or four years. I was coming to the end of my career and the boss [David Moyes] wanted me to go on the staff at Everton in the last two years, but I wanted to concentrate on playing and get every ounce of football out of me before I finished. I decided to retire at the end of last season and then, of course, the boss got the United job. We had conversations through the summer and he said there might be an opportunity for me. I had other options, some unbelievable options, one of which was to stay at Everton. I have so much to thank Everton for and they will always have a really special place in my heart, but when push came to shove I just felt this was right.
Is David Moyes relishing the challenges ahead?
Very much so. It’s a big challenge for him and a big challenge for us in supporting him because it’s the biggest club in the world with the biggest expectations. Nothing but the best will do. That’s the challenge, that’s what lies in front of us. The club is steeped in history and we’ve got to make sure we follow those traditions, on and off the pitch. We have to make sure we uphold those traditions. That’s what makes me so excited and why I think myself and Ryan’s roles as staff are so important, because we know those traditions so well.
Steve Round told us you’ve been onto him constantly about learning and trying to absorb as much information as you can…
Yes, I have. I think Roundy goes to bed at night probably locking his door and still hearing me in his ear like a parrot on his shoulder! That’s the way I am. In order to learn, you’ve got to ask questions and learn from people who have great experience, and that’s what Steve has got. He’s got 15 years Premier League experience and, of course, the manager has unbelievable experience. Even Ryan has been through things in his professional career that you’ve got to tap into. There are plenty of people to act as sounding boards and I have to speak to every single one of them.
What’s it like being on the other side of things now as a coach rather than player?
It is different as a coach. You can say things as a player to another player that you can’t say as a coach. You have to form that bit of distance. I’m enjoying it. It’s just fantastic to be on the staff working with top players. I’m looking forward to working with one or two players during the season at different times, like the full-backs or wingers for example, and