Some Derby County supporters have taken to Twitter to comment on Wayne Rooney’s decision to substitute Morgan Whittaker some 35 minutes after bringing him on.
The Rams played out a 0-0 draw at home to Stoke City.
It was a frustrating afternoon for Derby as they dominated long periods of the game but couldn’t find the breakthrough against a rather subdued Stoke side.
One major talking point was the substitution of Whittaker. The young Rams attacker replaced Tom Lawrence just after the half hour mark after the Welshman picked up an injury.
But Whittaker struggled to get going and was hauled off on 69 minutes. It was a harsh decision, and some supporters have voiced their opinion on social media.
Least he realised Whittaker was a mistake and took him off
— Jesse (@JJATWAL) December 12, 2020
Takes balls from Rooney there to bring Morgan off think he needs a loan in league one or two in January tbh
— Sheikhcounty (@SauceySib) December 12, 2020
Tough on Whittaker
— Jack Austin (@jacka2004dcfc) December 12, 2020
Rooney is taking him out of the firing line, it was the right thing to do.
— Gareth (@gcw047) December 12, 2020
Well done Rooney
— Ryan sharp (@RyanSharp93) December 12, 2020
Gutting for Whittaker
— Tim (@xDronee) December 12, 2020
Whittaker was Derby’s leading scorer in the U23s during the 2018-19 campaign.
The 19-year-old has bags of potential. However, he failed to make an impact out on the left wing against Stoke, losing the ball cheaply and struggling to beat him man.
Whittaker posted just 14 touches and recorded a 66.7% pass-accuracy rate.
Rooney clearly felt Whittaker’s pace could pose a problem for Stoke’s makeshift right-back Nathan Collins, but his introduction coincided with Derby losing momentum.
Louie Sibley, Martyn Waghorn or Jordon Ibe all later came on and may have been better initial options. Rooney, meanwhile, will now have to restore Whittaker’s confidence.
The stalemate keeps Derby 22nd in the Championship table.