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Is it really that unsettling?

By Kieran Fitzgerald :  28/10/2010 :  Comments (16) :
I've read some comments about how Pienaar not signing a new contract, or not stating his plans one way or another, is unsettling for the other players in the squad. With football being what it is nowadays, I really don't think so. The current generation of players are used to moving around every couple of years and are also used to squads changing to a large degree every couple of seasons. I really don't think they make that much of a fuss of it, it's an acceptable part of life at a club and players are just used to it.

With the exception of older professionals like Phil Neville, who can remember the senior pros of his youth staying with the one club for a lot longer, and some home grown players like Ossie and Hibbert at Everton who are delighted to play for the club they love, not many players really seem to see themselves staying at the one club for years at a time anyway. You are not tied to your contract like before and clubs and managers, due to modern employment laws, just don't have the same hold over you. Loyalty aside, if you want to move, there is nothing to stop you anyway, not even a contract..

Even Chelsea and United, who win trophies on a regular basis and would by extension be attractive as a long-term option for players, only keep the spine of the team long-term. Players come and go, both by choice and by the manager's discretion, on a regular basis.

Loyalty has to a large degree been eroded by the fact that a player can now, by the age of 35, set himself up for life financially with a couple of astute moves. Before, when football had a lot less money, loyalty to a club meant a regular income, which in turn meant some endorsements and win bonuses and a chance to pay into something resembling a decent pension as a result.

Football, and players' attitudes have changed. Pienaar is not different. And, after all, it works both ways in terms of players coming into our club.

Reader Comments

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Andy Peers
1   Posted 29/10/2010 at 06:17:02

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I just hope that if Pienaar ends up not signing then at least get an obscene amount of money for him to strengthen our squad, it worked with Lescott. Don,t let him run out his contract and get nothing for him, that would make no sense. I actually don't think Pienaar could play as good with another team (just like Lescott) as was pointed out with the awful performances in the World Cup.
Trevor Lynes
2   Posted 29/10/2010 at 08:46:18

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A lot is to be said for playing British players, preferably locals, as they normally don't want to go abroad or leave the club. Our national side suffers due to the present habit of bringing in foreign stars to the detriment of our youngsters. Footballers have a short career and will cash in if they can and that is obvious... but it is noticeable that British players stay at their club as long as they are wanted in most cases.

The present situation at Man City is the exception to the rule because of the high wages they are offering. As I have said before, the most valuable assets are the better players and they are the ones who become unsettled. EFC only have a very small number of players who would command a large transfer fee.

Matt Traynor
3   Posted 29/10/2010 at 08:13:14

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Andy #1 - what would in your eyes constitute an obscene amount for Pienaar in January if he goes, given he can already sign for a foreign club for "free" and will have 6 months left on his contract, so only a club seriously thinking he would help in a push towards a CL place would be in for him from the EPL? We'd do well to get our money back - 2m+.

Generally, loyalty has gone from the game. In defence (just about!) of players, it has always cut both ways, with clubs getting rid of players for their own reasons.
Dick Fearon
4   Posted 29/10/2010 at 09:06:19

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Trevor #2. Without imports, the Premier League would be second rate, global audiences would drop, TV and shirt sales money would be slashed and clubs would be forced to live within their means. The best of British would go abroad and we would be left with a thousand has-beens, never-has-beens, and never-will-bes.

After saying all that, I still have a hankering for the 'good' old days.

Ray Robinson
5   Posted 29/10/2010 at 09:23:11

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Addressing the question asked in the post, I would say it IS unsettling for players. All players, even mercenaries, want the chance to win trophies, so there must be a depressing effect when one of the better players makes it clear that he wants to leave. In the worst case scenario, it could make others think about leaving. If Torres left Liverpool, I think you'd find Reina and Gerrard following soon after. Surely, there has to be a psychological effect? And make no mistake, Pienaar is an influential player. If he does leave, we'd better have an inspiring player to take his place.
Kevin Gillen
6   Posted 29/10/2010 at 09:54:15

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As long as Pienaar doesn't take to his sick bed or give less than 100% when he does play I don't think we can ask for more. Him not signing is just part of the modern game. Let's face it, I know we unearthed his talent in the Premiership but for the past two years he could have been earning double what he gets at Everton. If Blue Bill really is serious about building a top four team he would pay him the money. Even United fans had to wake up and smell the coffee on that one last week.
David Hallwood
7   Posted 29/10/2010 at 10:39:48

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It isn't nailed on that Pienaar is going to leave-highly likely perhaps, bit we've seen this type of brinkmanship with Saha & Arteta, and then all of a sudden a new 5 year deal is announced. As I always post in threads about players leaving, wait til he's pictures holding the shirt or scarve up declaring that when he was a boy Spurs/RS/Villa/Marine was his second team.

Roberto Birquet
8   Posted 29/10/2010 at 10:57:26

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"Loyalty has to a large degree been eroded by the fact that a player can now, by the age of 35, set himself up for life financially with a couple of astute moves."
The idea that a Premier League player has to keeping earning until 35 ? and use astute moves ? to "set ghimself up for life" is an odious one. It is frankly insulting to our intelligence.

Yes, they have every right to do what they want etc, and can become fabulously wealthy. But please enough of the "he has to think of his family", or "moving to sign x deal will give him financial security". Nail this garbage! For anyone else, one year of a Prem League salary, and you're made ? unless you're very stupid with money.

