There are ways to impress a new manager. Some choose work rate, others show a willingness to learn and listen.
Then there is the Wayne Rooney way. If Sam Allardyce wondered whether the light was dying inside one of the greatest talents in the modern era, the answer arrived in the most spectacular manner in the 66th minute of what turned out to be a night David Unsworth will never forget.
Rooney had already scored twice when Joe Hart attempted to clear his lines and fired the ball into Everton’s half. Still out of his goal, the home crowd shouted ‘shoot!’ and that’s what he did, drilling the most glorious drive from 70 yards like an arrow into the Gwladys Street net.
Wayne Rooney scored from inside his own half to seal his hat-trick and a controlling 3-0 lead for Everton after 66 minutes
Rooney was mobbed by team-mates Mason Holgate and Ashley Williams after scoring his contender for goal of the season
Everton forward Dominic Calvert-Lewin won a penalty for his side when Joe Hart appeared to take him down in the first half
Everton captain Wayne Rooney heads past Hart after the West Ham goalkeeper kept out his initial effort from 12 yards
Rooney celebrates scoring Everton’s opener in the Premier League on Wednesday night against West Ham
The former England international was celebrating again when he scored his side’s second goal of the evening
Caretaker manager David Unsworth was taking charge of his last match in charge of Everton since getting the job in October
New Everton boss Sam Allardyce was in the stands at Goodison Park during the home victory over West Ham
PLAYER RATINGS, MATCH ZONE AND LEAGUE TABLE
EVERTON (4-2-3-1): Pickford 8; Kenny 7, Holgate 6.5, Williams 6, Martina 6; Davies 7, Gueye 7; Lennon 7 (Lookman 89), Sigurdsson 8, Rooney 9 (Baningime 85); Calvert-Lewin 7 (Vlasic 90)
Subs not used: Robles, Schneiderlin, Sandro, Besic
Goals: Rooney 18, 28, 66, Williams 77
Booked: Sigurdsson, Davies
Manager: David Unsworth 7.5
WEST HAM UNITED (4-2-3-1): Hart 5; Zabaleta 5, Reid 5 (Rice 77), Ogbonna 5, Cresswell 6; Kouyate 6, Obiang 4 (Sakho 46, 6); Arnautovic 4 (Antonio 62, 6), Lanzini 5, Masuaku 5; Ayew 5
Subs not used: Adrian, Noble, Martinez, Fernandes
Manager: David Moyes 5
Referee: Michael Oliver 7
- Premier League
- Premier League
- League One
- League Two
- Scottish Premiership
- Scottish Div 1
- Scottish Div 2
- Scottish Div 3
- Ligue 1
- Serie A
- La Liga
Rooney (10) doubled his tally when he scored from close range following tidy work from Kenny (43) – click HERE for more analysis from our brilliant Match Zone
Allardyce, when he was England manager, said Rooney could play anywhere and that’s what he did against West Ham, dropping deep, splitting his two central defenders at times, even running back deeper than the left-back Cuco Martina.
Most importantly of all, though, he played brilliantly. It is a national hobby to pull Rooney to pieces but this was a reminder that he can still make the magic happen. Allardyce, watching in the Directors Box, will be relishing the chance to work with him
Goodison under the lights usually crackles with atmosphere but it was eerily quiet in the opening 15 minutes. The home supporters sat on their hands, showing no sign of welcoming their new manager, while those who had ventured north were similarly ambivalent.
Such was the fragile make-up of both teams, the impression through those sterile and tentative early exchanges was that they would have gladly shaken hands and taken a point apiece if the game could have ended there and then.
No confidence, however, is usually a recipe for mistakes and, sure enough, two errors in a flash transformed the contest. The first came from Pedro Obiang whose failed tackle allowed Dominic Calvert-Lewin to scurry clear, the second came from Joe Hart, who chopped down the young striker.
Hart, bizarrely, tried to argue his case but it was the clearest penalty you could wish to see and, strictly speaking, the England international should have been sent-off, given he was the last man. Only the fact Calvert-Lewin was running on an angle, slight away from goal, saved him.
Here was a huge moment. Everton had conceded first in 17 of their last 19 fixtures but the opportunity to inflict damage to one of the teams in close proximity was something they could not afford to pass up and the tension as Rooney steadied himself was palpable.
