My disdain for Wayne on the wane

David Booth 07/07/2017 145comments  |  Jump to last

I don’t think I can remember a potential incoming transfer that has polarised opinion to the extent that the anticipated return of Wayne Rooney has done.

Personally, I have been dreading this impending moment for many months, ever since Koeman was pushed into a corner earlier this year and quoted as saying he liked him, or words to that effect.

Now, here we are... apparently on the verge of ‘welcoming’ him ‘home’... Not for me.


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Unfortunately, it is looking increasingly like a done deal, but before a teary-eyed Bill goes public holding a scarf or shirt with him, here are not one but 15 reasons why we should not even be considering his return:

1. His salaryRooney was elevated to £300,000 per week when he called Moyes’ bluff and even if we are to pay half of that, it would still vault him way ahead of anyone else on the payroll. And if we are stupid enough to pay it, we surely could have used it better to try and persuade Lukaku to stay? Either way, it is a disruptive level of remuneration, which will end up having a very detrimental effect of the whole salary structure in the senior squad.

2. Poor swap Many people have asserted that Rooney (and Giroud if we sign him) will be an upgrade on Kone and Valencia. That’s not really a valid comparison. A more accurate one is that we help Manchester United conveniently offload someone they no longer want and they get a 20-goal-a-season Lukaku on less money, who is 7½ years younger and will cost them significantly less money every week. How can that be an improvement for us?

3. He’s too oldRooney is 32 in three months and has been playing like a 35-year-old for the last three seasons. This is the new Everton of Moshiri, Koeman & Walsh, is it? Ruthless and ambitious – not a comfy home for old pals?

4. Life spanFollowing on from the above, he is completely out of alignment with the current young-for-old recruitment policy, which the vast majority acknowledge is the only way forward if we are to transform into a team to genuinely break the monopoly of the Sky set.

5. PirloThose who say he will be our new Pirlo are blind to the facts. He was a craftsman throughout his career and simply used his maturity to adapt his natural game to suit his age and the evolution of the game. Rooney, meanwhile, was a cheeky kid who ruffled defenders with his unique impudence when he erupted into the game. Saying he has since become some sort of cerebral midfield genius is pure fantasy. He isn’t. It isn’t his game and he has struggled to make any impact since successive managers have decided he can’t hack it up front any more. In short, he is not a midfield genius; he's a player without portfolio.

6. Gray and ReidA lot of parallels have been drawn between the arrivals of Andy Gray and Peter Reid, with those who support Rooney saying that they set a precedent. They don’t. Unlike Rooney, who has been marginalised because he no longer has a valid contribution to make in the first team and has been superseded by better players, Gray and Reid were victims of career-threatening injuries. Their form and influence were never in question. In addition, they were 28 and 26 – 3 and 5 years younger!

7. He’ll inspire everyoneLinked to the above, Rooney is not anywhere near the characters Gray and Reid were. He hasn’t got their gregarious personality, their ‘father figure’ persona, their humour or their inspirational qualities. He’s great at rabidly snarling at referees though and showing how ‘committed’ he is through all manner of petulant, arm-flinging displays – all, of course to show how, er, committed he is… And let’s not forget his spoilt, on-camera criticism of England fans for voicing their disapproval for another insipid performance in the South African World Cup. Oh yeah, a real inspirational leader is our Wayne.

8. His statisticsHaving quickly got Moyes under his thumb when he took over at Old Trafford, he has subsequently been well-sussed by both Van Gaal and Mourinho. The latter, having got an even less effective Rooney than his predecessor, only put him in the starting line-up for a league game 15 times. He made just four starts in their 15 Europa League games and six in their 10 League and FA Cup games. That’s a total of 25 initial selections in 63 games and just eight goals. He hasn’t been Manchester United’s Player of the Month for seven years – since he was 24!

9. He’s a big nameHe may well have 14 million followers on Twitter and be a big name in Tanzania – as one TW poster laughably claimed a few days ago – but claiming he is still a global icon is the epitome of lies, damned lies and statistics. He may well provoke a rapid ordering of the letters R O N E and Y in the Everton shops, but does anyone seriously think he’s a name that a kid in China, Japan, Thailand, the Philippines or any other shallow social media fanbase will be pestering their parents to have on the back of their shirt? He’s yesterday’s hero and that boat has sailed.

10. No-one else wants himI don’t view his only wanting to play for one Premier League club as something to be purred over. Who else wants him? Certainly not any of the terms currently above us – and well he knows it. I think he also knows that he would be even more out of his depth in China than poor Rushie was in Italy, when he showed his cosmopolitan nature by confessing that it was ‘Like living in a foreign country…’ Even America could be a daunting prospect for Wayne, as he and Colleen do not possess a fraction of the Beckhams’ showbiz savviness. And he knows that too. However, he is shrewd enough to know still stands a chance of having a swansong payday at Everton and has fooled a lot of Evertonians with a well-orchestrated PR campaign to tug at their heartstrings. Don’t fall for it. It’s his only option, unless he fancies being jeered at for being a waste of space at the likes of Stoke or West Ham.

11. We don’t need himWe have the best chance for 30 years – when we last won the league – to shake off our ‘we are not worthy’ mentality here. An ambitious owner, ambitious manager, experienced head hunter, all the Moyes & Martinez deadwood shipped out, new ground genuinely on the horizon, the Premier League 2 Champions champing at the bit and U20 World Cup winning young internationals all in contention for a first team place. Where does a fading former hero fit into all this?

12. Better ways to spend our moneyI think our uncharacteristic early sprint into the transfer market is wonderful, but would we not be far better continuing it by adhering to the policy so far? Should not the acquisition of more young, highly promising players with future potential rather than fading talent be our direction of travel? Numerous names have been mentioned as options to fill the void that will be left by Lukaku and can anyone truthfully say they’d rather have an aging Rooney rather than the likes of Dembele for example? Lukaku’s imminent transfer will virtually finance those we have bought so far, with Deulofeu, Cleverley, McGeady adding another £25m to the coffers. How much better to get some hungry legs up front and, if today’s rumours are to be believed, a stellar signing such as Van Dijk at the back? That’s what all those we are seeking to catch up with would do. If we want to join them, we must do too.

13. He’ll raise our profileRight now, that takes no doing. We have none. I recently wrote to the sports editor of the Telegraph online to point out that, of 35 stories on their football page, 17 were about Liverpool, including one triumphing the fact that they had installed red goal nets! I also wrote to the Daily Express after, of 65 stories on their website, 20 were about Manchester United, including ridiculous teen magazine nonsense about someone’s footwear hung from the ceiling as a prank, a white tracksuit worn by Schneiderlin and pictures of Mourinho and Mkhitaryan merely leaving their hotel this morning. They were followed by 12 focusing on Arsenal, 10 on Liverpool, eight on Chelsea, five on Spurs and four on Manchester City. The remaining six were two stories about Jack Grealish at Villa, plus four general Premier League articles. Not a sniff of Everton. Rooney’s arrival may spark a brief flurry of initial interest and the odd headline or two, but it will not prevail. However, there has already been a noticeable increase in interest after the signings of Pickford, Keane, Klaassen and Sandro and this will continue to escalate with any future signings and Everton hopefully climbing up the league. Tabloid gossip interest aside, we do not need Rooney to spearhead our publicity drive.

14. He’ll be re-invigoratedReally? If he’s such an inspirational player, surely he should have been demonstrating that at Manchester United? I think he wants a return like Caesar, benevolently waving at adoring admirers as they cast palm branches in his path. He’s past it and although he may run around like the Rooney of old for a game or two, it would not endure. Players have a first-team life-span, which for most lasts from around 18/19 to 30/31, when their powers begin to decline. That’s roughly 13 years at their ‘peak. Rooney’s history began two years earlier, at just 16 and it ran out, correspondingly, two years ago. He is not the player he was – ability or energy-wise – and his best days are quite clearly behind him.

15. He’s a blueLast but not least, this is the most common reason used by the majority of those who want him back. Just listen to yourselves. If being a blue warrants a wage-structure shattering pay deal and a first team jersey, Duncan Ferguson’s a blue, Andy King (RIP), was a blue, I’m a blue, but none of us can, or could, use that to justify pulling on the shirt. Wanting him back because he played for us (13 years ago), is the most ridiculous attempt at justification I have heard. As Evertonians, we surely know our football better than that, don’t we? Those who use this to advocate his return are voting for continuing mediocrity. Can anyone, hand-on-heart, say they would want him if he had played for Arsenal or Spurs at 16 and not us? No.

In summary, I have tried to counter all the pro-Rooney arguments here, but it is only my view and I am not seeking to get involved in an argument with any fellow Evertonians. However, I do feel I am not alone in my thinking and, despite the fact that it will not change anything, I had to get the growing frustration at the momentum that seems to be gathering for him off my chest.

And if it’s any consolation to the pro-Rooney brigade, my pronouncements usually end up backfiring on me – like the time I criticised Martinez for selecting Naismith against Chelsea – and he went on to score a hat-trick!

But I really do not want him back and feel it is a soul-destroying backward step, at a time when we ought to be harvesting the new air of genuine, forward-thinking positivity we are experiencing right now.

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Reader Comments (145)

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Robin Cannon
1 Posted 08/07/2017 at 03:33:37
I think if he was our marquee signing of the summer then it would have been a backward step.

As a signing bringing a high quality player with years of winning experience into a team that's been strengthened throughout, then it's a potentially excellent move.

We are signing, broadly, very good young players who are ready to play now (Pickford, Keane, Klaassen, Sandro) or to break through in the next two or three years (all the U-23 signings). It's not an abandonment of that policy to deviate for one signing.

Andy Gray is a realistic analogy. A "past it" injury prone international who hadn't done much for a couple of seasons, who was able to act as a catalyst for a talented but relatively young and inexperienced side.

That doesn't mean that's going to be the outcome. But signing Rooney isn't an abandonment of any long term plan, I don't believe it's merely a sentimental Kenwright move, and I think it has the potential to be successful.

Joe Digney
2 Posted 08/07/2017 at 03:56:26
We've just got to trust Koeman and Walsh, they wouldn't be bringing him in if they didn't think it would benefit the squad and the club.

