Former Everton winger Royston Drenthe has admitted that he regrets the hostile manner of his departure from the club following his falling out with then-manager David Moyes.
The Dutchman, who spent a loan spell at Goodison Park during the 2011-12 season from Real Madrid, made 27 appearances for the clubs in his lone campaign with the Toffees.
His stint in Merseyside came on the back of a controversial spell with La Liga outfit Hercules the year before that turned bitter following late wages and a decision to strike that irked then-Los Blancos boss Jose Mourinho.
Drenthe was initially a hit with Everton, scoring or assisting seven goals in his first 10 games in the Premier League but the 2007-08 La Liga title winner endured a combative relationship with Moyes that ultimately boiled over towards the end of the season.
The pair’s estrangement came to a crescendo after the player’s constant unpunctuality saw him miss a key team meeting ahead of the club’s FA Cup semi-final clash with city rivals Liverpool.
Looking back on the incident that effectively spelled the end of his career in the top flight of English football, Drenthe states that he wishes he had resolved the matter in a less confrontational fashion.
“I was waiting outside the room,” the 31-year-old told FourFourTwo Magazine, “whereas I probably should have just walked in quietly and taken a seat.
“When I went in afterwards, Moyes told me to f*** off. I should have accepted it, but I said, ‘What do you mean, f*** off, bro? You f*** 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.
“Together with my first months at Hercules, I had the best spell of my career at Everton.”
Drenthe later spent two seasons contracted to Reading in the Championship, though he spent part of the latter campaign on loan with Sheffield Wednesday.
He announced his retirement from football in 2016 after being unable to find a club but made a return with second tier Dutch outfit Sparta Rotterdam last year after penning a one-year deal.