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That's my boy! Rooney is welcomed back by old Everton boss Moyes

20 Feb 2010 01:12:55

That's my boy! Rooney is welcomed back by old Everton boss Moyes

The reception from Everton supporters will be as venomous as ever, but Wayne Rooney can at least count on a warm welcome back to Goodison Park from David Moyes today after finally making his peace with his former boss. Moyes has been at loggerheads with his one-time teenage prodigy ever since being accused of betraying a confidence in the Manchester United striker's autobiography, an allegation that led to court proceedings. The legal battle went Moyes's way, with the award of 'substantial' libel damages, and Rooney finally drew a line under the feud by stressing his remorse in a personal, unprompted phone call to the Everton manager. It's good to talk: Rooney's phone call buried the hatchet with Everton boss Moyes Speaking on the eve of Rooney's return to Goodison as the in-form spearhead of United's attack, Moyes said: 'Wayne phoned me a year ago to apologise for his book and to say that things he had put in it were wrong. He admitted he had made a mistake, so you have to give him a lot of credit for that. 'He thanked me for all the help he had received at Everton as well, and I just said, "Fine, Wayne, that just shows the level of maturity you have reached". Don't forget, the court case had already been won, and it was all over, as far as I was concerned. 'But I think it was something he really wanted to do, rather than someone putting him up to it. I got the impression he wanted to make that call and set things straight between us, and I really appreciated it. 'He is now the one sorting out young players at Manchester United. Anyone stepping out of line or not doing what they are supposed to is answerable to him. I suppose it just shows how we are all getting older and wiser.' Moyes admitted he could see why Everton followers still hold a grudge against Rooney, after he pursued a move to United that finally went through more than five years ago, but claimed the boyhood Goodison fan could yet rejoin his home club before hanging up his boots. Look how he's grown: Rooney heads in one of two goals against AC Milan 'I can understand his reasoning at the time, but I can also understand the feelings of our supporters,' he said. 'I am one myself, and I can understand why they are angry at the way he left, when we all wanted him to stay. 'He had the benefit of working with some really good people, like Colin Harvey and Andy Holden, and he has admitted that Everton were good for him. 'For all that, I would still welcome him back at any time. Whether it will happen is another matter, but it could be that, towards the end of his career, he might want to come back and play for Everton again.' Moyes defended his handling of a teenage Rooney but conceded the England striker could not have placed his burgeoning talent in better care than under the watchful eye of Sir Alex Ferguson. Simply the best: Rooney can go on and become one of football's all-time greats, says Moyes 'I remember another manager saying to me at the time that I was a lucky so-and-so, because I had just landed the Everton job and I had Wayne coming through the ranks within a few months,' he said. 'He was spot on. It's just a pity Wayne didn't emerge three or four years later, because we would have been in a far better position to hang on to him. 'At the time, we probably were not ready for him. We did not have the team to keep him happy. 'But it is a measure of the progress we have made that he could slot into this side and be quite content. He just came through a few years too early, and that is a shame. 'I was criticised for sometimes playing him in wide positions, but look what happened when he went to United. Sir Alex used him on the flanks as well, and it is only in the last year or so that he has become the very good centre forward everyone knew he would. 'I have no problem with Sir Alex getting credit for that, because I knew Wayne would be working with a brilliant manager. A lot of people said Sir Alex was far more experienced than me in terms of how to look after Wayne, and they were 100 per cent right. I didn't need telling that. 'There are memories, though, and I've still got a picture of his goal celebration against Leeds on the wall at home. 'We gave him his start, and you can see how much he has matured as a player and person. Because of that, he has more strings to his bow now, and he can go on to become one of the greats.'  Simply the best: Fergie hails Rooney as striker prepares to face ex-club EvertonALL THE WEEKEND BARCLAYS PREMIER LEAGUE TEAM NEWSEVERTON FC


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