On Pienaar, he'll go. Have never felt he would stay. Even a year and a half ago, didn't get any indication he would stay. So we're gonna need to bring in a left and a righ-sided wide player over then 10 months. And probably a striker.
Thomas James
9   Posted 29/10/2010 at 13:04:03

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I think Pienaar will leave, I think he thinks he is better than he perhaps is...for all his show boating I don't remember him having a spell in the team where he scored a lot of goals from midfield like Cahill or Arteta do.

I think loyalty is a personal trait, something in your make-up. I'm not convinced it is a local thing, look at Cahill and Howard...I doubt they'll want to move and yet when they were boys neither knew of Everton.

Pienaar will go, but I'm reading in the press (with a pinch-of-salt) that we are being linked with wingers who themselves are on a free, which would suggest Moyes is planning for the future...or at least the red tops are for us!!
Ken Buckley
10   Posted 29/10/2010 at 14:35:58

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I think a lot depends on who shows a genuine interest coupled with the deal that is offered to him that will determine whether he decides to go or stay.

As for the rest of the squad being unsettled if he does decide to leave will I think depend a lot on the quality of replacement. As fans we love to see quality being added to our squad and I am sure the players are no different.

Leon Perrin
11   Posted 29/10/2010 at 17:22:54

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I just think it's accepted by all concerned now.

As a result the bond between fans, players and by association the clubs has diminished. Players' contracts and club finances have overtaken goals and spectacle as the fans' major talking point it's like a FTSE appraisal rather than an uplifting sport.

Not much passion in that I'm afraid, progress eh.
Jamie Rowland
12   Posted 30/10/2010 at 09:07:46

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Firstly Everton FC aren't listed in the FTSE.. or the AIM/USM etc. so the chances of getting appraised by such a method doesn't happen. You cant float with a negative account.

As for Mr Pienaar, his latest ramblings about the greatest fans in the world (which we are not) is just part of the long wave goodbye. He's just softening the blow. It's the same old shit... in fact it's almost a carbon copy of the Kanchelskis 'wave goodbye'...
Gary Brereton
13   Posted 30/10/2010 at 11:30:06

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I've been saying it for years; to give the power back to the club, players should be self-employed. That way, the club could employ a nucleus of players, probably fifteen or so, and then call on a pool of players that would not be employed with anyone but would train with a club of choice for a retaining fee.

Now I've had my detractors, mostly my mates, stating that a player such as Wayne Rooney would be moving clubs every 6 months or so, therefore there would be no continuity. I agree, initially there would be upheaval but, once it settled down, clubs could manage their finances easily and agents would be a thing of the past. The reason I believe this is that there would be masses of players battling for a few lucrative contracts, plus those contracts would lean towards protecting the clubs (if the clubs aren't happy they cancel the contract).

The only stumbling block to this is the system that is employed now. It is one big bloody 'gravy train'. From the players to the managers, club directors all the way to the top, as the recent votes debacle at FIFA highlighted. Everyone has their nose in the trough. What we as supporters do is create the gravy that these transients feed on. Every ticket sold, shirt sold, pie bought, but more importantly, match watched on telly adds to the all the money that is sloshing around in football.

The only way we can take control is to make demands, but all football fans are disenfranchised, we will never get together and force change, as Man Utd's 'green & golds' have proved. They may be unhappy, but they'll still go the game and subscribe to satellite sports channels to watch the match.

So what of Pienaar? I hope he stays; the play that he brings to the left hand side of our team in conjunction with Leighton Baines, is nothing short of superb. I don't think we will find an adequate replacement for a long time. Will he stay? No; he likes Everton, but in the same way I like my missus. If someone came along that was younger, blonde, prettier with bigger tits. I'd kiss my badge, wave to the crowd and take the better offer. He's not like us, he doesn't love the club. I know it's picking at old wounds, but we have all known that football changed ever since Rooney left the club.

Oliver Molloy
14   Posted 30/10/2010 at 12:58:46

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Kevin @ 6...

No-one knows what the club have offered Pienaar but he feels it is not enough. Moyes has stated that the player has been made an extremely good offer, and the club would not increase this. We have to believe this is the case. It's just not as easy as Kenwright should pay him-pay him what exactly? You tell us !

In my opinion, if the reported wages of £75k a week for Arteta are true, that was complete madness ? he's not worth this type of money, full stop. So if Pienaar is sitting with his agent saying to the club he wants parity with Arteta, he's completely mad.

Rob Beel
15   Posted 31/10/2010 at 09:23:02

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Dave (#7) makes a good point regarding the speculation when Arteta was allegedly leaving in the summer, then, bang ? he signs a five-year contract. Pienaar makes the right noises about the club/fans but doesn't write it where it counts. Although he has bought the club a certain amount of shame with arrests etc, I personally wish he stays as his work rate and understanding ? his link-up play on the left with Baines has been the best we've seen at Goodison for many a year. If he goes, Ii hope we do get a shed load of cash for him.

As an ex-pat living out in Oz, I am surprised to see or hear no-one has mentioned the young lad at Wolves, Matt Jarvis. From the games I see out here and reports I've read he seems a great prospect and English. MotM again v City yesterday and I watched him rip United to bits in midweek in the Carling Cup. Not sure if he'd be too expensive though, if at all available, and would like to know other Blues' opinions on him. Then again, give Gueye a go.

Nick Armitage
16   Posted 31/10/2010 at 20:30:54

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Gary Brereton (13) - for your sake, I hope your missus doesn't read that. The words dead and meat spring to mind.

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