Rooney on a nice reception when he bowled up earlier: “Of course it was nice but I’m here to try and get a result for Everton, it’s a big game for us and important to try and get something. It’s going to be strange but I’m here with Everton and trying to get a result, obviously I’m with Everton and trying to win. It’s a game of football, 90 minutes on the pitch, everything will be going into trying to get a result for us.”
Reading between the lines, I’d say he’s here with Everton and wants to try and win the game.
So, Everton fans, what’s gone wrong lately? Without Lukaku and, of course, Barkley there just seems little drive and flair. Not enough pace, not enough vim. How big a failure was it not to snare a striker?
Another thing Rooney did as an Everton player at Old Trafford – a matter of weeks before it all kicked off with that goal against Arsenal:
Ok, so Chelsea v Arsenal finished goalless and wasn’t great. Here’s some better warm-up material for you. What did Wayne Rooney do the last time he played at Old Trafford as a visiting player?
Let me know what you think of those teams – email and Twitter addresses are appended. I’ll talk to you more when Chelsea-Arsenal, currently finely balanced at 0-0, is finished. You can keep up with that here:
Man Utd: De Gea, Valencia, Bailly, Jones, Young, Fellaini, Matic, Mata, Mkhitaryan, Rashford, Lukaku. Subs: Martial,
Smalling, Lingard, Carrick, Romero, Herrera, Darmian.
Everton: Pickford, Keane, Jagielka, Williams, Martina, Schneiderlin, Gueye, Baines, Davies, Sigurdsson, Rooney. Subs: Sandro, Mirallas, Klaassen, Besic, Stekelenburg, Calvert-Lewin, Holgate.
Referee: Andre Marriner
Wayne’s World. Fountains of Wayne. Wayne Flew Over The Cuckoo’s Nest. However you like your Wayne, there’s something for you today – are you an Evertonian, outraged by his departure all those years ago, who has clutched him firmly back to your bosom this time around? Perhaps you’re a United fan who, despite his slow fade over his final couple of seasons, believes he can do no wrong? Perhaps you’re somebody who takes a little from columns A, B and all the others, admiring the good and the bad from a brilliant if complex career that still have a fair few turns left in it.
The latest one, his return to Old Trafford, would have been billed a month or so back as the potential storming of the citadel by a vibrant, new-look Everton lineup led heroically by the man of the moment. Everton started the season reasonably well, Rooney scoring the obvious winner on his league re-debut, but it’s not gone remotely to plan since. A 1-1 draw at Man City – Rooney again – look a better result by the week but everything since has, let’s be honest, been turgid. They were virtually invisible against Chelsea and Tottenham; they were execrable at Atalanta on Thursday night and more of the same would see them take a hiding this afternoon.
Ronaldo Koeman has spent a lot of money on some fairly good players, but he hasn’t got his paws on a top-class striker and certainly nobody who can replace Romelu Lukaku. He has scored four Premier League goals in as many appearances for United, who have 10 points and look more menacing – and balanced – than at any point since the Ferguson years. Some had their doubts about him at Goodison: they were kidding themselves, that much is fairly clear, and how badly they could do with him now.
United will be without Paul Pogba today, if Everton do need a little encouragement. They also shouldn’t have conceded twice at Stoke. So perhaps we have a game; we do, at least, have a script or even two. Enjoy!