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Steven Naismith

by   |   31/08/2014  Comments (70)  jump

Football fans are a fickle lot, we all know that. In Steven's case, however, particularly so. Two years ago under OFM, the sight of him entering the arena whether as starter or sub led to howls of derision throughout the majority of the Everton community. Many of us surely questioned what OFM had seen in him.

Two years on and the answer is plain to see. What we have is a player as honest as the day is long and of no little talent-his finishing lately has been of the highest order. He efforts alone against Chelsea yesterday didn't merit the final score. His status among the Goodison faithful may yet reach that of Tim Cahill in the modern era. Time will tell.

What's more, and more importantly, he seems to be a thoroughly decent human being as witnessed in his gesture towards the unemployed and his work for charity.

A Goodison favourite. Thanks Stevie!

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Mike Green
1 Posted 31/08/2014 at 18:10:59
Couldn't agree more Julian - he's still no Lionel Messi but it goes to show what a player can achieve when he does the basics of working his socks off to win the crowd over and in turn get his just deserts - like his goal yesterday, which was a beauty.

Most people would've shrunk under the negativity he received last season but bit by bit he seems to have won many of up us over, I just sincerely hope he can maintain the performances to remain such a great example to the team.

Combine all of that with his off the pitch activity and doff my cap. What a bloke - an example to us all. Well done to you also Julian for acknowledging it.

Stephen Brown
2 Posted 31/08/2014 at 18:26:41
Julian- you beat me to it, writing a piece of this nature! Naismith has been a revelation over the last 8 months. A credit to the club and has a great attitude and contributes fully to the team/squad. He has saved RM having to fork out for a replacement for Ross Barclay and now that money can be hopefully spent on CB reinforcements.

Well done Steven Naismith keep up the good work and hopefully one day he can be remembered like Cahill who had similar qualities!

James Morgan
3 Posted 31/08/2014 at 18:36:20
The lad is a different player to the one we signed. His intelligence and movement are second to none in our squad, even the staunch red Neil Atkinson off Citytalk reckons if he was a bit better on the football side he would be one of the worlds best due to his intelligence. That's a big compliment from a dyed in the wool kopite. Slowly becoming one of the players I look forward to seeing on the team sheet above others.
Peter Warren
4 Posted 31/08/2014 at 18:42:12
Wonderful - he had good games last year and pleasantly surprised us but this year he's gone to a different level. His finishing is second only to Eto!
Patrick Murphy
5 Posted 31/08/2014 at 18:45:56
I admit that I was completely wrong about the lad, he looked when he first arrived like a journeyman player who had limited ability. But he has shown through determination and sheer bloody-mindedness what can be achieved when a player applies himself. He doesn't shirk the tackles and never stops moving, some of the more talented players need to show the same commitment as Naismith which to be fair the likes of Mirallas and McGeady did do yesterday. I've been so impressed with this lads attitude this last 12 months that I would even consider him captain material as he is one player that does lead by example.
John Daley
6 Posted 31/08/2014 at 18:45:06
A proper trier and, more often than not, a cool finisher when the pressure's on. Also wins a surprising number of flick on's for such a shortarse.

He's certainly proved there's more to his game than being a real dead ringer for Barney Rubble.

Danny Kewley
7 Posted 31/08/2014 at 19:02:34
Used to slag him off all the time but not anymore!
Good shout Patrick, he really is leading by example and could well be captain sometime soon.
Steve Guy
8 Posted 31/08/2014 at 19:10:09
The Scottish Messi ! He will hopefully not have a dip in form but if he does I hope he continues to engender this lev of positivity......
Ian Bennett
9 Posted 31/08/2014 at 19:05:26
I am happy to start the Steven Naismith appreciation society. Free humble pie with every membership!

The transformation from the bit part player under Moyes, to the composed finisher/terrier/Hickson style 'false 9' leading the line is 'phenomenal'. His tireless work rate is a must, and keeps him in my team every week.

