The departure of Romelu Lukaku left a massive hole in the Everton attack, and while the addition of Sandro Ramirez is nice, Rooney is being asked to shoulder a fair share of the load.
Yesterday I decided to try and get inside the head of Everton fans and lay out some of the internal (and external) debates taking place about the one and only Wayne Rooney.
To do so, I took both sides of the argument, and started with five reasons he would fail.
Unfortunately, some people were....upset.
Part of it could be that they don’t agree with the overall argument, others had problems with some of the details I chose to focus, while other rightfully pointed out I am a... limited writer.
Anyways, the point of this exercise to to get into the head of fans and let them see the arguments they have been wrestling with themselves, and maybe some they haven’t.
Think of it as free therpay for your Everton soul!
So, now let’s get to the side I probably stand firmer on, the one that says Rooney will be a success.
Now, am I just saying that to get Everton twitterverse off my back??
In fact, if you read part 2 of last week’s MASSIVE mailbag you would know that I predicted Rooney to score 13 goals and have 7 assists in all competitions!
So let’s get on the train to positive town and look at why Rooney is going to be a smashing success this season at Everton!
1.ITS’S HIS BOYHOOD CLUB
Wayne Rooney has been an Evertonian for life.
He idolizes Duncan Ferguson and according to him has worn Everton pyjamas to bed the past 13 years while at Manchester United.
Think of the emotion we see players show when representing their countries (he’s captained his) and that’s just about how Rooney will be every single match.
Think of it this way, outside of your family what have you loved as long as he has loved Everton??
He will be courting the fans again in an effort to erase past indiscretions, but getting credit for being a leader won’t cut it.
Wayn-o knows that he needs to produce on the field, just like he has his entire career when given a chance to do what he does well. There is no reason to think he won’t be the same striker he has always been, assuming his skills are utilized correctly!
Speaking of which...
2. RECENTLY HE HAS BEEN WIDELY MISUSED
It is no secret that Rooney struggled in this last season with the Red Devils, but a glance at how the striker was deployed provides plenty of explanations.
In his starts, he was deployed just as often as a (NON-ATTACKING) central midfielder as he was at his true position as a #9.
Additionally, he started seven games as a wide player.
Now, Koeman made mention that he would possibly be deploying Rooney as a #7, but I have no doubt that will be in matches where Rooney will rarely be forced to come back across midfield to defend.
Playing a high-pressure team like Tottenham I would be shocked to see him lined up out wide.
Rooney can line up thee against the likes of Swansea, when he can be permanently tucked in and headed towards goal, opening up space for overlapping outside backs.
It’s very simple though: put Rooney near the goal and we will get goals.
Because Koeman knows this about strikers as talented as Wayne Rooney.
3. HE WILL NEVER FORGET HOW TO SCORE
Sure, Rooney didn’t score a ton last year, but YOU get into Jose Mourinho’s dog house and try to be successful.
He shipped off Kevin DeBruyne!!
Sure, confidence is a fickle maiden, but It doesn’t take long to think of FAR less potent strikers who have gone through a slump in their career for whatever reason, only to rediscover it somewhere else:
Radamel Falcao has been through it, so has Mario Mandzukic.
Heck, Harry Kane goes through a slump the first two months of every season but eventually finds his form!
Rooney has been battered around, used as a scape goat and been widely ridiculed for no reason frankly.
Mourhino liked to use Rooney as an excuse, as a token of a bygone era at Man U that must simultaneously be eradicated and resurrected.
Rooney was in a lose-lose situation.
Now with Everton, however.
Koeman is a fantastic man manager and tactician. He will wake the sleeping beast within Rooney and get everything he can out of the striker.
Just as importantly, Rooney and Koeman are due to have a strong bond because..
4. KOEMAN GETS THE BEST OUT OF THE BEST
Koeman played for the top teams in the world.
He's won almost every trophy imaginable, and counts some of the best players ever to kick a ball as teammates and friends.
So when he walks into an Everton side and finds himself face-to-face with Brian Oviedo you will excuse the former center back of taking time to find the best way to communicate with players who frankly aren’t in your stratosphere.
Just like fans hope Rooney will pass on his knowledge and experience to the large crop of young players currently at Everton, the knowledge he will gain from Koeman will be invaluable.
Whether giving Rooney the insight into the mind of a centerback, or helping the striker with free kicks, Koeman is most comfortable talking to those who are on his ‘level’ for lack of a better word.
If you look at the best players he has coached, from Sadio Mane to Romelu Lukaku, Koeman has always gotten the best from the best.
Rooney will be no different.
5. HIS KIDS ROOT FOR EVERTON
Go ahead, disappoint/ embarrass your kids.
I dare you.