Allardyce pleased with 'masterful' Rooney display

Saturday, 10 March, 2018 48comments  |  Jump to last

Sam Allardyce praised his Everton team, and Wayne Rooney in particular, following their 2-0 win over Brighton & Hove Albion today.

A Gaetan Bong own goal and Cenk Tosun's first strike on home soil since joining the club in January lifted the Blues above the improved Seagulls and back into the top half of the table after two disappointing away defeats.

Rooney saw a late penalty saved by Mat Ryan but the manager wasn't allowing that to detract from what he saw as an excellent individual performance playing as a defensive midfielder, filling in for Idrissa Gueye who was sick.

”We already knew that Morgan was ill,” Allardyce told evertontv afterwards, after explaining that Theo Walcott had to come off with cramp in the second half, “and I think Gana's caught the same bug. We got a call first thing this morning that he couldn't make it.

“So, we had a little think about it and we already thinking about picking a very attacking side today so we decided to go and sit Wayne in the middle where Gana usually plays.

“We thought if we could get him on the ball and produce and see how it goes. And what a masterful job he did for us today.

“His passes were the reason why were so fluent, I felt, in the first half and then again in the second half.

“I think the only thing that let us down in the first half was our quality in front of goal. That improved brilliantly in the second half with three instances particularly: the first goal which was an own goal and it's unfortunate that Theo hasn't scored [it]; the second goal, a nice little layoff to Cenk and a wonderful finish; and then the skill into the box for Dominic to get the penalty. It's just a shame that Wayne didn't finish off an outstanding performance.

“I've got to everybody credit today for the level of performance. It was the sort of performance we know they're capable of and I have to say that longstanding losses of Seamus Coleman and Leighton Baines have shown every Everton fan and certainly me today why, perhaps, we haven't got as many results as we perhaps should have done.

“That's not being unkind to Cuco and Jonjoe Kenny who have done brilliantly but [hopefully those guys … after a long injury] — and Yannick Bolasie — can stay fit and we can turn as big a performance at Stoke next week.”


Reader Comments (48)

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Justin Doone
1 Posted 10/03/2018 at 00:22:00
Excellent win. Yep I'm happy with Wayne's return. He's not at the peak of his game but one of the few game changers we have. His vision, winning mentality and leadership are missed when he's not in the side. However he's missed a fair few penalties in his career and his general one-on-one record is poor for a striker.

I had hoped we had sorted this nonsense out with penalties. Baines No 1; Sigurdsson No 2; I'd have Tosun at No 3. It's not hard. Put your best penalty taker first, Jagielka as captain don't let it happen again!

Glad to see Williams and Schneiderlin omitted, long may that be the case. I was worried with Gana missing in the middle but hopefully he'll be back for tougher games.

I'm not sure why we bother giving Klaassen a run out unless it's to remind teams he exists. Good on him but he's no Premier League player.

Sam, thanks but you still have to go.

James Flynn
2 Posted 11/03/2018 at 00:34:46
It was an attacking side.

To me, Sam could look at attacking because he had Coleman, Jags, and Baines fully fit. After, what, 7-8 seasons playing together they probably communicate thru telepathy. Look how well Keane played bracketed by experienced, first-rate professionals.

Stay healthy, you three, these last 8 games, so we can make some noise in the run-in.

Lee Brownlie
3 Posted 11/03/2018 at 00:36:50
Not Little-Sam says how well Rooney played + also how he'd (already) been 'thinking of an attacking line up at home'... we're Everton, NEEDING to win at home, and they're Brighton... no shit???'' But still drops in the all too telling 'we already knew Morgan [Schneiderlin] was ill'..

So any guesses on what our 'attacking line-up' v Brighton would likely have been, whichever sideways-passing DM it would have included, if the Frenchman with a German's surname (and a "Can't be arsed" mentality!) hadn't been ill???

Answers on a fucking postcard to Goodison Park, please!!! Prizes? Naah,we're still not doing them... well apart from the odd 3 million quid for us, hopefully, not to go down!!!

John M Boon
4 Posted 11/03/2018 at 00:39:51
Having Baines and Coleman back and fit makes a massive difference to the team. I thought Sigurdsson and Rooney also played well and Tosun's goal was that of a top class striker. I am just not sure if he is fast enough for the Premier League. I still think we need a hard-driving midfielder who can move strongly through the middle of the park. We are still nor creating enough chances.