Jon Withey
10 Posted 31/08/2014 at 19:12:33
His finish yesterday was absolutely superb and he must be a right pain for opposition defenders. He’s always on the move and benefits from Lukaku pulling defenders all over the shop.

Eto’o was playing the game at a walking pace and he can afford to with the other two putting a shift in.

I thought we were very menacing going forward yesterday and it’s a shame that it was overshadowed by shambolic defending.

Jon Ferguson
11 Posted 31/08/2014 at 19:15:41
The lads I watch the match with are winding me up these days as I used to properly slate Naismith. Credit where credit’s due. He’s had a great start to the season and looks a top 7 player.

I have also been impressed with McGeedy. I think he has shown flashes of what is come this season, including the assist for Naismith yesterday. Lukaku should have been subbed for Eto’o not McGeedy in my opinion.

Tom Bowers
12 Posted 31/08/2014 at 19:18:35
You canÂ’t argue with his endeavour and his goals. Three in three games. The lad is worth his place and moreÂ’s the pity that the defensive side of EvertonÂ’s game is a shambles.

With Naismith, Lukaku, EtoÂ’o and Mirallas, Everton should be able to score a lot of goals but obviously playing strong defence when it matters is so crucial and we all hope that RM is working on a solution. The closing down early in yesterdayÂ’s game was non-existent and Chelski couldnÂ’t have believed their luck.
Early days yet andm with woeful WBA next, there is optimism that they will turn the corner.

David Hallwood
13 Posted 31/08/2014 at 19:21:45
Not just being wise after the fact but I always defended Naismith, which was usually met with howls of derision. The reasons: a) he was coming back from a horrendous injury b) OFM played him right mid, which he will never be while he got a hole in the proverbial.

IMHO, when he first arrived the pace of the EPL made him look like a lost sheep, but heÂ’s not alone in that, but once again IMHO there was enough goal poacher skills on display to see there was more to his game given a run in the side and of course in the centre not wide.

Jon(#11) IÂ’m concerned about McGeadyÂ’s fitness levels and has he got the motivation to Â’get thereÂ’; he certainly has the skills but he arrived in January looking like heÂ’d a good Christmas, and heÂ’s had 8 months to reach top condition, but he still looks like heÂ’s blowing for tugs as well as carrying a bit of padding. But thereÂ’s a player lurking in there somewhere.

Chris James
14 Posted 31/08/2014 at 19:18:05
I will freely admit to be one of those emitting an audible sigh and some choice phrases on ToffeeWeb whenever Moyes brought Nais on in season’s past. He would always run his socks off but it seemed there wasn’t much else to his game even though he did notch the odd lucky goal.

Turns out that those goals weren’t perhaps so ’lucky’ after all and when you play a striker out of position and tell him to tackle back he can’t perform to the best of his abilities, put him up front and he comes alive. I’d be interested to see his figures for games when he’s played as an actual forward, I wouldn’t be surprised at all if he turned out to actually be our most potent attacker.

So now we truly have an embarrassment of riches up front Lukaku, Eto’o and Naismith plus Kone to come in and Long/McAlney coming through. Add to that the wing trickery of Mirallas, Pienaar, Atsu and (occasionally) McGeady, Coleman and Baines/Oviedo pushing forward from the back plus Barkley driving forward ahead of the harrying of McCarthy and Besic (with Gibson in reserve) alongside Barry’s head and we really do look like a dangerous attacking unit.

The glaring problem now is that Martinez has over-ridden the defensive settings that Moyes spent 10 years imbue-ing leaving Jags, Distin and Howard (who aren’t suddenly terrible players) over exposed.

