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Kendall's Return

Kendall's Return

Howard Kendall's love affair with Everton is well-documented.

Already a much-admired and hugely successful player in the royal blue jersey, Kendall succeeded where many have failed in translating his unquestionable affinity for the game into a successful managerial tenure.

Not once, not twice, but three times he occupied the Goodison Park hotseat.

While the first installment of the trilogy was undoubtedly the most successful, nothing that followed that trophy-laden first stint would sour his affection for the Toffees.

His second period at Everton came, fittingly, out of the Blue. Kendall was in charge of Manchester City and hadn't even been touted as a potential successor to the out-going Colin Harvey.

Kendall's first act was to bring back HarveyKendall's first act was to bring back Harvey

"I was enjoying my spell there," Kendall told evertonfc.com. "We were successful the short time I was there, and I left them in good hands with Peter Reid - but I was delighted to come back here (to Everton).

"There was only one decision to make; when Everton Football Club come knocking on your door, there's only one decision to make."

Indeed, the short and unexpected move down the East Lancs Road caused Kendall to utter the famous phrase: "When you talk about a love affair with Man City, you are talking about a marriage with Everton."

The Statement announcing Colin Harvey's departureThis statement announcing Colin Harvey's departure was carried in the matchday programme

Perhaps predictably, his second and third spells at Everton failed to match the first - but even to this day Kendall is a Goodison regular.

"I was just waiting for a goal to be scored to be honest," he said of the drama at the death when Everton hosted Aston Villa last weekend. "A goal was scored, but then they went straight down the other end and scored again.

"When you do score a goal, the concentration level may have left them for a little bit because they thought they had drawn the game."

And things at Manchester City now are a world away from his own time there.

"They have got a decent side now," opined Kendall, referring to the expensive influx of players at Eastlands since Thaksin Shnawatra and subsequently the Abu Dhabi United Group ploughed millions into the club. "Mark Hughes is a very, very good manager. I don't think it will be that difficult (to integrate the players).

"The manager had a nucleus of young talent, the Irelands (Steven Ireland), the Johnsons (Michael Johnson) the goalkeeper (Joe Hart) is a young player and they still have Richard Dunne. I think they have bought well around those players.

"It will be very difficult for Everton on Saturday and it will be a hard fought game."

See the interview with Howard Kendall on evertonTV - now at the reduced price of £35 per year or £4.50 per month.

paul yearsleyAlways nice to c the old man back at the club we owe him a lot for what he has done at this great club

Friday 12th December 15:14 Report Comment
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