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I miss Pienaar already

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I just wanted to raise a quick point after last night's game on our total inability to pass the ball since Steven Pienaar left the club. Instead of nice crisp short passing we seem to be adopting the long ball style or a 20-yard pass which is never going to reach its destination!

I really hope in the summer we can unearth another Pienaar otherwise we could be in for watching some very poor football! (Maybe I have just been watching Barcelona too much!!!!)
Steven Smith, Ipswich     Posted 10/03/2011 at 12:03:57

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Max Fine
1   Posted 10/03/2011 at 14:39:50

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I disagree. We've played exactly the same type of infuriating pass-to-feet football since both before and after his departure. What I wouldn't give to see some consistent pass and move football....

The only thing we miss from Pienaar is his tracking back. I certainly don't miss his overly dramatic flings to the floor after every pass he makes; I was watching Spurs the other night and realised just how funny they are. We get that you're putting in a lot of effort Steven ? no need for the Hollywood launch all the time to prove it.

Looking at some of the Spurs comments after the games, he has come in for some heavy criticism. One fan questioned "what exactly is Pienaar good at?" and are bemused by his 75k a week wages. Most are calling for him to be used as a back-up to Krancjar and wondering where this high-scoring, pacey, neat-passing flair attacking midfielder is that played for Everton. Answer: he only ever existed in the minds of the journalists who never watch our games, Pienaar and of course his agent.

I must have been watching a different player to some, as three times out of four I thought his passing was awful unless it was a one-two with Baines. And looking at Baines since Pienaar left, I think I know who's talent was behind most of that movement. Thinking about it, I barely saw a Spurs player pass to Pienaar all night... Not that he gives a shit; he's playing Champions League football in the San Siro and we're failing to beat the likes of Reading and Birmingham at home!
Karl Meighan
2   Posted 10/03/2011 at 14:26:04

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I also think we will miss Pienaar more and more as he is a quality player who the club didn't do enough to keep. Selling your best players to clubs we hope to rival for a Champions League spot is absolutely crazy.

To think Anichebe was given a nice 4-year contract and Pienaar could have been given that money and Anichebe ushered out the door with the feel of Moyes left foot on his arse leaves a sour taste in the mouth. What did not make a lot of sense when Pienaar was still at the club was that, although it was obvious that him and Baines were by far are biggest threat, Moyes often used to switch Pienaar to the right hand side.

Needed more than a Pienaar-type player is a midfielder from central areas who will commit the opponents and have the confidence and ability to beat a man and advance into the penalty area with the ball. If Fellaini or Heitinga are playing the defensive midfield role, then the first thought of the other central midfielder should be to go past the first man and attack the 18-yard box.

Pienaar probably played his best football (when Arteta was injured) from a slightly more central role although he consistently played well in a Everton shirt. People gave little thought to how strong Pienaar was but he was hardly ever shrugged off the ball and was not afraid to put his foot in a challenge.

Mark Murphy
3   Posted 10/03/2011 at 15:07:36

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I dont!

I do miss Cahill though.

And we will miss Fellaini and Arteta.

Pienaar to me never made a big enough difference. We got good service out of him but he's not the big star he thinks he is.
Alex Buckley
4   Posted 10/03/2011 at 15:34:21

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I only miss the fact we didn't force the inclusion of Krancjar in the deal.

Baines is definitely our Player of the Season & should be kept sweet ? I can't remember the last time he didn't play!
Paul Gladwell
5   Posted 10/03/2011 at 15:53:08

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I thought Osman last night was every bit as good as Baines down that flank. I don't know where you are getting this long ball stuff from. we play too much passing at times and most of it is crab-like.

I have to say, though, I wanted to leave last night in the first half ? I am so fed up with this season and have felt like that since September.

Liam Reilly
6   Posted 10/03/2011 at 16:42:50

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He's not exactly setting the place alight at Tottenham and with Bale back from injury he'll be looking for a nice warm blanket and a soft cushion.

