Congratulations, Sam. Do you think you’re the right person to be Everton’s new manager?
Given the time and a certain amount of resources, I’ve proved I can build a successful football club anywhere.
What do you say to fans that are in search of a quick fix?
Unfortunately, patience and football don’t sit well together. Everyone wants a quick fix, but that’s unsustainable. Instant success is built on sand and ebbs away just as quickly. To be sustainable you have to grow steadily, without risking it all collapsing and sending the club into a spiral from which it might never recover [earth to Ronald Koeman].
How long is the ideal length for a manager to be in charge?
Four years is long enough in any management job these days. Everything moves so fast, there’s not time to build a club properly. Chairmen get fed up with their managers, managers get fed up with their chairmen, the fans want someone new and it’s impossible to keep all the supporters happy.
If a player came walking into the dressing room talking away on his mobile, what would you do?
I’d take it off him and throw it in the bin, even if it was Wayne Rooney.
What do you think makes you a successful manager?
With every football club I’ve managed, there has always been a disciplined structure which is paramount to any success.
What do you think is the biggest obstacle to success?
[T]he Premier League. The League is becoming more important than England. The number of players available for selection is diminishing rapidly because of the influx of foreign players and this has to change.
Will you be supporting the Everton Ladies?
The England Women’s team were outstanding in their World Cup and did so much to promote the female game that the opportunity is there for them to build on that progress. It would be nice if the men could copy them and be as successful in the 2018 World Cup.
For the record, I haven’t got a problem with lineswomen. I expect we’ll see a woman referee in the Premier League one day. I don’t think we’ll see a woman manager in English football in my lifetime though — and that’s not because they wouldn’t be able to do the job but more because there are so many foreign managers in our game now that they are squeezing out the male English bosses as it is, before we even get to the female ones.
Any chance you will read Royal Blue Mersey?
Social media pummels you constantly. Even if you win three in a row, they’re on you the minute you lose.… [W]hile I was at West Ham… [my wife] Lynne had a morbid obsession with the fans’ website ‘Knees Up Mother Brown’ which she consulted daily to find out what new insults were being fired in my direction.
Everton fans are a bit traumatized by this season. How do you typically feel before a game?
I would get stomach cramps, then I’d get the runs and my armpits would sweat profusely.
Everton fans will surely relate to that!
Yet once the whistle went, I was fine….
Oh. That sense of calm still hasn’t happened for most Everton fans yet this season. What do you remember from your days starting out as a young player at Bolton?
[T]here was always a bottle of whiskey around… we all had a shot before running out for the game. It warmed you up nicely and gave you a little glow.