no holding midfielder. The lad has the greatest range of passing in our team, yes. But he's always caught on the ball because he's not used to playing in all directions. Why not use his football IQ, ability to score, and reduce the strain on his legs by sticking him behind Tosun in Sigurdsson's absence?

George Cumiskey
9 Posted 08/04/2018 at 15:23:10
Calvert-Lewin came on yesterday and did a good defensive job, it was like two left backs with him and Baines.

The only problem is he's supposed to be a centre-forward, and he offered nothing up front apart from missing a sitter.

Jim Bennings
10 Posted 08/04/2018 at 15:23:29
What would be nice to see is Gravy Tits just go for it in the last 5 games, regardless of what personnel he has, just play attacking formations and go for bloody goals. What are we going to glean from playing defensively for a point away to Swansea next week for example?

We are safe now so just let the shackles off and try to entertain long-suffering fans who have travelled away from home for 18 months and been given little reward.

I'd like to see Niasse partnering Tosun next Saturday with Walcott on the right and Vlasic given a run on the left side, maybe throw Klaassen in the middle next to Gana Gueye. Just try something a bit different and something a bit unexposed rather than dragging out the same shite.

Richard Reeves
11 Posted 08/04/2018 at 15:30:25
Yesterday was the only time I can remember Allardyce taking off all the right players. Although I can understand Rooney's reaction at being subbed, as it could be his last opportunity to score against Liverpool at Goodison – depending on who's the manager next season; it's clear he is not good enough anymore.

One or two decent passes doesn't negate his poor positioning, lack of pace and awareness in constantly getting caught on the ball. That's something I've seen all season, irrespective of the goals he's scored.

Time for him to move on to his next challenge. Hopefully that is staying at Everton and joining the backroom team of a new manager.

Mike Allen
12 Posted 08/04/2018 at 15:36:10
Jim (#2),

I agree with a lot you say. The bottom line is we can find fault with all the players; we are a poor side with a mediocre squad and there doesn't seen to be anything in place to say the situation will improve. Change the manager and backroom staff again but many of the squad is not good enough for the Premier League.

I'd like to add that Tom Davies, if he had been one of the close season transfer signings, would not be in the squad and there would be no arguments. You can't hide his ability behind "he's a local lad" – we would all like to see the local talent doing well... then again, the best would soon be snapped up by the so-called bigger clubs.

Dave Williams
13 Posted 08/04/2018 at 17:42:38
Jim, I often agree with your views but must say I resent your comments at #2.

I have followed this club through thick and thin since 1963 and have seen players given hell by supporters who do not or cannot see potential in young players. Harvey took dreadful stick; Kendall, Husband, Royle, Heath (when he first arrived), Sharp – the list goes on.

I see huge potential in Calvert-Lewin – a young Sharp in my opinion – and in Davies but it won't be realised until the more senior members of the team play better, move into the right space for a pass, and cover the ground which Tom is trying to do for the entire midfield.

Has Tom played well this season? No, but my god the lad tries, doesn't hide and in my opinion (to which I am entitled, Jim), he will blossom in the next 18 months.

I didn't compare him to Gerard – I said I expect him to become our own version of him, ie, in the future.

Try encouraging young players rather than slagging them off and see how much better they will play.

Colin Glassar
14 Posted 08/04/2018 at 17:56:59
I'm with you Dave. These lads (Davies, Calvert-Lewin, Kenny, Baningime etc...) have been thrown in at the deep end. They are playing alongside players whose best days have gone or ones whose confidence is shot.

You always want to introduce younger players gradually and preferably into a winning team. I don't know about other teams' fans but I know that our lot are not the most patient with young players.

Gerrard has been mentioned but he made loads of mistakes as a youngster and he was also introduced into a side with a completely different mindset compared to ours, ie, we expect to lose half of our games.

When Tom scored against Man City, he was playing in a side brimming with confidence. That's hardly happened ever since.

Minik Hansen
15 Posted 08/04/2018 at 18:10:10
I think Rooney is important to Everton, if the manager uses him right. His name and reputation attracts eyes and players to our club, look at Walcott moving here in January. With Rooney and Walcott on the side this summer, the club able to afford big signings, fingers crossed Everton will do it right this time with the spending. COYB.
Darren Hind
16 Posted 08/04/2018 at 19:29:21
Dave Williams @13,

There will be a few who disagree with that; I'm not one of them.