I?d be amazed if he?s there next season, but no doubt ?Arry will move him on for a tidy sum...
David Barks
7   Posted 10/03/2011 at 16:38:54

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Max nailed the problem in his first paragraph. The problem is a lack of pass-and-MOVE football. It's the most frustrating thing for me watching Everton. I can't recall any other side that leaves its players stranded with the ball more often than Everton. Countless times an Everton player plays it out wide to Baines, Hibbert, Neville, Coleman, you name the player, and there is not another Everton player within 30 yards of him, or even in the camera picture. He's alone, no player moving toward him, no players forming a simple triangle, providing options for Baines to work with and the defense to account for. Nothing.

Our players pass it out wide and either stay where they were, or just jog inside, right into the heart of the defense where they are easily marked or a pass toward them is immediately pressured. This results in the all too common pass backward. It's ridiculous. And before anyone blames Moyes, usually you can hear him screaming at his player to get wide and move.

That is what we miss about Pienaar, he would work with Baines out left and always either send him wide or provide Baines an option out wide. Pienaar moved, intelligently. That is why Redknapp wanted him and saw him as a good fit with his Spurs side. Because that is exactly how Spurs play, pass and move, with more cutting edge than Arsenal who overpass. And it's also one of the major downfalls with how Chelsea play, far too narrow, much like us.
Dan McKie
8   Posted 10/03/2011 at 16:41:09

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I think we have been guilty of over-playing it more often than not, and what will it take for someone to just have a crack at goal every now and again? You could get a goal perhaps like last night? Or even a spill from the keeper for someone to run in on? No, lets pass it another couple of times to somebody in a worse position than yourself.

Louis and Beckford shoot with their stronger foot? No, turn on your weaker side every time! Our play last night wasn't too bad but for this, and obviously losing Arteta's extra bit of guile along with the ability to beat a man.

Liam Reilly
9   Posted 10/03/2011 at 16:47:37

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That's double winning Chelsea Dave eh?
Alex Kociuba
10   Posted 10/03/2011 at 17:15:08

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Arteta, Cahill, Fellaini, Pienaar

That was our strongest midfield at the start of the season. Soon as Arteta went off last night it was obvious we missed all four.
Paul Olsen
11   Posted 10/03/2011 at 17:20:37

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Aagree with #1, not with topic-starter though.
Martin Mason
12   Posted 10/03/2011 at 18:33:28

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I've watched most Spurs games since Pienaar joined and he has been totally ineffective. Last night playing at the highest level he stank (as he did at the World Cup) and was substituted with 20 to go. His true worth is £40k at Everton and that's where he should have stayed.
Tom Bowers
13   Posted 10/03/2011 at 18:48:45

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Completely disagree. Everton have struggled all season, even before Pienaar departed. Pienaar is not a bad player but not a world beater. He works hard but so does Osman who has had no offers for his services.

A miserable season is all but over and compounded now by Areteta's injury. Time for Moyes to play some new boys in readiness for next season as we sure as hell will not sign anyone for cash. What do we have to lose, after all the present players have been given every chance?

Trouble is, Moyes seems too stubborn to play the likes of Duffy, Baxter, Gueye etc but now is an opportune time to give them a fair run ? and I don't mean 5 minutes at the end of a game.

Mark Stone
14   Posted 10/03/2011 at 19:08:42

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Karl, Pienaar wanted to leave, mate. Can't force him to stay when he's only got 6 months left on his contract!
Tony Cheek
15   Posted 10/03/2011 at 19:05:03

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Sorry Alex,#10... but I disagree that the absence of those four was the problem last night. The problem is Saha and the way he plays. Brilliant first touch, then does nothing with it. Always looking to run in holes that are not there and never willing to get in front of goal (except from dead balls).

I find it quite amazing that he, once again, did not score from the passes he got. He just makes everything look so bleeding difficult. With the limited talent that Beckford obviously has, I would be more pissed off if he was dropped before Saha.

