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Pienaar to resume full training

by | 27/03/2015  Comments (46)  jump
Steven Pienaar is set to finally return to full training on Monday as he bids to make another comeback in what has been an injury-ravaged season.

Pienaar has managed just 10 appearances for the Blues this season due to a succession of injuries and has been hugely missed, but manager Roberto Martinez indicated that he is about to take the next step on what he hopes will be a full recovery.

The club's medical staff will ease the South African back into working with the rest of the squad, hoping to avoid another of the setbacks that have restricted his playing time.

"We had very good news on Steven," the manager told EvertonTV. "He's going to join the group on Monday and we'll take it from that point on, making sure that slowly but surely we give him the right path to being fully fit and being able to enjoy his football again.

"We've missed Stevie massively throughout this season and it's important we'll be able to see him on a football pitch before the season ends."

Martinez also indicated that Kevin Mirallas was using the international break to continue his recovery from a thigh injury and that Tony Hibbert could soon resume training as well.  

Reader Comments (46)

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Tom R Owen
1 Posted 27/03/2015 at 15:42:12
We should never have re-signed him. Expensive mistake. (Like a few others!) Get rid this summer.
Denis Richardson
2 Posted 27/03/2015 at 15:54:14
Bit harsh, Tom. It's not his fault he got injured and he certainly had a major impact on us last season. I think he played in about 24 of the 38 league games.

Shame about this season as him and Baines down the left was always a strong partnership. However, having just turned 33, I'm not sure whether it's worth keeping him till his contract is up next year. The 㿨k/wk wages could come in very handy signing someone else.

Pursuading him to leave might not be too easy. I think he'll be with us next season imo.

Tony J Williams
3 Posted 27/03/2015 at 16:08:02
If he can get fit again, we need to keep him.

We only have a few "skillful" players who can unlock defences and he is one of them.

Get fit soon, Steven.

Jim Bennings
4 Posted 27/03/2015 at 16:18:40
To be fair, Tom, Pienaar was fantastic during the first six months of his return in 2012, he totally turned our fortunes around when we needed it most but sadly injuries then started piling up and that resulted in a loss of form.

There's also the factor nobody can halt and that's age; as the body gets older, it's harder to recover from injuries.

Pienaar has been one of my favorite players over the last 8 years and I'd love to see him have one last hurrah and throw in some cameo moments before he hangs up his boots. It's probably unlikely now but I wish him all the best.

Steve Moe
5 Posted 27/03/2015 at 16:30:21
The team has missed him all year. If you get rid of him, he needs to be replaced with a player of his caliber.
Tom R Owen
6 Posted 27/03/2015 at 16:40:29
Jim Denis,

He is like Mirallas, he was quick to join Spurs and then found out he wasn't as good as he thought. There is an old saying: "never go back". We should never have bought him from Spurs.

There are better younger players than this guy. He also has a strange streak. Loving God and beating up women... Does not sit right with me.

Brian Burns
7 Posted 27/03/2015 at 16:55:31
Pienaar deserves a pat on the back from us. Yep made one mistake going to Spurs but has always given 100% and father time has caught up with him. To equate him to Mirallas is way off the mark.
Dave Abrahams
8 Posted 27/03/2015 at 16:59:48
Dennis and Tony Williams, I agree he has been a great player for us, made us tick along with Baines. If he can get fit, he will help us this season; next season... who knows?.
Denis Richardson
9 Posted 27/03/2015 at 16:50:31
Not necessarily disagreeing with you, Tom, but I'd rather have a fit Pienaar on the left wing right now than McGeady, Naismith, Atsu or Barkley...

I'm all for moving him along in the summer and using his wages for a younger player, only I don't see this happening as there are a few other players further to the front of the queue that need shifting. Also, I don't see another club matching his wages so he'll likely sit out his contract. Elephant in the room is of course will RM be shown the door if he has truly lost the squad.

Generally moving players on at the right time has been a skill that Moyes lacked and I'm not sure if RM has it either. SAF was a master at shifting players just before they started going downhill. So often people thought he was mad selling a player when he did... only to see it was the right decision not too long after.

