Royston Drenthe, Everton's new Dutch winger, is one of the few people to feel a comfortable glow about his new club, where the supporters' group Blue Union is planning to march before tomorrow's home match with Aston Villa in protest at what they claim is stagnation under Bill Kenwright's chairmanship.
The "confidence" Drenthe, on loan from Real Madrid, says he has found in David Moyes may not be something the Everton manager exudes at his pre-match press conference this lunchtime, though after Drenthe's grim experience of life on the wrong side of Jose Mourinho, any new boss would seem like a comfort.
Mourinho (above) deemed Drenthe persona non grata at the Bernabeu, where he had moved from Feyenoord, and sent him to the Alicante-based club Hercules, prompting a disastrous period in which the club struggled financially and allegedly did not pay the midfielder's wages, prompting him to go on strike.
At his presentation as an Everton player, Drenthe described Mourinho's fury with his actions. "He said that because I was a Real Madrid player I should have decided differently," the 24-year-old said. "He said I had been in his plans for the team, and told me if I hadn't [protested] at Hercules then he would have got me into the team. I didn't go to training [at Hercules] because they weren't paying me."
Drenthe also claims Mourinho tried to force him into a permanent move to Portugal. "Mourinho didn't want me to come to England," he said. "He was telling me to go to Portugal, and was telling me about good teams there. But I said, 'I don't want to' – so he said, 'What do you expect that Bayern Munich or Arsenal will come for you?' "I said, 'I don't expect that but I want to go somewhere where I feel good – not where you want me to go.'"