Brian Waring
16   Posted 10/03/2011 at 19:31:56

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It's funny really, we get a new player, we're told that it takes time to settle into a new team, etc.

Maybe the reason why Pienaar is below par, is because he hasn't 'SETTLED' into his new team yet.
David Hallwood
17   Posted 10/03/2011 at 19:43:34

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Brian #16 ? although I thought Pienaar was a good player, IMO he flattered to deceive. For an attacking mid, his goals-per-game is awful, he rarely made runs into the box with or without the ball, and the number of times I saw him running along the 18-yard line, it's a shame he didn't come out with the white-line machine.

He did work well with Bainsey, but if we had got Krancjar as part of the deal I would have been sending 'Awwy a Thank You card.
Jon Cox
18   Posted 10/03/2011 at 19:47:08

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Brian, agreed. Also, don't forget it's about the ability to "gel". Pienaar has not had enough time to gel yet and more so he's not aware of what his role is yet in relationship to the other Spurs players.

Whoever said, once we get the ball to a player he is isolated and cannot pass a simple ball. This is true but I feel we also don't have players with the skill to take a man on and beat him, thus opening up space and thus having the extra split second to look up and think. In their heyday, guys like Gazza, Dennis Law, Kinkladze and others all could take a man on and beat him. This used to be the way at Goodison. Sadly not anymore.

As I've said on countless occasions, we need to sign in the summer either Matt Jarvis or Matty Etherington to work with Baines on the left. Both geezers have pace and can beat a man both can cross a ball, and both know where the net is.

Until we get these types of lads in the side, we will always be left floundering amongst the Stokes, Boltons and if we're not careful, the Burton Albions.

COYB
Joe McMahon
19   Posted 10/03/2011 at 20:03:28

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Brian, that's a very good point. People were making excuses for Billy after he was here for over a year (some still are). SP's been at Spurs just a few weeks. It will take some time for him to adapt playing with a team that plays attacking football and with pace. I wish him well, he always tried 100% whilst at Everton, sometimes he may have frustrated not shooting, but he was good for us.
Jon Cox
20   Posted 10/03/2011 at 20:10:22

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Spot on Joe. The guy run himself into the ground for us and I think for anyone to go all negative about the guy now he's gone are wrong. I'd have him back tomorrow along with (a younger) Carsley.
Mick MacManus
21   Posted 10/03/2011 at 20:33:41

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He was a solid engine type player, also very frustrating to watch as he was all huff and puff but never scored goals and his shots only dribbled towards the goal. I wish him well but don't miss him at all, bar for depth in the squad. He didn't live up to expectations at the World Cup either and looked fairly average.
Steve Harris
22   Posted 10/03/2011 at 21:20:34

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Pienaar rarely gave the ball away and his partnership with Baines was the best I've seen since Steven and Stevens. Sold him for £2 mill but it could cost at least £10 mill to find a player of similar quality unless Moyes the Magician can pull another rabbit out of the hat.

Though if we keep selling our best players the outcome is inevitable. Our squad is seriously lacking quality and we need investment this summer or we face more of the same drivel we were served last night.

Kunal Desai
23   Posted 10/03/2011 at 23:11:17

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We can only hope that the Pienaar money will still be made available in the summer. Perhaps if Wolves get relegated, I'd like to see Matt Jarvis at Goodison. A Baines/Jarvis partnership could be an interesting one.
Andrew James
24   Posted 10/03/2011 at 23:23:37

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Pienaar was good but over-rated. People were saying he was our second most creative player. That's rubbish. During his time, I bet you that Osman and Baines created more. Osman definitely scored more.

In the first half of this season, Seamus Coleman and Leighton Baines put Pienaar to shame. So us losing him has made little material difference. We still have Leighton which is the main thing!