I'm absolutely made up with the signings so far – all young and hungry lads. Rooney will add experience and a massive winning mentality.

Sell Lukaku and potentially bring in Rooney, Sigurdsson and Giroud –sounds good to me.

William Cartwright
3 Posted 08/07/2017 at 04:29:26
Excellent article, David. Thank you.

I am now in an emotional confused state of mind. However, given the deal is likely to be done, then I suppose there is no other alternative than to see how it pans out. If we are honest, we are all trying to look into the future and with our crystal balls (no pun intended), and no-one really knows how it will turn out.

If Wayne really were to turn the situation around and drive us forward on a romantic chariot of fire, then wonderful. Secretly that is what I was and am hoping he would do. Now confronted with 15 well reasoned arguments, I have to say it looks extremely unlikely, even when hope springs eternal, as they say.

The real tragedy could be if right at the cusp of a major leap forward we blow it, and undermine the dreams of the fans and the young players alike. I wonder now if it is being driven by Kenwright alone, or are the rest of the decision makers on board too?

It the tits are looking up by Christmas, there is the possibility of the transfer window to change direction. Either way, it may be a last swansong for Kenwright in which case they may both gallop off to their respective sunsets and leaving Moshiri and Kenwright holding the baby.

I really think if Moshiri read the article it would make him ponder even more than he has probably done so already?

COYB . . . ?

Paul Ferry
4 Posted 08/07/2017 at 06:52:30
Yawn – he's coming home... deal with it.
Sam Hoare
5 Posted 08/07/2017 at 06:57:31
I agree with everything you've written. Except your title. It doesn't sound to me like your disdain is on the wane!!

He's played almost as many games as Gareth Barry. At a higher intensity. He's spent. He may run around and score the odd goal or two but he will not be our best player this season. Nowhere near ,I suspect.

A real statement would be to use that money to go get someone on the rise that our rivals really want. Virgil Van Dijk, Thomas Lemar or Balde Keita to name a few.

Sam Hoare
6 Posted 08/07/2017 at 07:15:50
And one more thing. Possibly the only advantage we have over the likes of Man City and Chelsea at the moment is that we have less clogged up benches. We therefore offer more opportunities to the likes of Davies, Holgate, Calvert-Lewin etc.

Hundreds of talented youngsters have gone to those big clubs but seen their careers fade away. We offer a surer path to first team continuity. Apparently that was one reason Sandro and Onyekuru choose up.

Signing the likes of Rooney removes that advantage because he'll be paid too much to not (at least) sit on the bench when fit. I appreciate you can't have only kids but equally let's not lose our attractiveness to young hungry stars. A Monaco like re-surgence based on such talent is our best chance of cracking top 4 in my opinion.

Shaun Sparke
7 Posted 08/07/2017 at 07:29:11
Well thought-out argument, David. I agree with a lot of the points you made.

However, I am a sentimental old fool and I cling to the hope of seeing Wayne score the winner at the kop end some day. I am sure that if it does happen then you along with every other blue hope he proves us all wrong and can give us a couple of good seasons.

Incidentally, I don't think Naismith was in the first eleven when he scored his hat-trick against Chelsea, if my fading memory serves me right, then he came on as sub early on for a crocked Besic.

Ian Hollingworth
8 Posted 08/07/2017 at 07:44:04
We need to stop thinking of ourselves as already competing for a top 4 spot year on year and therefore attracting the top top players.

We are a good way behind and we are trying to assemble the first squad that will hopefully help get us closer. Part of that is raising our profile globally.

Hopefully the next step is finishing in top 4 maybe a trophy and then we continue improving the squad with better players.

Like it or not, Rooney plays a big part in that process especially the raising the profile etc.

Yes, he is past his best but personally I think he will improve our team and certainly play his part.

It doesn't matter what we think so long as Koeman thinks he can play a part then we just have to buckle up and enjoy the ride.

Brent Stephens
9 Posted 08/07/2017 at 07:49:59
I don't see this as simply what Rooney on his own brings (32-year-old, losing his fitness, etc etc).

I think we should view signing him as part of a total package of signings. The other signings will bring the "legs". He'll bring nouse, enthusiasm, experience.

Total package that counts.

Mike Kennedy
10 Posted 08/07/2017 at 08:11:36
Good article! Misleading title however.

I was at Rooney's debut and those early years he was just fantastic. I always thought, even then, that Rooney would not be great into his thirties. He was a big lad for his age in his teens which helped him stand out along with his innate talent and genius but that weight would be against him in later life.

I have always liked Wayne and still do; however, being hard headed I am not excited by the move.

But on a free for say a two year contract circa £130k a week equates to buying him at say £8M and paying £53k a week which you may have a punt on. (I hope my maths are right.) We need a large squad.

I know I am equivocating here but that is how I feel. I just don't know. Heart: Yes; head: possibly No.

Chris James
11 Posted 08/07/2017 at 08:28:06
As Sam said, the title of this article is misleading in the extreme.

Whilst I too have some concerns about our prodigal son's return, I equally have to say that I think the argument in many places is misplaced, irrelevant or just wrong. I've gone through the points line by line here.

1. Seems to be arguing that somehow we're paying Rooney money that could've kept Lukaku here – that's just balls I'm afraid. We offered Rom more money than anyone at the club but clearly (as he had said about 100 times before) he wanted to play Champions League right now at a top club - this wasn't anything to do with financials.

2. This point conflates two unrelated things. People are saying Rooney and Giroud would be a step up from Valencia and Kone because... well it's the truth, it would be a massive step up. Separately, I do totally agree that Man Utd want to get Rooney off their payroll, which is true, his time at Man Utd is done clearly, but again you're equating this with some sort of swap for Lukaku, which is just plain factually wrong. Lukaku is off to Man Utd or Chelsea for £75 + £10-15M add-ons, that is happening entirely independently of whether or not Rooney goes. We're not likely to be spending any transfer fee for Wayne and we're certainly not spending all the 'Lukaku money' on him.

3. The age point is totally valid and central to the entire gambit. Your position is: at 32 he's not got much left to give. Clearly the hierarchy here feel otherwise. My feeling is that as we've seen personally with the likes of Barry (at us) and Milner (over there), experience can offer something different and equally valuable as youthful drive.

4. I think you've interpreted something from a trend that isn't true. Just because we're signing mainly youthful players and prospects so far, does not automatically mean we wouldn't sign older players too does it? Koeman (like a sane manager) clearly understands the need for a blend of youth and experience and has already shown that in signings (Williams is no spring chicken). Granted the balance has been very skewed to youth which I think is fine, but considering we've acquired about 10 players in their late teens to early 20s over the last 12 months, then bringing in one or two older talents with proven winning experience to offer guile and direction seems pretty sensible, no?

5. I don't think anyone is seriously comparing Rooney with Pirlo. Anywhere. I totally agree Rooney is a player who has historically been more about energy and passion than tactical nous, but I do think that has changed a little at Man Utd as he's been moved around and I'd say his ability to pick out the right pass is about 10 times better than say Barkley's. I'd also say that he still has a fair bit of the passion in his approach which is no bad thing. Not wishing to make this a Barkley-attackathon, but I am somewhat fed up of him and others jogging serenely about the pitch in what I call 'England' style (i.e. looks professional but achieves nothing) at points of the game where we clearly need to change up the gears/intensity. If you wanted to inject some intensity in the side I think Rooney off the bench would do that. As I've stated before and I will again, the player comparison that I can get my head around isn't Pirlo, but it maybe is Barry.

6. Not really sure where this point is going. You're comparing different generations of footballers which never works well and seem to be arguing that Rooney (who you're suggesting is past it and can't work) won't be able to have the impact of Gray and Reid (who when we recruited them were similarly pilloried for being past it, albeit for maybe different reasons). Obviously this can't be anything more than supposition at this point. Again, the reference I point to isn't Reid – it's Barry.

7. You seem obsessed with our team from the 80s - which I understand to a point, it was awesome – but not sure again of the direct relevance to our situation. On the point of inspiration are you going to genuinely argue that having a world-class player with 5 Premier League trophies, a Champions League and Europa League title (and many other European campaigns), 4 domestic cups plus international experience would not provide some inspiration to the younger players or indeed the first team? How about someone who's so passionate that he'd only return to his original club and is (apparently) prepared to halve his wages to do so. Do you not think that might provide some inspiration?

8. I think this is a super pertinent point and yes one of the things that we totally need to weigh. His influence at Man Utd has clearly 'waned' over the last few seasons and clearly he's not at his peak. However ,I would also say that Man Utd as a club as a whole have been on a dodgy trajectory post Ferguson, how many players have excelled under Van Gaal or Moyes? How many goals has the team been scoring under these guys or Mourninho – even goal machine Ibrahimovic only weighed in with 17 goals. I think it's also important to point out that Rooney has been moved around the pitch a fair point - comparing the stats of a centre-forwqardserved by Giggs, Ronaldo, Scholes and co with those of a link-player or in midfield alongside Herrera and Fellaini. is hardly comparing 'apples with apples'. To be clear this is not me saying that Rooney isn't in a decline from his peak or can get back to his golden years, but more that stats don't tell the whole story.

9. Not really sure of the point here. Is Rooney up there with Messi and Ronaldo? No. Has he got global recognition for past exploits? Yes. I'll counter your question with another. If Rooney arrives at Everton, who will be the most famous player in our squad?

10. Nope, sorry you're just wrong here. Rooney could go to China in a heartbeat if he wanted and, if he was available on a free at a lower wage level, I will guarantee you that most teams outside the top 6 would express interest. It is true that HE doesn't want to go anywhere else. He's come out very clearly saying he will only move to Everton if he moves in England so we'll never know for sure if anyone else would come in. It's also true that most other clubs below us in the league couldn't afford him.

11. This is purely your opinion and clearly it would seem our manager doesn't share it. What is evident is that we absolutely do need to add/change some elements to take the next step because we've remained on the cusp of the top 4 (aside from 1 'having a laugh' year) for the last decade or so without really breaking through. Yes, we are making great strides all across the club right now, but why can't we see this as one of them?

