By 90Min
April 10, 2018

Wayne Rooney's expletive-laden reaction to being substituted during Saturday's Merseyside derby was a microcosm of what Everton have been missing all season long.

The veteran Toffees star, who has been utilised in the centre of midfield in recent months, was withdrawn on the hour mark in the 0-0 draw with Liverpool - and his response to having been taken off wasn't exactly positive.

Snatching at the coat handed to him, Rooney dropped more than a few swear words as he angrily slumped into his seat after being subbed for the second time at around the 60-minute mark in succession.

Many fans have commented on the 33-year-old's rant after maligned boss Sam Allardyce had replaced him with Dominic Calvert-Lewin, and they were as polarising as they come.

Some sympathised with Rooney for being hauled off again. Others, meanwhile, stated that it was the right move to make given that the Blues academy graduate had looked off the pace and not for the first time this term.

But, in a season that many will want to forget the moment the final whistle is blown in Everton's last match of the campaign, it's that sort of passion and frustration that has been unseen or unheard for much of this calamitous season.

Evertonians have been quick to set upon their senior players for talking the talk, but not walking the walk, plenty of times since August, and it proved to be an argument with some weight behind it once more last weekend as they toiled in soggy conditions against a below-strength Reds side.

Too often have the Toffees' stars not backed up their rallying cries with performances to boot - and yet when you see Rooney's reaction to being substituted on Saturday you have to wonder why that kind of commitment and anger isn't being taken onto the pitch.

True, it's easy to go overboard when emotional on the field, and not keeping calm can lead to lapses in both concentration and mood which can lead to goals conceded or even red cards.

Julian Finney/GettyImages

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But there's a line between being committed and either overly aggressive or mentally broken, and all too often Everton have rode the latter side of that.

There's very little for Everton to play for but pride with only five matches left of this sorry campaign. It's high time they gave Blues fans something to cheer about before expectations are potentially renewed this summer.

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