While I think we have left it too late to challenge for the Europa League spot, I don't think we are missing much by not being in it. I just wish we had someone other than Allardyce to get us ready for next season.

James Flynn
5 Posted 11/03/2018 at 00:46:38
Hopefully, Wayne will understand his skills have to be applied in a different role than attacking the net. That those days are over.

It would do for next season, our new manager lays down the law on what adjustments Wayne has to make to remain an important part of EFC winning.

Schneids or Wayne transitioning us from defense to attack? Wayne all day.

Gavin Moss
6 Posted 11/03/2018 at 00:51:57
James (#2),

I couldn't agree more, Baines back is massive, Coleman back (should be skipper without question) massive – Jags is still great on his day. But these guys are all kicking on – not sure where we get replacements from – solid keeper and back 4 gives the others the license to go and play... build from the back.

We signed Keane from Burnley, not sure we got right centre back from them??? Remember Lescott going to Man City and Hughes saying he got the best centre-back in the league – I'll leave Pat Nevin sum that deal up... haha!

Phil Lewis
7 Posted 11/03/2018 at 00:53:44
I've long thought that Rooney is capable of making a defensive midfield role his own. He still possesses great vision and was spraying pinpoint passes all over the park with great accuracy against Brighton. Sheer class. Maybe he will develop that aspect of his game, particularly with the play in front of him.

Whatever lack of pace that the passage of time has brought, he could be accommodated by younger legs around him. Allowing him to 'conduct the show' from a deeper role. He will need to work on retaining possession though, crucial to such a role, as he has a tendency to put the opposition on the front foot with occasional sloppy distribution.

People need to accept that we will rarely see the Wayne of old now, who regularly terrorised and punished top defenders. At this stage of his career, it would be unrealistic to expect it. But nonetheless, I saw enough against Brighton to suggest that in this, the twilight of his career, he still has much to offer Everton, when deployed deeper.

John Pierce
8 Posted 11/03/2018 at 01:07:00
When we have a manager who can get Everton higher up the pitch more effectively then the issues Rooney has will be mitigated.

The stray passes and being caught on the ball are not great but higher up the field have less a damaging impact. Perversely higher up means shorter balls and less errors.

Allardyce clearly can’t see that. Lets see if the next man can figure that out?

Gavin Moss
9 Posted 11/03/2018 at 01:11:06
Unkind to Cuco??? I don't wanna slag any Everton player off, but he is terrible. So maybe I am slagging him off. Oops!! But, I've seen stuff here in the last 15 years or so and seen some bad days.

I thought we'd got past buying players who weren't even first choice from where they came from ?? I have a good friend from Southampton and he pissed himself when we bought him. Shocking signing!!!

At least Hibbo could defend. 😳

Gavin Moss
10 Posted 11/03/2018 at 01:17:38
John (#8),

You talk about perversely, but really where do you expect everyone to be at this moment in time?

We've been awful this season, but chances are we will finish 7th or 8th – exactly where we deserve!?'

Perverse indeed, I kinda thought more this season too – but that is where we currently are....

Dave Bowen
11 Posted 11/03/2018 at 01:22:44
Having Seamus & Bainsey back, we looked far more balanced as a unit. I'm a fan of Cuco as he's better defensively than Bainsey, but going forward it's like chalk & cheese. Bainsey does everything naturally with his left foot, while Cuco has to change feet. We actually saw an assist from our left-back today.
Si Cooper
12 Posted 11/03/2018 at 01:42:06
Gavin, we didn’t buy Cuco Martina though, did we? I thought he was a free transfer. As cover or the right full back position it wasn’t necessarily such a terrible acquisition - well, I think the guy has been unfairly pilloried - but the problem was / is the failure to ensure such strength in depth on the left-hand side as well.

I think John was talking about higher up the pitch rather than higher up the table in his post.

To get back to the OP, Sam Allardyce has to show that he knows how to get this level of performance consistently to prove to me that his appointment was necessary for us to avoid relegation this season. Thus far he seems to be pretty much a slave to fortune, with some of the selections that were forced on him being as (or more) successful as those were he has apparently got to play the first choice XI he has prepared all week for a particular fixture.