Ajay Gopal
15 Posted 31/08/2014 at 19:27:32
Good article and I agree every bit. McGeady also seems to be going the Naismith way - not a fan’s favourite at the moment, but you can see that he is working really hard for the team and that’s all you can ask for. Yesterday, the crowd were getting on his back whenever he made a poor pass or gave away the ball (which did happen quite a few times), but to give him credit, McGeady never gave up and his fine display was capped by an assist to Naismith. Now, if he can get his fitness level up, a front 4 of Eto’o, Naismith, Mirallas and McGeady will trouble any defence in the league (with Lukaku, Pienaar, Barkley, Osman, Kone, Atsu ready to step up for squad rotation or covering for injuries/suspensions).
Richard Reeves
16 Posted 31/08/2014 at 19:01:24
I was another who didnÂ’t rate him. I did say at the beginning of last season that he shouldnÂ’t be here this season as he doesnÂ’t have enough impact to change a game when coming on as a sub and wasnÂ’t a starter for me.

I thought a replacement for whoever our first-choice striker was needed to be someone capable of scoring as many goals and challenging for a first team spot but IÂ’m happy to admit I got him completely wrong.

What I like about him is his intent to get into the right place and with no nonsense just get a shot off without trying to be to cute, no flicks or tricks, just get in that position and shoot... And, if someone else is about to shoot, his awareness at where to be for any rebounds or parries is also top notch.

Harold Matthews
17 Posted 31/08/2014 at 19:36:03
Linked up with McGeady for a brilliant strike yesterday. Cool head in front of goal and works his socks off for the team. Also, a very nice man.
Lee Gray
18 Posted 31/08/2014 at 19:55:51
Top lad...deserves everything he gets shows you where hard work can get you, let's not forget the boy can finish too.
Dick Brady
19 Posted 31/08/2014 at 19:50:05
David Moyes always had an eye for a bargain. A cheap transfer fee for a really good player.

Probably the best Moyes transfers were Coleman/Cahill but there was also amazing value from Arteta/Pienaar. Even moderately priced players like Distin/Jagielka/Howard/Baines have proven over the years to be bargains.

John Stones, Bryan Oviedo and Steven Naismith were among the last few transfers David Moyes made at Everton and they look to be amongst his best.

Matthew Williams
20 Posted 31/08/2014 at 20:03:01
Pat Nevin said he is a top class player, I have always quite liked him and never understood the haters, he seems to be really enjoying his football at the moment and long may it continue.
Jon Ferguson
21 Posted 31/08/2014 at 20:02:28
David 13 - re McGeady looking knackered. Some players just always do. In my youth I played in a team and we got a new manager and he told one of the lads, Andrew Baddley, that he had to sort himself out as he looked knackered on the pitch. The lad was in the England Cross Country Team and went on to the Team GB long distance team at the London Olympics. Sometimes players look knackered but that is just the way they look. Baddley was also a winger.
Jon Ferguson
22 Posted 31/08/2014 at 20:08:45
Dick 19 - are you suggesting we bring back Moyes as Director of Football?
Dick Brady
23 Posted 31/08/2014 at 20:26:35
No Jon. Although I would love Moyes back in some sort of capacity (defensive coach/head scout/director of football) I would never expect it to happen as Moyes is the sort of guy that needs total control and would never work under Roberto.

And I think Roberto is a better overall manager and I would never want to undermine him by appointing Moyes in any capacity.

Colin Glassar
24 Posted 31/08/2014 at 20:28:04
I'd bring back OFM as defensive coordinator, fitness coach, entertainments officer and chief glarer, Jon.
Dick Brady
25 Posted 31/08/2014 at 20:31:52
Actually Colin that's a pretty good idea. Roberto could bring back Moyes as Chief Glarer. He could stand on the sidelines and just glare at Distin and Jagielka. Just 90 minutes of intense David Moyes glaring aimed only at Distin and Jagielka.

I guarantee our defensive mistakes would stop immediately.

James Stewart
26 Posted 31/08/2014 at 20:45:53
Excellent player and professional. What a difference playing in his proper position makes too. First name on team sheet and deservedly so
Ross Cooper
27 Posted 31/08/2014 at 21:12:52
Naismith is now showing he understands the 3D angles, and how to make space, better than most. Not surprising given his dyslexia. He is also nice enough to support the Festival of Dyslexic Culture

Could become a legend. Just goes to show that supporters are better supporting than being overly negative.