12. IF we were saying it's Rooney or X then maybe this argument would hold weight. But, unless you've missed our recent transfer activity, you should be aware that, for one, money doesn't seem to be the limiting factor in our ambitions. If Rooney came in tomorrow he would be our 7th or 8th signing of the summer so far (depending on how you rate youthful signings like Bowler). I don't see any evidence to suggest the Rooney transfer preventing us going after another striker or two or preventing us picking up Sigurdsson, etc.

13. You seem to have undermined your own point here in the discussion. Rooney's arrival will without doubt raise our profile in world football and together with the clutch of progressive youth signings demonstrate a club that's pushing forward.

14. Not sure I understand this. Clearly moving to a new club for any player (or moving to a new job for any person) tends to bring a freshness even if only for a short period. Rooney's got literally nothing more to prove at United, he's won most of what there is to win and he's been part of some of their best teams. More recently he's also been part of the fall of the dynasty as Man Utd lost their way and is now playing under a manager who's tendency is to pragmatically grind out results rather than try to outplay the opposition. Coming back to Everton is more than just a fresh challenge for Rooney, its a chance to be a hero at his home club that he clearly loves and a way to end his career with a final hurrah. Do you really think he's going to come here just to sit back and take the wages? If it was about money and an easy life there's the US and China or he could suck up the final year of his contract from the Man Utd bench.

15. I agree that 'just because he's a blue' isn't reason enough to sign anyone. But the reality is he's not just 'a' blue, see the discussion above.

Ultimately I wouldn't describe myself as one of the pro-Rooney brigade, but I would describe myself as pro-facts.

Personally I've been uhming and ahhing about it as I suspect most fans have, but increasingly and in the context of all the other (predominantly youthful) signings we're making I'm coming down in favour, largely because I think we need a few older heads who have been there/done that and have a winning mentality.

Regardless of how much we end up paying, it's a calculated gamble that may not pay off (to be fair so are most transfers), but I think there are more reasons to be optimistic than pessimistic and deep down I am intrigued and a little excited by the prospect.

Steve Pugh
12 Posted 08/07/2017 at 08:59:02
I do love it when people set out a long argument as why their opinion is right and then finish it by saying they don't want an argument. If you don't want people to argue their point of view keep yours to yourself. If you want everyone to know what you think then accept that they are going to tell you what they think.
Chris Williams
13 Posted 08/07/2017 at 09:01:08
As Chris above has shown, with great patience, a load of contrived, ill-thought out tosh. Start with a conclusion and shoehorn all the arguments to fit that.

By the way, what does a teary Kenwright have to do with this? He has been noticeably absent from this and all the many other signings so far, thank God. However, both Walsh and Koeman have been unequivocal about wanting Rooney back, presumably with Moshiri's support. I've seen no evidence of these individuals being emotional in their dealings up to now, rather the opposite I would say.

And what has that title got to do with what is written below it?

Me, I'm waiting until we are finished buying and selling, to see how it all shapes up, and how it all fits together, Wayne included, and then I'll see how it plays out on the field, allowing for time for things to develop and knit together.

Experience tells us that, with change on this scale, not everything will work out first time, and changes will probably need to be made over time.

Exciting though, isn't it?

David Booth
14 Posted 08/07/2017 at 09:02:47
Mods: my title for this piece is 'My disdain for Wayne on the wane' NOT 'My disdain for Wayne is on the wane' - please could you amend to my original? Thank you.
David Booth
15 Posted 08/07/2017 at 09:12:05
Steve (12), more than happy to debate anything sensibly. What I am seeking to avoid is anything personal and vindictive. You know how these things sometimes develop...
Jim Knightley
16 Posted 08/07/2017 at 09:18:02
I'm not sure about Rooney returning but I think Chris's take on things is a lot more accurate. There are a lot of exaggerations in the main article and miss-readings in my opinion.

Rooney playing regularly for us will be different to Rooney playing irregularly for Man Utd (where he has been continually shunted about to accommodate others).

It is not about how often a manager picked him (a bizarre argument) but what he can offer. He brings experience, an eye for goal, and creativity. He brings his considerable marketability. The deal makes sense for a couple of seasons on its own terms.

My major concern is that the arrival of Rooney will block the younger creative player we surely need. But, of the players brought in so far, I believe that Rooney is going to have the most immediate impact (along with Keane).

We are investing heavily in youngsters, some of whom are not the finished article. We also need players for the now. He is the kind of player who could be the difference in the fight for a cup and I expect his obvious class will be apparent within weeks, because those playing behind Lukaku are not at his level.

Jay Tee
17 Posted 08/07/2017 at 09:19:28
Hope it doesn't happen, particularly on the wages being quoted. Could be unsettling to many of the squad and spoil current progress.
Jim Lloyd
18 Posted 08/07/2017 at 09:23:46
It's amazing how some posts write a player off before he's played his first game for us on his homecoming. A Manager who knows what he wants and a Director of Football both reckon he will improve our squad. That'll do for me.

My guess is that Wayne had lost his way at Man Utd. I think he knows that this is a golden opportunity to prove he is a top class player, and he'll bust a gut to prove it. He can also be a fantastic help to our younger players with his skill and knowledge of the game.

I don't think he will want to let himself down, the club down, or the fans down, nor his son, who'll be watching.

I think Koeman will have told him straight, that he'll have to prove himself worthy every week that he is good enough (and fit enough) to get into the first team.

It may not work. But I think our club would have been daft not to take this chance, of a world class player regaining his hunger for the game.

If we were paying a £100 million for him, then I'd be trepidatious of what would happen with him. But we're paying his wages basically. Bloody good wages admittedly but if Wayne Rooney takes this chance, as I hope he will, we'll have a great player on the books.

I'm not a betting man but this looks like a great gamble by our club.

Welcome back Wayne.

Steve Hopkins
19 Posted 08/07/2017 at 09:34:10
I made a point a couple of seasons ago that as a team we lacked players who have that knowledge of how to consistently win big prizes. Sure a few of our players have picked up winners medals here and there but none have consistently won big titles year after year and I believe that this shows in our propensity to choke when seemingly on the cusp of winning something, eg. Wigan in the FA cup, Chelsea in the Final, United in the Semi.

For all Wayne's faults, he does at least have a winning mentality and he learnt from one of the best in Ferguson about how to do it. So if he does not much else but transfer some of his winning mentality onto those around him then I'm all for him returning.

Thomas Lennon
20 Posted 08/07/2017 at 09:34:15
Reasons for wanting him? 8 goals in 25 starts is an improvement on everyone except Lukaku. Old head, will be our new captain, scouse heart of the squad.
Rob Dolby
21 Posted 08/07/2017 at 09:39:31
I don't particularly want him back, as I don't think players who go back to clubs ever work out, though I do understand why Koeman wants him.

If we brought in a 31-year-old record goalscorer for their club and country on a free transfer would anyone disagree?

We are going to lose Lukaku and probably Barclay both of which contribute massively in creating and scoring goals. Rooney can fill part of that gap and if we sign Giroud then we have tried to cover what has been lost by buying proven Premier League goalscorers and providers.

It's all positive stuff, the transfer activity this year is on another planet compared to the previous 20 years.

Koeman's next job is to get the players to gel as a team as you only have to look at the previous two seasons to see how important it is. Chelsea and Leicester had a real spirit about them which got them through in tough games. We need to see that on the pitch.

Len Hawkins
22 Posted 08/07/2017 at 09:48:07
One of the 15 short stories about why Rooney should not have been signed apparently on a Free transfer with Man Utd chipping in to his wages, is that he has a lot of Twitter followers in Tanzania. I don't claim to be a genius but where is our new sponsor situated ?? East Africa just like Tanzania funnily enough so if they sell a shirt to every one of his Twitterati out there I would imagine his contribution on the field to be irrelevant.

Oh and as much as Boys Pen Bill gets his tear laden scene of him coming home (just like he cried when the Father came home in his favourite film, The Railway Children) Bill doesn't pick the Team Koeman does so I'd imagine he will know the games he wants him to play from the start and the games he is on the Bench.

The derby for instance would be greatly improved by actually having a player who isn't emptying his bowels at the thought and will actually give the RS the disdain they so richly deserve from an Everton team.

I am certain that although the legs might be tiring the brain for which he has been renowned in footballing terms is still working.

Joe Clitherow
24 Posted 08/07/2017 at 10:22:39
What Chris James said to the letter, plus:

The thing that is missed out of all of these comments is that Rooney is a winner. We need winners in our club.

Oh and all that stuff for the past God knows how long about meekly taking clearly poor decisions without a whimper to anyone? I think that may be addressed this season and I think it will also be infectious as Rooney is a highly respected leader on the pitch.

A bit of snarl coming back into our play as well as an overall quality overhaul this season I suspect, and not before time for either.

"Plucky little Everton" may finally be laid to rest and we start punching harder.

Don Alexander
25 Posted 08/07/2017 at 10:59:01
The mentality aspect is the big one for me. I hope Rooney still has it and I'd love him to surprise me with consistent, productive matches, but I have my doubts on the latter.

The mentality thing is key though. We are now a young squad with many new boys, hardly any of whom have ever won anything. Usually it takes ages for so many new signings to gel. Koeman however did a bloody good job at Southampton in gelling a team after major losses and arrivals – twice in two years.

I'm therefore hoping he'll be able to do it again, this season, and if he thinks the main tool he needs to do it is Wayne Rooney then I'll accept it.

Steve Hogan
26 Posted 08/07/2017 at 11:13:15
The 'article' lost all credibility early on when the author mistakenly stated that Rooney was a direct 'replacement' for Lukaku, anyone who really believes that to be the case just doesn't have a grasp of the situation. He's here on a 2-year deal and will improve what we have in the 'No 10' role.

Rather than list all the negative points about Rooney in a lengthy diatribe, why not save yourself all that effort, and simply say you don't like the player or the person?

Graham Mockford
27 Posted 08/07/2017 at 11:19:39

So other than those 15 points you are broadly positive?

Gary Leonard
28 Posted 08/07/2017 at 11:31:13
David, I agree. I don't see how he fits in.
David Booth
29 Posted 08/07/2017 at 11:42:53
Graham, well spotted ;)
Andy Osborne
30 Posted 08/07/2017 at 12:01:00
David, great title for the piece, despite the TW typo. I was confused when I started reading, but I quickly understood.

