Wayne Rooney was subbed off in our 1-1 draw with Everton today, much to the surprise of our fans.

With over 20 minutes left to play, following an afternoon of abuse from the home fans, Rooney was booked for a ‘late challenge’ on Mikel Arteta. There was nothing in it really and certainly wasn’t worthy of a yellow card, in light of how the game was played. When you compare that with the reckless challenge on Cristiano Ronaldo from Phil Neville, ol Phil should have been sent off three times over!

Less than 5 minutes later, Rooney was substituted for Nani, leaving us rather bewildered. If anyone was going to make a difference for us in this game, surely it was him, yet astonishingly he was taken off when the game was still there to be won.

Ferguson has explained that with the crowd baying for blood, he couldn’t trust the referee not to make another weak decision that would see Rooney given his marching orders.

“I think the referee was to blame for that (the substitution) because he’s booked him for nothing,” said Fergie. “I think with the crowd egging him on, there was every chance he was going to get sent off. It wasn’t his doing, I thought he did nothing wrong in the game. I thought he behaved well. We were getting to the point where I was wondering what the referee was going to do next.”