Everton supporters are hardly the most consistent in British football. They didn’t hide their disapproval of Wayne Rooney leaving Goodison for Manchester United, giving him the roughest of verbals every time he returned to his former home wearing the red jersey.
Maybe it had something to do with Rooney proclaiming his loyalty to the Merseyside club through the message “Once a blue, always a blue” emblazoned on his jersey, and then a few days later signing on the dotted line watched by Alex Ferguson, the man with whom he would have a stormy relationship over much of the following nine years.
Contrast that with the reception David Moyes was given after it had been announced he would be taking the same route as Rooney. On the day of Everton’s last home game of the season, the Scot received the kind of acclaim the man he is succeeding got when he did his lap of honour at Old Trafford.
Of course, Moyes needn’t expect it always to be like that. You could imagine what it would be like if he were to, say, take Fellaini, or maybe Mirallas with him. Hostile comes to mind.
The big question is: Can Rooney and Moyes work together. They weren’t on the best of terms in Rooney’s final days at Goodison, and would hardly have made up in the meantime. Ferguson turned his back on the England International in the dying weeks of the season just ended, prompting the player to look elsewhere.
If Moyes wants Rooney to stay he might need to be more than diplomatic, or even forgiving. The promise of a role close to goals could be a decider, though that would surely be one of the player’s bargaining points in his talks with other clubs.
It will be different along the line in the Premier League next season. No Ferguson, no Mancini and no Benitez. But there could be a Mourinho - and there will be a Moyes, who will come in for closer examination than any of the others.
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