I'm made up with that post, mate.

Dave Evans
17 Posted 08/04/2018 at 20:29:43
Jim @2
Thanks for cutting through all the bullshit.
Also agree that Alladyce should experiment with attacking and midfield options for last few games. But I suspect he will try to play percentages like he always does.
Eddie Dunn
18 Posted 08/04/2018 at 21:08:46
Jim #2 is spot on regarding DCL. The lad put in a shift and showed-up Bolasie for his poor application.
Tom Davies is a likable kid with a good attitude and plenty of energy. However, his passing when opportunities have presented themselves has been very poor. Too many overhit or underhit balls and others straight to the other team. I don't think this is down to age- Gueye, plays midfield too and is equally woeful. As a team our passing is generally poor.
DCL was played out on the left, and Ray Roche pointed out to me(on another thread) that it is somewhat unfair to judge him and it is true that the lad should be played as a striker with Tosun just off him.
He still should have scored late-on, but even Sterling showed that it is possible to miss despite having great quality.
Rooney is the elephant in the room and his presence is detrimental to the midfield. His lack of pace and often poor passing suggests his decline is on a sharp downward slope and surely his only contribution should be as a number 10 behind the striker for the last half hour.
The only comforting thing I can think of is the solidity of our old defenders- and how much Keane benefitted from their understanding.
Please let's not see Williams again in the jersey.
Peter Gorman
19 Posted 09/04/2018 at 09:36:29
How can bringing on subs at 0-0 to go on and achieve 0-0 constitute a 'turning point'? Has Allardyce set the bar so low?

My tuppence on the potential of our youngsters; they came into the team with all the ingredients to succeed which is why I am so utterly resentful of our supposedly senior pros for introducing them to sloth, sloppiness, passivity and defeatism.

DCL has every attribute required of a modern striker...except finishing. If he doesn't improve that drastically, he'll never scale the goal-scoring heights of, say, Harry Kane. However, he could still be a very good forward to serve as a foil to someone who can finish. I would not write this kid off at all. Plus he is a likeable young lad.

Davies has gone significantly backwards this season but I blame his teammates almost entirely. He is obviously trying too hard (because somebody needs to) and his natural game has all but abandoned him. If you doubt his potential, re-examine his performances from last season and it should be obvious.

Beni Baningime - this kid is great. Plays the game simply and is never ruffled. The fact he can not get game time over proven duffers like Schneiderlin is giving me ulcers. Also, I noticed that as the players arrived at Goodison for the derby, only two of ours took the time away from their Dr. Dre beats to say hello to the staff; Seamus Coleman and Beni Baningime. Says it all really.

p.s. Jonjoe Kenny - makes mistakes as a young fullback will but will run headfirst into a goalpost for the team (I know, I've seen it). Such obvious potential and can learn a lot from Coleman. The kids are very much alright, it is just our seniors who are found wanting.

Ray Jacques
20 Posted 09/04/2018 at 10:10:26
Peter well said. Would you like to be a young player trying to make your way in that team. I would use Keane as an example. England centre back and now looks a wreck of a player due to a season alongside Williams.
Give the youngsters the last 5games and let's see how they go
Stephen Brown
21 Posted 09/04/2018 at 10:25:18
I was ( and still an) willing Rooney to have a wonderful swan song back at Goodison but the reality is he should now be used as a substitute brought on to chase a game!

I hope he accepts this role next year?! As I would hate for him to the target for boo boys for the second time in his life!

John Davies
22 Posted 09/04/2018 at 10:35:49
Peter #19. You've nailed it mate.
Dave Abrahams
23 Posted 09/04/2018 at 13:30:19
Peter (19) with you all the way, very good post.

Stephen (21) £150,000 per week to be used as a sub, we can get a more than useful striker in, putting them wages to better use.Wayne has had his day.

Dave Williams
24 Posted 09/04/2018 at 16:58:32
Peter- what a sensible and well reasoned post.
With you all the way!
Ed Fitzgerald
25 Posted 09/04/2018 at 16:59:54
Rooney and that lazy fucker Schneiderlin have no legs - they barely seem to move and their passing is not great either. Davies does provide energy, does the dirty work closing down etc I don’t often agree with Allardyce but taking Rooney off improved us immeasurably.