You make some very good points, but then so does Chris (11) in his rebuttal. At the end of the day, I "hope" Rooney will affect the team in the way Koeman and Walsh want, but if he doesn't, I don't see an issue.

1. He is coming on a free transfer.

2. His wages are high, but we seem to have money now, so it's worth the gamble.

3. I fully expect Koeman to pick his team based on performance, and if Wayne does not live up to his expectations, he won't be picked and will be moved on pretty quickly.

4. It's more of a gamble for Rooney than it is for Everton. He could fail to perform, not make the team and see a glittering career end quietly with not much fanfare. Or this could be his final swansong, in which he helps take a new team, with lots of young potential, and turns them into winners. I know which "ending" Rooney will prefer.

Looks like he is coming, so I suppose we will all find out in about 4 or 5 weeks time, when we see him in action on the pitch.

I seem to remember him scoring a screamer of a free kick from the edge of the box, at Old Trafford to break the Man Utd goal scoring record a few months ago. I would happily take a couple of those in big games this season. He does have a winning mentality, and has been a match winner in the big games. Whether he can do that for us, who knows, but I hope so. And I hope some of his winning mentality rubs off.

Not my money, so I am happy to gamble.

Peter Lee
31 Posted 08/07/2017 at 12:10:19
If there is spleen to be vented over Wayne Rooney's return surely it should be directed at Koeman?

He doesn't seem to be the type of bloke who would accept any old player a committee dictates and he is on record from months ago as declaring his interest in Rooney.

If we applaud the other signings so far, we are applauding the group of people behind them. You can't have it both ways; you trust their judgement or you don't.

Directly regarding Rooney, my take on him is that he is a passionate player who has to be committed to the cause to give of his best. He has never, in my judgement, performed at his peak against the Blues. Yes, I know he's scored against us. In the last few years he has been asked to play in all kinds of positions across the front six with no consistency. He never took his ball home although he never looked as influential as he could be.

I am hoping that we can reignite that passion. We won't do that if we don't play him as a starter in the Number 10 role. I can't believe he's coming back intent on drifting into retirement.

Tony McNulty
33 Posted 08/07/2017 at 12:13:28
Good post, Andy,

If he keeps off the pies, the pints and the ciggies, and then he performs, he'll be in the team. If he doesn't, he'll be on the bench as an impact sub. If he has no impact, he won't even make the bench.

As an Evertonian, I hope it works out for him. I will always support anyone who dons the shirt. I wouldn't have had him back personally, but no doubt Koeman and co. can see how he might fit into what they are trying to do.

So I'll cut them some slack (the transfer deals so far have been pretty good). And like many others, I am hoping we acquire another top quality striker. You can't have too many strikers, as Alex Ferguson used to say.

Gavin Johnson
34 Posted 08/07/2017 at 12:16:06
I think Rooney will be rejuvenated and he'll be a valid member of the squad for the next 2 seasons. Apart from Lukaku, he still had more goals and assists than any of our other outfield players.

The legs may be on the wane but he's still got a footballing brain, much like Gareth Barry, and can pick out a final pass better than what we've got. He got 9-10 goal assists last season.

Had we been paying a fee, or paying his full wages, or making him our main signing this could be a deal we'd regret. But he's not, he's just another player coming in who just so happens to have won everything in the game. Hopefully that will rub off on the younger players in the squad and it will give us that edge that might mean we beat the so called top sides more.

Charles Barrow
35 Posted 08/07/2017 at 12:24:57
I have never been a fan of bringing Rooney back – a bit of a retrograde step. Psychologically he'll feel he's the 'main man' and could block the chances of some of the younger players as I'm sure Koeman will be under pressure to play him come what may,

However, if it happens, let's just hope it is a resounding success – once he pulls on the shirt, I'll be willing him to score spectacular goals (and the odd tap-in).

Gordon Crawford
36 Posted 08/07/2017 at 12:27:04
He won't be coming to save us; we are a different team now, we don't need saving. But what we do need is more winners and players of a higher quality, Wayne ticks both boxes.

I don't see him starting every game, but I do see him being a very important member of hopefully a very strong squad.

It's not about one player and it should never be. So let's look at all the players we have signed rather than the potential one to come.

But he hasn't signed yet, so let's see what happens.

Andy Osborne
37 Posted 08/07/2017 at 12:42:22
Just a cheeky post but interestingly, he only needs to score 62 goals to equal Lukaku's record (87) at Everton, and the same amount to equal Alan Shearer's total (260) as all time Premier League era top scorer.

He had better get a crack on!!

Colin Glassar
38 Posted 08/07/2017 at 12:48:02
Honest question. Now that Rom has (virtually) gone, who are people going to hate next season? Ross? But he might be gone soon as well. Rooney? I suppose he's the logical choice.

I can just see the live forum in a few weeks time, eg, "That Rooney is shite isn't he? Rooney out. What a waste of money. Drop that fat bastard" etc. Or we might bring Ossie out of retirement.

Daniel Lim
39 Posted 08/07/2017 at 12:50:20
I would be happy if he signed for 2 years and we beat the Red Shite in the next 4 derby games.

I will be eagerly waiting for the greatest derbies on earth again.

Peter Gorman
40 Posted 08/07/2017 at 12:52:55
Just a quick thought (I liked the article, btw); Lukaku has been getting into bother over his crass use of social media to celebrate his transfer to Man Utd (also white shirt and jeans, honestly).

Rooney, on the other hand, has starred in somebody else's social media – namely being snapped by two employees at a McDonalds drive-through!

Welcome back, fattie!

Gavin Johnson
41 Posted 08/07/2017 at 12:55:17

The irony will be that the same folk who have made Barkley the whipping boy will turn it towards Rooney and then miss Barkley once he's gone.

Barry Jones
42 Posted 08/07/2017 at 13:06:52
Jim Lloyd, I concur with your thoughts.

Colin, I am not sure if there is an obvious "hate" candidate in the squad anymore. In another post, someone mentioned that they had never seen a player polarise TWrs more than Lukaku, and he was probably right. Even my own singular posts could be bi-polar, accepting that he was a great goalscorer if nothing else.

I have never been one for "hating" players anyway as I find it counter productive. In the case of Lukaku, I would like to think that my posts were more pragmatic assessments of his abilities (even though I referred to him as a lump a few times).

As for Rooney, I sincerely hope that the "waste of money" tag isn't used as I am hoping that the deal is more on the inexpensive side.

Gerard McGregor
43 Posted 08/07/2017 at 13:10:31
This might be an inspired move by the management but I fear the worst for all the reasons listed in David's article,
Jack Convery
44 Posted 08/07/2017 at 13:28:09
It's not Walter Smith bringing Rooney back and forming a squad for aging stars – Gazza, Ginola etc – it's Ronald Koeman. He would not bring him back if he didn't think he could make a positive contribution to the project.

EFC have lacked a real leader on the pitch for years. Rooney will give us that. Unlike Ross, he sees the big picture on the pitch, his awareness of space and what's going on around him is one of his biggest assets.

He scores and creates goals and the collection of kids we are gathering will only be inspired by having a player, who has captained his country, has got winners medals galore, broken scoring records for club and country.

It wasn't his fault we were rubbish when Man Utd came calling. Even now name me a player at EFC who wouldn't go to Man Utd if they came calling.
I pray for a time when this is no longer the case.

For me, this is what management speak calls win-win. At the end of his two years, we can all review whether it worked out but, for now, get behind him and let fate take its course.

Brian McGee
45 Posted 08/07/2017 at 15:26:38
David, good article, firmly hits 15 nails on the head. I used to think Evertonians knew their football but, for the life of me I cannot understand why anybody believes the return of Rooney is a progressive move for the club.

Please enlighten me – when was the last decent game of football Rooney played? Answers on a postage stamp.

Mike Galley
46 Posted 08/07/2017 at 15:42:42
If I'm honest, I can't argue with any of the points in David's excellent opening post. And yet, I'm a little torn over this transfer. One minute I'm in favour, the next I'm not. I guess I'm still waiting to see what Wayne Rooney we get.

One sobering point ( for me anyway) is that every blue who doesn't want him seems to base it on football reasons, and nothing to do with the circumstances of him leaving.

I consider us to be a knowledgeable fan base, and I fear these blues will be proven right in the long term. Still dreaming of a Rooney derby winner though!!!!!!

Tom Bowers
47 Posted 08/07/2017 at 15:49:29
Rooney at Finch Farm. Welcome back.
Paul Tran
49 Posted 08/07/2017 at 16:04:03
Big gamble, this.

Rooney has a bit of nous about him and knows what it takes to win, so I'm hoping that's what Koeman is basing this on. I also think his coming may take some pressure off the other new players.

I've got big concerns about his fitness and the fact that like Barkley, he's similar to a tripless horse that can't win a race.

Still he's coming. I'll be cheering him on and hoping he's rejuvenated by his homecoming.

Gerry McDonnell
51 Posted 08/07/2017 at 16:10:03
When talking about Wayne Rooney over a decade ago, I used to use the word 'Judas'. But as one grows older, gains experience and becomes wiser (allegedly), it is the time itself that becomes the healer.

It has been a great summer so far in the transfer market for us Blues and I do not think we are finished just yet. I have just seen Sky show Wayne Rooney arriving at Finch farm and I think he will bring both the experience and winning mentality needed to help both the young and new players to settle in and adapt.

I do wish all Evertonians would unite behind the club regarding this new adventure instead of squabbling and bickering before a ball of the new season has even been kicked.

To Wayne Rooney, can I say: Failte abhaile (welcome home). COYB.

Charlie Lloyd
52 Posted 08/07/2017 at 16:20:06

For the record, I'm more a sit-on-the-fence person about this deal. Not the greatest but MAY turn out to be better than we expect. Only time will tell and it's not without risk.

Your 15 points were very one-sided though. You obviously have nothing positive to say regarding Rooney.

I respect your right to your opinion though but please be acknowledging if it turns out to be a success.

