Everton manager Sam Allardyce has warned Wayne Rooney that his place in the Toffees' squad isn't guaranteed following the apparent spat between the pair when the player was dragged off the field after 57 minutes in Saturday's Merseyside derby.
The player looked furious. Seeming to refuse to shake his manager's hand, Rooney left the pitch shouting obscenities on his way to the Everton bench in a moment, caught on TV, that sent football fans into a bit of a frenzy on Twitter.
However, following the match, Allardyce has spoken of the incident, and has warned his player that stats don't lie - and Rooney's superstar status doesn't warrant game time in his team.
“It is simple for me, because there is my eye, during the game, and then there are the stats after the game," Allardyce told reporters after the game, via the Mirror.
“When those stats are accumulating related to what I’ve seen, calculated to what I’ve seen – for anybody, not just Wayne – then we talk to the player, whoever it might be, and say, ‘levels have to be lifted’.
“And when that continues to happen, no matter who it is, whether it’s Wayne, Phil Jagielka, Tom Davies, whoever it might be on the pitch, you get left out of the team.
“That’s the beauty of our matrix and statistics today. They don’t lie. It backs up your eye, and gives you the information that you’ve looked at, because your emotions in the game can be a little bit exaggerated than the actual statistics show.”
Allardyce has enjoyed a rocky relationship with the Everton supporters since taking over at Goodison Park. Despite steering the Toffees away from an embarrassing relegation battle, some have been left unhappy with his style of play and public comments. Allardyce, however, recently hit back at criticism, insisting only 'a minority' doubt his ability as a manager.