|Joined||31 August 2005|
|Joined from||Inter Milan|
|Signed by||David Moyes|
|Debut as sub||v Middlesbrough (H)
26 October 2005
|Full debut||v Birmingham (A)
29 October 2005
|Contract duration||4 years|
|Contract expired||June 2009|
|Left Everton||Released June 2009|
|Date of birth||30 September 1979|
|Nickname(s)||Andy Pandy, Shandy Andy|
|Honours||Dutch League (1997-98 and 2001-02)
Dutch Cup (1998, 1999 and 2002)
Italian Cup (2005)
Dutch Intl: 18 caps 1 gl
|Pacey and skillfull|
|Crosses are good|
|Likes to get forward|
|Not afraid to shoot|
|Injury prone / allways unfit|
|Gives the ball away a lot|
|Defensively offers nothing|
|Won't chase lost causes|
|Doesn't look before crossing|
|Can't last 90 minutes|
Andy van der Meyde came to Everton as a very highly rated winger with a pedigree that included Ajax, Inter Milan, and of course the Dutch national side. And he was 'only' 25. Which made many wonder how on earth the club managed to snap him up for under £2M, especially when you consider that, when David Moyes first tried to sign him, his price tag read £4.5M.
The answers would come soon enough and revolved around lingering concerns about his fitness and off-the-field attitude.
Van der Meyde (pronounced "Fun-dur-my-da") is a product of the Ajax youth academy and made his debut for the famous Dutch club in 1997 at the age of 18. He spent a season on loan with FC Twente in 1999-2000 and on his return became a regular in the Ajax side. From there, his form earned him regular call-ups to the Dutch national side, finally making his debut in May 2002 against the USA.
Although known primarily as right-winger, Van der Meyde was equally at home on the left flank, having been moved there while at Ajax by then coach Ronald Koeman to curb what he saw as the player's individualistic tendencies.
"When Van der Meyde plays on the left he keeps the ball better and doesn't look to make big plays all the time," said Koeman at the time.
Inter Milan paid £4M for the winger in 2003 but he made only 15 appearances in the 2003-04 season. Despite that, he went to Euro 2004 with Holland and helped them reach the semi-finals. Van der Meyde was again a fringe player at the San Siro in 2004-05 and was told he could find a new club.
His signing for Everton finally went ahead only after a second blood test gave him the all-clear — "I trained too hard for the medical and it appeared my liver was not right," the Dutchman was quoted as saying. "The sudden intense activity seems to have been too much for my body to cope with, but everything is fine," — but he still arrived at Goodison complete with a groin injury that would keep him sidelined for what was supposed to be two weeks... It was to be substantially longer before Evertonians were to see him grace the Goodison Park turf.
On his day, which turned out to be exceedingly rare, he could be an exciting, touch-line hugging winger, not dissimilar to Dave Thomas, who used to bomb up the left wing before supplying Bob Latchford with cross after cross. As with most Dutch players, he possessed excellent technique, and wais skillful enough to give full backs a bit of a chasing. He was fast and he could score his share of goals too.
On the down side, he would fade out of games quite dramatically, and there were serious doubts about his willingness to battle for the team when they were up against it — something that probably didn’t happen a lot when he played for Ajax or Inter Milan. But for £1.8M, his transfer to Everton was viewed at the time as a fine piece of business by David Moyes, as it appeared to strengthen Everton’s midfield options.
But that was all before he kicked a ball for Everton. Which he did... eventually... after a lot of fuss about his groin injury, which needed time to heal... plenty of time... Meanwhile, through the dreadful first half of the 2005-06 season, many fans pinned their hopes on Van der Meyde becoming a saviour for a team desperately lacking flair on the flanks.
His debut finally came in October 2005 against Middlesbrough; he set up Simon Davies for only Everton's second win of the season but before long he was injured again. He had managed just five starts at this point.
A reappearance from the depths of the treatment room in March 2006 was cruelly cut short by a very unfair red card for flapping his elbows in the Anfield derby, resulting in another three games missed. Meanwhile, rightly or wrongly, rumours spread of his penchant for enjoying a night out on the town and, as the season 2005-06 season ended, Len Capeling revealed in the Daily Post that the Dutchman appeared to have upset David Moyes in record time.
