Gary Lineker Exclusive
evertonfc.com speak to the legendary striker about Moyes, Neville and more.
Gary Lineker was the best in the business when it came to putting the ball into the back of the net. He may have only spent one season, 1985-86, at Goodison Park but he plundered 40 goals and showed that had he lingered longer he had all the credentials to become a Club legend.
Sadly, his 1986 World Cup top-scoring exploits alerted the rest of the world to his talents and he was lured to Spain to team up with Terry Venables and Barcelona.
Lineker is now, of course, an established television presenter and he keeps an eye on the fortunes of Everton from the world-famous Match of the Day studio.
“A lot of teams spent heavily in the summer but Everton weren’t one of them,” he said.
“Then they had a rather lethargic start to the season but had a terrific run when they came back against Manchester United and then beat Bolton, Fulham and West Ham in succession with late goals.
“There has been some really good football in the Premier League this season but the table is still quite tight and three wins on the spin can push you right up there.”
As a former England international - he is second only to Sir Bobby Charlton in the Three Lions goals list - Lineker appreciates the virtues that Phil Neville brings to Everton.
“You don’t win over 50 caps for England if you’re not a very good player and with Phil you know exactly what you’re going to get,” he said.
Lineker is also a fan of Everton boss, David Moyes.
“I think he’s done a terrific job,” he said. “He obviously hasn’t got the finances that some of the other clubs in and around the top four or five have got and he’s a prime example of what can be achieved when clubs stick with their manager even after an indifferent season, which Everton had a few years ago.”
Lineker will be back on Merseyside in a few weeks to front the 2008 BBC Sports Personality of the Year, which will be held at the Liverpool Echo Arena on Sunday 14 December.
He’s looking forward to it.
“We’ve staged a couple of these events outside of London when we went to Birmingham and they were very successful,” he said.
“To come up to Liverpool in the Capital of Culture year is terrific and there will be a really big audience.”
And the winner of the ultimate prize?
“Well it’s a great year for Liverpool to have this event because there are plenty of candidates,” he said. “We’ve perhaps struggled for a few genuine contenders in the last few years but there are lots this time around.
“We had the Olympics when the likes of Chris Hoy and Rebecca Adlington won gold medals, Andrew Murray has had a great year, so has Joe Calzaghe and, of course, Lewis Hamilton is a World Champion.”
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