Over the last 10 years, Wayne Rooney has been a perplexing figure for Everton fans. We loved that he supported Everton since he was born. We watched him grow up and mature though our youth academy. We were euphoric when he scored his first goal to defeat a 30-match unbeaten Arsenal. The club went from relegation worries to fighting for a Champions League spot.
But then he left us. He left us for those rich phonies over at Manchester and it seemed that he wasn't saddened by it at all. That's when disappointment turned it to anger, hate, and rage.
Story continued after the break.
But that still leaves the question - Are we wrong to hate him? Can we mock him and spit out insults that would make our own families cringe. I usually hate not answering questions conclusively, but there really is no definitive answer for this question.
The fact of the matter is, Rooney most likely would have left Everton whether he had liked to or not. The club were very close to administration and needed cash. Everton probably would have rather sold someone else than a once-in-a-lifetime player like Rooney, but with the amounts of cash that Newcastle and Manchester United were willing to give up for him, selling him was inevitable.
Some people also cite his request for a transfer as a reason why they hate him. My response to this - Any player that wants to be great, wants to win awards, trophies, medals, and accomplish as much as they can would not miss an opportunity to play for Manchester United. As much as I hate to say it, Rooney wouldn't have accomplished as much if he had stayed with Everton. I will tell you one thing though, I do have more respect for the one-club men who stick with their club though thick and thin. Players like Steven Gerrard, Tony Hibbert, Xavi, Gary Neville, Paul Scholes, and Francesco Totti really deserve special praise (though most of them are from strong, rich clubs anyway).
Until then, I liked Rooney and had no hard feeling (I even had an Rooney England shirt). But here is when Wayne Rooney lost an ally -
Yeah, he probably got annoyed by the abuse he was taking from the Everton fans. Yeah, he was probably frustrated by the yellow from the referee. But you just don't do that to a club you supported as a child.
There is also the David Moyes libel incident where Rooney accused Moyes of leaking his reasons for leaving the club to the press. The case was settled out of court and Rooney apologized, but it left a sour taste with Everton fans. He especially shoudln't have tried to put the blame on Moyes for leaving.
I eased up on Rooney again this January after I saw his interview with EvertonTV:
"I love Everton. I grew up supporting them and want them to win." He added, "All my family are fans, my son has a kit. Everton are still a big part of my life".
In the end, though, I think that Rooney still likes Everton at heart. I don't think he would ever come back here, because we couldn't afford his price/wages, we aren't competing in the Champions League, and maybe even because we aren't as prestigious as Man U. The truth is, I'm not completely sold on his genuineness.
Where does this leave all this Wayne Rooney infidelity and sex scandal claims. I think fans can chant against him and berate him. The whole point of "home field advantage" is to make the away players uncomfortable and get under their skin. He could be your hero, a good person, or just a nice guy, but when he comes into your stadium you should be able to taunt the players until they cry. That is the point of supporting your team and that is the point of home field advantage. To be honest, the sex scandal is his business and I don't really care for the news, but I would not hesitate to use it against him, if I thought it would diminish his play.
But should we hate him? I don't. I don't really like him either. I'm kind of indifferent now. But I can understand people who like him and people who hate him. Outside of Goodison Park, he shouldn't and probably wouldn't be treated much differently by Everton fans. Of course there are always people who do (and who always will) hate Rooney, but I don't think we hate Rooney because of his history with our club. I think, in general, any player is hated if they are not a Toffee. It's just that it's a little easier for fans to chastise Rooney.
Before you judge our fans as mean and terrible people, think about all this. After all, Everton fans are the classiest. Don't believe me? I have proof.
What are Evertonians like with you?
To be honest, I have to say thank-you to the Evertonian people as well because they also come and ask me things and talk to me in a really good way. When I was in Madrid, the Real Madrid fans didn't like me. But here the Everton fans are really friendly with me. I was surprised at first.