Manager of the Millennium

Manager Of The Millennium 

Over a dozen men have held the honour of managing Everton Football Club. 

But when it came to selecting the Manager of the Millennium, the choice was immediately whittled down to two. 

Harry Catterick and Howard Kendall brought more trophies to Goodison than any of the other Post-war managers put together. 

Catterick collected two League Championship trophies, an FA Cup, two Charity Shields - and during the decade of the 1960s presided over a period of unparalleled consistency which saw the Blues finish outside the top six in the First Division just once. 

Only a very special manager could emulate, let alone surpass, those achievements - but Howard Kendall was such a man. 

During the 1980s the former club captain helped reshape a team which became the most successful in the club's history. 

The Millennium Giants panel was absolutely unanimous that Howard Kendall should be selected as the Manager of the Millennium. 

In simple, statistical terms his collection of silverware at Everton is unparallelled. 

Two League Championship trophies - one won by the incredible total of 13 points - one FA cup, four Charity Shields - and the first European trophy in Everton's history, the 1985 European Cup Winners' Cup. 

In order to create those trophy winning sides, Kendall proved himself a master wheeler-dealer in the transfer market. 

He brought Millennium Giants Neville Southall and Dave Watson to Goodison, and pulled off a succession of bargain buys which left other managers scratching their heads in bewilderment. 

Andy Gray and Peter Reid were written off as injury prone veterans who had both seen better days. 

Kendall gave them new leases of life and they helped breathe fire into the belly of his sleeping giant. 

Kevin Sheedy was a little-used reserve at Liverpool, until Kendall pulled off an audacious £100,000 swoop and transformed him into one of the mopst sought after left-sided midfielders in Europe. 

Paul Bracewell and Pat Van Den Hauwe were modest acquisitions in the summer and autumn of 1984 - but they helped turn an FA Cup winning side into an all- conquering unit. 

The Everton squad of 1984-85 was easily the most successful in Everton's history. It was arguably one of the strongest in League football.
Stats and Honours
Everton manager: 1981-1987, 1990-1993 and 1997-1998. 
Football League Champions: 1984/85 and 1986/87 
FA Cup winner: 1984. 
European Cup Winners Cup winner: 1985 
FA Cup runner-up 1985 and 1986 
Charity Shield winners 1984, 1985, 1987, shared in 1986 
Zenith Data Systems Cup runners-up 1991 
Manager of the Year 1985 and 1987 

From December 22, 1984, Kendall's men remained unbeaten in three competitions for nearly five months. 

They only slipped up in May at Nottingham Forest - after the League Championship had already been won. 

Runners-up in League and Cup the following season, Kendall took the controversial decision to sell Gary Lineker to Barcelona. Scorer of 40 goals in his only season after Kendall had brought him to Goodison, he was transferred for a vast profit to the club. The benefit wasn't just financial. 

Kendall's judgement, as well as his business acumen, was backed up utterly. With Adrian Heath and Graeme Sharp restored to the forward line Everton stormed to another League Championship triumph. 

Kendall's motivational skills were often unorthodox, but always inspiring. Before a make-or-break FA Cup tie at Stoke City in 1984 he dispensed with the traditional pre-match pep-talk. 

A huge following of almost 10,000 Evertonians had made the trip to the Potteries and Kendall simply opened the dressing room windows to allow his players to hear those supporters singing.

Kendall teams 84Howard Kendall leads his side out

"That's your team-talk," he told his players. "Don't let those fans down." Everton's 2-0 victory that afternoon was the first on the road to winning the FA Cup and ending a 14 year barren spell of silverware at Goodison. 

Kendall's team was only prevented from adding to his European success by the ban on English clubs - a frustration which manifested itself in Kendall accepting an invitation to manage Spanish club Athletic Bilbao in 1987. 

Twice, however, he answered the call of Goodison when the club needed him most. 

He returned as manager in 1990 before resigning a second time in December 1993 - and in 1997 came back for an unprecedented third spell in charge.

Those subsequent spells could barely hope to come close to his first glorious period in charge, but the fact that he was prepared to even try showed the depths of feeling Howard Kendall had - and still has - for Everton Football Club. 

As the man himself said in one of his more famous quotations: "You can have love affairs with other football clubs. With Everton it's a marriage."