David Booth
53 Posted 08/07/2017 at 16:26:46
Charlie: I would be delighted to be proved wrong – and as stated, I usually am!
Sean Patton
54 Posted 08/07/2017 at 16:27:58
100% agree with you, David, though I would not be as restrained or diplomatic in my 15 points.

It really sticks in the craw that this odious toad has been given the chance to play for Everton again and the only thing worse than seeing him wear the shirt will be the mawkish guff that Kenwright will no doubt come out with.

Colin Glassar
55 Posted 08/07/2017 at 16:28:32
Love him or hate him, he's back now let's get behind him.
Shane Corcoran
57 Posted 08/07/2017 at 16:39:53
Don't think I can get behind him. I won't be at Goodison so it won't matter but I just sigh at the thought of this signing.

I'll try to pretend he's not there, which probably won't be hard.

But if he kisses the fucking badge... well, at least it might qualify as satire, irony?????????

David Booth
58 Posted 08/07/2017 at 16:42:46
Sean, this is Kenwright's biggest ever wet dream. I hope the theatricals are kept to a minimum.
Mike Gaynes
59 Posted 08/07/2017 at 17:00:07
David, you certainly make your case with passion, and I don't necessarily disagree with your belief that Rooney is past it, but I have to tell you that some of what you say is just bollocks, as the expression goes on your side of the pond.

First, Koeman wasn't "pushed into a corner." Nobody could push Koeman. Accept it, he genuinely likes Rooney and genuinely wants him at the club. If he didn't, he wouldn't go for him, simple as that. The idea that he was somehow boxed into this transaction is flat-out ridiculous IMO.

Second, offering Lukaku more money to stay wasn't going to keep him here. He wanted away to a glamour club. Always has. Period.

Third, the whole theme of "better ways to use our money" is irrelevant. There is absolutely no evidence that whatever Moshiri has set aside for Rooney's salary will keep him from buying other players we need. We're not bringing in Rooney "rather" than Dembele. If Koeman and Moshiri want to bid for Dembele or anybody else, they will.

Fourth and finally, I don't see anything remotely "soul-destroying" about this. the idea that his paycheck will be "disruptive" is sheer speculation – I doubt you can even cite an example of that happening. He won't disrupt us on the field either... as Andy says, Koeman will "pick his team based on performance" not sentiment, and if Rooney can't cut it, he'll be out.

Like you, I doubt that Rooney will make us a better side, but it's a no-risk move for the club in my opinion, and it has certainly generated some excitement, hasn't it? I truly cannot wait to hear the roar at Goodison when he scores his first goal for the club. The foundations will crack.

Ian Riley
60 Posted 08/07/2017 at 17:10:51
I don't see it as a gamble. Free transfer, and pay cut and only 31 years old. He comes back with 13 years experience. Koeman will demand high fitness levels and work rate. Koeman will not be fooled and will expect Wayne to give all every game. Wayne will also want to prove he is not finished.

Wayne must understand the club he left 13 years ago is very different now under new ownership. Wayne is a top player who has broken records at Manchester United and England. He needs a new challenge and his aim will be to win a trophy for the club he supports. Wayne has come home and whatever has gone on in the past is gone.

Welcome home, Wayne!!!

Andy Osborne
61 Posted 08/07/2017 at 17:13:08
I found this. Worth a watch:

He's one of us.
He's not Lukaku.
Man Utd most prolific scorer.
Englands most prolific scorer.
Arguably the best English striker in the modern era.
I hope he has a year or two left in the tank.
Good enough for me.

Dave Speed
62 Posted 08/07/2017 at 17:34:46
Picture the scene – in the tunnel before a big game, the Everton inferiority complex in full flow, fear farts aplenty sounding like a miners' brass band.

Suddenly you hear the sound of 10 slaps in quick succession, Rooney's voice saying "C'mon – let's tear these a new one!" and the team go out there and give a good old gutsy show, coupled with some sublime skills and a big game win at last.

I'll argue all day and all night and start again tomorrow, because my heart beats the same as his and the spirit will see us through. I reckon the Everton shops will be on the blower trying to do a swap deal for the unused letter "U" that will be gathering dust until young Onyekuru comes back!

Ste Traverse
63 Posted 08/07/2017 at 17:35:36
I totally agree with this article. It's bang on the money.

I posted on TW many years ago I dreaded the thought of a past-it and overweight Rooney coming back and Kenwright all over him banging on about it being great having Wayne back home etc. Well, it looks like that moment has arrived.

We want to break into the top 4 or top 6 so how is the signing of a player deemed not good enough for one of those clubs going to get us there?

I don't see any of the other clubs in the top 6 making a move for him either. His best days are long gone – that's why Man Utd want to get rid. They are so desperate to get him out the door they are reportedly willing to give him us for free! That tells me everything.

I can see why many Blues have a dislike for Lukaku, but he isn't yesterdays man like Rooney.

If Man Utd had wanted to keep him he wouldn't remotely consider us. This will be an embarrassing signing and a backward step for me.

Simon Jones
64 Posted 08/07/2017 at 17:39:41
He could be for Koeman what Phil Neville was to Moyes. Despite being much maligned by many fans, Phil Neville brought a level of professionalism to the captain's role that we hadn't seen for a few years. He was effectively the manager on the field. I'm not saying that Rooney will bring the same, but I'd say there is a bloody good chance.

Plus there are the commercial opportunities which many posters overlook, too carried away with the emotion they felt when he left. Duncan Ferguson came back, remember.

Andy Osborne
65 Posted 08/07/2017 at 17:46:23
Come on, Ste, give the lad a chance. If it goes tits up, what have we lost? If he becomes an inspirational leader, we win?

I hate the kissing of the badge thing, it seems so false. I also hate the disrespect that some modern players (Lukaku) have for their paymasters.

If Rooney kisses the badge, I will know it is for real. I'm from Huyton, he is from Croxteth. We have both left for bigger things, you can take the boy out of the city, but you can't take the city out of the boy.

Season starts in 3 weeks. Let's get this party started.

Mike Gaynes
66 Posted 08/07/2017 at 17:48:21
Andy, I don't think anybody has called him a "lad" in quite a while!
Andy Osborne
67 Posted 08/07/2017 at 18:01:57
Mike, I'm 50. Everyone is a lad.
Julian Exshaw
68 Posted 08/07/2017 at 18:07:51
My question is: Where will he play? Will he take over from Barks? Is Barks even staying? I can't see him being used as a striker, nor do I think Koeman will necessarily start with him. It seems there are more signings to come as well. Interesting times.

The issue of whether we ought to sign him is just as tricky for me. I understand he was a young lad when he left and had his head turned by Fergie and probably many more. It hurt though, it hurt seeing him at Goodison scoring against us. For me he became part of the team I hate almost as much as the Red Shite.

There is an argument that suggests that, now that it suits him and now that they don't want him anymore, he comes back to us. I want to like him again,and I will support him 100%, it will just take some getting used to again.

Brent Stephens
69 Posted 08/07/2017 at 18:22:54
Ian (#60) – "Welcome home Wayne!!!" And the welcome on his second debut at Goodison Park will be tumultuous.

Dave (#62) – I think that's exactly what he'll bring. A killer attitude we haven't seen for a long time. We're so quiet and "accepting" of decisions on the pitch.

Ajay Gopal
70 Posted 08/07/2017 at 18:23:26
I am excited about having Wayne Rooney back at Everton for these reasons - (I would have been happier if it had happened 5 years ago, but hey..ho..):

1. We need at least 2 proven Premier League goal-scorers to replace Lukaku's goals. Rooney will surely give us at least 10 (I am willing to bet that he gets 20 goals), we need another main striker to get the other 10 Lukaku goals and more.

2. With practically a brand new starting XI, we need some experienced leadership on the pitch – Rooney provides it perfectly.

3. Winning mentality – enough said about this already

4. Mentoring and bringing on the youngsters.

5. He will bring drive and passion on the pitch.

Finally, it all boils down to how much Rooney is motivated to bring glory to his boyhood club. As many have said before me, if he can get his body into shape, stay super-fit, work hard in training, he could very well turn out to be the talismanic footballer that Evertonians have been yearning for for so many years. I am optimistic – I have a good feeling about this.

Peter Lee
71 Posted 08/07/2017 at 18:36:05
Mike, me and the lads, average age 61, meet before every home game for a pint. We know we are not "lads" our wives know it's never "a pint".

One of the lads, aged 42 he brings our average down quite a bit, occasionally can't make it up from the smoke. His brother-in-law has asked what has happened to the boy today.

Andy Osborne
72 Posted 08/07/2017 at 18:39:36
Oh, I forgot to add, Man Utd captain, England captain, a players player. Shy, unassuming, but a leader on the pitch. He is a true "Roy of the Rovers" character.

I wish he had stayed with us, but he knew that Everton in the 2000s was not a place which would match his ambitions. Everton in 2017 does. Whether he can match our ambitions, is a question the remains to be answered.

Mike Gaynes
73 Posted 08/07/2017 at 18:40:20
Andy and Peter, understood. Another example of the language barrier.

Have to join you on my next trip over, Peter. I'm 61.

David Booth
74 Posted 08/07/2017 at 18:42:57
Mike, as an adopted trans-Atlantic Scouser/Evertonian, you'll always be a 'lad' on Merseyside!
Peter Lee
75 Posted 08/07/2017 at 18:43:08
Welcome to Mike, send a signal and there will be a welcoming party.
Colin Glassar
76 Posted 08/07/2017 at 18:43:24
We're all lads on here Mike, except for the birds of course.
Colin Glassar
77 Posted 08/07/2017 at 18:44:23
And a mate, as well.
Dave Speed
78 Posted 08/07/2017 at 18:52:30
Brent (#69) – ta lad (I'm 58 and still "lad", not "a lad"). It brought a tear to me eye to have someone feel the same way.

By the way everyone, I am the one who made the Pirlo reference (Mr Booth's comment #5) in some thread somewhere –I'm on so many.

I'll say again that "I watched Pirlo, looking like a shagged out Chuck Norris, patrol a 20-yard circle and control every game he played in. He was surrounded by young, keen and trusting runners who knew he would deliver the defence splitting pass if they put the effort in." Or something like that.