We ideally need to shift the likes of Pienaar and cash in on Baines too. Both players are two of our top earners and Baines's resale value will dive in the next year or two. He may still be our best LB but likely not for much longer as age catches up with him. If we were offered anywhere near 㾶M or more I'd sell.

Tom R Owen
10 Posted 27/03/2015 at 17:32:19
I agree, Denis.

Baines has been poor since – surprise surprise – he signed a new contract.

Look to the future and get Garbutt signed up.

Barry Pearce
11 Posted 27/03/2015 at 18:02:27
Great little player, badly missed this season.
Darren Hind
12 Posted 27/03/2015 at 18:09:25
I think he could play into his late thirties, He was never the quickest so we need not worry about his pace deserting him.

He won't be a starter, but he is a vastly experienced international who knows how to take care of the ball.

What's the worst that can happen?

Andrew Laird
13 Posted 27/03/2015 at 18:17:59
"Loving God and beating up women does not sit right with me" I agree Tom, I cannot work out which is worse either.

Pienaar is one of, if not the best, technical footballer we have and he is definitely key to our complete lack of creativity and play down the wing. Being schooled at Ajax he is someone who has the brains as well as the feet and it shows this season that both him and Osman have been missing.

It is no coincidence that Pienaar is always targeted by the opposition and is booted up in to the air with all too frequent regularity; without him we are poorer. Good news

Jim Bennings
14 Posted 27/03/2015 at 18:43:23
The mere thought of seeing Atsu and McGeady starting on opposite flanks would be enough to force me to give even a 33-year-old Pienaar a new long contract.

Roberto's assessments of McGeady (this time last year) and Atsu at the beginning of the season have not come to fruit anyway.

He said of Atsu that he would catch fire in the second half of the season and take the league by storm... Hmmmmm, okay Roberto.

And about this time last year apparently McGeady would be physically fit and in tune with the league by last summer hence why would see this dazzling twinkle-toed winger throughout this season... errrrrrr... nope wrong again.

Pienaar on his day would be in the team ahead of these two without a question and playing Naismith or Barkley out wide is also something I want to see stopped after this season.

Mirallas can play out wide left, of course, but it won't be in the blue of Everton next season unless Duncan Ferguson becomes his agent!!

Colin Glassar
15 Posted 27/03/2015 at 18:49:41
He’s been sorely missed. Like Darren said, he’s never been the quickest but he’s a very skillful and intelligent player who can split opposing defences.

I hope he can contribute something to the rest of the season; as for next, who knows?

Tim Greeley
16 Posted 27/03/2015 at 18:49:44
Have we missed a healthy Steve Pienaar? You betcha!

Will he be the same player if/when he comes back? I doubt it.

Darren Hind
17 Posted 27/03/2015 at 18:46:25
Tom and Andrew

"Beating up women" — Do you have a shred of evidence to back that up, or are you just demonstrating a willingness to believe any unsubstantiated allegations you read in the papers?

To my knowledge, there was no verdict, no court case, there wasn't even a charge... but It was in the paper, so it must be true.


Colin Glassar
18 Posted 27/03/2015 at 19:00:43
Well said Darren. I suppose we’ll be told to get off our high horse now.
Andrew Laird
19 Posted 27/03/2015 at 19:02:07
I have not insinuated anything, Darren, so before you jump in, maybe take a breath first?
Tony Hill
20 Posted 27/03/2015 at 19:25:43
He's been a fine player for us but in my opinion his future is strictly limited at Premier League level. He has lost a yard through injury and is obviously very injury prone.

One of my favourite players of recent years but, as with Osman, we must move on. He may have something to contribute next season but it will be marginal.

James Flynn
21 Posted 27/03/2015 at 18:41:04
I agree in we let see what Pienaar has left once healthy.

Whatever does that have to do with if he believes in some god?

And, really, how many years (8-9?) since he was alleged to have assaulted a woman? What the fuck?

Mark Frere
22 Posted 27/03/2015 at 20:38:50
Pienaar has been a top player for us down the years and he is one of the few creative players we have left at the club. A younger, more consistent and less injury-prone version of Pienaar is what our midfield is crying out for. Sadly his best days are behind him; if the opportunity arises for us to get him off the wage bill in the summer, then we should take it. Hopefully an MLS team (like with Cahill) will come along and offer him an attractive contract.