Sin Mierdo and all that!

Colin Glassar
28 Posted 31/08/2014 at 21:26:25
OFM wanted to use him as a winger/MF when everyone else in the western world knew his best position was in the hole behind the striker. His partnership with Jelavic, for Rangers, was the stuff of legends north of the border but ginger couldn't or wouldn't see this. Thank god Roberto could and Nessie is on track to become a Goodson legend.
Terry Murphy
29 Posted 31/08/2014 at 21:37:07
Sin mierdo ross?
Still trying to work out if that was a deliberate dyslexic troll. Do you mean "sin miedo" or "sin mierda"?
Martin Mason
30 Posted 31/08/2014 at 21:40:13
His work rate, movement and lines and a not too shabby ability to score has elevated Steven Naismith to not only an automatic pick but potential legend status for Blues.

In a world of ego and greed, I love the bloke and his "roll up the sleeves and get on with it" attitude.

Ross Cooper
31 Posted 31/08/2014 at 22:11:35
er... whichever is the right one Terry (I don't do deliberate mistakes, I make enough without having the need)
Terry Murphy
32 Posted 31/08/2014 at 22:22:03
I'm sure some Spanish speaker can put me right on this, but I think:
1) sin miedo = no fear
2) sin mierda = no shit
Paul Hughes
33 Posted 31/08/2014 at 22:50:15
Following on from Jon (#21), Chris Waddle & Ronaldo (Brazil) always looked knackered, but theyÂ’d be welcome in my team anytime.... By the way, this is my first post.
Si Cooper
34 Posted 31/08/2014 at 23:03:20
It does according to 't'interweb', Terry.

Would change the 'tone' of Bobby's huge poster on the side of the stadium! :)

Si Cooper
35 Posted 31/08/2014 at 23:13:45
On the subject of the OP, the lad is doing everything that can be expected of him to a very high level and deserves all the plaudits he is getting of late.

Would still like him to be taller and quicker though, so only irreplaceable until we find a taller, quicker version of him. ;)

Dave Williams
36 Posted 31/08/2014 at 23:44:17
A marvellous example of sheer bloody mindedness triumphing over some pretty venomous criticism to become a crucial player and as Harold says he seems a really nice bloke too.

Now if Rom and a couple of others apply themselves in the same way...........!!!

Danny Kewley
37 Posted 01/09/2014 at 08:00:12
All the rest of the team could do well taking his example actually Dave.
Sam Morrison
38 Posted 01/09/2014 at 08:10:10
Welcome Paul (33). I can happily say I never joined the Naismith-isn't-good-enough brigade, and like Ajay I see McGeady becoming more consistent too. His best game for us the other night.

Like everyone else though, currently alarmed at the panicky air in defence. We look great going forward though and a good deal of that is down to Nais. Top player and a top guy.

Mark Dunford
39 Posted 01/09/2014 at 08:06:35
Really good to see someone post something so positive.

Naismith always struck me as an intelligent player when he first arrived, but he seemed to be slightly out of sync with some of the others. A pass would go marginally astray, a run be slightly wayward or he'd arrive a second or two late to convert a chance. He has settled and is now an excellent contributor in just about very way. He is the best in the current squad in one to one situations against the oppo's keeper and as soon as he had the chance on Saturday, I thought he'd score. He was Everton's best player against Chelski (despite the score line - I thought a number played well) and has now scored more goals in three games than the entire Man Utd team have managed in four. Would be nice if that could continue!

John Ford
40 Posted 01/09/2014 at 08:07:17
Trier, works his socks off, endeavour, .........I'm sure these comments aren't intended to be patronising but you can see these being accompanied with a pat on the head and a lolly pop.

Nais has a fantastic football brain which would grace any team in the premier league. He makes other players perform better which us a rare quality. He's a top bloke to boot....... and he avoids that stupid 'Jesus on a cross' goal celebration.

Love 'im, me. Love 'im.