I stand by it because he has the touch, he is a craftsman who fed every partner striker at Man Utd selflessly for years, and the first trophy that he may have a part in for EFC will be worth as much if not more to him than everything else he has done for Man Utd.

That is the Wayne Rooney we'll get, of that I have no doubt. Gotta go now, I can't find a tissue and I've got 2 bubbly snot trails just touching me lip!

Dave Speed
79 Posted 08/07/2017 at 19:04:23
ps: I've just heard an unsubstantiated rumour that Big Dunc has said "Me an Wayne are bezzies, laddie". Enough said – I'm glad I haven't said anything nasty about Rooney!

Also I managed to get some bog roll for the green slug trails coming out me beak, in case anyone was concerned. Ironically, the bog roll is the "John Wayne" brand – leathery tan colour, tough as fuck and doesn't take shit off anyone. It's Andrex for me from now on.

Darren Hind
80 Posted 08/07/2017 at 19:07:06
I don't get all this "rejuvenated" stuff. His legs have gone. They don't come back again.

Doesn't have to be a bad move though. I remember Goodison used to really come alive when he was a kid and he was told to warm up. I can see that happening again.

Chances are he can make a real impact in some (if not all) games. At worst, he's another option.

John Audsley
81 Posted 08/07/2017 at 19:26:01
a soul-destroying backward step"

I think that might be going a little too far...

,"a soul-destroying backward step"

I think that might be going a little too far,,BlueKfrog,1,19:23:05,,,ok,782,07/08/2017 19:23:05,JTA1975,reader,, 828596,35155,toffeeweb,08/07/2017,Ian Linn,,Great news!,Great news ,,BlueKfrog,1,19:24:26,,,ok,7432,07/08/2017 19:24:26,linny999,reader,, 828597,35155,toffeeweb,08/07/2017,Jamie Morgan,,"Divided opinions now need to be put aside! I for one have always wanted him back.

But it's as good as confirmed, he's a winner and an Evertonian... so now we get behind him like we Blues always do when you put our special shirt on! Good luck and welcome home!

Colin Glassar
82 Posted 08/07/2017 at 19:37:20
Dave, that bog roll reference brought back some uncomfortable memories lad.
Anton Walsh
83 Posted 08/07/2017 at 19:47:53
I'm hoping what was coached out of him can somehow be reborn. That is natural instinct and running at defenders.

All this "let the ball do the work" and "play the way your facing" has ruined him. Thank God Messi never listened... and they were both on a par back in the day.

Des Farren
84 Posted 08/07/2017 at 20:36:07
David. You have put effort and emotion in to your post. To my mind however there are too many distractions. It is a tale full of sound and fury, signifying nothing, to quote a well known bard.

Let us look to the future and what Rooney could do for this club and try to forget what for some, is painful in the past.

Steve Guy
85 Posted 08/07/2017 at 20:46:24
People are entitled to their opinion of course, but those going on about how Rooney is over the hill etc etc are grating on me. My opinion, to which I am equally entitled, is that his return is the best thing this Club we love has done in a decade. He will inspire on and off the pitch.

I was privileged to be in the Upper Bullens on the day he scored his "worldie" v Arsenal and have looked on in envy at his displays for Man Utd; not least his MotM v us in the FA Cup semi-final. I for one can't wait to see his first run-out in an Everton shirt again.

Rick Tarleton
86 Posted 08/07/2017 at 21:18:36
I'm with you every inch of the way.
Oliver Molloy
87 Posted 08/07/2017 at 21:38:04
Rooney would not be coming back to Everton if Koeman didn't want want him.

Si Cooper
88 Posted 08/07/2017 at 21:52:50
John Audsley, my thoughts exactly. The OP is well over the top in many ways. We don't know the plans the manager has for bringing in other players or for how he will use Wayne Rooney in his squad.

Rooney obviously still has some worth as a player and whatever of his experience / attitude he may be able to pass on to others. He won't be coming back just to kill time and I expect him to be involved at the club for a long time.

As a part of Koeman's overall scheme he will be fine as long as the hierarchy don't see him somehow as the final piece of the puzzle, which I'm pretty sure they don't.

Jim Hardin
89 Posted 08/07/2017 at 22:07:56
Andy (#72), "but he knew that Everton in the 2000's was not a place which would match his ambitions. Everton in 2017, does."

The irony in this post is almost too much. See, Rom in 2017 knows Everton does not match his ambition and our midfield and wingers, his talent. Yet, he is slated for such an attitude despite being honest about it from day one.

His reasons are the same as the ones why Rooney left and more importantly, why he stayed away so long, despite the ability to come back if he, a true Blue, so chose.

Guess we will welcome Rom back after he is a shadow of himself in 9 or 10 years (since Rom already gave us more games before leaving) with tears in our eyes and a parade for a returning hero.

Now he is back and Everton's ambitions cannot possibly match his. See Rooney is fat and coasting and out of options so he is looking for a paycheck and a soft landing in a city and for a club dumb enough to have him back and willing to overlook the fact he is not the 18-year-old who left, not the 25 year old who was dazzling, but is a soon to be 32-yearold who looks like he could be closer to 45.

But hey, he was briefly a Blue so welcome back Wayne, we will follow you like lemmings over the cliff right into the mediocrity of fighting for Europa League places.

Dave Speed
90 Posted 08/07/2017 at 22:12:07
To quote a well known bard (actually not well known, and not a bard - me):
There was a young fellow called Wayne,
Whose 'defection' did earn such disdain,
"Badge kissing when scoring,
against us, is whoring.
So we never will love you. again.

But most of us (60 per cent),
Do feel that it's money well spent.
We won't wait too much time,
To see skill so sublime,
And say "Rooney, he is heaven sent".

Dave Abrahams
91 Posted 08/07/2017 at 22:29:35
Mike (66), I'm a hundred and two and a half and I'm a lad.
Mike Gaynes
93 Posted 08/07/2017 at 22:44:04
Dave, 102.5? Really?

According to some on here, so is Wayne.

Jem Bir
94 Posted 08/07/2017 at 22:44:36
He wants to play for us and his heart has always been a blue (forget all the Man Utd badge-kissing crap – he was a kid and we treated him like shit).

He's maybe too old, but...

But Rooney, with a desire to play first-team football at a club he loves, is maybe worth something.

He wants back, Koeman wants him back. Let's give him a chance to prove us wrong.

David Currie
95 Posted 08/07/2017 at 23:10:20
Good article. My concern is if we sign Sigurdsson and Giroud plus Rooney we are really lacking pace and movement. I have stated on here how we need to have more speed in the team than last season.

Rooney was a no for me judging on watching him play last season, but hope he gets himself fit and proves me wrong. I would love to see him re- invent himself at Goodison, he certainly brings a winning mentality with him.

Sean Patton
96 Posted 08/07/2017 at 00:01:51
Carragher and Gerard are better blues than he ever was

Douglas McClenaghan
97 Posted 09/07/2017 at 05:59:20
Excellent article. Rooney is a car crash waiting to happen.
Ernie Baywood
99 Posted 09/07/2017 at 06:57:47
Jim (#89)... is anyone welcoming Wayne back with tears in their eyes and a parade for a returning hero?

You're making up your own scenario so you can oppose it. That debate simply isn't happening anywhere on ToffeeWeb so you might just have to let it go.

The debate on here seems to be whether he has anything to contribute to the club. I personally think it's a gamble that's well worth taking for the money being reported.

Dan Nulty
100 Posted 09/07/2017 at 08:07:39
Sponsors rubbing hands together, more potential ones to come on to make use of his 14 million Twitter followers.

Rooney desperate to be picked for 2018 World Cup. Guessing he will be keen to win over the dissenters.

Chris #11 reposte is spot on for me.

Welcome back Wayne, looking forward to seeing him score a lot if played up top.

Dave Speed
101 Posted 09/07/2017 at 08:46:43
I can't believe the constant crap about Rooney's fitness. Does anyone really believe that Koeman and his team would sign a player that didn't pass a rigorous medical?

He came back early to pre-season training at Man Utd to get himself either back in contention for their season, or to be ready to play for us. I can understand the concerns about wages, and is he burned out, is he just wanting to to let his kids see him play for Everton blah blah? Even the hostility I get, although I have never agreed with it.

Rub your hands with glee if it doesn't work out by all means. However, I choose to have faith in Koeman et al, Rooney and the new signings and ones that will be kept.

When it all works out I will be waiting for the humble pie posts. I won't shy away from it if it goes badly, but I suspect that the naysayers will be hiding their heads in shame if it goes well.

Ian Herbert
102 Posted 09/07/2017 at 09:41:12
Good article, David, and I wholeheartedly agree with all your very valid points. As he is on the brink of signing, we have to accept his return is now unavoidable. I, for one, will be happy to get behind him, but I firmly believe this to be a step in the wrong direction.

I do not think he will be a success, nor do I believe he will show any of his abilities of old. I would rather we signed a younger player with his best years in front of him. I honestly believe the return of a well-past-his-best Rooney will only end in tears.

Ernie Baywood
103 Posted 09/07/2017 at 09:50:11
You know what? Some of the lads we have just signed won't work out and will be on their way again in a couple of years. That's life, that's football. I just don't see the issue people have with us taking this particular gamble.
Chris Williams
104 Posted 09/07/2017 at 10:01:54
Ernie, spot on mate.

The only parallel I have for what is currently happening is John Moores arriving. A lot of players came and went in those days before we won anything 3 years later.

That's football.

Steve Brown
105 Posted 09/07/2017 at 10:14:52
He's going to he an Everton player in the next 24 hours, so get behind him.
Steve Brown
106 Posted 09/07/2017 at 10:20:00
Jim (#89), not the same situation at all. When Rooney left, the only money we had to spend was the transfer fee he generated. We'd just finished 17th and the squad was poor.

Lukaku leaves after we qualified for the Europa League, spent £94m without his transfer fee and will be building a 60,000-seater stadium. If you are trying to compare the ambition of 2004 with the ambition of today then most fans would disagree with you. This is a very exciting time to be an Evertonian.

