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Colin Harvey


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ToffeeTalk: Hi Colin, thanks for agreeing to an interview. Firstly, how is your health after your recent hip operation?


Colin Harvey: It's not too bad at all. It's the third one I've had done, they've replaced my hip and my health has been quite good.






ToffeeTalk: How do you recall your first game and goal for the blues?


Colin Harvey My first game was in the European cup and I debuted against Inter Milan in the second leg of the first round. It was in Milan and I came into replace Jimmy Gallen, Inter Milan were the eventual winners of the cup that year. My first goal was… let me think versus Liverpool.


ToffeeTalk: A good start.


Colin Harvey: Yeah, it was, wasn't it!?


ToffeeTalk: What do you consider the highlights of your playing and managerial career?


Colin Harvey: Obviously playing for Everton was definitely a high, scoring in the. semi final versus Manchester United in the FA Cup. We won 1-0 and went onto play in the final against Sheffield Wednesday, at one time we were 2-0 down and we eventually won 3-2. It was a great memory. I scored the only goal in the semi final which took us to the final to win the cup!


ToffeeTalk: Sharpy has recently published his book where he has criticised two of your signings Peter Beagrie and Tony Cottee, he said that they didn't weren't 'Everton players'. Would you say that that is a fair assessment or was he expecting too much having played for what was arguably the best team in Europe the season before?


Colin Harvey: Graeme has a right to his opinion, everyone has. I've got no beef about that. I thought they were very good players. Both served Everton very well. Tony went onto score a great number of goals and Peter had two spells with Everton, he came back on loan as well. I think they were both very good players for Everton. Graeme is just expressing his opinion, which he is entitled to.


ToffeeTalk: Having to retire through injury can not be a nice experience, do you find it difficult watching another player struggling with a career threatening injury.


Colin Harvey: When I was younger I thought I would go on playing until I was about 35 or 36 because I was fit player. These things happen and you can't legislate for them in football and the fact that is has happened to other people as well is… well it happens in football you know that before you get into it, somewhere along the lines you're going to get injuries. You can just hope that they are not the sort of injuries that can stop you playing and finish your career. In my case it did stop my career, I have no regrets. If I had to do it again, I'd do it the same way and just hope I didn't get injured so I could player longer.


ToffeeTalk: What are your thoughts on pain-killing injections?


Colin Harvey: [When playing] As long as I got myself fit and I was playing a game. The injections didn't matter. In retrospect I would not have had them, at the time I only wanted to play football. Anything that could help you play in a game or get fit for a game you'll do. As I said thinking back I wouldn't do it. You're asked to play football and that's what I did.


ToffeeTalk: Where you tempted to follow Howard Kendall abroad in hope of European football?


Colin Harvey: No. The opportunity to take over [Everton] wasn't planned. A lot of things happen in football that you don't legislate for and being a manager wasn't a burning ambition but when the opportunity came along it wasn't one I could refuse. It was something I had to do.


ToffeeTalk: Did you ever let a youth player go and regretted it later after seeing a performance for another team?


Colin Harvey: When managing, you'll release players, you'll say to them I hope you do come back in another guise and hope you become a top class footballer. There are no players who have come back to haunt me.


ToffeeTalk: Do you feel you should have won more than one England cap?


Colin Harvey: In my honest opinion yes I do, it was difficult because Alf Ramsey played England like a club side and he picked players who'd done well for him over the years. Some were top players who had won the world cup and reached the quarter finals in 1970. Give him his due in that respect but I always hoped I would have got more and I believed that I should have done.


ToffeeTalk: Many people would agree with you on that.


Colin Harvey: Hopefully they would do! [Laughs]. Unfortunately it wasn't to be but the fact I did I play for England is a great honour and one I will remember.


ToffeeTalk: Who was the greatest player you have played with?


Colin Harvey: I would say Alan Ball. I played against him at junior level when he was at Blackpool and I played against him at Everton. I played with him in the first team. When he came to Everton I realised how good he was. He was a really difficult player to play against in terms of how good a player he was. You were playing with a world cup winner everyday in training. You'd push yourself harder to be as good as him. Trying to emulate someone like him is a good yard stick to drive you on.



ToffeeTalk: What was the best practical joke you have played or received in your career and who gave the most laughs during your time at Everton.


Colin Harvey: [Laughs] It wasn't a practical joke as such, I was very good friends with Tommy Wright who played for Everton at the same time as me. There were only a couple of weeks between our birthdays; he's three weeks older than me.


