Neville keen to celebrate Moyes
Everton’s departing captain Phil Neville insists his final match at Goodison Park should be a celebration of manager David Moyes as he too is set to leave.
The Scot, whose contract expires at the end of the season, has agreed a six-year deal to become Sir Alex Ferguson’s successor at Manchester United. After 11 years at the club, where he has regularly had the Toffees punching above their weight, Neville believes Moyes deserves to take the plaudits.
“With the events of this week for Everton, for me personally, the manager, players, supporters and chairman, it will be one of those special days we remember for the rest of our lives,” said the 36-year-old, whose eight-year association with the club will end next weekend.
“Forget my situation, just in terms of the celebration of the manager and his achievements it is going to be an unbelievable day and one I can’t wait to be involved in.
“I am actually a little bit glad (the attention will be on Moyes) in a way. I don’t want any fuss, I’ve not deserved the fuss, I’ve just been a player. Better players than me have left this club and have achieved more than me at this club.”
After 303 appearances for the Toffees, the end is almost upon Neville. He wanted to extend his playing career elsewhere after not being offered a new contract by Everton but there may yet be a twist in the tale as Moyes’ move to Old Trafford throws up a number of possibilities.
Neville, who will help with England Under-21 coaching duties at this summer’s European Championships, has not only been mentioned as a potential replacement for Moyes but as an assistant at United, where he started his career. But for the moment the midfielder is just thinking about showing his gratitude to the Everton faithful.
“You never think it is going to get to this stage where you get to a point where you are leaving a club you have loved playing for, have captained and have a real special space in your heart,” he told evertontv.
“We are at that time on Sunday. I just want the opportunity to say thank you. I also want to put my feet on that turf again, to wave and clap and do a lap of honour with the players and my family.
“This has been an unbelievable period in my career. People say I’ve not won a trophy and, yes, that has been a big disappointment. But in terms of happiness, meeting friends, learning, growing up as a person this has been an incredible period.”