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Unsworth: Rooney best suited for a deeper role

Manager explains Roo’s positioning last night

Everton v West Ham United - Premier League Photo by Alex Livesey/Getty Images

Looking at the Everton starting lineup ahead of the game last night, it looked like Wayne Rooney would line up at the number 10 position in a 4-2-3-1 formation. However, as the game progressed, Roo was dropping between the centerbacks to come get the ball, was helping defend on the left and making late runs into the box as well.

Wayne Rooney heat map
Daily Mail

After the game, interim manager David Unsworth explained his thinking behind having Rooney pop up all over the pitch.

"We just felt tonight that the way West Ham have been playing, Wayne could have a major influence from a deeper role.

"I've spoke to him the last five or six weeks about where he sees himself and where we can play him to get the best out of him and it's probably in a deeper role.

"He's got a wonderful football brain, he will always take the ball in any area. And also, you know, his goals were fantastic and he was courageous to get on the ball and he scored a wonder goal as well, which was incredible.

“He's scored a few good ones hasn't he? I was right behind it, it was a goal as soon as it left his foot, it was a great strike and probably the only guy on the pitch who could score that goal.”

Rooney added that he felt as good about that third goal to complete his first Everton hattrick as any other he had ever scored.