Lee Courtliff
41 Posted 01/09/2014 at 09:23:20
A very underrated player and very nice guy.

I think he has a lot more to his game than just effort , some real quality in there.

And his finishing is second to none.

Robert Workman
42 Posted 01/09/2014 at 10:19:11
Nice article about Steven Naismith's generosity,
Peter Howard
43 Posted 01/09/2014 at 10:32:09
HeÂ’s also very vocal which is no bad thing considering most of our squad seem to be a bit too quiet.
Jim Potter
44 Posted 01/09/2014 at 12:04:40
Made up that Naise is finally getting the wide spread backing and appreciation that he deserves. I had my moments of slagging him. Long may he continue his current run of form and finishing.
Phil Gardner
45 Posted 01/09/2014 at 12:07:29
Good post Julian.

If only the lad had an extra yard (or two) of pace....he's got everything else in his locker but I've still got blue mates who loathe him. After the Leicester game one of 'em insisted that we'd lost the game 2-1 as he can't bring himself to count anything Naismith does as valid.......sad innit?

Peter Cummings
46 Posted 01/09/2014 at 12:28:44
When I posted on Sat after the game I highlighted SN as a Â’revelationÂ’ for his non stop chasing and hunger for the ball, allied with not a little skill, that made him clearly my MOM, he constantly outheaded much bigger defenders and fought for every ball
He is fast becoming another Tim Cahill/Bobby Collins. and I canÂ’t pay him a bigger compliment than that
Michael Jones
47 Posted 01/09/2014 at 14:51:01
David #13 got it right: OFM played him completely out of his position and then only when others were unavailable. He is now brimming with confidence and has become first name on the teamsheet.
Peter Gorman
48 Posted 01/09/2014 at 18:32:24
Who would have thought it credible this time last year that, in all probability, if we lose Naismith for any length of time, our season will be effectively over.

To echo several of the above, the lad can find space and finish with the best of them. A cert on any team-sheet.

Andy Meighan
49 Posted 01/09/2014 at 20:26:21
Best finisher at the club... end of.
Mike Childs
50 Posted 02/09/2014 at 11:09:42
Nothing to add just ecstatic that he plays for us.
Gerard Carey
51 Posted 02/09/2014 at 12:28:54
Just shows how fickle us fans really are. Remember when Jags came first he was played in midfield and took a fair bit of stick. Then came into his own when moved to centre half. Now things have gone full circle, he is getting plenty of stick again due to loss of form or injury or whatever.

Anyway I'm delighted Steven Naismith is getting the plaudits that he deserves. Let's hope Roberto can sort the defence sooner rather than later.

John Pickles
52 Posted 02/09/2014 at 13:12:11
The main way he reminds me of Cahill is his ability to get a goal in an important match just as much as in a more mundane one.

I often thought that a lot of our more high profile players would fail in front of goal in the big matches but, like Timmy, I can always see Steven putting away a chance when it really matters.

Bob Parrington
54 Posted 02/09/2014 at 14:22:33
I used to say, "Why?" when he was selected. Like others on this thread, I admit I was wrong. A thoroughly decent, solid guy with a heart as big as any, and a real Everton team player with an eye for goal – takes me back to the days of Alex Young, Roy Vernon, Alex Scott and co.

Well done, Julian!

Jack Cross
55 Posted 03/09/2014 at 02:13:26
Bob, I couldn't agree with you more mate. I remember thinking under Moyse what the fuck have you got him playing for. But what a turn around he is doing brill and his all-round game seems to have improved. Good on him.
Max Wilson
57 Posted 05/09/2014 at 12:49:37
Sorry gents, can't share your enthusiasms for this guy on the pitch (off it, I expect he's a nice enough guy). Too many duff passes, poor reading of situations, lack of attention to players around him. eg back heel from Lukaku last week.

Yes, he's been fed some good balls and put them away, and so would lots of our other players. Tries hard but not a top striker in my book sorry. My Toffee mates liked him coming on as a sub. Now we are fighting to stay in the PL, we need our best players on the pitch. Go on, all yell at me! I don't rate McGeady either.

