Everton star Wayne Rooney is back to his best.
His improving run of form could not have come at a better time for the Toffees, who have – pretty much in the same light as their captain – endured some difficult times since the beginning of the season.
There is a huge parallel to be drawn with Wayne Rooney’s declining career and Everton’s start to the 2017/18 season which, in many details, underlines great symbolism in how things are panning out for the Toffees’ captain and his side at the moment.
Highs and Lows
Wayne Rooney’s 15-year-long professional football career has been decorated with some memorable moments.
The Manchester United and England’s all-time top scorer – with 253 goals for the Red Devils and 53 for the national team – has won 15 trophies during his glorious career at Old Trafford where he established himself as one of the greatest forwards in the world.
Rooney also endured some difficult times during his career starting from the Paul Stretford controversy, that David Moyes issue but also the allegations of infidelity and his drink-driving conviction as the last in line.
The title one of the Premier League’s biggest stars comes with a great burden and – in more than one instance – Wayne Rooney struggled to cope with pressure. The struggles revealed his human and emotional nature, but also his inability to adapt to new demands.
As years went by and Wayne Rooney kept being pushed aside at Manchester United, his mental approach towards football seemed to have limited his ability to show quality and potential that are still very much there despite his age.
A return to Everton was supposed to be a fresh start for Wayne Rooney after a couple of struggling seasons at Manchester United. Months into his emotional return home, things are finally starting to settle the way everyone hoped they would and Wayne Rooney has no one but himself to give credit for that.
A New Man
At Everton, Rooney has been given the same role he performed at Manchester United under Louis van Gaal. But it is Wayne Rooney’s attitude towards the duties he is assigned that stands as the biggest difference.
The 32-year-old forward now enjoys playing in a deep-lying position which wasn’t the case at Old Trafford. Sam Allardyce might be the one to take credit for that one, but it’s more likely to do with Wayne Rooney’s changed approach.
Perhaps it all has something to do with the community service that is altering Rooney’s perception of things around him but Wayne Rooney looks like a completely changed man.
Rooney played a crucial role in helping his team move into the top half of the Premier League table during the last five matches under new boss Sam Allardyce. Four wins and a draw in the league saw Rooney score six goals, including the third from the penalty spot in the 3-1 win over Swansea last Monday.
England all-time top scorer has been subbed off in each of those matches with Allardyce attempting to keep his star fresh for the hectic Christmas schedule but Rooney’s fine form offers great indication that the 32-year-old still has plenty to offer.
Full Strength Forward
Despite the early struggles, Wayne Rooney has already achieved his most successful goalscoring campaign since the 2014/15 season by scoring 10 goals for the Toffees thus far.
“He’s not a frontline player now.”, said Sam Allardyce, adding that Rooney accepts his new role at the club.
And it is that acceptance that holds Wayne Rooney’s strength to fight off the mounting pressure in a new light and with newfound ease he wishes had been there to help him at Manchester United.
The following weekend brings a difficult challenge to Sam Allardyce and his men. The Toffees play host to reigning champions Chelsea at Goodison Park on Saturday lunchtime and Wayne Rooney is found at 17/5 to score anytime against Conte’s side.
With his eyes brimming with confidence who’s there to claim Rooney would not rise to the occasion and give his team a wonderful gift for Christmas?
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