Interest in Everton’s season is just about over with five dead rubber games left to play. The fanbase apathy for the remaining late season games is like the latter two years of Roberto Martinez’ tenure when the Blues finished in 11th for successive years.
During the pre-match press conference ahead of the trip to Swansea City, manager Sam Allardyce was repeatedly asked about Wayne Rooney following his emotional outburst at being substituted off in the second half of the Merseyside Derby last weekend. The veteran stormed off, snatching at his jacket when he came off the pitch while launching a tirade of expletives, then left the bench to go to the changing room, before returning to take his place with the other subs.
(Quotes courtesy of Liverpool Echo)
Allardyce was asked right off the bat if he had spoken to Rooney over his reactions.
“We speak every week! Think he said he had a really good game of golf this week!
“We’re alright, there’s not a problem. Like there’s no problem with Yannick Bolasie and there’s no problem with Tom Davies there’s no problem with Wayne Rooney.
“All three of those I substituted last week.”
The next question was regarding Rooney’s role and if he was happy about his return to Everton.
“It’s the role he wants to play, I’ve said many times. Our tactical change was for the benefit of the team on Saturday.
“It’s a team game and you make a decision on the day to try and help the team to get a victory and we did that by three substitutions.
“At the end of the derby we continued to press Liverpool for the last 20 minutes and created the best two chances of the game in that.
“Really we were all very disappointed at the end that we didn’t win it. those substitutions had an effect because the players like Yannick and Tom had done their job before that but like any player as the game goes on they get a little bit fatigued so you put fresh legs on and that had a positive effect I’m glad to say.
“The last thing you want to do as a manager when you make a substitution is for it to not have a positive effect on the team and those substitutions did to the point where we nearly gave everybody one of the best weekends this season.
“Unfortunately, just down to in the end our finishing, we didn’t manage to do that.”
Allardyce was also asked if he would choose to rebuke a player of Rooney’s seniority in such a circumstance.
“You’re asking players to be angels. Stop it for God’s sake. We live in a politically correct world as it is now it’ll be not so long wheere if somebody stamps their feet we’ll saying they can’t do it.
“A reaction from a player when he comes off of disappointment is to be expected. One would ask him not to do it in the public eye, but sometimes that can’t be helped.
“When a man as proud of being an Everton fan as him is playing for Everton that’s where the reaction came from.”
So it appears all is well then with Rooney even though he’s been susbtituted off in the last two Everton games with the Blues immediately showing more cohesiveness and improvement as a result.