Leighton Baines... you probably think this song is about you...
Gary Hughes
25   Posted 11/03/2011 at 00:35:06

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All season we have failed to beat piss poor opposition who have come to Goodison with no intention but to shut up shop & go home with a point. Pienaar played in most of these games & we still didn't win. We are no better or worse with or without him. We couldn't beat shite like Wolves with him & we couldn't beat shite like Birmingham without him. In short, he is fucking irrelevant.
Karl Meighan
26   Posted 11/03/2011 at 00:36:39

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Lots of fans here seem really bitter towards Pienaar? I mean he was shite at the World Cup? Well hang on were South Africa amongst the favourites? They beat France which was a success for them. They shouldn't have qualified from the group and never did. Pienaar has been that bad he played in a winning Spurs team at the San Siro, you just don't win at places like that carrying a player against AC Milan.

He has also been that poor he has started almost every game he has been available for, Bale may be injured Krancjar is a player who scored twice in two games to win Spurs six valuable points from the bench yet Redcrapp sees Pienaar as a better alternative. Also comparing Osman who has played well the last couple of games to Pienaar imo is absolutely laughable.

Mark Stone @14 fair comment, you cannot force anybody to stay but a better effort should have been made in the summer to keep him imo.

Eric Myles
27   Posted 11/03/2011 at 01:11:16

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David #17, we didn't have the money to pay Krancjar's wages remember?

That's the reason we couldn't give Pienaar a pay rise and keep him.

Kenwright OUT.
James Flynn
28   Posted 11/03/2011 at 04:28:51

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Haven't noticed the difference. We didn't put it in the net when he was here. Same problem then as now; no predator(s). That's our problem. Not anything else that every other team isn't dealing with too.

We're very weak up top. Pretty plain to see.

What hurts is that we're not "billionnaires" away from challenging for the top. We're about 25-30 mil for challenging. What if we project Van Nistelrooy's fee to ManU of 19 mil to about that 25-30 mil today. Where do you think we'd be if this team had him this season. At 37 points from 29 games? At zero balance goals?

The pain comes from knowing we ARE that close and there's no dough to get a predator. That's our problem. Not Pienaar leaving. I liked him. But in the general business of playing soccer, he was just another solid player in the EPL, nothing less but nothing more.
Anthony Hughes
29   Posted 11/03/2011 at 07:48:35

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I think we need more than a goalscorer to get being close to anything. We need a left sided player, a right sided player (presuming Coleman is going to rightback to replace an ageing Neville), a proper midfield defensive anchor man, cover for left back amongst other various decent quality squad players if we want to compete at the top.

As for Pienaar, he was a good player for us and he's better than what we've got now. No disrespect to Ossie but he wasn't the answer to the right-sided issue and he won't be the answer to the left-sided one either.

Oliver Molloy
30   Posted 11/03/2011 at 10:56:21

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If it is correct that Pienaar is on £75k a week with Spurs and that's what he was supposed to want with us ? parity with Arteta ? then we did the right thing, he simply is not worth £50k a week never mind £75k!

He's a good worker and above average, but does not do enough in terms of goals etc to justify this type of wage.
It will all come crashing down with Spurs sooner rather than later... just watch and see.

Anthony Millington
31   Posted 11/03/2011 at 11:03:30

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The annoying thing is Tottenham don't need Pienaar and have done worse since he's signed for them in the league. It's almost spiteful that Redknapp spotted an opportunity to weaken and rip off one of their rivals Everton when his contract was running down. I wouldn't be suprised if he got left out of their side when Bale and everyone are back.

It reminds me of Kyle Naughton that time when we were all set to sign him and then they came in for him, and they didn't need him, he doesn't play for them, it feels like they do it just to stop Everton signing him. Only if we had that money to throw about on players we don't intend on playing!

It all boils down to Moyes not selling him in the summer though for good money for a replacement and letting his contract run down!

KPR Williams
32   Posted 11/03/2011 at 12:22:14

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We can't sell a player if nobody wants to buy him...

We had no offers for Pienaar, hardly surprising after his no-show at the World Cup.

Michael Brien
33   Posted 11/03/2011 at 13:19:52

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Steven Pienaar was a fine Everton player, however I have to say that he went down in my estimation in the manner of his leaving. He didn't accept what Everton were offering which he was entitled to do, but do you really think he was going to be badly paid?

