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LIVERPOOL, England – Everton manager Ronald Koeman said Wayne Rooney, who scored on his return to the club in the 1-0 win over Stoke on Saturday, was far from a spent force and showed exactly why he was the right signing for the club.

Rooney’s move back to his boyhood club, after 13 successful years at Manchester United, divided opinion between those who viewed it as a welcome romantic return and those who felt he was not the right player for Koeman’s new-look side.

But in his first Premier League outing Rooney not only scored the winner with a beautifully executed header from a Dominic Calvert-Lewin cross, but he also exuded quality and composure throughout.

“There was one player in an Everton shirt today who was, from the first second to the last, comfortable on the pitch,” said the Dutch manager.

“He made every decision the right one and he scored a great goal from a great cross from Dominic.

“In difficult moments, he showed his experience. That is why we signed Wayne — expecting to show his team-mates all that experience, and it was really important,” he said.

Rooney last scored a goal for Everton at Goodison on March 13, 2004 when he claimed the winner against Portsmouth.

That gap of 4,869 days is the longest between goals for the same club in the Premier League. The header was his 300th involvement in a goal in the Premier League, with 101 assists to add to his 199 goals. Only Alan Shearer, with 324, has more.

And he joined Shearer and Frank Lampard with the most goals on the league’s opening day – eight.

Koeman not only believes that Rooney fits perfectly into his plans at Everton, but he also thinks he is far from the faded force that many felt he was becoming at United.

“Wayne showed he is still one of the best players in his position and he showed today the player that we expected,” said Koeman.

“A lot of cleverness on the pitch and a great goal and a great header. We can’t ask for more than he showed today.” – Reuters

LOUIS van Gaal conceded that Wayne Rooney had been “too unfriendly” after he was sent off for a wild kick at Stewart Downing in a 2-1 victory for Manchester United that ended with Sam Allardyce furiously complaining about a late West Ham effort from Kevin Nolan that was disallowed for offside.

Rooney scored the opening goal but was shown a straight red card in front of Roy Hodgson, the England manager, after taking a hack at Downing just before the hour. Allardyce described it as a “cynical” and “really poor” challenge but Van Gaal refused to answer questions about whether it showed Rooney had defects as the club captain. “It’s neither a good analysis or a good question,” he said.

Rooney had been chasing Downing inside his own half and Van Gaal said it was the player’s attempt to stop West Ham breaking on the counterattack. “I can see why he made the tackle but I think you have to be far friendlier,” he said. “He did it too unfriendly and that is maybe his biggest mistake.

“In professional football, you make professional fouls. I’ve seen it happen five or six times today and, professionally, I can understand that.

“But I also saw fouls from West Ham that weren’t punished the same way, so that is a little strange. I have seen other professional fouls without yellow or red cards.”

Robin van Persie scored the second goal for Van Gaal’s team before Diafra Sakho made it 2-1 before half-time and Allardyce was aggrieved that Nolan, on as a substitute, was denied a late equaliser by a marginal offside decision. “If the linesman can see his head is offside, he is a super linesman, a super human being. He has dropped a massive bollock. It’s onside for me.”

Rooney will now miss his team’s next three games against Everton, West Bromwich Albion and Chelsea. “It is a great miss because he plays very well,” Van Gaal said, praising his players for withstanding a late onslaught.

“You have to fight, fight and fight and I’m very pleased with the attitude of my players. They have fought until the end and after the match I told them [when you do that] you shall always be rewarded with a good result.” – The Guardian

WAYNE Rooney has promised that Manchester United’s current squad will be successful despite their sluggish start to the season and has questioned those who have written Louis van Gaal’s team off after Sunday’s 5-3 defeat at Leicester, where they had led 3-1.

The United captain responded to his team’s critics via his Facebook profile on Tuesday night, saying that the quality in the dressing room matched with Louis van Gaal’s “unbelievable attention to detail” will lead to better days ahead.

“There seems to be a lot of people who have written us off because of Sundays result but I don’t see it that way,” Rooney wrote on his Facebook page.

Television footage during the defeat at the Kingpower Stadium, the first time United had lost having led by two goals in the Premier League, showed Rooney berating his team-mates but the 28-year-old added: “When I look around our dressing room and see the quality we have and the manager’s unbelievable attention to detail I have no doubts this team will be successful.”

United, who face West Ham on Saturday, are in 12th place on five points after five games. The 4-0 victory at home to QPR remains their solitary win, while Rooney has found the net twice. – The Guardian