Alan J Thompson
107 Posted 09/07/2017 at 10:26:25
Chris (#104); Mention of John Moores and player movement reminded me of a story that went around at the time.

Moores went into the changing rooms and was reported to have said, "Well played lads except for you, Collins, you were awful." To which Bobby was said to have replied, "What would you know you don't even know which side they lace the ball on these days."

Moores then sought out Catterick and told him to "Get that man out of here".

Would be interesting to know the truth of the matter but then I've always believed that Kenwright engineered Rooney's move out but he could have just said, in the impracticality of youth, "No".

Dave Speed
108 Posted 09/07/2017 at 10:30:10
Just read Lukaku's statement on joining Man Utd. Puts himself over as a man of honour.

I was never one of the precious ones who got upset when he was 'disrespecting' our club. But now I have to say that he doesn't have the class of Cleverley or Keane, who signed off with complimentary statements about the clubs they had just left.

If it doesn't work out for him, i.e. Champions League football every year, how soon before he copies and pastes, then edits in Man Utd for EFC, all his derisory comments about wanting a higher level? Thanks for the goals Rom but that's all, as a recent article said.

Chris Williams
109 Posted 09/07/2017 at 10:38:35

There is a book called 'Liverpool 1960-1964: Football, Music and Extraordinary Success'. It's written by Tommy Allen, a local historian and it describes what went on in both clubs, music and the city in those years, and the links between them. It's on Amazon, and a decent read.

It covers the episode with Bobby Collins and it panned out pretty much as you describe, with quotes, sources etc included. Bobby clearly wasn't having it as a proud man. Went off to Leeds and masterminded their renaissance as Revie's right-hand man. Won Player of the Year there, before getting his leg shattered.

He must have been about 31 when he left too!

One of my all-time favourite players was Bobby, and a real good player.

Alan J Thompson
110 Posted 09/07/2017 at 10:55:39
I suppose we could reminisce all day, Chris, but another of my favourites was Jimmy Gabriel and I remember his first return to Goodison with Southampton when the ground rang out to the chant of his name.

He then went over to take a throw-in and as a fan threw him the ball he asked how he was and after Gabby replied, "Still the same", he was asked, "Still doing the clubs then, Jim". He even blushed.

Liam Young
111 Posted 09/07/2017 at 10:58:46
Everything that has happened in this transfer window is a monumental leap forward. Rooney will not only add creativity to the squad, but he will increase brand exposure for our club. Whether you agree with that statement or not, this is 21st century football. Moshiri summed it up in the last AGM when he said "he will not allow Everton to become a museum".

It's been a tough ride since the 80's for us blues, I was only 7 the last time we won the title, a lot of blues were not even born.

We are fast becoming a great club for today, not yesterday.

The above statement sums up why Everton are in the world news everyday, why reds are becoming more bitter. The toffeemen are coming, and Moshiri will not settle for second best.

-End of Statement- :-)

Ray Roche
112 Posted 09/07/2017 at 11:01:56
Dave (#91)

102? I don't believe you. I'm going to go and ask yer Dad.

Phil Lewis
113 Posted 09/07/2017 at 11:18:04
A well written plausible piece, but I couldn't disagree more with you. Consider it from Rooney's point of view, do you honestly think he would put himself in the firing line of thousands doubting Evertonians, not to mention the salivating gutter press, waiting for him to fail, if he felt that his body, heart and soul was not up to this challenge? Surely, if he wanted a soft option there would have been plenty of takers elsewhere?

We can all watch and deliberate from the Goodison stands, or the comfort of our armchairs, but he is the one who will feel the real pressure to succeed. He is a proud man, a street-fighter, who I'm sure will come out with all guns blazing, with a burning desire to write the final glorious chapter to his magnificent career.

This move for me, shows that Wayne Rooney still has ambition. There is no room for sentiment in professional football, like it or not, it is a cut-throat theatre, nobody knows that better than Rooney. I'm sure he will see this return as an emotional homecoming, who wouldn't? But I'm equally certain that he has the calculated determination to use this opportunity to cement his World Cup participation for England.

I'm hoping Koeman gives him the captaincy. Whether you are a young carpenter, soldier, heart surgeon, musician or footballer, no amount of training prepares you for the real thing. That is why his leadership on the park, where it matters most, will be invaluable. Every young professional learns and improves, by playing with and learning from the very best.

There is nothing emotional in the manager's motives for bringing Rooney back. This is undoubtedly a calm and calculated move on Koeman's part. Rooney gives us, even now, everything that we have lacked for decades. I believe this to be our most important signing. This is not the end for Rooney, it is a whole new beginning.

Dave Ganley
114 Posted 09/07/2017 at 12:36:01
Chris James (#11) pretty much nails it for me.
Chris James
115 Posted 09/07/2017 at 13:25:11
Well I guess we're going to get to see who's right now! ;-)
Jem Bir
116 Posted 09/07/2017 at 13:33:53
Well, he's here. Will you all sit and sulk in the stands or roar as he runs on the pitch wearing the blue?

I know what I'll be doing.

Come on you Blues!

Jason Broome
117 Posted 09/07/2017 at 14:21:51
Can't wait for him to prove you wrong.

25 games and 8 goals. Playing out of position with shot legs he still managed a goal every 3 games. Who else in our current side has done that?

Players who leave clubs for us are commended for their ambition. Rooney leaves us for ambition and he's hated... go figure.

From the neutrals point of view... he did the right thing in leaving us.

At 16 he was our best player... how pathetic was that.

If Rooney was returning to the team that he had left... even you would welcome him back!

Had he not left us his career would have been shite. He made a mature decision for HIS career. Good for him. The world does not evolve around Everton.

Get behind him.

Dave Abrahams
118 Posted 09/07/2017 at 15:37:34
Ray. (112), he won't know, he's getting very forgetful.
Lee Brownlie
119 Posted 09/07/2017 at 16:03:15
Yes, we know its all about 'opinion' but this is a presentation of cons only. Not a pro to be seen.

Obviously, it was never meant to be balanced, but I'm afraid I did take issue with this expression of total negativity of what, by now, is a 'done deal' for England and Man Utd's highest ever scorer to our squad, albeit that its true he is past his best.

I'm not, and haven't been, exactly in the 'pro-Rooney' camp either, but I do have both hopes and some beliefs in this matter, and especially for our club and team re the coming season.

Thankfully, Chris James (#11) provided plenty of those 'pros' I'd already been and remain more inclined towards (in heart, but also generally in head), although I was glad to read both sides of a debate which we all have to consider for ourselves. For me, the 'ayes' have it. For now, leastways. Now bring on Europe, Stoke, and whoever else wants it!!!

Denis Richardson
120 Posted 09/07/2017 at 19:56:03
Great article David – agree with all the points, especially the Pirlo one, although not the Lukaku point – Rom was always going to leave.

I was laughing in disbelief when I read a post saying he could be like Pirlo. The fact that Rooney has been tried as a midfielder by both England and Man Utd, and failed both times to justify playing that role regularly, seems to have been completely ignored/forgotten.

Also, whilst 31 is not retirement age in football these days, people forget how many games Rooney has actually played given he started playing regularly at age 16. Add the fact he's not taken care of himself as other pros (drinking, smoking, fast food etc) and you have a guy who's probably around 35-36 years of age from a footballing perspective. He himself admitted in an interview a couple of years ago that his legs have gone after being smashed by centre halves for a decade.

Anyway – like it or not he's wearing the blue this season so we hope it won't be a car crash.

Jason Broome
121 Posted 09/07/2017 at 22:36:54
I wasn't going to add anything else but I just saw this.

Everton have 1 Million twitter followers. That's a huge amount.

Wayne Rooney has 14 Million!

Wayne Rooney returning to Everton is good for our club. The numbers and not the opinions speak for itself.

Michael Kenrick
122 Posted 09/07/2017 at 22:47:03
Er, Jason.

Sorry to burst your bubble but won't the vast majority of those 14 million Twitterati be Mancs who will now unfollow Rooney?

Dennis Ng
123 Posted 09/07/2017 at 22:57:55
Michael... if they haven't already unfollowed him but now he will have all of our club following. His sponsorships and other marketing activities won't die off that quickly so that probably helps with our marketing value a bit. I hope!
David McMullen
124 Posted 09/07/2017 at 23:05:22
Can't be bothered reading the article. Trying to justify being against a signing we've just made! Humbug lol. The bottom line is it is a signing that Koeman wanted (and Walsh). No sentiment. Just remember signing Kone, and Alcaraz.
Jason Broome
125 Posted 09/07/2017 at 23:30:43
I hear you Michael.

Some will, some won't. Not all of them will be Mancs. I can't see 14 Million people switching off. He's an iconic brand. If you've ever been to Asia you'll know how much they know and still love Rooney.

Certain iconic sportsmen are larger than the club or even the sport. Rooney's worldwide following probably attached themselves to him when he was in the top 10 most adored sportsmen in the world. Can't see them ditching him anytime soon.

I have friends in London who used to believe that Everton was a team on the south coast or up north neighbouring Newcastle.

I think he raises our profile.

John Crawley
126 Posted 09/07/2017 at 23:58:58
Good article, David, and I agree with all of your points. Bottom line: Mourinho rated Rooney but, when he's managed him last season, he quickly realised he was finished.
Kristian Boyce
127 Posted 09/07/2017 at 00:47:26
I think I was the person who made the original comment about him being a big name in Africa. While true Manc fans will unfollow him on social media, a large portion of his followers will still stick with him and follow info about him. His star power has been on the wane but outside the UK, he is still a global football icon.

By seeing the reaction on the BBC and other social media sites, there's been a huge amount of interest in the deal worldwide. It's been interesting seeing a large number of comments by the much derided 'African Football Experts' and fans from India and the far east expressing their support for his move. While many of these may have an interest in certain teams, a good portion follow players in a cult-like fashion.

Even if 10% of his twitter followers start following Everton because of the move, that's 1.4m people, which would double the amount of followers the club has already.

Commercial wise, the move is a no-brainer for the club. I bet Chang is absolutely kicking themselves today as having Rooney wearing an Everton shirt bearing their logo would have been massive for them in Thailand and the Far East. As I said in another post, SportPesa must be absolutely wetting their pants in excitement being able to use Rooney as the poster boy for the upcoming game in Tanzania. I guarantee what was last week a pretty big game for that part of Africa, it will get continent-wide interest now as it will be Rooney's first game for us.