DCL plays to orders and gives 100 percent as has Davies and Kenny - it’s still too early to judge whether they will make it at Everton. Those baying for their blood might be best served remembering a certain left back who was fucking woeful back in the early 80s. He went to captain two championship winning sides in the mid 80s. We have some good youngsters at the club it’s the older players who are the real issue. A decent coach who doesn’t slaughter his own players publicly ( unlike FS and Koeman) might be a place to start.

Colin Glassar
26 Posted 09/04/2018 at 17:11:09
Rooney will get rid of Fat Sam before Fat Sam gets rid of Rooney. Eff off Fat Sam!!
James Stewart
28 Posted 09/04/2018 at 17:45:51
Have to agree with Michael Ball's column in the Echo. Rooney is being mismanaged. Had he been on the end of the Tosun or Calvert-Lewin chances it would have been a very different outcome. I like Calvert-Lewin's energy but his finishing is beyond woeful and I fear he will struggle to ever improve it.
John G Davies
29 Posted 09/04/2018 at 18:08:03
Peter Gorman.

I will raise a glass of Ireland finest to you.
Great post at 19.

Danny Broderick
30 Posted 09/04/2018 at 18:13:14
I can’t help thinking that Rooney should have played number 10, with Beni and Davies behind him i.e. legs. You can’t expect Rooney, after 600 games in his legs or whatever, to be our midfield engine. It’s a thankless task, especially with Schneiderlin in there as well.

When Rooney played number 10 earlier in the season, we had no pace in the wide areas. Now, we are playing with Bolasie and Walcott out wide, and then Calvert-Lewin came on for Bolasie. These players would create plenty of room for Rooney to play.

I agree with Michael Ball. Rooney is capable of playing deeper in midfield, but when you play against the better teams, you need legs in midfield to close people down and get the ball back, as the better teams have more of the ball more often than not. Rooney can not provide the legs.

Very frustrating watching all of this.

Ray Said
31 Posted 09/04/2018 at 18:53:15
I am with Danny (#30). It seems apparent to most that, while Rooney does not have the legs to play in midfield, he does retain the ability to dribble, run short distances, chip through balls and shoot so may be sensible to play to his remaining strengths and stick him behind the striker.

That said I don't think he has shown the tactical discipline so far to stick to that role as he gets sucked in to dropping deeper to get the ball. ZZ on the bench.

Last point is that it seems ironic we started the season with at least three No 10s in the team and now we don't play any.

Sam Hoare
32 Posted 09/04/2018 at 19:30:46
One of my primary aims this Summer, and I think its best to not have too dramatic an overhaul would be to lose players who look either very slow or very unfit or both. The team desperately needs more dynamism all round the pitch.

For me, the four players I'd most happily lose are:

Rooney
Williams
Schneiderlin
Klaassen

I'd be most sorry about Klaassen as I think there's probably a very good player in there and we may yet see him emerge. But he's certainly lacking a few of the physical elements needed in this league.

Christine Foster
33 Posted 09/04/2018 at 20:23:46
Rooney's greatest asset is his experience, he is the clubs current leading scorer, he has more quality than the rest of the team put together. Yet Allardyce plays him in a role that he can never create or score from, that needs someone with a defensive role to chase down and tackle, to close down and battle. That's NOT Rooney and never was. He is at the back end of a career and is being hung out to dry by a manager without a care. Michael Ball in the Echo got it dead right and its the managers tactics that are to blame. Rooney will play anywhere on the pitch if he is asked but he is not up to being a defensive midfielder. He does his damage further forward. Yet here we have a manager who, for whatever reason, is happy to sacrifice the reputation of an Everton legend for his own convenience.

To those on this site, and there are many, who say he is finished, I would simply say, play him where he can do the damage. Let him play where he should, behind the front men. Attacking, no defensive duties other than defending from the front. Give him a free role and see what he can do, because there have been games this season when his contribution has been brilliant, but under the current manager and his current roles, its not going to work.