Gavin Moss
13 Posted 11/03/2018 at 01:43:30
Dave (#11),

I don't think full backs even have to defend like the old days – Baines has more assists than any other defender in Premier League!?!

The game has changed, full backs are the attacking force for most teams now. (Spurs, Man City) Everton so good with Baines and Coleman playing, best attacking players we have some weeks??

we look a different team with Coleman and Baines back – how many goals and assists do they make for EFC? We missed them when injured, we will miss them even more when they are gone ,I fear

Si Cooper
14 Posted 11/03/2018 at 01:49:28
Dave, I think Cuco has actually had one or two assists from LB (when he has gone past the winger and dinked in a cross with his swinger) but you are quite right that it is hugely unnatural for him and, therefore, not often enough.
Gavin Moss
15 Posted 11/03/2018 at 01:55:01
Si (#12),

Buy or sign (still paying him) – I don't think he's been a great signing, in my opinion . A fit Baines or Coleman, this guy doesn't play. I don't see him ever pushing to get in front of these guys either.

I personally think we had a younger players who could have done job as good as Martina or even better – maybe I'm be unkind, but Cuco never inspired me – we should be looking at better though, surly?

Chad Schofield
16 Posted 11/03/2018 at 02:52:37
Having just slated Allardyce's comments on the BBC, this is much more like it. Surely Sam with his experience can see that a leader has to take responsibility when things aren't great at times and credit others when there are successes?

I'm not talking about Martinez-ing it to the point of absurdity, and yes of course he can only do so much before the players take to the field, but we need more of this from whoever is in charge.

I still think he's the wrong man because if this was his first win I would, as I did, think give credit where credit's due... but instead he's spent nearly three months taking any credit for success (including the West Ham game) and berating everyone else when he's sent us up to fail, with two defensive midfielders, a poor right-back at left-back, and a centre-back who should be put out to pasture.

For all the talk of Analysis Rooms, I don't know what he shows in there other than 'vintage' porn.

James Stewart
17 Posted 11/03/2018 at 03:56:07
First half maybe, 2nd he was awful. Another missed pen and got caught in possession right in front of his own box. Against a better side, that would be a goal. Still yet to be convinced he can play there.
Steve Brown
18 Posted 11/03/2018 at 04:43:25
I am just relieved we won – 10 points clear of relegation. The fact that this is our main aim after a net spend of £75 million shows what a complete disgrace this season has been.

Back to the match, I thought Jagielka, Baines, Rooney and Tosun were excellent. Tom had one of his better games for a while and Bolasie began to show what he can do with confidence. If we can keep the back five intact with either Keane or Funes Mori involved, then we will be fine.

Then the summer has to be the night if the long knives – and I think it will be.

Bob Parrington
19 Posted 11/03/2018 at 05:43:08
Much more balance today, mostly due to Bainsee being back, I suppose. Some good individual performances. Good to see Chenk putting another away in good style.

We did seem t try to give it away towards the end with some woeful passing. What the F were they thinking about!

Darren Hind
20 Posted 11/03/2018 at 06:43:35
I will give Allardyce credit for a win when he has both his tackling machines available and he overlooks them and decides on the more creative option. Yesterdays set up was forced upon him.

Rooney does take risks and he does lose possession in dangerous areas, but the other two manage that without taking risks. His positioning is better. He is braver and more willing to take responsibility, He has better vision, He's more creative, He brings more out of Davies and others around him and his range passing is on another level to the other two. He also prefers playing on his feet to sitting on his arse. . .

This my friends is football. Players putting their skills (and flaws) up against an opponent. You either come out victorious or you go out on your shield, but you never suffer the humiliation of losing a game you only ever set out to spoil

The message sent to Allardyce yesterday couldn't have been more powerful if it had been delivered between his eyes by a swinging telegraph pole.

Gio Mero
21 Posted 11/03/2018 at 08:02:49
First convincing win of the whole season regardless of the opponent and he's basically already shelved this formation as pure contingency. I am baffled
Philip Bunting
23 Posted 11/03/2018 at 10:01:05
Still convinced our obsession this season with defensive midfielders who pass sideways and backwards has been our downfall. Aka Sch and Gana. The 2 of them couldn't open a can of beans. Time to replace both with forward attack minded players in the summer. Ghana is useful off the bench to close a game out but that's about it. We need an Arteta type in there to bring balance to the team. A player that can hold the ball turn, create and also score a few. It's up to the powers that be to go out and find that player starting now.
Jamie Evans
24 Posted 11/03/2018 at 10:19:20
Played well yesterday did our Wayne.

