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Pienaar hoping to stay fit

by | 07/10/2014  Comments (25)  jump
Steven Pienaar is hoping he can get a run of matches under his belt after recovering from a thigh injury and making an unexpected start at Old Trafford on Sunday.

The South African had played just 90 minutes of football this season prior to his inclusion in the starting XI to face Manchester United after experiencing something of a stop-start 2014 in general. It looked as though he had suffered a recurrence of his thigh problem when he appeared to limp off against United but he is looking at putting his injury problems behind him as he bids to regain his match sharpness.

It was a great feeling just to be back on a pitch after almost six weeks out, he told the Liverpool Echo. "I didn't expect to start, but when you get an opportunity you have to grab it with both hands.

I'm thankful that the manager gave me a chance after only a few days of training.

You can put all the graft in, running and stuff, but the thing I've missed is playing. It's difficult just running and training. It's not the same and I need more games."

After the last couple of weeks, it has been hard, but I'll stay positive and hopefully get more games.

Like teammates James McCarthy and Seamus Coleman, Pienaar can use the international break to build up his fitness and hopefully be available for the home game against Aston Villa on 18 October.  

Reader Comments (25)

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Derek Knox
1 Posted 07/10/2014 at 18:29:06
I'll be really happy if it is the Pienaar we have seen from before, but the one that turned up on Saturday, looked jaded and devoid of any creative guile throughout his time on the pitch. I felt his contribution made him look like a pale shadow of his former self.

Having said that he wasn't entirely alone in that department, but a stirring late show, well was exactly that, and unlucky to at least not get a point.

Eddie Dunn
2 Posted 07/10/2014 at 18:41:22
Steven has done some wonderful things in the past especially with Baines, but boy was he a waste of space on Sunday. So what exactly was wrong with him, that he had to lie on the turf and wait for play to stop? Oh I mean, wait for United to score!
Mike Chambers
3 Posted 07/10/2014 at 19:02:51
Let's hope he is a little sharper next time out.
Tony Smith
4 Posted 07/10/2014 at 19:07:37
Pienaar has been my favourite Everton player over the last few years but on Sunday he embarrassed himself with his performance.

Every time he ran he looked like Marcel Marceau miming running against the wind.

He fell over at every opportunity and appeared to feign an injury to come off as he was struggling so much.

Hopefully that was all my imagination and he can get back to his normal decent performances.

Darren Hind
5 Posted 07/10/2014 at 19:25:54
I'd complained bitterly about our non preperation for this season and was repeatedly accused of being negative and picking holes in everything Martinez did – or didn't do. So I've given it a miss recently to see if those who claimed pre-season didn't matter had a case. I don't think they do.

When Pienaar came off at Leicester, he was in such distress, I thought he would need oxygen. I can't / won't believe that the poor conditioning of our players has not contributed to the amount of injuries we have racked up. A match-fit Pienaar would be a very welcome addition to what we have now. Those who are criticising him now would do well to remember that.

Clive Rogers
7 Posted 07/10/2014 at 20:19:56
Pienaar is 32 and struggling to recover from a series of injuries. A sizeable portion of our squad are now in their 30s, so I found it incredible that the manager should sign two 33-year-olds on long contracts in the summer. The average age of the squad needed addressing, but the manager has made it worse with Barry, Eto’o, Alcaraz and Kone.

Let’s be honest about Pienaar, he’s been a less than average player. He has scored 20 goals in almost 200 games and a low total of assists, which is poor for a purely attacking player. He combines okay at times with Baines, but the final ball is always from the latter. Baines has masked his ineffectiveness in my opinion and Sunday’s game was a demonstration of that. Spurs had had enough after a handful of games.

James Stewart
8 Posted 07/10/2014 at 20:58:16
The Pienaar that we knew and loved is long gone. He doesn't really offer much anymore. Squad player now at best.
Paul David
9 Posted 07/10/2014 at 20:56:18
Pienaar has been poor/average with the occasional good game in two years. He is past it and on top of that I'm sick of him cheating, throwing himself to the floor with every challenge.
Eddie Dunn
10 Posted 07/10/2014 at 21:30:28
It wasn't like we were even playing at a high tempo – so why would, or could he have been so knackered?
Pete Gunby
11 Posted 07/10/2014 at 22:16:18
Oviedo ahead of him please. Pienaar has been fading for two years and doesn't look like he has the desire to change that. He should have been off at half time against Man Utd.
Harold Matthews
12 Posted 07/10/2014 at 22:13:58
Some comments on this thread are the biggest load of rubbish I've ever come across. I watched the full game three times and was absolutely delighted with his performance. So too, I'll bet, were Martinez and Baines.

For someone who was nowhere near ready and had not played for ages, he was terrific. So he fell over three times. So what. His link up play, quick passing, movement and changes of direction were a welcome sight after the static displays of late. Some of you guys wouldn't know a real footballer if you fell over one.

Mark Andersson
13 Posted 08/10/2014 at 04:00:11
Good shout, Harold. Too many people have an agenda with anyone in there 30s, so it was a good job that Ryan Giggs never played for us. Teddy Sherrigham was another still doing the business at 35...
Richard Lyons
14 Posted 08/10/2014 at 06:27:25
Well, I'm glad he's not hoping to get injured... that's a positive.
Lee Gorre
15 Posted 08/10/2014 at 07:13:51
Spot on, Howard. It was his run from the left to right side and then imaginative and creative backheel that set up Hibbert for the penalty.

