All together now

Who needs fat Wayne Rooney
When we have Marcus Bent?
That’s the question Everton fans are asking after today’s 2-1 victory over Manchester City. Wayne Rooney is the 18 year-old superstar forward Everton was forced to sell to Manchester United for around $50 million at the start of this year’s season. Marcus Bent is the journeyman forward we purchased this summer for less than $1 million. Today, Bent scored Everton’s winning goal. It was Bent’s fifth goal of the season — not a prodigious output, but more than Rooney has scored in league matches this year for Man U.
With this victory, Everton reaches 40 points for the season (you get three for a win and one for a draw) and exceeds last year’s total of 39. 40 points is Everton’s annual goal because it’s the number that normally ensures survival in England’s top league (the bottom three teams are demoted). The thing is, we have reached our goal at the exact half-way point of the season.
I remain convinced that we’re playing over our heads, and that we won’t be able to sustain our current level of success. But we don’t really have to in order to enjoy our most successful season in years. Even our normal, dire second half output (20 to 22 points) might enable us to finish in the top six, which would qualify us to compete in European play next year. And it certainly seems that we’re no longer dire.

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