Wayne Rooney used to be at the centre of attention whenever Everton faced Manchester United.
This time around, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer might wish the legendary forward was there to serve as another talking point aside from his own rocky future.
The Red Devils travel to Goodison Park for a must-win Premier League fixture on Saturday lunchtime, buoyed by the fact the Toffees have lost back-to-back games against Southampton and Newcastle.
The bad news for Solskjaer is that this has often been a fixture full of fireworks, so United won’t have it easy.
Rooney was often at the heart of things, having left Everton for Old Trafford as a teenager in 2004.
The England hero got so much stick from his old fans whenever he returned to Merseyside that he used to relish giving it back, kissing the badge on his United shirt on two separate occasions.
But by 2017, he had returned and needed to show his loyalty now lay with his boyhood side again.
In fact, when Paul Pogba greeted the rest of the Everton team in the tunnel, shaking hands with the likes of Michael Keane, Rooney totally blanked him.
The pair had played together in Jose Mourinho’s first season at the helm, before Rooney made his way across the north-west.
More than that, the duo actually go way back due to Pogba’s stint in United’s academy under Sir Alex Ferguson.
So it was certainly strange to see the Frenchman receiving the cold shoulder after trying several times to meet his former colleague’s eye.
There’s no doubt who had the last laugh though. United ran out 2-0 winners thanks to goals from Anthony Martial and Jesse Lingard.
Pogba was named man of the match, while Rooney was frustrated in a deeper role and added little to the midfield battle.
United could really do with more of the same this afternoon.
Solskjaer will have traumatic memories of Goodison Park, having watched his side humbled 4-0 at the ground 19 months ago.
That was one of the Norwegian’s worst days as United boss, but there have been plenty of other lows already this season and he now teeters on the brink as Mauricio Pochettino reportedly waits in the wings.
- Roy Keane’s reaction to losing team quiz at Man Utd
- Ranking every Man Utd centre-back signed since 2000
- Moyes, LVG and Mourinho were all hit by ‘Merseyside curse’