Back at Ever­ton, en­er­gized Rooney eyes Eng­land re­turn

The Hamilton Spectator - - SPORTS - LIVER­POOL, ENG­LAND —

Wayne Rooney be­lieves his re­turn to Ever­ton can re­vive his in­ter­na­tional ca­reer with Eng­land.

Rooney, who has 119 caps and a record 53 goals for Eng­land, was left out of the most re­cent squad in June for matches against Scot­land and France, with coach Gareth South­gate say­ing there were for­wards in bet­ter form.

The 31-year-old Rooney had to ac­cept a re­duced sta­tus at United last sea­son in Jose Mour­inho’s first year in charge, but mov­ing back to Ever­ton — 13 years af­ter leav­ing Good­i­son Park — sig­nals a fresh start and should see him start more matches.

“I am fo­cused on play­ing well for Ever­ton,” Rooney said at his pre­sen­ta­tion on Mon­day. “If I do that, then Gareth South­gate will have a de­ci­sion to make whether he puts me back in the squad.

“Hope­fully, my per­for­mances will be good enough for Ever­ton and he won’t be able to ig­nore me.”

Rooney said he left United be­cause he “needed to play games.”

“It hadn’t gone stale, but I know I am at my best when I am play­ing games con­sis­tently. I spoke with Jose and I knew it was the right time to leave and go and play some­where else.”

Ever­ton last won a tro­phy in 1995, when a nine-year-old Rooney was in the crowd at the old Wem­b­ley Sta­dium to watch his team beat United in the FA Cup fi­nal.

“We want to keep push­ing and be suc­cess­ful and bring tro­phies to the club,” Rooney said.

“I al­ways play like I have got a point to prove. I am not com­ing into a re­tire­ment home. I am ready to play, I want to win, I want to be suc­cess­ful at this foot­ball club.”

Sit­ting along­side Rooney, Ever­ton man­ager Ron­ald Koe­man said he was im­pressed by the player’s “am­bi­tion” and “des­per­a­tion” to come back to Good­i­son.

Koe­man has spent 90 mil­lion pounds on new play­ers this off-sea­son but felt he was miss­ing some­one with Rooney’s ex­pe­ri­ence and lead­er­ship.

“That ex­pe­ri­ence to win ti­tles is some­thing re­ally im­por­tant for Ever­ton,” the Dutch coach said. “That is one of the rea­sons we tried to bring Wayne back.”

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Canada

© PressReader. All rights reserved.