Everton’s home game against West Ham on Wednesday night in the Premier League was massive for a number of reasons.
The first reason was that the Toffees needed a win to move away from the drop zone. The second reason was that new boss Sam Allardyce was in the crowd watching his new team (never thought I would type that).
In the end, the Toffees recorded a deserved 4-0 win over the hapless visitors. The star of the show was much-maligned former England captain Wayne Rooney.
The 32-year-old grabbed a hat-trick in incredible style, with his third goal coming from inside his own half. Rooney’s performance showed that he is far from finished as a Premier League footballer.
Enjoyed his best game in a blue
The return of Rooney to his boyhood club in the summer divided opinion amongst Evertonian’s. There were doubts about his ability to still compete at the top level. In truth, Rooney has not been a disastrous signing.
The former Manchester United star has now scored seven times in the Premier League in an Everton team void of any confidence and shape.
Rooney has been one of the few players who look like they care about the team, even when he has had a poor game he at least has worked hard for the team.
Wednesday night’s performance against the Hammers was almost like Rooney in his prime. Rooney played in a more withdrawn role, almost as a defensive midfielder and controlled the game at times.
He has played in a central midfield role in the past, most notably under Louis van Gaal at United. However, he never had the influence he had during Wednesday’s game.
Having been benched for the last few Premier League games, Rooney looked like he was out to prove a point to everybody. He proved it in empathic style, opening the scoring, doubling the Toffees lead, before his 58-yard wonder-strike all-but sealed the victory.
After the game, Rooney stated that he believed it was the best goal of his career so far. Most Evertonian’s will say that his performance is the best he has ever produced in a blue shirt.
Allardyce can get the best out of Rooney
Love him or loathe him Sam Allardyce is the master of wringing out every bit of ability from players. At Bolton, the likes of Fernando Hierro, Ivan Campo and Youri Djorkaeff thrived in the twilight of their careers under Allardyce, just when it looked like their careers were finished.
Wayne Rooney is in a similar category. At United, he was written-off and that is why the Red Devils allowed him to move back to Everton on a free transfer.
However, Allardyce is an experienced boss. He will know the best way to handle Rooney to keep him performing at a good level. Maybe a permanent switch to a deeper role could be in Rooney’s future, as he is still a very good footballer, even if he no longer has the legs to play up top.
Win should lift the spirits at Everton
Evertonian’s may believe they are in a relegation dogfight, but the bookmakers have never really, with the Toffees now odds of 12/1 to suffer relegation this season.
Everton are by no means out of the relegation battle in 13th place. However, the victory over West Ham should lift spirits within in the Blues camp. Confidence had hit rock bottom amongst the players and sometimes it just takes one win to spark a revival.
With a new boss in Sam Allardyce, the Toffees should start moving up the table. One win does not make a season. However, it certainly helps turn seasons and Wednesday night’s win could well do that for Everton.
The win also showed that the death of Wayne Rooney’s football career was greatly exaggerated. The veteran star proved that he still has something to offer the Toffees, other than shirt sales, and hopefully, he can produce some more vintage Rooney displays for the Toffees this season.
Can Wayne Rooney now enjoy a successful career at Everton?
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