Mike Iddon
59 Posted 05/09/2014 at 13:35:16
"Now we are fighting to stay in the PL." Unbelievable comment. Naismith – "best finisher at the club" Roberto Martinez in Followtonians interview.
Andrew Ellams
60 Posted 05/09/2014 at 13:47:22
How do we fit him and Barkley into the same team? Who misses out? Surely it would have to be McGeady or Mirallas and that would leave Naismith being pushed out wide again.
Dave Cook
61 Posted 05/09/2014 at 13:58:14
Mike#59: I think you're confusing what he said last month about how when Bobby joined he said he wanted to fight and stay in the Premier League. Not the club.
Raymond Fox
62 Posted 05/09/2014 at 13:40:53
Steady on guys, I think your going too far in the opposite direction.
Don't build him up into the second coming, I agree that he's playing very well, long may it continue, he's proved that played in the right position with the attitude he has, can transform themselves. He's a great asset to our squad.

The through ball that he thrives on is almost impossible to defend against, if you have a willing runner like him. Even though Besic cocked up in a big way with his back-heel, it does show that he's not afraid to be unorthodox, he might be the player in the middle that hit's it off with Naismith and Lukaku and can play the through balls that they both thrive on,

Tony J Williams
63 Posted 05/09/2014 at 14:23:55
Good player who is a natural finisher but let's not go over the top here lads.

Talking of over the top - "Now we are fighting to stay in the PL we need our best players on the pitch" - In my best Kamara voice, "Unbelievable Jeff!"

Max Wilson
64 Posted 05/09/2014 at 17:43:33
I suggest you guys have another look at our league position.
John Daley
65 Posted 05/09/2014 at 18:03:34
Is that before or after checking the calender Max?
Paul Ferry
66 Posted 05/09/2014 at 18:33:51
Gerard Carey - 51: Just shows how fickle us fans really are. Remember when Jags came first he was played in midfield and took a fair bit of stick. Then came into his own when moved to centre half. Now things have gone full circle, he is getting plenty of stick again due to loss of form or injury or whatever.

Gerard why do you feel the need to use the much over-used and much misunderstood word Â’fickleÂ’ here please?

Could it just be this: Jags was crap in his opening stretch with us in midfield (that master player manager Moyes deserves a mention there), that this was followed by a much improved and longer stretch in the middle of defence, and now, for various reasons – discussed endlessly elsewhere – he is, quite frankly, playing utter shite.

So, Â’fickleÂ’? Hmmmmmmmmmmm.

Inconsistent? Changing opinions bouncing from one position to another seemingly at will?

With respect might I suggest that your use of the word Â’fickleÂ’ is utter -------------- here, and that, in fact, the attitudes you sum up are a fairly accurate barometer of JagÂ’s time with us.

And what do you mean by ’things have gone full circle’? It’s really awful isn’t it; if we point out that someone is playing crap because he is playing crap, we are –in a word – ’fickle’?

Andy Crooks
67 Posted 05/09/2014 at 19:13:59
I defended Naismith throughout the abuse he got. He was coming back from a serious injury and still gave his all. However, being my own man and wanting to start a row, I have decided he is now over-rated.

Ian Bennett
68 Posted 05/09/2014 at 19:34:38
Andy – it's all about timing. Totally agree, we need to sell him...
Trevor Lynes
70 Posted 05/09/2014 at 19:53:15
I agree fully about Naismith, he has really shown top form so far this season. Naismith is getting plaudits rightfully and long may his form remain at such a high level, we really need his goals. Lukaku is working well with him too and helping to create the space for NaismithÂ’s goals.

Pienaar is another who always gives 100% and he is missed playing in front of Baines. Our defence appeared stronger with Pienaar in the side as he fizzed all over the pitch and helped Baines on his forays upfield. I will never forget Pienaar's contributions during ArtetaÂ’s long absence and it was no coincidence that our defensive record was better with him in midfield.

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