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Buying Fat Elvis Would Be A Mistake…
by Ed Bottomley

“He’s the biggest English talent I’ve seen since I arrived in England. We were beaten by a special goal from a very special talent.” – Arsenal Manager Arsene Wenger,

“A striker of astonishing precociousness” – Journalist Guy Hodgson

“There is no doubt in my mind. Rooney is no longer just a good prospect – he is already a good player.” – Leeds Manager Terry Venables

“He gave us a glimpse of what he is capable of, which was very exciting for Everton and the whole of English football. Two or three times he really stretched us and he’s only just 17. You’ve got to wonder how good he will be in two or three years’ time.” – West Ham Manager Glenn Roeder

Wayne Rooney had the world at his feet. I was there in the Park End the day a sixteen year old boy scored that goal against Arsenal, a preposterous shot that looped over Seaman like a vandal’s brick. I still have the newspaper clippings. Taking on Bolton by himself, eviscerating Leeds, and some of the press’ first clumsy forays into his life, that  picture of the Rooney’s lumbering out of the surf onto land. Ageing is a cruel process. Be honest, doesn’t Wayne now look more like the Rooney on the right rather than the one in the middle?

image-2-for-stars-mirror-each-other-on-the-beach-gallery-24047754

Wayne didn’t go on to lead us into a golden age, instead he left for Old Trafford but the performances continued, that  hat trick against Fenerbache on his debut for Man Utd. He may have swapped teams, but he was still a killer of defences. A scorer of fantastic goals. A young street-fighter hellbent on returning the ball to the back of the net.

That’s all gone now. He’s not that player anymore. Rooney’s return would have us all casting our minds back and expecting a bullish Young Elvis, the cruel reality would be Fat Elvis. So unfit was Wayne Rooney six years ago, in his supposed prime, that he was sent off to Nike HQ in Oregon for “conditioning” by Sir Alex Ferguson. At 31 Wayne is now way past his best. None of his youthful exuberance is going to return, it’s not something that can be recharged or summoned back just because he wants to succeed with us. He’s simply a different player now. He’s been playing with adults since he was 15, all those games have taken their toll. Look at yesterday’s game against Arsenal, where he huffed and puffed and did nothing…

My heart tells me that he should come home, that he’s one of us, he takes his son to games, and he’s a blue. But my heart is a soppy get. We can buy younger and better than him in the summer. Lukaku has scored as many goals this season as Rooney has in the past three. Rooney’s not good enough for Manchester United, a team just above us – where we aspire to be – in the league. But he’s good enough for us!?

I don’t buy the whole, “he’ll be great for young players” argument either… We have fantastic young players, who are already being coached fantastically, and who will be pushed further down the pecking order by Rooney, an over the hill former star. What’s he going to pass on to our starlets? How to get a Paul Stretford and move to a better team? 

Why spend ridiculous money on a memory?

If there’s one organisation in this world that owes Wayne Rooney absolutely nothing, it’s Everton Football Club.

Written by Ed Bottomley

Everton fan exiled in Michigan. Duncan Ferguson obsessive, history buff, optimist. Follow me on Twitter @DixiesSixty

4 Comments

Well done Ed! I think you were being diplomatic though, mistake? Beyond that. I remember reading an article in WSAG in 2004 by one of the editors, O’Brien I think. Basically he believed that if we got into the habit of selling all our best young talent then we were just another “small club” well we bring this mercenary back we would be THE small club. Would Rooney honestly be interested if he was still a regular for Utd? No chance. He was past his best three years ago, he is simply not good enough for a team that has ambitions of regularly challenging for the top four. If he hadn’t of started his career with us then he wouldn’t even get a mention. If Kenwright wasn’t around I would have no concerns but….. Please just go to China or the US Wayne, you might actually get a regular game.

by Gareth Fieldstead on May 9, 2017 at 1:41 am


That goal he scored against Arsenal……it wasn’t Seaman in goal, though, but Jens Lehman.

by Eris on May 9, 2017 at 4:16 am


Sorry, my bad. It was in 2002 and yes, it was Seaman.

by Eris on May 9, 2017 at 4:18 am


Agreed, Ed. It would be a big mistake. He’s over the hill. He might have a couple of good games in him but he’s just not worth the effort.

by Phil Williams on May 9, 2017 at 10:05 pm


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