Chris James
128 Posted 10/07/2017 at 01:47:56
Those who didn't think Rooney would lift our profile may want to glance at the BBC sport page.

Appreciate it's the same day it's happening, but 5 of the top 6 story slots and 10 of the top 17 are now Everton related (albeit 3 of the lower slots being taken by Lukaku-related stuff).

I wonder if we might be a little higher up the MotD running order now? ;-)

Dave Speed
129 Posted 10/07/2017 at 08:16:31
Chris (#128) – I need a research team made up of people like you, really – no sarcasm. This has clearly shot down one of the (poorly concluded) 15 points in the article. I am sure that before long the other 14 will tumble like dominoes.

Keep it up, Chris, as I get headaches reading through all the chaff to find decent articles about the blues.

Anthony Hawkins
130 Posted 10/07/2017 at 11:51:23
The issue I have is the amount of money the club are paying for someone who should be a bit part player and not a main man.

The way to get the best out of Rooney is to build the team around him. There is no way Koeman should be doing this as he is not the future and not really the present either.

I also want to know who's position he's going to fill as he's not a striker and we've bought in some quality players in the midfield. Yes, more players are needed to compete in Euro and at home but seriously?

I get the exposure thing and I get the experience thing but it's a lot of cash to pay one person for those things when he struggles to complete 90 minutes.

Eivind Nyhus
131 Posted 10/07/2017 at 17:42:17
Great article, could not agree more.
Micky Norman
132 Posted 10/07/2017 at 20:32:00
Well it's pretty much irrelevant now he's back. He's a blue and like the other new boys he'll have to prove himself but you can bank on it that when we lose there will be posters on here giving him stick. Just like they did with Hibbo, Ossie and Ross.

No doubt Davies will get his turn. If he's not good enough, I don't think Koeman will keep picking him. We've spent too much to expect second best. There will be real pressure on him to get a winning team after all the money and hype.

Rooney is just a part of it and I'd still rather see him in blue than red.

Danny O'Neill
133 Posted 10/07/2017 at 23:00:56
Okay David, you don't approve. 15 paragraphs to say you don't agree!! Hey mate, it's an opinion and you're entitled to yours.
Anthony Jones
134 Posted 10/07/2017 at 23:36:00
Solid argument.

I would have named the piece:

"If we are not a museum, why are we buying old relics?".
David Ellis
135 Posted 11/07/2017 at 03:12:31
On the 14m Twitter Asia many "fans" pick a new team every season. Sometimes its the same one as the previous season, but they always do a review of the options over the summer.

My own (Chinese) brother-in-law was a Man Utd fan for years and then suddenly switched to Chelsea. Then back to Man Utd when Ronaldo was in his pomp there...and then "followed" Ronaldo to Real Madrid.

I don't understand the way he supports teams and he sure as hell doesn't understand the way I do! (Actually he's far more rational about it.)

I once watched an FA Cup game with him Man Utd vs Liverpool. Liverpool won against the run of play right at the death. He didn't seem too bothered about it. I would have been distraught... in fact I was distraught!

Fans are different in Asia... we will get people "supporting" us in Asia simply because of Rooney joining us. They will buy our stuff and watch us on TV and phone into TV studios and demand Everton coverage. It all helps.

Tim Sharpe
137 Posted 11/07/2017 at 16:18:10
Rooney will sell shirts, this is almost beyond doubt.

Rooney has probably won trophies more than the rest of the squad combined, he is hungry and he is home. He is a winner, a leader that can help to improve some of the player round him - Barkley with Rooneys attitude would be frightening

If you are playing against us, look over to the bench with 25-30 minutes left and see Wayne Rooney pulling off his subby top, I expect there to be one or two defenders muttering "Oh ffs!" under their breath.

When he left, I would have happily watched while he was being beaten alive by a hungry hippo, while pondering whether to have brown sauce or barbecue on my bacon buttie.

Now, I'm glad he is back.

David Booth
138 Posted 11/07/2017 at 18:24:59
Danny (133), thank you, I completely agree with you.

Just my view and I fully appreciate many others will have many others!

That's what a forum like TW is for.

We will soon know, one way or the other...

James Marshall
139 Posted 11/07/2017 at 22:00:25
Delighted to have him back, and looking forward to seeing him in blue again. Some reasonable points in the OP, but I always wanted to see him back with Everton, so all the points in the article are lost on me.

Call me a sentimental old bugger if you like, I don't really care!

Dick Fearon
140 Posted 12/07/2017 at 11:25:51
There's a lot of lads on here but where are those lovely Judy's of my early years?
Mike Dolan
141 Posted 13/07/2017 at 03:57:41
Just a lot of wordy nonsense in this article. Everton have signed on a two-year contract the most effective English player in the last 30 years.

We are signing striker who has a genius for not only leading a line but can be effective as a secondary striker but has a genius as a deep lying center forward. I would bet that Rooney will score about 75% of Lukaku's goals over the next 2 seasons.

I also think Sandro will pop in at least half of Lukaku's goals. I think that Klaassen will score 50% more goals than Ross Barkley. Pickford will probably make a winning difference in about 4 games.

I think top four is not unrealistic this year. I think we finish above Man Utd, Arsenal and the Red Shite The season after that, we are on top.

Simon Jones
142 Posted 13/07/2017 at 16:34:48
Point #9,

Yeah, cos being popular in Tanzania means nothing. Take Rooney anywhere in the world and you'll see that ship still very much in the dock and not sailing anywhere just yet. You might not think this is a good footballing signing, but I've posted a few times on here, Rooney is all about more than just on the pitch.

David Currie
143 Posted 13/07/2017 at 20:26:41
Good start for Rooney: 1 game, 1 goal.
Brian Wilkinson
144 Posted 14/07/2017 at 06:03:50
Nice slice of humble pie to the doubters, please form an orderly queue, what a goal.
Tony Hill
145 Posted 16/07/2017 at 13:02:06
For no particular reason, I've just watched a compilation on YouTube of Rooney's passes and assists at Man Utd. My God what a player he was. The dying embers of that will still be worth a watch.
Tony Abrahams
146 Posted 16/07/2017 at 13:52:49
Don't think I've seen a better English player than Rooney, since I started watching football as a little boy about 42 years ago, Tony.

I hope Barkley stays, and improves, but if he does leave, it won't feel like it did the day this 18-year-old kid left us and not just because we seem to be in a lot better position with regards our squad now.

Rooney had everything, pace, skill, a massive heart, and a burning desire, and also eyes in the back,of his head, and the day he left Everton, for whatever reason, was one of my worst days in following the blues, with only a few defeats off Liverpool, feeling worse.

Let's hope he's still got enough in his legs because, on football ability alone, then,this kid is still second to none.

Chris Williams
147 Posted 16/07/2017 at 14:30:50
Yes Tony, great skill with spirit and leaving Everton are two things he has in common with another great English Evertonians, Alan Ball.
Bernard Yeo
149 Posted 18/07/2017 at 03:42:42
@135 . Let's not stereotype. I supported Everton since 9 and I am in my 40s now.

At the very least, Rooney traps the ball better than Lukaku!

Charles Brewer
150 Posted 18/07/2017 at 12:10:47
In the past couple of seasons, the biggest problem with Everton has been that, as soon as there is a problem (say, the other side scores), the heads go down, the striker reinterprets the meaning "strike" from "attack" to "down tools, wander off, point and sulk".

The team has had a terrible attitude issue, and I think a very good portion of that was down to the happily flogged-on bum who will now be having regular sulks at Old Trafford rather than Goodison Park.

The senior players, Baines, Jagielka even Barry, didn't have "the right stuff" to turn the team around, and the ones who might have been able to, Deulofeu, Barkley, maybe Gueye, were either too mercurial or just not inspiring enough.

Many times, people on TW and on the live forum have complained about the lack of fight and spirit; and they have been right. The successful teams of recent times have usually had a thug or two who would inspire / terrify the other players when a backs-to-the-wall attitude was needed. We didn't; we rolled over, year after year after year.

Rooney is without doubt the most impressive English player of his generation, Rooney was always singled out when the crap England teams didn't perform, because it was known that he actually was capable of inspiring the team, he actually could bring some magic, and above all had a committment to winning.

I reckon we may have got very much the best of the exchange east and west on the M62. Besides, even if Rooney only plays 20 minutes per game, he'll cover more ground, and be offside far fewer times than the bollard he's replacing.

Jem Bir
151 Posted 23/07/2017 at 18:52:54
Glad to see he's not too far off – Wayne with a couple of decent goals in a couple of decent matches...
Kev Johnson
152 Posted 28/07/2017 at 20:43:44
Good article, David.

After watching Wayne's World last night, it looks as though you were correct. I think Wayne's feet are not working as fast as his brain would want. Hope I am wrong, but he looks washed up.

David Booth
153 Posted 29/07/2017 at 23:16:18
Thank you, Kev.

All sentimentality to one side – and I appreciate the power of such persuasion – I genuinely cannot see what he has to offer, or what position he is suited for/capable of improving upon.

On Thursday, he spent all the game almost like an impersonator trying to be Wayne Rooney, but fluffed his lines, offered nothing and had absolutely no influence or impact on the team or the outcome.

And according to all the hype from his advocates, this was the sort of match tailor made for him.

That home debut, against a distinctly average Slovakian team of nothing more than hard-workers should serve as a wake-up call to all those who claimed the second coming would herald a miracle.

He's a parody of his former self and on that evidence there's no way he's going to give us an edge against the six teams above us.

I accept that one swallow does not make a Summer – but three years of swallows makes him a truly perplexing, illogical signing.

If we sign Sigurdsson and a striker, there is neither the room nor the need for the 2015-16-17 Rooney in the team.

Jem Bir
154 Posted 22/08/2017 at 12:38:35
Well – what he has to offer has been goals.

To quote David Booth:

"He's a parody of his former self and on that evidence there's no way he's going to give us an edge against the six teams above us."

How about a goal against Man City?

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