With worries over the player's poor attitude, Everton let it be known they were open to offers for a forward who spent more time on the Bellefield treatment table than he did on the Goodison pitch. His first season at Goodison Park had been punctuated by injuries, those rumours of off-the-field shenanigans, and two burglaries at his home when first his dog and then his Ferrari were stolen.
Press reports and quotes attributed to the player and his agent that Van der Meyde first wanted to return to Italy and then try his luck at FC Porto were swiftly denied and the winger eventually pledged his future to Everton, vowing to fight for his place at Goodison in 2006-07. But that place was a long time coming. It was December before he made his first start of the season, and put in a decent half-shift against West Ham, but the strikers failed to respond to his new supply routes.
Getting a run of games — or even a full game — seemed to be a challenge, for whatever reason. If it was not lingering injury, then it was lack of match fitness, but if he did get a game he always seemed to be the fist to be subbed by Moyes. He would give tantalizing glimpses of the new dimension a fully fit attack-minded winger would bring to Everton's game, but it became increasingly clear her was never going to fit the bill.
In February 2007, he blabbed to the News of the World about not being given enough playing time by Moyes, and threatening to leave, citing his unhappiness that his wife and family had returned to Italy because they were "unable to settle" on Merseyside.
Either because there were no takers for a player who had played so little football in recent seasons, or because he genuinely felt he could recapture his form, Van der Meyde stayed with the Blues in the summer of 2007 but found himself on the wrong side of the manager once more when he failed to show for pre-season training and was (somewhat counter-productively) handed a month-long suspension.
It emerged, however, that his infant daughter had developed post-natal problems and had spent much of the first six months of her life in an incubator. Daily hospital visits no doubt proved problematic when trying to stick to a training routine and Andy clearly made a choice in priorities and put his focus on family.
Although he stayed behind on Merseyside due to his fear of flying while the rest of the Everton squad went on there Summer 2007 tour of the USA, Van der Meyde once again told EvertonTV of his determination to finally succeed at Goodison. Unfortunately for him, he didn't get the chance; even under Moyes's limited squad rotation policy and injury adjustments, there was to be no room for such an unreliable player.
The Dutchman started 2008 on the treatment table after suffering a nasty gash to his leg, which required 16 stitches, while playing for the Reserves and never saw any first-team action. Stories had claimed that David Moyes had had enough of him, and that he would not play for Everton again. He made a handful of teamsheets during the season but never got off the bench. That at least might explain why he remained completely unused despite Everton struggling through the worst of injury crises, when the midfield were crying out for some spark of creativity.
As the summer transfer window opened in June 2008, AvdM was expected to be one of the first out the door... but as it closed in September, he was still and Everton player, injured yet again, and still with another year to run on his contract. We should mention a brief renaissance in the first handful of 2008 pre-season games, when he game roaring out of the traps... and tore his hamstring early in the third game, rendering himself unfit yet again for any meaningful action.
Plenty more time in the treatment room followed, plus the usual off-filed stories and promises of yet another renaissance. But all he got was three sub appearances... strangely, one would turn out to be pivotal in Everton's run to the glory of a Wembley FA Cup Final. The occasion was a tense FA Cup 4th Round Replay under the Goodison lights, against the old enemy from across the park.
Barely minutes to go in extra time before penalties and it was none other than Andy van der Meyde who put in a peach of a cross that Dan Gosling controlled brilliantly before pitching it neatly into the Liverpool goal. Surely, with such proof of his latent ability, Shandy Andy would be back in from the cold?
Nope; just one more sub appearance and, instead of finally making the grade, there was a telling outburst indicting the manager for his failures and, from that point on, his destiny was sealed. Just three sub appearances in his final season says it all.
He spent six months without a club before agreeing a six-month deal with PSV Eindhoven in January 2010. He appeared in a friendly in April 2010 but made no senior appearances for PSV. In May 2010, PSV decided not to exercise their option to extend his contract: “PSV think Andy should be able to play regular football but we cannot offer him that opportunity”, explained General Manager Jan Reker at the Philips Stadium.
He does not appear to have secured any subsequent playing engagement and annouced his retirement from professional football in February 2011, at the age of 31, saying "I quit; I do not need to give an intervirew."
Last updated February 2011
|Prior Club Record|
|1999-2000||FC Twente (loan)||32||2|