Rooney wants to play
Wayne Rooney is ready to stand up to the Everton hate hob. The United striker is adamant he does not want to be taken out of the firing line and instead wants to lead the attack at Goodison Park tomorrow lunchtime. Merseyside Police are bracing themselves for a red hot atmosphere in Rooney's first Premier League appearance since sordid newspaper allegations about his private life. While he was given a generous reception by England supporters for Tuesday's Euro 2012 qualifier against Switzerland, he is expected to come under a torrent of abuse from Everton fans. The 24-year-old returned to Carrington this week for talks with manager Sir Alex Ferguson. But as he showed England boss Fabio Capello with an outstanding performance in Basel, he is not going to let off-the-field concerns affect his form on it. Rooney has never buckled under pressure from the terraces and is used to the Goodison cauldron having been the subject of abuse since infuriating Everton fans with his £25m move to United in 2004. The life-long Evertonian has come in for sickening verbal attacks from the people he used to stand alongside in the Gwladys Street End while missiles ave also been thrown on previous visits. But not even that intimidation has seen him duck out of returning to the club he supported as a boy and burst onto the scene with as a 16-year-old. Such is the intense emotion whenever he runs out at Goodison Park that police have identified it as only one of two Category A matches in Everton's season the other being the Merseyside derby with Liverpool. And as such Everton insist they will take no extra security measures, even in the light of the latest controversy surrounding Rooney. A spokesperson said: It will be policed exactly the same way that it has over the past four, five or six years. There is nothing special in place for United or Wayne Rooney. Policing United have not asked for anything. There will be an increased level of policing but the same number of stewards on duty. It is more sensitive because, like Liverpool, it is seen as a derby. Both are big games. But there will be nothing above and beyond our usual treatment of this fixture. There was speculation that Rooney would ask to be left out of England's trip to Switzerland on Tuesday following allegations about him and Bolton prostitute, Jennifer Thompson. It was thought he would return to wife, Coleen, but instead he shrugged off any outside pressures to help Capello's bid to reach the European Championships even scoring his first international goal of 2010. It was the perfect response to suggestions that problems in his personal life could overshadow his playing career. And he is ready to prove doubters wrong again when he faces the Everton hate mob head on tomorrow. Fans have been flooding message boards with abuse, confirming he is in for a rough ride when he returns to his spiritual home. A trip to Goodison is the worst possible venue for his first club appearance since the allegations and even England team-mate, Phil Jagielka, has warned Rooney that he will be public enemy No1. But having come through cauldrons from Anfield to Eastlands to the San Siro, he will know exactly what to expect when he emerges from the tunnel at Goodison tomorrow. Another England team-mate, Gareth Barry, is convinced Rooney can handle any intimidation, having seen the way he responded against Switzerland. It was written there for Wayne to score a goal, said the City midfielder. He has been waiting for a while and his overall performance was good as well. To get a goal, that will cheer him up. Wayne would have been eager to get out there and concentrate on football. Mentality Sometimes it is the best thing to do, to get your mind away from things off the pitch. He has produced again. When you are playing at the top level, you need that strong mentality and he showed it once again in Switzerland.While Rooney has been guilty of letting his frustrations boil over in the past, it has usually been the cause of problems on it, rather than off it. His red card at the 2006 World Cup was more a case of petulance than crowd intimidation, which is why Ferguson will be confident about throwing him in at the deep end. The United manager is a master at knowing when to take his players out of the SPOTLIGHTand will carefully assess Rooney's state of mind before making a final decision about his inclusion in his starting XI. But after assurances from the player, which were only endorsed by his displays for England, Ferguson will be in no doubt that he will be able to stand up to any intimidation.
Related Manchester United News