One Monday morning, he had been to a christening the night before and had had a good time. We had to do some running and we were running around the back of the gym. There was a big tree stump there. We were in pairs and ran one at a time, so when one had been around he'd touch the other and he'd run off.


I ran one lap, then Tommy did the next one, I ran the next. When I come around again, Tommy was hiding behind the tree and couldn't do the next one. I kept on running, I got back around and Tommy still couldn't do it so I carried on running. In the end I'd run about six laps on the trot. Wilf Dixon- the trainer was saying "come on Colin, your times are awful poor here", little did he know I was doing all the running for both Tommy and myself!


That's what friends are for isn't it!?






ToffeeTalk: What are your thoughts on David Moyes, do you think he is doing a good job?


Colin Harvey: I do yes, I think he is doing a very good job. He's brought players through and he's bought some good players in pre-season, Johnson, Lescott and Howard from Manchester United and Phil Neville just before that. Each player he buys has taken the team up a couple of notches. He's just got to keep searching to make sure he gets that consistency that you need to become a top class side. He's working his way towards that.


ToffeeTalk: Tim Howard has impressed the Goodison Faithful this season; can you see him playing in Royal Blue next season?


Colin Harvey: He has improved the spine of the team. He's a good goalkeeper; we've got two good centre backs in Yobo and Lescott, a good striker in Johnson and good midfield players Carsley, Cahill and Arteta. It's a good spine through the side and that's what your aim is to do when managing. When you have a good spine you can work on the outer limits so to speak. They're all good enough now and will be good enough in the future.


ToffeeTalk: Who would you sign if you were manager?


Colin Harvey: It all depends on the amount of money I have, if we had the money we could have a few couldn't we? We could Ronaldinho or someone like that. Anyway, David Moyes is doing a tremendous job.


ToffeeTalk: When David Moyes buys players from the lower league, is he taking more or less of a risk than managers signing continental players playing at a higher level?


Colin Harvey: Moyes has a mixture, he has Arteta [spain] and Yobo from Nigeria. He's mixed them with some good English players – the likes of Neville, Carlsey… okay maybe not Carlsey as such (he was born in Birmingham not Ireland so C.H. can have that one) and Johnson. Moyes has gone for a nice mixture its blending well and hopefully it can keep improving for him.


ToffeeTalk: Sepp Blatter has said diving is part of the game and when he was a player he dived himself. Should this behaviour be stomped out or is part of the game taking advantage however necessary?


Colin Harvey: I don't believe that. I believe you should play to the letter of the law. If you are tripped and you genuinely go down, that's it. I don't like the way players simulate diving. The game should be played to the letter of the law.


If you play to the letter of the law and get hurt or injure someone… too bad. That happens. The game should be played to the referee's whistle and to the laws of the game.





ToffeeTalk: How important are the new facilities in Halewood to be when trying to sign the best young players?


Colin Havey: I don't think they will make too much of a difference. I'm a born Evertonian, if I was coming to play for Everton the state of the facilities wouldn't matter to me. I'd just be grateful for the chance to go there. If you are an Evertonian, that's it. That's your goal.


ToffeeTalk: Do you think it'll ever be possible again for a team put together mainly from home grown players and lower league signings to win the league? Or do you think it's only available to the super-wealthy clubs?


Colin Harvey: Unfortunately I think those days are gone. It's important that Everton do nurture their own talents and do look at getting the best young players. When the opportunity comes along should try and buy the good young European players. That's the way to do it.


ToffeeTalk: Do you think the benefits of a new stadium outweigh staying at Goodison Park where the history is?


Colin Harvey: I do now. I never used to. I used to think that Goodison Park is… well… Goodison Park but now we need at least a 50-60,000 capacity stadium complete with the new facilities. You only have to look at the likes of the Emirates stadium and the way that Manchester United has developed Old Trafford. The land around Old Trafford was available for them to do that so they've gone up to 70 odd thousand. The days when you could base a good success with an average 40,000 attendance have gone. It's in the Echo tonight. The club are looking into the possibilities of a new stadium. I think the sooner they get one the better.


ToffeeTalk: Where do you see Everton in five years time?


Colin Harvey: Well hopefully in a new stadium and with everything that goes with that such as the merchandising and increased revenue, a top four side and in a brand new stadium.


ToffeeTalk: Thanks for taking the time to answer our questions.


Colin Harvey: It was a pleasure. I'm pleased to have done it for you.

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