Anxiety, clearly, gripped him as he allowed Hart the chance to plunge to his right and keep the kick from 12 yards out but, for once, the bounce of the ball favoured Everton and Rooney kept his focus to head the rebound into the empty net.
Referee Michael Oliver had no hesitation in pointing to the spot once Calvert-Lewin had gone down in the West Ham area
Goalkeeper Hart remonstrates with referee Oliver after he awarded Everton a crucial first-half penalty kick
Rooney struck his penalty sweetly but it was saved by the England international before the striker followed up his effort
Rooney celebrates with the rest of his team-mates after Everton scoring the opening goal of the game against West Ham
Everton doubled their tally just ten minutes later when Rooney’s right-footed strike put them two goals up
Now there was noise. A loud, ear-piercing exhortation of relief. There was a joyous smile from Rooney, the kind not seen since the warm days of August. Moyes, by contrast, looked out at his team, their heads bowed and belief draining, and looked haunted. He knew how difficult the task had become.
For all that Everton have been insipid, West Ham have been spineless for much of the campaign. Once again, nobody looked prepared to roll their sleeves and take responsibility. Lambast Moyes all you want but what is he supposed to do if his squad won’t fight?
Everton didn’t have to be brilliant but they were organised and committed and wanted it more.
Those traits enabled them to get the decisive second in the 29th minute when Tom Davies charged down the right and crossed to Rooney, via deflection from Jonjoe Kenny, who did the rest.
His finish was emphatic, ripping into the Park End net, and his celebration was telling. There was still 60 minutes to go but you knew this would be the knockout blow against a side who had only scored five times on their travels since August.
Rooney celebrated his second goal of the night by running towards the home supporters with his arms outstretched
Experienced full back Pablo Zabaleta looks dejected after being unable to prevent Everton from doubling their lead
West Ham manager could only watch on as he watched his side go 2-0 down on Merseyside on Wednesday night
Full back Aaron Cresswell went close to pulling a goal back for West Ham when his left-footed shot his the post
West Ham were given a chance from the penalty spot, but Manuel Lanzini’s effort was saved by Everton’s Jordan Pickford
Pickford punches his chest after guessing correctly and saving Lanzini’s penalty which was headed for the bottom corner
Rooney throws his arms aloft in celebration after scoring with a magnificent strike from inside Everton’s half
Central defender Ashley Williams made it 4-0 when his header beat Hart in the West Ham goal with 12 minutes to play
It would have been a travesty had they continued in such an abject manner but, belatedly, West Ham started to find some rhythm, emerging for the second half with a Moyes scolding ringing in their ears. Losing in this manner, particularly at this venue with all its memories, was intolerable.
So they began to push. Everton, nerves starting to take hold, allowed themselves to be forced back and in the 52 minute, they came within a whisker of being punished when Aaron Cresswell cracked the crossbar with a piercing drive.
The warning wasn’t heeded and just before the hour, they won a penalty, Ashley Williams chopping down substitute Diafra Sakho. The onus fell on Manuel Lanzini to keep his nerve but he aimed for the same corner as Rooney and suffered the same consequence.
Jordan Pickford hurtled to his right to beat the kick away and did so with such ferocity that the ball went out for a throw in. It was a match-changing save and not long after it was followed by a match-defining goal.
Williams provided the footnote with a glancing header but the night was all about one man – and not the one in the post seats. After all the negativity and dissent, who better to clear the gloom. Play him again, Sam.
West Ham left back Aaron Cresswell is beaten by the quick feet of experienced Everton winger Aaron Lennon
West Ham needed two players – Pedro Obiang (left) and Winston Reid – to try and stop attacking midfielder Gylfi Sigurdsson
Everton youngster Jonjoe Kenny puts in a strong challenge as it looked as though Arthur Masuaku had sprinted past him
Everton midfielder Tom Davies does well to hold off West Ham’s Angelo Ogbonna during a first half tussle
New Everton manager Sam Allardyce arrives at Goodison Park with club owner Farhad Moshiri on Wednesday night
Allardyce said ahead of the Premier League match that the confidence had been drained from the Everton players
Sportsmail understands the former England manager’s contract at Goodison Park is worth £6million-a-year