The former Feyenoord starlet, who became the poster boy of Holland U21s’ 2007 European Championship triumph, joined Real Madrid shortly after the tournament but made only 15 league starts in his first three seasons with the Bernabeu giants.
A positive loan spell at newly promoted Hercules turned sour after his wages weren’t paid on time, and his decision to go on strike didn’t go down well with then-Madrid boss Jose Mourinho, who made Drenthe train separately from the first team on returning to his parent club.
Moyes eventually came to the Dutchman’s rescue in August 2011 and once again Drenthe hit the ground running, scoring or assisting seven goals in his opening 10 Premier League appearances – including a third-minute piledriver against Fulham.
“Together with my first months at Hercules, I had the best spell of my career at Everton,” the 31-year-old, who is now hoping to steer second-tier Sparta Rotterdam back to the Eredivisie, says in the March 2019 issue of FourFourTwo magazine.
In all, Drenthe appeared 27 times for Everton in 2011/12, and netted after just 49 seconds of the Toffees’ 2-0 FA Cup Fifth Round win over Blackpool at Goodison Park.
However, the Dutchman endured a difficult relationship with Moyes. Constant clashes over his timekeeping finally came to a head when Drenthe turned up late for a team meeting before Everton’s FA Cup semi-final showdown with Merseyside rivals Liverpool at Wembley – and the winger wishes he’d handled the situation better.
“I was waiting outside the room,” he explains, “whereas I probably should have just walked in quietly and taken a seat.
“When I went in afterwards, Moyes told me to f**k off. I should have accepted it, but I said, ‘What do you mean, f**k off, bro? You f**k off.’ And then I left for Holland and didn’t come back. If I’d adapted more to Moyes I think I’d have reaped the benefits, as initially I did play a lot under him.”
Read the full interview with Royston Drenthe in the March 2019 issue of FourFourTwo magazine, which also features exclusive chats with Jadon Sancho, Gareth Bale, Edin Dzeko and Andriy Shevchenko. Plus, we present our six-point plan to become an incredible interim manager, visit QPR as they hope to banish their FA Cup hoodoo, go One-on-One with Nigel Winterburn and hear from football’s ultimate journeyman, Sebastian Abreu.
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