David Moyes speaks at first public appearance about Rooney + Leaving Everton

    David Moyes addressed the Cambridge University Union on Monday night in one of his first public appearances since being unveiled as the successor to Sir Alex Ferguson.


    On his football career via Hamilton Academicals, Preston North End – and, briefly, Cambridge United
    “Everyone was expecting to hear something a bit more glamorous – I was hoping you would make something up! I left Glasgow Celtic as a young player and quickly I moved around. It was a great experience. When I got to Preston North End I was very fortunate that soon after I made the move into management. Everything I’ve got was basically down to hard work. At that time the money you earned as a footballer you earned was nothing like the money you earned today. It was just a job, you didn’t earn much more than the man on the street. You just got on with it – the level I managed at, I enjoyed.”

    On how experiences at Preston shaped him as a manager:
    “When I was younger I went to do coaching courses, which I did in the first instance to become a better player. In the end, I was being offered roles as manager or assistant manager as young as 28. At Preston I ended up being made player-manager, which was a great opportunity because the expectations were not so high at the time. I took Preston to the play-off final against Bolton, when Sam Allardyce was the manager, so that was probably the highlight. It was a long journey there but we never quite managed the big one.”

    On the call from Bill Kenwright asking him to become Everton manager:
    “I was in the car on the way to see Bristol Rovers play. I thought, ‘I’m not going to see Bill Kenwright!’ In the end I drove to watch Bristol Rovers, then on to London to see Bill. Bill’s partner is Jenny Seagrove – she made us some supper and it was very good. It got to the end of the night and he eventually said that I would be the next manager of Everton. That was a big thrill, a big step. I was a relatively unknown coach and manager. Thankfully Bill gave me the opportunity.”

    On the initial difficulties of being Everton manager:
    “For you all here, who I’m sure in the future will go on to big jobs, be aware that they teach you a lot of things at these universities, but they do not teach you how to walk into the dressing room and sitting in front of you are Paul Gascoigne, David Ginola, Duncan Ferguson and Thomas Gravesen. I looked around and thought ‘Oh, no!’ So don’t think all of this uni stuff is going to work when you get out. The real world is out there. Everybody in the dressing room was hanging on my words. I was thinking, ‘These guys probably don’t know who I am’. But you get on with your work, try to get on with it. It started very well for me.”


    On Paul Gascoigne:
    “It’s a bit of a long story. When I went in there Paul Gascoigne was crying. I said, “I don’t know what I am going to do here”. My old team Preston were playing Burnley on Monday night and I had only taken over at Everton on Friday morning. I thought, ‘I can’t let him sign for Burnley, he’ll be playing against my old team. They’ll hang me if I do that’. So I had to delay Paul. Stan Ternant was the manager of Burnley, and I was holding Paul up so that he didn’t sign for them. It was a real carry-on and he ended up playing for them, against Preston. He is a great guy, to this day. Everybody has tried to help him and I’m glad to hear that he is doing better.”

    On the pressure of history at Goodison Park:
    “At the time I took over Everton were hovering, mainly, just above relegation. Preston had been a team pressing to get into the top flight. The biggest gulf was in the expectations: going into Everton, you were immediately struck by the crowd, the history that Everton had over the years. It is something that hangs over you, so my biggest test was learning to deal with it.”

    On Wayne Rooney:

    “Wayne Rooney was and is an exceptional talent. When we sold him to Manchester United, he was fantastic. When he left Everton, he was already an outstanding player. Some of the things he used to do in training, we would stand back and look at each other, and say, ‘How did he do that?’ You would see the staff exchange glances as if to say, ‘Can you believe that?’ He was brilliant, some of the stuff he did. He was football-mad – every training session he would run out, volleying the ball everywhere.

    “He was just a really good 16-year-old footballer but the thing was, he could have left training and then gone out into the street and played with his pals and thought nothing of it. A lot of people use the terminology ‘street footballer’ and I really think Wayne was the last of the classic street footballers. You could see him in the street, hitting the ball against the walls with his friends. Part of that culture has gone but, coming from Glasgow, I knew what it was like. I do think Wayne really was the last street footballer I have worked with.”

    On leaving Everton:
    “There is a lot of sadness. Not many in my job get the chance to stay 11 years. The sad thing is that I have brought just about all the players to Everton, and to walk away from that is a hard thing for me. But the players understand. I just hope it is a better club than when I joined. Everton have played a big part in my life.”

    On refereeing standards:
    “If you ask me truthfully, I don’t think it has been a great year for referees. I don’t think they have had a great season. Goal-line technology will assist them but only in a small way. I think that the clubs could help them – they don’t train often enough.

    On the great Scottish managerial tradition:
    “From Jock Stein to Matt Busby, Bill Shankly to Sir Alex Ferguson, there has been a trend of great managers coming out of Scotland. I was very fortunate to have good coaching classes – Walter Smith and Craig Brown as the teachers. There is a bit of Scottish grit and determination in there – we have always been happy to fight back. It is in our personality. I hope I don’t lose it, that I don’t change at all.”

    “They physically train, but they don’t come together enough to practise the skills of being a referee – particularly the decision-making. If you’re professional and full-time, you should be training more often. And they should be invited into the clubs, perhaps given the opportunity to referee small-sided games with the young players.”

    On the effects of money in football:
    “I think it has spoiled football in some respects. It was once the game for the man on the street.”

    On the academy system:
    “My dad ran an amateur boys’ club in Glasgow, so I have been brought up believing in youth. Clubs like Everton and Manchester United have always relied greatly on their academies. We need to get more young English talent out on the field.”

    On his reception at Goodison Park:
    “I was incredibly nervous. Fans would have been within their rights to boo, because I had left for a rival. So to get that reception was something I hadn’t expected at all. There are very few managers who experience what I did, to be cheered off the pitch at Goodison Park even though I was joining another football club. It was incredible.”

    On diving and cheating in football:
    “If there was retrospective television justice available, I would have it for diving. I have made a point of saying to my players, ‘I don’t want you cheating in any way’. I referee small teams in training and sometimes you can’t tell if the players have dived or not, they’re so good at it.”

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