Liverpool (AFP) – Everton manager Ronald Koeman confirmed striker Wayne Rooney will play against Tottenham on Saturday despite a drink drive charge hanging over the striker.
Rooney was arrested a week ago and has a court hearing on September 18th after being released on bail over the incident.
The 31-year-old has scored twice in three Premier League games for Everton having rejoined his boyhood club from Manchester United in the summer.
Koeman was unable to bring in another top striker before the transfer window closed and will therefore keep faith with Rooney despite his troubles off the pitch.
The Dutchman read out a prepared statement concerning Rooney at his press conference on Thursday and revealed the former England captain may yet be subjected to further disciplinary action by the club.
“Obviously I am very disappointed by the situation regarding Wayne Rooney,” Koeman said.
“We have spoken last Tuesday and the chairman spoke to Wayne about this situation.
“Any disciplinary matter will be dealt with internally by the club at the appropriate time and that’s all I have to say. That’s all we have to say on the case of Wane Rooney.”
Koeman said ‘yes’ when asked if Rooney would feature against Spurs at Goodison Park and does not think the incident will have an impact on his mindset.
“If I see Wayne is not in a position physically or mentally to play he will not play,” he added.
Koeman also acknowledged Ross Barkley’s Everton career may not be over after a move to Chelsea collapsed on transfer deadline day.
Barkley is absent with a hamstring injury which will keep him out until mid-November.
“Ross came and saw me and told me why he turned down to go to Chelsea,” said Koeman.
“That’s a private talk with Ross and I am not the right man to explain his decision or the reason for his decision.
“Is his Everton career over? No, he is still an Everton player. He still at this time has his contract until the end of the season.
“He is still injured and not available for another two or two and half months. We can wait for a decision.”
Tottenham manager Mauricio Pochettino has a disciplinary matter on his mind as well after Dele Alli returned from international duty with the threat of punishment from world governing body FIFA.
The attacking midfielder was caught on camera making a middle finger gesture during England’s victory over Slovakia on Monday, claiming afterwards it was aimed in jest at Kyle Walker, his former team-mate at club level.
FIFA are ‘gathering evidence’ however amid claims referee Clement Turpin was the actual target.
“It’s true it’s not a fantastic gesture but it’s not a big issue,” Pochettino said. “It was a joke in a moment with his teammate.
“I remember when I was a player, worse things happened on the pitch but today there’s a lot of cameras, maybe 50, and we’re so focused on the players.
“He doesn’t deserve to be banned by FIFA. It’s important to move on.”
Pochettino has also had words with new signing Serge Aurier, who cost £23million ($29.6 million, 25 million euros) from Paris Saint-Germain.
The transfer almost fell through because the Ivory Coast international has a criminal record, having previously been in trouble with his club for homophobic remarks directed at then-boss Laurent Blanc.
“I spoke with him about different things,” he said. “But I’m a person that likes to move on.
“We had a long chat. He knows very well what we expect from him. I trust him, I am confident that he can succeed here and help the team to achieve the things we want.
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