​Everton manager Sam Allardyce has stressed no player is ‘too big’ to be taken off in a game, after Wayne Rooney showed his frustrations when he was substituted early in the Merseyside Derby on Saturday.

The former Manchester United striker was hooked by Allardyce in the second half and was caught by Sky cameras muttering the word ‘bull****’ after he’d stormed off.

Everton v Manchester City - Premier League

He also appeared to snub the manager’s offer of a handshake before he took his place on the bench and now, naturally, there are rumours of a rift between the pair.

Allardyce has explained his decision to take off Rooney, and said as quoted by the ​Mirror: “Legs. We needed more legs and we needed to be able to get about the pitch a bit more. Gueye was always going to get 30 minutes today.

“Nobody is too big to be hooked. He was disappointed, no doubt about that, but I made the decision to make us more attacking. You have to do the right thing to help the team as a manager.”

Gueye’s introduction could not inspire the Toffees to score, and ​the game ended goalless after some wastefulness and good goalkeeping.

It wasn’t a terrible result for either side with Everton safe in midtable, and Liverpool still looking good for Champions League qualification. The visitors were able to rest some players as well ahead of next week’s huge European return leg with Manchester City.

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