I am sorry but I think that it is time that some of our very well paid sports people realised just how privileged they are and that they joined the real world. I doubt whether the effects of the recession would have had much effect upon Steven Pienaar. Yes Spurs offered him more but what we were offering him I doubt would have had him worrying about any household bills!!

Another fact that seems to have been ignored ? Steven Pienaar was good for Everton but Everton was good for Steven Pienaar. His career had stalled dramatically at Dortmund. At Everton, his career was revived ? a pity he did not seem to appreciate that. What makes it harder for me to accept in his attitude is the fact that he is a commited Christian. As a Christian myself I find it hard to defend his actions in all of this. I think that he has tarnished his reputation and has set a very poor example. Given that Everton helped to rescue his career, he showed very little if any acknowlegement of that.
Tony J Williams
34   Posted 11/03/2011 at 13:28:37

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Anthony, which clubs was Moyes going to sell him to then? Which ones did he refuse bids from?

Here's a clue, the answer is somewhere between nil and zero?

Old Arry kept on saying he wanted him but didn't put a bid in until he knew he could get him for a song in January. It's hard to sell someone when no-one is buying.

I would prefer if he was still here but to be honest he didn't give us that much more apart from more free kicks when he dived.
Tony J Williams
35   Posted 11/03/2011 at 13:35:54

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"He played in a winning Spurs team at the San Siro, you just don't win at places like that carrying a player against AC Milan."

Doesn't quite explain getting twatted 4-0 by Fulham either.
Anthony Millington
36   Posted 11/03/2011 at 15:14:13

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I'm sure his agent would have found a number of interested clubs. Moyes should have told him to sign a new contract or do one, instead of dithering and getting next to nothing for him. We should have had at least £6 mill for him which we could have used to replace him with.

Similar situation with Gosling, we can't afford to let these players go on the cheap, the list goes on Yakubu, Saha etc and we're going to get a rubbish amount for Yobo too by loaning him out first... and Vaughan.

Tony J Williams
37   Posted 11/03/2011 at 15:53:09

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How has he dithered Anthony? He came out straight away and said that he would let Pienaar run out his contract if needs be.

He doesn't control the contract negotiations and if someone wanted to buy Pienaar it would have been leaked to the papers, because that's how the scumbags do their dealings now.

His agent was mouthing off from the second the season finished and when Pienaar has a mare at teh world cup he changed his tune a little trying to get a better deal from Everton, saying it had all been a misunderstanding. Why? Because no one came in for his client.

As already stated, you can't sell something if no one is buying.

Gosling was shite, Admin error nothing to do with Moyes and the gobshite still could have signed a new contract but chose to go to court to get a bumper pay off. Sobbing down the phone - fuck off.
Anthony Millington
38   Posted 11/03/2011 at 16:17:00

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Tottenham have been interested in him for ages, are you saying they weren't interested in the summer? He didn't exactly set the stage alight for them suddenly to become interested only in January. OK, Moyes said he would let Pienaar's contract run down, but why? My point is we are skint as it is, so if we are going to lose players make sure we get a decent amount for them so we can replace them! We would have easily been able to sell him in the summer, clubs would have snapped your hand off if we'd offered Pienaar for 5 or 6 mill in today's climate.
Karl Meighan
39   Posted 11/03/2011 at 16:02:17

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Tony @35 i would guess Spurs results have been a bit better than ours in the period Piennar has been there getting twatted at Fulham included. Lots of fans have wanted Arteta dropped this season now he is suddenly worth his 75k a week but Piennar was not entitled to ask for parity? Whether Moyes dithered or not Piennar leaving for 3m when it would take a lot more to replace him imo is of no benefit to us. This mare at the World Cup he played for South Africa not Brazil and outside Goodison and South Africa would be fairly unknown and believe me better players with much bigger reputations were far worse at the World Cup. No disrespect Tony but i will judge a player after 20 games at least not 3 World Cup games. At the end of the day Piennar would walk in the current Everton team even at great venues as Craven Cottage.
Bertie Alloff
40   Posted 11/03/2011 at 16:37:42