He needs to remember though that he can't take the risks in possession on the edge of our box that he could do further up the pitch.

Some fantastic long range passing yesterday though.

Still has much to offer us.

Steve Brown
25 Posted 11/03/2018 at 10:28:59
Jamie, class is permanent.
Sandra Bowen
26 Posted 11/03/2018 at 10:48:33
Said it numerous times but the absence of Baines and Coleman this season has been just as costly as Lukaku leaving. Full backs who attack are vital, gives the whole team an outlet. With these two in the side, everyone will look like a better player, even Morgan. Players need options and these two are always available outlets. Replacing them is over the couple of windows is going to be a huge task but so important. Same for Jags.

As for Cuco, he was a free transfer brought in as cover for both full back slots and that’s exactly what he’s done. One of the few successful transfers from the summer. Is he first choice? Of course not but he’s served us well.

On the original topic of Rooney. The perfect opposition for him, he can definitely play there against these type of teams at home. Given the time on the ball he needs nowadays, he’ll still produce.

Vital 3 points. Coyb

Brent Stephens
27 Posted 11/03/2018 at 11:30:38
Sandra, agree entirely. Changes forced on Allardyce to our cost. Thank god the two FBs are back. I hope Tosun can fill Lukaku's boots. And now make Seamus captain.
Derek Knox
28 Posted 11/03/2018 at 15:41:34
A lot seem to think we will finish 7th, personally speaking with Mr Negative at the helm, I can't see it, we are six points behind the mighty Burnley, who seem to keep picking up points, especially away.

Maybe I am jumping the gun, but it wouldn't surprise me one bit, if he reverts back to DM's against Stoke and one up front.

Admittedly Stoke away has always been a difficult fixture for us, God knows why, because they are pretty poor, although they seem to have improved slightly with Lambert as manager.

We have basically got to play virtually the same side as yesterday, maybe Bolasie to the bench (he was poor really) as was Tom Davies, but in Tom's case, his age and relative inexperience, partly absolves him from yesterday's poor display.

At least we looked better at the back, although having said, that we were rarely tested.

Colin Glassar
29 Posted 11/03/2018 at 15:53:50
I was made up when Rooney returned and stuck with him when things were tough so I'm chuffed to bits that he's proving his detractors wrong.

DCL is another player who will prove his worth as he gets more experience but having Wayne around will improve invaluable to him< Holgate, Tom, Kenny etc

I'd also make Seamus capt. Loved the way he got in the face of that dickhead, knockoff.

Dave Abrahams
30 Posted 11/03/2018 at 16:17:21
Colin (29), You think Rooney is proving his detractors wrong, I didn't want him to come back because I thought his best days were long gone.

At the beginning of the season, playing up front, he was worth his place because of the goals he was scoring,wasn't playing great, losing the ball, misplaced passes and running out of steam, but I was grateful for his goals.

He is now getting a game in midfield because there are so few options, in my opinion,still losing the ball, mis placed passes, silly fouls, sliding through tackles on the floor with his studs showing, did one yesterday, got away with it,most probably because it was in the first few minutes, stupid foul against Leicester which an experienced player shouldn't do, he wasn't too bad yesterday because Brighton gave all the time he needs now.

Wayne is the highest paid player on the books but is not worth those huge wages, and he has another season to come getting the same money, I for one hope he is not here next season.

Colin Glassar
31 Posted 11/03/2018 at 16:30:33
Agree to disagree Dave. He's the only player we have with a football brain.
Dave Abrahams
32 Posted 11/03/2018 at 17:03:29
Colin. (31), no harm in disagreeing Colin, don't you think Sigurdsson, Baines and Walcott to name three have a football brain.

Wayne has a great football brain, his body is at fault, it can't do what Wayne's brain wants it to do.

I'd play Rooney up front for an hour, he still has an eye for a shot at goal, was that one going in yesterday, went off a defender for a corner in the second half, he'll never lose the power in his shots.

How a young Wayne Rooney would change the dynamics of this poor team, and most teams in Europe, but Colin those days are long gone, unfortunately, just remember the young Wayne, what a player, one of the very best I ever saw for the Blues.

