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Everton were happy to see Rooney out of Man Utd squad - Arteta

Everton midfielder Mikel Arteta was happy seeing Wayne Rooney left out of Manchester United's squad for Saturday's 3-3 draw.

Arteta was surprised by United manager Sir Alex Ferguson's decision to omit former Toffee Rooney from his squad after a week of lurid allegations about his private life.

Ferguson said he was shielding the player from the anticipated abuse from the Goodison crowd but Arteta said the player had coped with it on his previous visits after leaving for Old Trafford six years ago.

"He is a terrific player and he has shown that many times when he has been here and under pressure he has played well," said the 28-year-old.

"They made a decision and they made it because they thought it was the best thing to do."

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