Andy Gray, famously turned down the opportunity to manage the Blues in 1997 after being tempted to remain at Sky Sports as a pundit but he now says it was a missed opportunity
The former Everton striker was on a short-list of two names to succeed Joe Royle on a permanent basis following his departure from the Goodison hotseat in March but then Chairman Peter Johnson eventually appointed Howard Kendall to a third term as manager after Gray took himself out of the running.
After a number of high-profile candidates like Sir Bobby Robson were approached to replace Royle, Gray was offered the position a lucrative new contract offered by Sky was enough to persuade him to turn down the chance to take the help of the club he helped to an FA Cup triumph in 1984 and both the League Championship and the European Cup Winners' Cup the following year.
“It's something that I wish I'd done when I had an opportunity," Gray told national radio station talkSPORT. "You can always go back to TV. Television will always be there.”
“My chance was at Everton. I felt it was the wrong time but I think now it's something I wish I'd had a go at because I could have always gone back to TV."
Reader Comments (21)
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1 Posted 05/12/2015 at 06:24:16
They're doing alright in Qatar now, although I wouldn't be surprised to see them make a return at some point now Neville has left for Villarreal.
2 Posted 05/12/2015 at 08:42:02
3 Posted 05/12/2015 at 09:21:18
4 Posted 05/12/2015 at 09:21:55
Fair play to Gary Neville for taking it on. He's put his arse on the line, and hope he does alright.
5 Posted 05/12/2015 at 10:52:03
Neville has shown desire and guts which he always had as a player he just needs to show he can manage players now and I hope he succeeds.
Anyone who hates the RS as much as he does is ok by me!!
6 Posted 05/12/2015 at 12:39:17
Good luck to him, hated as player but almost universally respected as a pundit. I'll miss him on MNF.
Gray will always wonder, "What if?"
7 Posted 06/12/2015 at 09:34:20
Gray never gave an impression that he saw us as anything but an also-ran and clearly favoured the Sky 4 (Man Utd, Arsenal, Chelsea and the RS).
I suspect, with Neville taking the plunge, Gray sees some unfinished business. Glad it's not with us.
8 Posted 06/12/2015 at 10:26:59
I'm pretty sure Gray himself was resentful of the way he was discarded (though I don't recall him ever being critical of the fanbase). At the time, HK was clearly trying to evolve the style though, something which we saw the season after Lineker, when we regained the league with a brand of football many saw as less exciting than in 85.
9 Posted 06/12/2015 at 11:38:45
In 84/85 I was 24/25 and Andy Gray scoring for Everton was as thrilling as it got.
Simple too. Bang GOAL!! We went mad, he went mad, one big love in with trophies.
I was gutted when he left loved him.
But..that was then.
Now I'm 56 and even with the leeway, he's someone I'm 99.9% sure I wouldn't like.
Having heard some of his (Sky) workplace 'banter' (banter = the word that launched and excused a thousand unfunny, hurtful digs) I'm fairly sure much of the stuff we didn't hear would make your hair curl.
My guess is, expressions along the lines 'You see the thing is, most of them don't want to work' and/or 'Well the problem is they won't assimilate into our ways' (stated while drinking a pint of bitter in the Beefeater bar, Dubai) are probably never far from his lips.
And my... er... 'point': I also think he bottled it. ('Do wot, Arfur!')
He talks (and talked) a good fight, but when push came to shove, Sky was safe, Everton was scary he chose safe.
(By the way, for anyone violently disagreeing with my opinion 'Tut, it's only a bit of banter...')
10 Posted 06/12/2015 at 12:03:37
11 Posted 06/12/2015 at 14:24:05
For a start, they always want to begin their careers by managing a Premier League club. Nobody wants to start at the bottom and work their way up. But if you want to learn the fundamentals of football management you have to start at smaller clubs.
Just because you were a fans' favourite at a big club doesn't mean you can manage them. Look what happened to Shearer at the Barcodes. Put him off management for life. He discovered it's not as easy at it looks.
Personally I think he just used Everton to get a big pay rise out of Sky and never had any serious intention of going into management at Everton or anywhere else.
Probably would have shit a brick if we had took him up on it.
12 Posted 06/12/2015 at 15:19:02
13 Posted 06/12/2015 at 15:40:12
He may be a shit pundit but a pundit for SKY he was. It was his job to suck up to their favoured teams. For what it's worth I don't think he would've made a good manager and maybe he did bottle it and settle for the safety of SKY punditry.
He never ever bottled it whilst wearing an Everton shirt. I've been watching Everton for nearly 40 years and my favourite game of all time was Bayern at Goodison. A game where Andy Gray physically tore apart their back four. I wish a few of our current players would give half the effort Andy did in his time at Everton.
14 Posted 06/12/2015 at 15:47:56
15 Posted 06/12/2015 at 17:08:42
Ron went into a Keeganesque tirade about Gray taking the easy way out by quitting as his coach to sit and talk glib bullshit in the Sky Sports studio.
16 Posted 07/12/2015 at 06:19:58
17 Posted 11/12/2015 at 23:19:59
Now I wonder who the dissenter might have been. Eh, Bill?
As for the man himself, he'd been an AM at Villa but never top dog, coming to us at that time as a new manager would have been boom or bust for both of us. In hindsight it was probably the right decision.
19 Posted 18/12/2015 at 21:24:07
20 Posted 18/12/2015 at 21:32:13
21 Posted 18/12/2015 at 22:23:09
22 Posted 19/12/2015 at 00:13:45
I asked Kendall about both decisions and he said it was the right call. I still disagree but, at the same time, only he could make the 83 team trophy winners. At the end of day his opinion carries far more weight than mine.
I also asked him about the Beardsley sale and he also thought that was the correct decision (which I again vehemently disagree).
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