I repeat, as I have said before, he should never have been put in such a position where he is asked to play so deep. Its embarrassing to watch, and its insulting to him from a manager that doesn't give a flying

Sam Hoare
34 Posted 09/04/2018 at 20:51:03
Christine, he has played most of his games this season in the AMC role. He had some nice moments but and scored some goals but was ultimately replaced by Siggurdson who had more key passes and was disposessed half the amount per game (Rooney loses the ball 2 times per game which is comfortably the highest in the squad).

He's done better than I expected but the ocassional moment of high quality does not justify the wage he's on in my eyes. Physically he's just not quite up to the top level and that's only going to get worse next season.

Last time he left us the team improved markedly. I think history could repeat itself.

Christine Foster
35 Posted 09/04/2018 at 21:04:56
Sam, 34* If Allardyce goes next year, who ever comes in will have a year, or two of building a new team. At least half the playing staff need replacing but in that transition period I believe we will be more than grateful for Rooney being used in a offensive free role.

Who ever does come in will not be able to change a full compliment of staff in one go, ain't going to happen, and there is a very long list of players who need to go before Rooney does!

Sam Hoare
36 Posted 09/04/2018 at 21:19:26
Christine, I certainly hope you're right about the first line!

I'm not sure about the rest. I want to see a quicker, more energetic and more dynamic Everton. I'm pretty sure Rooney is not part of that. He may still have some value as sub able to go full tilt for 30 minutes and unlock a stubborn defense with a moment of inspiration that he is still capable of. But can we afford to pay £150k p/w for a bench-warmer?

Certainly there will be transition but for me Rooney should be one of the first players leaving. Though i'm not his biggest fan I think Sigurdsson was better than him in that AMC position this season and that gap will widen next season in my opinion.

Gavin Johnson
37 Posted 09/04/2018 at 21:50:39
Yes, it was right to take Rooney off. Better still it would have been better to bring him on for last 20 mins when he has fresh legs. Better than that would to give Davy Klaassen a chance as an alternative to Wayne.
Tom Bowers
38 Posted 09/04/2018 at 23:05:23
Have to agree that Wayne's days are numbered as an automatic starter.

He has been a greatest player and it would have been nice for him to have been at Everton during that time but it wasn't to be.

He doesn't have the 90-minute legs any more although is still capable of doing good things for a short spell.

They may offer him another 1-year contract unless he goes to the MLS for a season or two as I am sure he doesn't want to finish his career as a benchwarmer.

Don Alexander
39 Posted 09/04/2018 at 23:53:30
Rooney has a contract until the end of next season, Tom, as our highest paid player. He was, until two or three seasons before he jumped at the chance to re-sign for Kenwright, an excellent player but not, in my opinion, a great. As you and just about everyone else says, his physical condition no longer allows him to be excellent for anything like 90 minutes in any position but if we had a better team we might be able to carry him as a poacher against the weaker defences, but we don't have such a team. Of his ten goals this season three were from the penalty spot but he's missed three others.

Unfortunately, though his excellent footballing instinct means he's wandered all over the pitch on the occasions he's played in an advanced role for us because he no doubt sees the rubbish being played behind him and will have been acutely aware that in some games he may never even receive a good pass. That's when his lack of fitness lets him down though, because he just hasn't got the physical requirements for a muck-and-bullets role and he does tend, a lot, to get in the way of the lesser players he thinks he's trying to help out. On those occasions he has helped out and got the ball, he's then so deep he has no option other than to play a ball to whoever's left in front of him, the type of ball he knows a good forward thrives on, only to see it all fall apart because of inadequacy of team-mates and his own absence up there.

Playing him deep is also ridiculous given his physical limitations and habit of losing the ball in really dangerous positions, and that's why he was finished to anyone with eyes whilst whiling away his last season at Old Trafford.

But then we stepped in! Ker-ching!!!

Dave Abrahams
40 Posted 09/04/2018 at 00:02:14
Christine (33), Rooney has more quality than the rest of the team put together? Have a good think about that, Christine... Not these days, Christine... you know your football and I really enjoy your posts, but Christine, I honestly think you are letting your heart rule your head over the Wayne Rooney playing for Everton now.
Phil Lewis
41 Posted 10/04/2018 at 01:05:14
I was ecstatic when the prodigal returned, believing that even if his pace had gone, the Rooney brain would be as sharp as ever and younger legs around him would compensate for his advancing years. Sadly that scenario has never really transpired, although there has been evidence of his undisputed brilliance in short insufficient bursts since he came back to the club. It's a tragedy that we were denied his best years, but that is history now.