Pienaar was part of our best ever Premier League team... and I'm not talking about our current squad. People on here keep harping on about our current squad being the best we've had in the Premier League era – it isn't.

The 2007-08 squad was better:


That squad was full of creative players (like Pienaar) in their prime (unlike today's squad) and had a strong back 4, plenty of goals in it and lots of character. It was a team that finished 5th in the League, got to the quarter-final of the Uefa Cup, eventually losing to Fiorentina on penalties, and beat the winners (Zenit St Petersburg) in the group stages.

Hopefully in the summer, Martinez and his scouts can identify some players of the calibre of Arteta, Fernandes and Pienaar because we are really lacking players of that quality.

Michael Winstanley
23 Posted 27/03/2015 at 22:40:22
We've missed him badly this season, he gets clobbered every time he gets the ball in the first 20 mins, in my eyes he's targeted.

We've missed his assurance with the ball and his link-up play with Baines, who was that good because of Pienaar and often Osman putting him in.

Perhaps we didn't truly appreciate what we had and why we've struggled turning defence (possession) into attack. The players who've been playing simply aren't as good.

Mark Andersson
24 Posted 27/03/2015 at 22:53:00
Mark 22 you have a good point, but you lost me when you said (hopefully Martinex and his scouts can identify some players of the calibre of Arteta, and the likes. Read Jim's post 14, Martinez is hopeless and a lair.

Every one is banging on about replacing Ozzie and Pienaar, but with who? Tom Cleverly, because that's who this fool of a manager wants.

Hopefully Pienaar can have some game time like Ozzie he makes a difference.

Kev Shearer
25 Posted 27/03/2015 at 23:48:41
The thing with Pienaar is he's slowly been deteriorating over past few years due to loss of form and injuries. His place in the pecking order has fallen and I would rather see a Garbutt-Baines partnership down the left. I can see Pienaar heading off to the states some time soon
Phil Sammon
26 Posted 28/03/2015 at 05:19:49
I have never been able to understand why Pienaar has so many critics among the Everton fanbase. Alongside Arteta (in his prime) he is the most technically gifted footballer we've had the pleasure of watching in many a year.

Like Osman, he lacks pace and a decent shot, but if he had those two attributes I very much doubt he would be playing for Everton. His awareness, vision and ability to spot short passes and retain possession has been sorely missed.

Mike Price
27 Posted 28/03/2015 at 07:22:35
He's a great player and has been good for us, but in typical Everton style we turn an asset into a liability by paying huge wages on too long contracts. (See current manager also!)

We end up stuck with aging, substandard players that aren't good enough, rarely or shouldn't play, and literally you can't give away, eg, Howard, Hibbert, Barry, Kone, Osman, McGeady, Distin and a hundred others from earlier eras.

In turn, that unbalances and unsettles the rest of the squad who are playing regularly but are on half the money.

Jim Bennings
28 Posted 28/03/2015 at 08:17:32

2007-08 was a good squad, good numbers and good variety of creative attacking midfielders and defensive dogs.

We will soon see how stretched our squad will be next week if Lukaku and Kone are both out... it will be Naismith (who's not a striker for me) leading the line.

Jim Bennings
29 Posted 28/03/2015 at 08:27:37
For that 2007-08 squad, Mark, you could even add players who did a decent job as stop gap or substitute that you have forgotten about like:

Lee Carsley
James McFadden (was he any worse that McGeady or Atsu?)
Alan Stubbs
Nuno Valente
Victor Anichebe
James Vaughan

Stop-gap players but they could come off the bench and do a suitable job.

Jim Bennings
30 Posted 28/03/2015 at 08:34:19
We both forgot Joseph Yobo!!!

A good strong centre half..

Alcaraz or Yobo???

I know who'd I'd rather have had.

Mark Pierpoint
31 Posted 28/03/2015 at 08:40:04
I think we have missed Pienaar this year. His composure on the ball, frankly his ability to hold onto the ball and his ability to win those free kicks.