Drew O'Neall
34 Posted 11/03/2018 at 22:40:14
I’ve thought for a while we could play with Rooney as a deep lying playmaker with the legs and aggression of Gana and Davies in front of him in the orthodox midfield positions.

You could have Sigurdson in 10 with two strikers and no width or two wingers and one up front in a three.

Bob Parrington
36 Posted 12/03/2018 at 06:47:43
Colin. Agree with you to a degree but adding Seamus and Baines to the old gang of the Nouse players. Think Chenk Tosun also has a football brain, when you really follow his game!
Eddie Dunn
37 Posted 12/03/2018 at 08:06:39
Spot on Bob. I watched Tosun closely and his movement was intelligent. He hasn't got pace - but nor has Kane, and he also has a knack of timing his runs and getting into dangerous positions at the right time.
The service is the key. At Spurs they have the likes of Eriksson to find Kane with early passes, not to mention Alli and Son.
Now Rooney is spraying 60 yard passes inch perfect and Walcott creating overlaps, he will have some ammo.
He is well worth persisting with.
Jerome Shields
38 Posted 12/03/2018 at 09:01:23
Against Brighton,Rooney was given time. Against teams who are able to press higher up the pitch, where Allardyce's tactics have been mastered (quite a few teams since Xmas) he will get caught in possession, with his lack of pace. He will have less pace next season.
David Hallwood
39 Posted 12/03/2018 at 09:23:34
Philip(#23) I’ve been banging on about 2 DMs for 3 seasons now, I even wrote an article that was posted in TW about it, with 60% disagreeing with me; as one poster stated “when I read drop Gana, I stoped reading”.

But I stand by the comments and oh the iron, we don’t play with an out and out DM and we keep a clean sheet!

A bit of advice for SA; yes we’re away next week, but how about experimenting with a radical, off the wall team selection. Now I know you’re a bit of a dinosaur (in fact you’re a lot of a dinosaur); old dog, new tricks and all that, by why not pick the same team as we started with on Saturday?

I’m thinking of calling it the ‘don’t change a winning team theory’ -wild innit Sam.

Don Alexander
40 Posted 12/03/2018 at 09:59:56
Dave Abraham you hit the nail on the head on our Wayne. In his hey-day, he was brilliant and he will always have a naturally fading ability to play a brilliant pass or score a brilliant goal, but not often enough to justify his regular place in a starting eleven.

When he plays deeper, he has the horrible habit of losing the ball all too frequently, despite the occasional brilliant pass, and that tends to put us under severe pressure in and around our own vulnerable area.

He's a yellow-card-waiting-to-happen and can't last a full 90 against the better teams either, as we've seen time and again, and the more tired he gets the more frequently he faffs up. For now he's best used from the bench but I'd like to think we could and should have done a lot better than sign him up on the wages he enjoys, especially as he recently showed himself up, again, as a champion boozing machine rather than the role model he was identified as being by those who signed him.

Like you though I have great memories of his teen-age years with us. If only etc etc.

Jim Burns
41 Posted 12/03/2018 at 10:43:18
Gio @21 - most convincing win of the season.? What- more convincing than Unsy's last game - the 4 nil against West Ham?

I'm pleased with the win, but let's not get too carried away – half time stats: us, 79% possession 1 shot on target; them 21% possession, 1 shot on target. It got better in the 2nd half, but hardly surprising against a very poor Brighton side – by Chris Hughton's own admission.

These are the wins we should be getting routinely, so no fireworks from me yet, but great to see something resembling a decent back 4 again and the old unit back together – something Keane can only benefit from.

I thought Tom Davies was average again, but other than that, it was good to see a routine normal result against a bottom half team, and nice to see Tosun settling in.

Allardyce – it was fuck-all to do with you, mate... get out.

Chris Gould
42 Posted 12/03/2018 at 11:01:11
Jim, in fairness to Gio, I think it was a more convincing win than the West Ham game.

West Ham had more possession than us, 3 times as many corners and only 1 less shot on goal. They also hit the bar and missed a penalty.
I never felt Brighton would score at any time of the match.

I'm not an Allardyce fan but if we're going to blame poor performances on him then it's probably only reasonable to give him a little credit for decent performances.