It was comforting to know that he cares enough to show his anger at being substituted in the derby. Clearly, he felt he was still capable of contributing to turning the game around, but the harsh reality was that we only came to life after the substitutions were made.

However, he was by no means our worst performer. That dubious honour must surely go to Bolasie – he was woeful. Not only was he ineffective when attacking, aside from the one excellent effort saved by Liverpool's goalkeeper, he simply cannot track back and defend. A total liability. His positional sense is atrocious and his work rate appalling.

Young Beni Baningime looks better every time I see him. He deserves a starting place, especially as Davies has gone off the boil. The missed chances late on highlighted, the need for an experienced proven goalscorer. Fans around me were calling for Niasse's introduction, perhaps he could have caused Liverpool problems late on.

But in retrospect, given that we seemed to get stronger in the latter stages of the game, I personally believe that had Rooney started on the bench and then was brought on for the last 20 minutes to play the out-and-out striking role of his youth, then the outcome could have been very different.

Then again, we can all be wiser after the event.

John Pierce
42 Posted 10/04/2018 at 02:55:00
Whilst Rooney's powers have and are waning there is no doubting his quality on the ball.

Now many have highlighted the frequency with which he turns over possession. Everton under Koeman and more so under Allardyce simply don't transition with the speed of thought and deed that's helps the team and exposes Rooney.

His midfield players are extremely limited on the ball and play reactively and at a snails pace with the ball.

Even if Rooney were not in the side we still wouldn't be any better off. I think there still is a role for Rooney if a new coach gets the team to a) play as a unit much further up the field b) we transitioned with speed and purpose.

It would keep Rooney higher up field and both limit his weaknesses and enhance his strengths.

In keeping with the same thoughts, Klaassen has equally withered under the same managers who won't set their sides up to play up tempo, transition driven football. Klaassen often looked out of step with the team, because imo he was trying to transition and play at a quicker tempo.

I'd think under a new coach he might both Davvy & Rooney might blossom with high tempo footy.

Not even worth commenting on the manager, he kills all forward momentum and therefore places extra pressure on the team to take the small chances they do create.

Defensive mindset > confidence drained from the players.

John Daley
43 Posted 10/04/2018 at 04:04:31
The whole Rooney situation is ridiculous when you stop and think about it, with Allardyce semi-ceding he's a spent force in sterner fixtures :

"I can agree with you, to a certain degree, that Wayne struggles against the best opposition".

Surely the highest paid player at the club is the very one you should be pinning your hopes on to produce against the best? He certainly shouldn't be the bloke you hold your hands up about not being able to cut it against opposition of a certain calibre, or only expect to contribute something of real worth when coming up against a rather more shite side.

It also raises the question of why, if the manager does indeed recognise "to a certain degree" that Rooney "struggles" in such games, does he continue to grant him a starting place? It can't be on most recent form. His midfield performance against Man City couldn't get much worse, consisting as it did of 7 passes completed and no tackles made.

It's all well and good Allardyce sat there slumped in his chair like Baron Greenback following the derby, giving it loads about how he doesn't shirk from making the "big calls" after dragging Rooney off early doors for the second game in a row. I'd far rather he made the fucking right call, left him on the bench, chomping at the bit and then chucked him on in the closing stages when he'd plucked up enough courage to permit his players to chance their arm at actually applying a bit of pressure and trying to conjure up a goal.

Given his physical condition and skill set, that is the only role for Rooney that makes any sense to me: a second-half sub when the opposition is tiring and we're looking for someone to slot one late on.

Michael Ball, in his column in the Echo, was calling for him to be given "a free role" from now on out. I don't get that at all. If Rooney hasn't got "the legs" to perform properly in one designated position, how is roaming anywhere he sees fit going to alleviate the problem?

At his peak, his entire game was built on being an explosive player, possessed of an immediate burst of pace, power and a bullet of a shot. His technique, passing ability and first touch were hit and miss during his United days and his reliability in front of goal receded rapidly after 2011 as his pace diminished and he began roving around, dropping deeper looking to 'dictate' play.

