Rooney could have played at any po­si­tion: Moyes

Moyes also de­scribed Rooney as a ‘true Ever­to­nian’ de­spite the fact that he played the ma­jor­ity of his ca­reer at Manch­ester United.

The Sunday Guardian - - Sports - JON WEST

David Moyes re­mem­bers the ex­act mo­ment he re­alised he had a teenage ge­nius on his hands in Wayne Rooney.

Ever­ton’s sea­son- en­der at West Ham could dou­ble a farewell for the for­mer England cap­tain, who has the op­por­tu­nity for a swan­song in the MLS with DC United.

Moyes de­scribed Rooney, still only 32, as a “true Ever­to­nian” de­spite the fact that the for­ward player the ma­jor­ity of his ca­reer at Manch­ester United, in­clud­ing, briefly, un­der the Scot.

Moyes turned the clock back the start of the Mil­len­nium, when the boy in a man’s body was be­gin­ning to demon­strate the power and pre­ci­sion that would make him a record goal-scorer for both United and England.

“When he was only a boy he would kick all the balls away on the train­ing ground and I would get an­noyed,” said Moyes, who was Ever­ton;s man­ager from 2002 to 2013.

“But one day we had a small eight- a- side game and he scored a goal by chip­ping the goalie right from the by­line.

“It was one of those mo­ments where the staff were look­ing round at each other and say­ing ‹did he re­ally just do that?’ It was a mo­ment when time nearly stood still for us.”

Last sum­mer’s re­turn to Ever­ton, the club he left for United in 2004, has been a frustrating one for Rooney, who has nonethe­less scored 10 Premier League goals, in­clud­ing a hat-trick against Moyes and the Ham­mers in a 4-0 win at Good­i­son Park in Novem­ber.

“I don’t want him to do to us what he did the last time so I would rather him not play­ing if I’m hon­est,” Moyes added,

“He will al­ways be a leg­end at Manch­ester United and re­spected for what he has done but he will al­ways be an Ever­to­nian.”

“I al­ways thought Wayne could play any po­si­tion - he could play in goal, as a right­back or a cen­tre-half,” he said. “It was be­cause he was a foot­baller, a gen­uine, old- fash­ioned street foot­baller.

“I used to say there weren’t many left. When Wayne was play­ing for the first team he would go back and kick the ball with his pals in the street.

“Those sto­ries are ones we all hope still ex­ist, but I don’t know that they do now. For me, he was the last of that type.”

“It was dif­fi­cult be­cause Wayne was a street boy and he had to come into line with the oth­ers,” Moyes added. “I didn’t like it at the start when he was do­ing Pepsi ad­verts, or what­ever it was, Adi­das and Nike ad­verts. I wanted him to con­cen­trate on his job, to be a top player.

“I re­mem­ber the way Sir Alex dealt with Ryan Giggs, and when I was at Celtic they had Char­lie Ni­cholas, who was the top boy and a bit sim­i­lar. They way they dealt with them was the way I dealt with Wayne, al­though I didn’t have him that long.”

Moyes’ time with West Ham could also be short­lived as the Scot has hinted he might walk away to a more am­bi­tious club hav­ing suc­cess­fully staved off rel­e­ga­tion. THE INDEPEDENT

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from India

© PressReader. All rights reserved.