Sunderland manager David Moyes believes Tim Cahill will be an important figure in Australian football for many more years and admits even he was surprised by the striker’s wonder goal in the recent Melbourne Derby.
Speaking on the Real Football Show on Adelaide radio, Moyes opened up about why he signed Cahill to Everton more than a decade ago and the Caltex Socceroo star’s ability to deliver on the big stage.
The pair stay in touch with Cahill revealing recently he received a text from Moyes, a man he describes as a major mentor in his career.
Moyes, who worked alongside Cahill for almost a decade at the Toffees, remains close with the 36-year-old and did see his stunning Hyundai A-League debut for Melbourne City.
Cahill stole the headlines with his incredible long-range goal and Moyes admits it even took him by surprise.
“I sat and watched his goal with Jimmy Lumsden who I’ve worked with for a long time and we saw it and said ‘that must be Tim’s brother that scored that goal because he can’t score from there!’. Or if he could it must have been with his head,” Moyes said.
“It was a great goal and it doesn’t surprise me. Tim tended to score in the big games. He scored against Liverpool [in the Merseyside Derby]. He was always a threat to Liverpool.
“It’s always a sign of a top player when the big games come around that really count they come up to the mark and Tim did that.
“He’s great to work with and I’m glad he’s continuing the long career he’s had.
"I think he’s been a great ambassador for football in Australia. He’s someone who I have no doubt will have a long-term future in around Australian football in years to come,” Moyes added.
Moyes was the man that gave Cahill his shot in the English Premier League, signing him from Millwall after the 2004 FA Cup final, which the Lions lost to Manchester United.
“Tim was a star for me from the first day we bought him,” Moyes said.
“I fell in love with Tim because of his performance and his toughness and his ruggedness and his ability to take on information. He was a winner.”
Which is something Moyes could do with now at his current club Sunderland.
The Black Cats are currently last in the EPL without a win from the first 10 matches of the season and pressure is growing on Moyes to keep his job.
But the Scotsman is confident they can turn things around and sees similarities with his current predicament to when he first took over at Everton.
“When I took over Everton, they were a club that was avoiding relegation, just outside the bottom three most years. It took me a little while but most of my 11 years there, I think my last eight years especially, we were never out of the top seven or eight,” Moyes said.
“One of the biggest achievements in my last two years was to finish above Liverpool, who had a far greater spending power than we did.“I see a similar thing here at Sunderland, it’s a similar project. The biggest thing we have to do is get away from the bottom of the league so we can attract better players in the future.”