If Ferguson had not retired when he did, I firmly believe Rooney's United career would have come to a close far sooner. Moyes needed senior figures at the club on side and lacked the bottle to be bold and flog him before his physical decline became glaringly obvious to all.

In my opinion, Rooney would have been far better off if people had paused for breath before blowing smoke up his arse about him having a fantastic 'footballing brain' and being able to persist at the top level as a 'creative' force. He was never that sort of player, even in his prime, and it's not something you can just pull out of nowhere as some sort of 'needs must' back-up plan when your body starts to go to shit.

What he should have been told to concentrate on is conserving his energy, remaining high up the pitch, jibbing off the childish desire to drop deep and be at the centre of play... performing as a chunky Pirlo with a 50/50 chance of passes coming off... and focus instead on using his experience to find space in and around the box. The ability to finish can persist no matter how burnt out your engine or how many Benson & Hedges you've coughed your way through.

Jay Harris
44 Posted 10/04/2018 at 04:31:19
Good post, John, but Rooney was finished years ago when Ferguson was there. He told Wayne about his lifestyle and had him as sub a few times.

The problem is, Rooney still has media attention and sells shirts so people make excuses for him and try to keep him in the limelight instead of telling him that booze, cigs and loose women are no recipe for a professional footballer at any age. But I suppose £300k a week is hard to spend unless you're a mug from Croxteth.

Tony Abrahams
45 Posted 10/04/2018 at 07:43:06
I always enjoy your posts on football, John Daley, but I never saw that Rooney's, first touch, passing ability or technique ever really being hit and miss, until his body started to deteriorate.

I agree that Ferguson would have got rid of him earlier, which is fair enough because of Wayne's lifestyle, but I also thought Fergie held a massive grudge after Rooney held the club to ransom.

Ferguson was ruthless, most winners are, but Rooney sacrificed a lot for that manager and his teammates by playing left midfield when he was possibly the best player at United. But that's always forgotten very quickly at the highest level because football is all about “the now” and is also the reason Rooney should retire next month imo.

Danny Baily
46 Posted 10/04/2018 at 08:34:00
There is still a role for Rooney just off the striker, although it will have to be a bit-part one.

Cahill at Millwall has shown just how important such a bit-part role can be. You don't need to play every minute of every game to exert influence.

However, I've never thought Wayne was much of a leader (he's just been asked to be one repeatedly!). If that's the case, then I'd rather he slopes off to the MLS next month.

Jerome Shields
47 Posted 10/04/2018 at 09:01:43
Rooney is past the standard to play in the Premier League. The odd goal does not compensate for a lack of pace and getting caught in possession.

He also slows Everton down. He has been below standard for a number of seasons. His lifestyle and training weren't orientated to looking after or prolonging his football career.

Christine Foster
48 Posted 10/04/2018 at 11:47:59
Dave (#40),

I concede you may be right Dave, but the fact is we have him and are not using him to the best of his ability now. I am not saying build a team around him, but neither am I conceding that he is of little or no value to the club. In a better team, we could balance his use or position in the team but, right now, the idiot of a manager is making him an embarrassment.

In the absence of Sigurdsson why is he not used as a forward No 10? Why is he being asked to emulate McCarthy when he is placed next to Schneiderlin, and lets face it, he cannot carry a glass of water never mind a midfield player.. bad choices all around from the manager.

We are playing Bolasie and Walcott as wide men, who are useless tracking back and filling (or pressing) a midfield... if we cannot get a forward ball to them because our attacking midfielder has a defensive role, then they are passengers, which to all intents and purpose was exactly what happened in both the games.

The net effect is Schneiderlin doesn't take responsibility, Bolasie and Theo are out of the game completely and Rooney is played out of position... Er... if supporters can see it why not Allardyce?

Why haven't Bolasie or Walcott been dragged and hauled over the coals for not tracking back and forward? Condemn Mirallas all you want but he worked up and down the flank, Bolasie is clueless defending or tracking back, losing his man on multiple occasions..

So, the defence is relatively okay - ish... atm, but we almost played 4-2-4 with the middle two getting no support anyway.