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Getting paid more, and playing in the Champions League or, at the time, getting paid less and flirting with relegation in a half arsed squad, as the yanks say, "Go figure!" Personally I like Pienaar.
Michael Brien
41   Posted 11/03/2011 at 17:10:32

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Pienaar a fine Everton player - but he could have been a legend. Talking of legends - on this day in 1967( as I am sure you all know) a certain Alan Ball scored to put our dear neighbours out of the Cup. Personally I think Alan Ball did more in the games v Liverpool in that one season - 2 goals in the 3-1 win in the League Derby at Goodison and the goal in that 1-0 FA Cup win ( 44 years ago today) than Steven Pienaar in his entire Everton career.

Let's see if he is a regular starter for Tottenham next season shall we ? A very good player yes - but not irreplaceable. The World Cup should have been the ideal "stage" for him - it wasn't was it ?And that surely speaks volumes.

Oh by the way Bertie - Spurs have played one season in the Champions League that 's the same as us. Who did they get in their preliminary/qualifying round ? We got a team that was good enough to reach the Semi Finals. Not exactly an easy draw was it ? And if you look at the last 10 years they have their seasons of struggling as well.
Tony J Williams
42   Posted 11/03/2011 at 17:33:40

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Karl, I am not saying Pienaar isn't a good player he is. I was reiterating the fact to Anthony that it wasn't Moyes's fault that no one came in for him in the Summer so we could get a bit of money for him.

Old Arry advertises all his dealing in the opress, did you see anything about a deal for Pienaar? I didn't, he even mentioned his half arsed bid for Pip in January.

Moyes said he would let it run down because he didn't believ Pienaar was worthy of anything more than the contract already offered and fair play to him, because he probably isn't. The same way Arteta probably isn't worth the £75k a week but he has put the time in already and this is his 2nd/3rd contract renewal. Loyalty (yeah right) is awarded by Everton FC.

Pienaar is great at making space but has a shot weaker than Osman's and his passing could be piss poor. Good player but not as good as he likes to think he is.
Tony J Williams
43   Posted 11/03/2011 at 17:44:00

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Bertie, I don't blame him one bit for going to Spuds but that's not the issue in discussion here.
James Flynn
44   Posted 12/03/2011 at 01:07:21

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Anthony (29) ? Perhaps we can improve here or there. What team can't. But at 29 games, we sit at zero goals differential. With no goal scorers. Just one good one would have us positions up the table. Beyond raw numbers, the psychological effect a true predator has on his team and opposition managers. After all, players stay or move, managers get fired.

Last season and this has made it apparent. We're lacking THAT guy. Very frustrating.
Oliver Molloy
45   Posted 12/03/2011 at 10:20:57

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Michael Brien @ 33

Hey Michael, committed Christians don't drink and drive do they?
David Hallwood
46   Posted 12/03/2011 at 13:09:29

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James Flynn (#44), got to disagree. I think our inability to keep a clean sheet has cost us this season. I know there's another school of thought that states, if they score 3 we'll score 4, it's a Cavalier v Roundheads argument, but Moyes is definitely a roundhead and this season he must be banging his (round) head against the wall in frustration and the schoolboy defensive errors that have led to so many of our goals against.
Andy Callan
47   Posted 13/03/2011 at 08:20:57

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Did you watch him for Spurs during the week? He was shite.

I know a few Spurs fans who are sick of his inability already.

Sez it all that really.......
James Flynn
48   Posted 13/03/2011 at 21:08:12

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Dave (46) ? We've made mistakes in the back that've cost us. No argument. But most every team does that. We'll still sitting at 0 goal differential after 29 games and no firepower whatsoever.

We're missing that one element and it shows. Especially this season with the Table more open and competitive.

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