Paul Welsby
43 Posted 12/03/2018 at 11:29:04
David Hallwood, I can't see Sam picking the same team as he is already saying we will have to dig one out at Stoke! It's never a gimme at Stoke and they are scrapping for survival, but I would just for once love to hear are manager past or present convey to the players and supporters that we can go away and win.

It's a disease that has been running through the club. The managers, and it started with Moyes getting their excuses in before we have even kicked a ball. Trying to convince us we will be lucky to get something out of the game.

Wouldn't it make a nice change to hear a manager back up his management and coaching skills and say to his players, we won at the weekend so i'm sticking with you lads, I know you can go out and do more of the same! Just maybe that gives them the confidence to get a positive result.

Sam has also indicated that he is going to change the team for this game, so don't hold your breath of him not changing a winning team again! He does himself no favours even though I think he has never of been capable of being a good manager for Everton football club.

His record as a manager has been average at best, definitely not good enough for us. It's just embarrassing he is even in charge, but it is what it is? Someone wake me up when this nightmare is over.

Brian Harrison
44 Posted 12/03/2018 at 11:31:47
Strange that only a few weeks back Allardyce was saying he now realized that he couldn't play Rooney and Sigurdsson in the same team. I think that has proved a ridiculous statement, but in his interview after the game he said he had to play Wayne in that role as both Gana and Schneiderlin were injured. So maybe he still believes that they cant play together, and if Schneiderlin had been fit he would have started instead of Rooney.

Brighton as there manager said were poor so if we cant beat a poor Brighton side at home were we have usually been strong then we really were in trouble. I think most fans would have earmarked Brighton and Newcastle at home as our most winable games. So hardly something to get excited about, beating teams like Brighton used to be considered a given, just shows how far we have slipped when its no longer the norm.

Jay Wood

45 Posted 12/03/2018 at 12:13:38
Dave Abrahams, I've agreed with you in the past about Rooney's profligacy with the ball at times since his return to Everton.

He has, as you say, been guilty of both having his pocket picked and coughing up cheap possession close to our penalty area. We have been fortunate not to have been punished more severely for his errors with the opposition scoring from them.

But I have to disagree with you - and other posters - claiming he was equally negligent on Saturday as he evidently was in previous games.

In Lyndon's match report I note you make him culpable for Brighton's one real chance in the 1st half, the Glenn Murray shot from distance.

Watch the play again, Dave. Long ball played into the mixer, Jags heads a looping ball away, Tosun challenges for the falling ball and heads it back towards his own goal, Rooney is the one under the (still) aerial ball and as he jumps to head away, Murray gives him a sly nudge so Wayne can't get a clean header in. Nor can Wayne be blamed that he is not the one to run with Murray who picks up the ball to get a shot off on goal. Offering that as an example of Wayne's 'poor play' is a harsh one.

I have also read on here others, like yourself, citing the late play when the ball is taken off his toes, centrally, 10-15 yards outside our area. Brighton didn't actually make much of it, but I would argue it is again harsh to place the 'blame' for that solely on Rooney.

Again, if you watch the play, Jags plays a ball into Wayne with a player closing in rapidly on Rooney. What you maybe didn't see at the game Dave after the 'threat' had been repelled, was a close-up shot of Jags shaking his head with a look of self-disgust. I thought it live and Jags' reaction confirmed my belief, that our skip was more culpable for the 'confusion' than Rooney, unnecessarily playing a ball to a player under pressure in a vulnerable area.

I have also read on TW Wayne was 'useless' in the second half. Other than the above quoted example, I can only recall one really bad pass from the lad - overhitting a simple pass to Baines straight into touch around the halfway line.

Other than that, his composure, alertness, vision, technical skill and correct weight of pass - both short and long - was overwhelmingly spot on.

It makes a huge difference to the momentum of the team having someone playing that role who doesn't play tikky-tacky, underhit, 'its behind you!', 'to you-to me-to you-to...opps! The opposition' passes, facing our own goal, in our own half, often on top of our own penalty.

But rather, someone who the opposition is well aware is capable of hitting a wide range of killer passes, FORWARD, that switches the play to the opposition's half, facing and running towards THEIR goal.

He is not and will never again be that power tank of a player he was in his prime. Like you, I was not in favour of his return. But in his defence, I have to say he is one of the few who genuinely cares and hates to lose and whilst not the ONLY player with a 'football brain' in the squad, he arguably still possesses the BEST football brain of all the Everton players.