Beni is legs, Davis (needs an old hand to show him and guide him); Gueye to me is a headless chicken who can tackle until he gets a yellow and then he is of little use. We need a bit of steel as well as class in the middle defensively.

It's how I see it..

Kevin Tully
49 Posted 10/04/2018 at 12:07:07
Rooney in a free role? He's all over the place, and possibly the most undisciplined positional player I've ever set eyes on. It's a wonder he hasn't taken the 'keeper gloves off Pickford in some games.

He's scored three penalties, and missed three. He's given the ball away so many times in dangerous areas that I've lost count. He's kicked off at two managers now, after being substituted. He strolls around the pitch like he's the messiah, then he actually passes the ball five yards directly to the opposition. Have his eyes gone as well?

Our highest paid player. Paid more than any player at Spurs. Sums this club up to a tee. Joke of a transfer, exacerbated by the fact Lukaku went in the opposite direction. He was finished 3 years ago at Man Utd.

Apart from that, we should give him a contract extension and put him on the coaching staff on top money after that. Brilliant.

Dave Abrahams
50 Posted 10/04/2018 at 12:39:33
Christine (#48), I told you, you certainly do know your football, making multiple good posts in that post, about various players and the way they are being used by an out-of-date manager.

I have said for the last few months that Wayne is not a midfield player and he should be used sparingly in a forward role. He still has the ability to score goals; he was worth his place at the beginning of the season because of the goals he was scoring, although his all round game wasn't anything special.

I don't think we will be getting anything near value (financially) out of Rooney by using him in a bit-part role next season and it would be better for Wayne to retire – better for Everton and himself in the long run.

John Hammond
52 Posted 10/04/2018 at 12:44:05
Says it all really. We were better once Rooney had left the field. Allardyce also admitted he's not good enough to play against the top teams (not those exact words; can't remember if it was maybe after the Man City game he said that).

Just shows what an utter fool Allardyce is. There's no way Wayne should be near the starting 11 unless we're playing the bottom 3. I've been saying it since the game at Stamford Bridge – he is a detriment to the team when he starts but bizarrely is the first name on the team sheet.

£150k a week for a player who was finished at the top level about 3 years ago. Come the summer he'll be back on the booze, eating whatever he wants, not far off 33... Sad but true.

Let's keep giving him games though rather than the likes of Vlasic who we could've tried in the number 10 role against Liverpool. Doubt he could've been worse.

Daniel A Johnson
53 Posted 10/04/2018 at 13:01:44
Rooney is Man Utd's greatest ever record goal scorer but Mourinho came in and identified him as a weak link and then made him a sub at best. There was always respect there but Mourinho knew he wasn't good enough and he had the brass balls to drop him.

Rooney is Man Utd's greatest goal scorer as he spent his best years playing for them. Now he's washed up, half-a-yard off the pace, and clinging onto the Premier League gravy train. It was a massive mistake to bring him back.

Tom Bowers
54 Posted 10/04/2018 at 13:10:59
So many things wrong with the team this season and so many players just not good enough.

The Blues urgently need a new approach and this can only be done by the board getting rid of the old regime at management and coaching level.

The players that are arguably good enough to take Everton to the next level cannot progress under what is currently there.

Moshiri has to be setting things in motion now and, with 5 games left, should have Allardyce get these younger players more playing time.

Paul Hewitt
55 Posted 10/04/2018 at 18:27:49
So Wayne wanted to leave us with his best years ahead of him. Now he comes back, with his best years behind him. Sorry, but we need to get rid.
Andy Crooks
56 Posted 10/04/2018 at 22:15:52
Excellent post, John Daley. The idea of bringing back and rebranding Rooney was utterly insane. Old strikers offer more than old free role midfielders. Kevin Davis, Defoe, even Dean fucking Windass.

As a sub second striker Wayne had and maybe still has something to offer. The role, or roles, he is/ are now being handed are based on the fact that he HAD, quality and we have little in the side. And, we pay him loads. He is done, and his signing and continual inclusion in the starting eleven epitomize all that stinks our club out.

Also, much as I want Allardyce out could the notion that Duncan " the legend" Ferguson be called up to add backbone and spirit to our side, be barred from this site forever. He is a common denominator in the years of shite we have endured. This overrated bully has stolen a living for way too long.

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