Johnny Heitinga isn’t the only Dutch international player with ties to Everton to have made the news this week. The former Ajax defender endured a torrid time against Aston Villa, but when it comes to damaging one’s career in Liverpool you have to go some way to beat Andy van der Meyde.
The winger signed for Everton from Inter Milan for £4 million in 2005, and despite his poor injury record looked to be one of the most talented players to grace the club for a decade. Injury, suspension, alcohol, drugs and an affair all proved too much for the Dutchman, however, and his fall from grace was dramatic to put it mildly.
This week he’s spoken to Dutch periodical HP/De Tijd about the kindred spirit that he saw in Royston Drenthe. Another player who came to Everton only to see the trajectory of his career shift from downward spiral to nosedive.
“Do not do it boy, I beg you, do not do it. Liverpool has too many temptations for guys like us. Before you know it you will be dragged into the nightclubs. There Bacardi flows and you can ski on cocaine; and the women, Royston. Oh man, oh man, oh man. Those British women with their short skirts.’’
No doubt these are some of the fine fillies Mr van der Meyde had a penchant for when skiing down that mountain of beak
It provides a shocking insight into the mind of a man whose life nearly fell into irreversible Gascoignesque difficulties, and who is only now getting his life back on track. Unfortunately his warnings weren’t heeded by Drenthe, who, like van der Meyde, saw a promising start to his career at Goodison Park falter and then rapidly disappear.
Drenthe was already in trouble when he came to Everton. His attitude had seen him fall out with Jose Mourinho at Real Madrid, and he’d gone on strike over a wages issue at previous loan club Hércules. When he came to Everton on a season long loan, it was to see out the last year of his Real Madrid contract. Poor discipline and arguments with David Moyes saw that he missed the chance to resurrect his career on Merseyside.
Drenthe’s career went from bad to worse at Everton
At least one lesson was learned from this affair, however, as a later conversation between van der Meyde and Drenthe shows:-
Drenthe: “Do you know if there is anything to do in Vladikavkaz? Regards, RR.”
VDM: “I’ll find out for you.”
The exact nature of how van der Meyde found out is best left to the imagination, but suffice it to say that three days later he returned home and sent his findings to Drenthe.
“Nothing to do. Ugly women. The coast is clear.”
What a man.
Shortly after this exchange Drenthe signed for FC Alania Vladikavkaz.