I worry he may well be finished. I also think that Atsu may well become a decent player. He has had a tough year, adapting to the English game and a new team; will not be the first though or the last. Would possibly be looking to extend the loan for next year.

Max Wilson
32 Posted 28/03/2015 at 09:45:56
Well, we'd all love to see him back in a successful partnership with Leighton. Whether that is possible after all this time is another thing.

Certainly our midfield could be a lot better.

Peter Morris
33 Posted 28/03/2015 at 09:52:55
We've sorely missed Steven's ability to unpick massed defences with clever passes, and cruelly, I think the only other players with a degree of the same ability in the squad (Ossie and Gibson), have both been missing for much of the season. This has been a massive contributor to our predictability and inability to get behind the opposition.

As to whether he is past his best, well probably the answer is Yes, but I'd still have a fit Steven Pienaar in our matchday squad every day, given the personnel we have.

Brin Williams
34 Posted 28/03/2015 at 11:40:57
Pienaar – if not already past his sell-by date he is certainly getting there, as is Baines.

Bite the bullet – sell!!!

Frank Mullin
35 Posted 28/03/2015 at 11:39:39
Pienaar should be welcomed back with open arms and given every opportunity. He has been greatly missed, particularly by Baines who has been ploughing a lone furrow down the left for too long. Their partnership at its peak is nothing short of lethal. Opposition could never work it out they have such ESP between them.

Pienaar's game doesn't rely on pace alone so being 33 doesn't deter him, providing he stays fit, from a season or two more. I'd also like to see the option of Baines being pushed forward into Pienaar's role with Oviedo slotting in at left back. I think they could do well together. Baines played for England further forward last night at times and looked very comfortable there.

John Keating
36 Posted 28/03/2015 at 13:44:32
Brin, You'd get nothing for him now. Who would buy him?

Anyway, I reckon Pienaar has been brilliant for us from day one, even when he came back from Spurs! He knew when he went there he'd made a mistake; coming back on loan, at the end of season he was really emotionally buggered.

I definitely don't agree with Tom Owen: when he signed back on, he was excellent. I would not blame Pienaar one bit if he sat out the last season of his contract with us. Would any one of us knock back a last payday of a few million?

Anthony Lamb
37 Posted 28/03/2015 at 20:09:03
Even acknowledging that it is "all about opinions" etc, but I often think that opinions somehow have to relate to facts. While he has been a skillful footballer in many respects one does have to question the so called "return" from some of those skills.

He did have a good understanding of course with Baines for a period of time but his goal return leaves a lot to be desired and in fact his goal return per games played is pretty lamentable. Other than a handful of notable exceptions, eg, chipped goal at the Emirates, I often found his shooting ability, for a player of his technical abilities, was equally pretty poor.

I also feel that his return from Spurs was in fact ill-judged. I think it elevated him to a status, perhaps in his own mind, perhaps elsewhere in the club, and perhaps among some elements of the fan base that was rarely justified by his performances. Obviously, whatever the injuries are that have restricted his appearances so severely this season, they will have done nothing to facilitate any effective contribution he could make to the evolution of this squad and as such I would think that his role at Everton is somewhat at an end.

Victor Jones
38 Posted 28/03/2015 at 20:59:45
Let's all see how Pienaar fares out before condemning him to the scrapheap. At best he has only about one or two seasons left anyhow. I seem to recall a number of fellow supporters similarly writing Osman off. And he's done okay since he's come back into the side.

Says more about Martinez's management though, that he is relying on these older players to pull him out of a hole. What's up with playing and sticking with a few youngsters? Sorry, that was a stupid question. Martinez doesn't stick with inform youngsters.

As for the 2007-08 squad mentioned above, was it really a better squad than this current bunch? Howard in goal, he was IMO always a dodgy GK. And Moyes was always ultra defensive, playing Neville in MF. And our forwards, for some reason, only performed for one season.

Frustrating being an Evertonian. Over the years, our squads on paper have not looked that bad. But in reality, we never performed. Little old me thinks we overlooked one very important position. We never had a decent manager. And we still don't.

Darren Hind
39 Posted 29/03/2015 at 07:14:07
Careful, Victor. Some on here think if you don't love one of our last two managers, you must love the other.

