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Dublin: 2 °C Monday 16 December, 2019

'Nobody is too big to come off' - Allardyce defends substitution after Rooney anger

The former Man United star may not have been happy, but his manager argued it was the right call

Wayne Rooney showed his displeasure at being substituted by Sam Allardyce during the Merseyside Derby.
Wayne Rooney showed his displeasure at being substituted by Sam Allardyce during the Merseyside Derby.

SAM ALLARDYCE WAS not fazed by Wayne Rooney’s angry reaction to being substituted during the Merseyside derby, reminding the Everton icon “nobody’s too big to be brought off”.

Rooney started Saturday’s Premier League clash with Liverpool in midfield with Morgan Schneiderlin and Tom Davies, the trio working hard to keep their fierce rivals at bay in a 0-0 draw.

In general they were successful as Everton earned themselves a point at Goodison Park, but Rooney was withdrawn just before the hour.

That led to Rooney showing his frustration on the bench, the 32-year-old having brushed past Allardyce as Idrissa Gueye replaced him.

It did not bother the Toffees boss, though, who felt the decision gave Everton renewed energy as they almost snatched victory through Cenk Tosun, Seamus Coleman and Dominic Calvert-Lewin.

“We needed more legs,” Allardyce told Sky Sports when asked about the change.

Wayne, as talented as he is, needed to get about the pitch more, but he had done his job. Nobody’s too big to be brought off.

“He is bound to be disappointed but I make the decision, those decisions made the team more of an attacking force and gave us more opportunities to win the game.”

Everton were second best for large parts of the game, however Allardyce was pleased with the way his side were able to nullify the normally lethal Liverpool.

“The basis of our performance was nullifying Liverpool’s attack to create chances but when you miss those [late] chances, it really is disappointing because if they had gone the other way, we could’ve been looking at a different game,” he added.

I think we got apprehensive about chasing the ball too much and then giving it away too easy.

“In the second half, we played much better, we took it to Liverpool and ran at them to create chance after chance.

“I think that in the end when you finish the game as strongly as that and put Liverpool under pressure, you can say we’re unlucky, particularly the Cenk header and Dominic’s chance.”

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