Everton fans’ hostility ‘will be for the manager of Manchester United’ not David Moyes, says Roberto Martinez


As he prepares to return to Goodison Park competitively for the first time as Manchester United manager tomorrow, David Moyes insisted that he built Everton into the club his successor Roberto Martinez has been able to develop.

Moyes acknowledged that his relationship with fans of the club he managed for 11 years needed “healing” and he expects hostility because he went back for Marouane Fellaini and Leighton Baines last summer. The purchase of midfielder Fellaini by United was something Martinez insisted yesterday was neither “fine” nor “easy”. 

But Moyes, needing a win to avoid the indignity of Martinez finishing the season above him, made it clear that he feels he transformed the Merseyside club, which had finished in the top 10 only once in the Premier League era before he arrived to succeed Walter Smith in 2002.

Asked what he felt about the characterisation of Martinez as the manager who had made Everton more ambitious and free-spirited, Moyes said: “They have some really good players and they have gone on again. Great credit to Roberto but he has a group of players who were always capable of going on again, of improving, maybe moving further up the league.

“Don’t forget, Everton finished above Liverpool last year – and the year before. In a way it should not be a surprise they are doing well. They’ve been in seven or eight for most seasons recently.”

Just 48 hours after Everton’s home defeat to Crystal Palace severely damaged their chances of a top-four finish, Moyes added: “You have to remember we also finished in the Champions League.”

Martinez acknowledged the difficulty Moyes faced at United in replacing a manager of Sir Alex Ferguson’s longevity. “You can only really do that internally; from the outside it is more difficult,” he said. But he said he understood why Everton fans’ perceptions of Moyes had changed and why their response to him might be negative. 

“Don’t get me wrong, I think every Evertonian appreciates the job David Moyes has done and the reception he got after the final game of last season against West Ham was full of genuine emotion,” Martinez said. “That was for the manager of Everton. Everything else is about the manager of Manchester United.

“We can all look back now and say [United buying Fellaini] is fine but [at the time] it was difficult. To lose your highest scorer on deadline day is not easy. You can’t really replace him unless you have a wealth of other possible options. The feelings of Evertonians are not towards David Moyes, the ex-Everton manager but the new Manchester United manager.”

United will be six points behind Everton with a game in hand if they win at Goodison tomorrow, with Wayne Rooney in the side after training all week and Fellaini also fit.

Moyes asserted that there had “always been a chain of young players ready to go in the team [at Everton] and I think that’s helped. We had a great recruitment department, a brilliant staff, all round the club. All those people have helped. It’s a well-run club. The financial situation was tough. We didn’t have a great deal of cash but we always tried to make it work as well as we could.”

Despite a view from some at Everton that Moyes’s knowledge of United’s interest dated to last February, leading him to stall a new contract and thus denying the club £3m compensation, Moyes said his departure could not have been handled better. He insisted that the phone call from Ferguson came on “April 28, something like that”.

People may not “believe how it happened,” Moyes admitted. “I also think there was animosity because of the players – we’d like to have bought a couple of them. But lots of United players go to Everton, so there is reverse. Hopefully in time everyone will look at it and say it was a really good period in Everton’s history.”

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Life and Style
Child's play: letting young people roam outdoors directly contradicts the current climate
lifeHow much independence should children have?
Arts and Entertainment
Tycoons' text: Warren Buffett and Bill Gates both cite John Brookes' 'Business Adventures' as their favourite book
booksFind out why America's richest men are reading John Brookes
Arts and Entertainment
<p>Troubled actor Robert Downey Jr cements his comeback from drug problems by bagging the lead role in Iron Man. Two further films follow</p>
filmRobert Downey Jr named Hollywood's highest paid actor for second year running
Life and Style
Dale Bolinger arranged to meet the girl via a fetish website
Sign here, please: Magna Carta Island
propertyYours for a cool £4m
Life and Style
The Commonwealth flag flies outside Westminster Abbey in central London
Arts and Entertainment
Struggling actors who scrape a living working in repertory theatres should get paid a 'living wage', Sir Ian McKellen has claimed
Skye McCole Bartusiak's mother said she didn't use drink or drugs
peopleActress was known for role in Mel Gibson film The Patriot
Arts and Entertainment
tvWebsite will allow you to watch all 522 shows on-demand
Caption competition
Caption competition
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Day In a Page

Some are reformed drug addicts. Some are single mums. All are on benefits. But now these so-called 'scroungers’ are fighting back

The 'scroungers’ fight back

The welfare claimants battling to alter stereotypes
Amazing video shows Nasa 'flame extinguishment experiment' in action

Fireballs in space

Amazing video shows Nasa's 'flame extinguishment experiment' in action
A Bible for billionaires

A Bible for billionaires

Find out why America's richest men are reading John Brookes
Paranoid parenting is on the rise - and our children are suffering because of it

Paranoid parenting is on the rise

And our children are suffering because of it
For sale: Island where the Magna Carta was sealed

Magna Carta Island goes on sale

Yours for a cool £4m
Phone hacking scandal special report: The slide into crime at the 'News of the World'

The hacker's tale: the slide into crime at the 'News of the World'

Glenn Mulcaire was jailed for six months for intercepting phone messages. James Hanning tells his story in a new book. This is an extract
We flinch, but there are degrees of paedophilia

We flinch, but there are degrees of paedophilia

Child abusers are not all the same, yet the idea of treating them differently in relation to the severity of their crimes has somehow become controversial
The truth about conspiracy theories is that some require considering

The truth about conspiracy theories is that some require considering

For instance, did Isis kill the Israeli teenagers to trigger a war, asks Patrick Cockburn
Alistair Carmichael: 'The UK as a whole is greater than the sum of its parts'

Alistair Carmichael: 'The UK as a whole is greater than the sum of its parts'

Meet the man who doesn't want to go down in history as the country's last Scottish Secretary
Legoland Windsor's master model-makers reveal the tricks of their trade (including how to stop the kids wrecking your Eiffel Tower)

Meet the people who play with Lego for a living

They are the master builders: Lego's crack team of model-makers, who have just glued down the last of 650,000 bricks as they recreate Paris in Windsor. Susie Mesure goes behind the scenes
The 20 best days out for the summer holidays: From Spitfires to summer ferry sailings

20 best days out for the summer holidays

From summer ferry sailings in Tyne and Wear and adventure days at Bear Grylls Survival Academy to Spitfires at the Imperial War Museum Duxford and bog-snorkelling at the World Alternative Games...
Open-air theatres: If all the world is a stage, then everyone gets in on the act

All the wood’s a stage

Open-air productions are the cue for better box-office receipts, new audiences, more interesting artistic challenges – and a picnic
Rand Paul is a Republican with an eye on the world

Rupert Cornwell: A Republican with an eye on the world

Rand Paul is laying out his presidential stall by taking on his party's disastrous record on foreign policy
Self-preservation society: Pickles are moving from the side of your plate to become the star dish

Self-preservation society

Pickles are moving from the side of your plate to become the star dish
Generation gap opens a career sinkhole

Britons live ever longer, but still society persists in glorifying youth

We are living longer but considered 'past it' younger, the reshuffle suggests. There may be trouble ahead, says DJ Taylor