As for going down injured, I saw clearly Martinez and one of the coaches telling him to go down, so he was following instructions.

I don't think Pienaar has been at his best for a while but he has played in fits and starts. If we can get him fit, he is a must for me, as he (1) brings out the best in Baines, and (2) because he links up the play better than anyone else.

Trevor Lynes
16 Posted 08/10/2014 at 09:15:15
Pienaar was absolutely brilliant when Arteta was injured a while ago. He still gets the very best out of Baines when he is playing and the lad has only just got back from a long term injury.

We very nearly beat Man Utd at Old Trafford with a much weakened team that had been playing in Russia last Thursday.

Football is a team game and every player has both attacking and closing down duties up front and defending at the back when the team is on the collar. We do not have the money of most of the top teams yet we consistently finish in high positions each season. Some fans are totally unrealistic and think we have a divine right to win every game despite lacking squad depth and having many players injured. The bench is a real measure of a teams strength and ours is not as strong as other top sides fighting for honours. As was pointed out earlier on the article, most of the knockers have never played the game at a decent level.

Peter Barnes
17 Posted 08/10/2014 at 11:40:57
I have always been a fan of Pienaar personally but I do wonder if he has it physically to manage the EPL these days. We didn't see him until October last season and, apart from under 10 mins in the Arsenal game, it's been pretty much the same this time.

For me, he is similar to Osman in that he will probably play part games. I hope I'm wrong and he comes back strong. We undoubtedly need all hands on deck at the moment so he is another option but whether he will survive a game without picking up another knock...

Tony J Williams
18 Posted 08/10/2014 at 12:06:51
I've always been a fan of his but his falling down every time anyone is near him is frustrating.

He was greatly responsible for their first goal too, lost the ball and then did the most pathetic attempt to get around a block in midfield to get to Raphael to stop his cross. He just gave up and stopped.

Hopefully he gets fully fit, as he adds that little bit extra to Baines's play.

Paul Dark
19 Posted 08/10/2014 at 13:40:58
Good player ... still.
Max Wilson
20 Posted 08/10/2014 at 14:03:26
When Pienaar has played in a few complete games, we'll be able to judge him fairly. I was pleased to see him selected for the Arsenal game and then off he went. Before he went to Spurs he'd been really useful to us.
Dave Abrahams
21 Posted 08/10/2014 at 16:23:10
Trevor Lynes, I’m a big fan of Pienaar but what has "never played at a decent level" got to do with the argument?

None of us would be able to take part in any of the debates on here going by that point of view and the manager of the leading team in the Premier League might be out of a job.

Mike Childs
22 Posted 09/10/2014 at 11:48:39
I used to be a big fan of Pienaar but like Paul D (#9) and Tony W (#18) I can't stand for his constant trips to the pitch. He has become a serial diver. Hopefully we put Oviedo in that spot. He showed he's more than capable of playing on the wing a few creative passes and the shot that unfortunately turned into the best save of the game.
Tom Bowers
23 Posted 09/10/2014 at 12:47:09
Pienaar has been good for the Blues and still may have something to offer but I fear we have seen his best years, just like a few other players. He does get bundled off the ball a lot, a bit like Jack Wilshere does, and whilst that can produce dangerous free-kicks close to goal, all it does in other areas is allow the other team to regroup.

I would have liked him to have played further forward as he is a good finisher.

Brian Hennessy
24 Posted 09/10/2014 at 13:18:44
I am at bit confused by all this. He looked injured coming off against Man Utd and it was suggested that he suffered a reoccurrence of his recent injury which kept him out. So is he fully fit now or not?

I thought he was poor on Sunday but I think it was down to rustiness have been out for a while, I'm certainly not writing him off yet like quite a few on here.

He is 32 for god sake not 37 or 38, he could at least have another 2 or 3 good years left in him at a minimum.

Ray Roche
25 Posted 09/10/2014 at 13:12:00
Clive Rogers @7

"he's been a less than average player"...."He combines okay at times with Baines,"

Sorry, mate, that is as bad as any statement on this site. Pienaar, in his pomp, was a superb player with vision and skill that exceeds that of most of the players who have worn the blue shirt in recent years. Without Pienaar, Baines would not have been a shoe in as left back for England.

Baines's England performances would have been stellar if he'd had an accomplice like Pienaar and without him Baines has taken plenty of criticism from all sides for his performances which rarely match those of his club games.

All the comments on recent threads regarding Baines's dip in form coincide with Pienaar's absence from the side. Baines was Player Of The Year in 2010-11 and 2012-13, and deservedly so, but season 2011-12 was the season Pienaar was missing. He brings out the best in Baines. OK, he's getting past his best but he certainly didn't look fit enough on Sunday and that is down to the manager and his coaching and fitness staff. NONE of the team have looked as fit as they should do this term.

Andrew Ellams
26 Posted 09/10/2014 at 13:50:44
IÂ’d rather see blistering pace on both sides feeding balls for Lukaku to run onto and bury. Nothing against Pienaar as a player, I just think we could be more productive with a bit of good old-fashioned wing play.

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