Anthony Hawkins
46 Posted 12/03/2018 at 12:38:28
We have a core for a team to be built around but there are too many gaps for a complete team next season. I'm not sure Rooney is one of the core although he might be key.

GK - Pickford
LB - Baines for now but TBC
CB - Keane (I rate him)
RB - Coleman
CM - Davies
RM - Walcott
#10 - Sigurdsson
S - Tosun

That suggest a minimum of four players to be found in the summer. The type of players the team needs are about £50m so the chances of that happening in one fell swoop is low. So what's the priority? The midfield is currently weak which exposes the defense, but the defense is also less than water tight.

Where would you put your money?

Dave Abrahams
47 Posted 12/03/2018 at 14:43:32
Jay (45), you see Rooney in a different light to me, in my opinion he is getting a game now because there is little to choose from in centre midfield.

Against teams like Brighton who gave him too much time he can have a decent game, why they gave him all that space is down to Chris Houghton or the Brighton players.

If I was the opposition manager I would instruct them to press Wayne all over the pitch, he can not play under pressure, would lose his rag, saw it against Liverpool in the cup, booked early, lost it in the second half near the half way line, taken off not long after and we didn't miss him after he went off in that game.

Composure and awareness in the Leicester game giving a stupid penalty right in front of the referees eyes, did the same half way through the first half versus Crstal Pal. wrestling one of their players to the floor at a corner, good job the corner hadn't been taken, the referee was watching, so he left the player alone after that.

I could go on, we won't agree, you think he does a good job, I think he struggles in lots of games especially in midfield.

You might agree that if Sigurdsson is out for a few games we'll miss him a lot more than we'd miss Wayne, oh and we still need three points. !!!!!!!

Jay Harris
48 Posted 12/03/2018 at 15:32:02
I totally agree.

Rooney I am sure was a "luvvy" decision and he is not even half the player he was.

Brighton just didnt show up on Saturday and left acres of space in MF and to be fair Rooney was the go to linkup player for us but when teams press Rooney is found severely wanting as he is no longer Premiership standard.

Rooney has been a great player but due to his lifestyle and 15 years in the Prem his legs have well and truly gone and cant respond to his brain.

Its a shame because Siggy looks to be out for a while and we don't have any creativity in MF but Rooney is not the answer.

Jay Wood

49 Posted 12/03/2018 at 15:33:35
I don't think we are disagreeing on much Dave. I'm just questioning your and other people's assessment of Wayne on Saturday.

Personally, I always look at each game and the players' performances afresh. Quite a few TWers have a default position on certain players and are loath to credit them with anything praiseworthy.

As for your reply, Siggy was just starting to look good, so yes, he is going to be a miss.

But miss him more than Wayne...? Not sure, Dave.

Over the season Rooney's bagged 10 goals to Siggy's 6 and has 3 assists (in all competitions) to Siggy's 5. Considering Siggy is the team's prime dead ball man for corner's and free kicks, you would expect that to be more. And Siggy is often just as guilty as Wayne in coughing up the ball cheaply.

As for your lingering doubts about relegation. Relax fellah! It was NEVER going to happen, and it certainly won't now.

Kevin Tully
50 Posted 12/03/2018 at 16:05:33
I thought Rooney played it mostly safe on Saturday - short passes when sitting very deep, or those long raking balls he loves to play. There is no doubting the fact he has been caught in possession in dangerous areas in almost every game I can remember this season, and is prone to wondering about the pitch in any position he likes.

I would mark him a 6.5/10 because of his (3rd) penalty miss this season. "Masterful?" Not even close.

Dave Abrahams
51 Posted 12/03/2018 at 17:13:50
Jay (49), I want Wayne to play well, unfortunately I don't expect him to anymore, especially in that midfield role. The further he comes back the more my heart is in my mouth.

I said, in another post about Saturday's game, that Wayne wasn't too bad because of the room he was allowed, but to me he didn't do anything to go overboard about, a lot of cross field passes that most players can do,nothing to rave about.

I agree he wants to win and it is not lack of effort that lets him down, his body just cannot cope anymore.

As for the goals returns subtract Wayne's three penalties scored, and see how many Siggy would have scored if he had taken the six Rooney had the benefit of taking.

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