You're right of course. Moyes did put together a decent squad of players with relatively little money, but he was a miserable sod who wanted the players and the crowd to be as cautious as he was.

Martinez is also a miserable sod (three defensive mids) and isn't at the same level as the players he inherited.

Frying pan/fire.

Jim Bennings
40 Posted 29/03/2015 at 08:08:06

You can make that point about Pienaar's goal return but if you look at other Everton wide players over the last 20 years, there's only been Kanchelskis who you can truly say has had a good goal return.

Perhaps it's been an Everton thing, who knows?

What Pienaar has been since we first stumbled upon him, he's been a creative busy inventive player; to give him his due, he has always put in a great shift when he has been playing.

Matthew Williams
41 Posted 29/03/2015 at 09:16:15
I love Steven, great player!! You only have to see his tearful interview to know he is a proper Evertonian now, will no doubt still make visits here when he has long retired, I would think.

I would rather keep him even if he just has a bit part role for the next season or so. He has the ability to come on for 30 mins and change a game, we don't have many like this at the moment.

Laurie Hartley
42 Posted 29/03/2015 at 09:38:17
I have always rated Pienaar a very clever footballer. I think he can still play a part in the squad. As several posters have stated, he is a player who can pick a pass and never goes missing in a game.

About his move to Spurs – I remain convinced the main reason Redknapp and Levi bought him for ١M was to split his partnership with Baines up. We would have beaten Spurs to the Uefa Cup position that year if they had stayed together.

James Marshall
43 Posted 29/03/2015 at 13:47:49
The criticism bordering on hatred for some of our players, whose only real crime is the aging process, astounds me.

Some supporters are so harsh and reactionary, it's unreal. Pienaar has obviously been missed and should obviously be given another chance when he's fit.

You can't blame players for getting older or getting injured and then moan about their wages. That's madness.

Victor Jones
44 Posted 29/03/2015 at 15:14:03
I wish that people on here would refrain from calling fellow supporters "haters" if they have a different point of view. Nobody hates any player that ever played for Everton FC. But we all have different opinions. I most certainly do not hate Steven Pienaar. But I don't understand why young Garbutt and a fit Oviedo are not preferred on the left, along with a fit Baines. Any combination of two would do for me.

Or maybe even try playing all three... Why not? Pienaar will now only be a bit part player. I have watched him closely in the last couple of years, (and yes, he can make a killer pass), but he also gives the ball away far too much. But so do a number of players under Martinez's tippy-tappy nonsense.

And yes, Darren, I have noticed what you have said about our last two managers. Again, I must state that I don't "hate" any Everton manager. But I want more from Everton. And I firmly believe that, should Kenwright be ambitious and brave, then with the right manager in control, that Everton can move on to a higher level. Why not?

Kenwright has played everything nice and safe with Moyes and Martinez. And these two managers have played everything nice and safe with their players. FFS – Neville, Barry, Carsley, Howard, Hibbert, Osman, McFadden, Distin – and bringing Pienaar back to Everton. And yes, their hands are tied with our useless board, but by Christ, our last two managers sure as hell can play safe.

And not to mention our 4-5-1 set up. Eleven years of that from Moyes. And now even worse from Martinez. God help us.

This thread is about Pienaar, a player closer to retiring, than anything else. I wonder where the next Mckenzie or Thomas or Steven or Sheedy or Gray is coming from? Or how about unearthing a Latchford? That's what I want at Everton – a manager and a board that can recognise and bring that sort of talent to the club. Not players of the calibre of Alcaraz, McGeady, and Barry. It's actually a long time since I was happy with an Everton manager. A long time.

Rant over. And I will keep on dreaming. You never know. Kenwright might just surprise us all. Hopefully.

Michael Polley
45 Posted 29/03/2015 at 23:18:49
Great servant to the club, but age and injury means he is no longer the same player. Time to let him go. Thanks for all the good times.
James Marshall
46 Posted 30/03/2015 at 02:40:20
It's the whole 'get rid' stance that bothers me. Players get older, but they have contracts which clubs don't just tear up or bin the player simply because we the supporters don't think they're any good any more.

Players have contracts and clubs honour them because they gave them to them in the first place.

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