The Scottish forward has played just 15 minutes of football for the Blues since his last start against Arsenal in mid-October and has openly admitted that he may need to look for a move in January if competition for places keeps on the substitutes' bench in the coming weeks.
Roberto Martinez, who blocked a transfer of the former Rangers man to Norwich City on transfer deadline day in September, has acknowledged Naismith's frustrations and said he would not stand in the player's way this time if the Canaries or another club came in for him in January.
Naismith is settled with the Blues, loves the city of Liverpool, is keen to prove himself at Goodison Park and he sees opportunities to do so as the Blues' fixture calendar becomes more congested with the Festive programme in the League and commitments in both cup competitions.
"I'll speak to the manager and see where we're at but I am just focused on the Christmas run, there are so many games and it might be the chance I need," the 29-year-old said in the Liverpool Echo.
"Come the middle of January, I may have played every game since and it's no longer being talked about.
"But ... I am so settled in the area and I could not have picked a better football club to come to – from the way it is run, to the city being like Glasgow where I grew up.
"My family is settled here and they all love it here so it will be tough if that time comes but you never know what will happen. I have learnt in football than things can change in an instant."
Naismith, a free-transfer acquisition from Rangers in the summer of 2012, had to work hard initially to find his feet at Goodison Park after a challenging first season in which he was often played out of position in right midfield under David Moyes.
He began to prove his worth as a goal poacher, however, and was an important member of Martinez's team in his first season in charge following Moyes's departure for Manchester United when he was second-top scorer with nine goals in all competitions.
The form of Gerard Deulofeu, Arouna Kone and Ross Barkley this season has limited his opportunities, however – even though he registered a "perfect" hat-trick against reigning Champions Chelsea in September – and he admits that as wonderful as it is to watch to younger members of the team excel, it's also hard for him personally.
"We have all these young guys, they have no fear, they don't care who they are playing against and they just go and play their own game. It is amazing to see that," Naismith continued. "So if I'm not playing and I'm on the bench, I love watching these lads.
"I love watching it because I love football and I love my mates improving. They are going to be top class players. "But is hard to take when the team are winning and you are on the bench and not featuring.
"I've had a couple of bad injuries in my career and I know how frustrating and tough it can be when you're not able to play, but I'm not injured, I'm fit but can't get into the team."
Quotes sourced from Liverpool Echo
Reader Comments (42)
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1 Posted 15/12/2015 at 17:04:45
Steven Naismith would be the first name on my team sheet: his skill, commitment, vision and ability to score goals out of nothing, make him an invaluable asset. Naismith doesn't hide, he is an honest player, his work rate is unquestionable and yet Martinez seemingly refuses to bring him off the bench even when recent victories, which Naismith could possibly have retrieved, have slipped away from us.
Fans are influenced by the press, TV and radio, sometimes regardless of performances and form; I believe this to be true regarding Ross Barkley. I sincerely hope both for the lad's sake and for the good of the club that he develops into a great player, but he has a very long way to go until he is the finished article. Comparisons with Paul Gascoigne at the same age are ludicrous. Gascoigne was world class at Barkley's age. Too many times Barkley is caught in possession, without a clue what he is going to do with the ball, when players are in position, waiting for the pass to come. Yet it seems regardless of his form, that he keeps the jersey ahead of Naismith. To my mind, that is bad management.
Similarly Kone, who has shown improved form, has visibly weakened in recent games, yet the manager refuses to replace him with Naismith. Whatever vision Mr Martinez has for the club, it is apparent it doesn't include Steven Naismith.
I believe he may rue the day he made that decision. Naismith is a thoroughly decent young man as his charity work proves, if he is to leave the club, I for one wish him every success and I would be happy to see him prove with another club his undoubted ability.
2 Posted 15/12/2015 at 18:50:26
3 Posted 15/12/2015 at 18:55:42
Questionable technically but gives 100% for 90 minutes and has a great attitude.
I would love to keep him in the squad but he has to be given some time on the pitch. Our recent cup game was an example of a game he could have been given a run out.
4 Posted 15/12/2015 at 18:56:33
5 Posted 15/12/2015 at 19:07:59
6 Posted 15/12/2015 at 19:13:40
7 Posted 15/12/2015 at 19:41:39
I wasn't a huge fan of his to begin with but he has grown on me; it's a bit of a shame that he can't get in the first team. He has some fight in him and gets in the face of some of the opposition when he has to. Imagine he is an annoying player to play against.
8 Posted 15/12/2015 at 19:42:23
9 Posted 15/12/2015 at 19:44:32
His reading of play can be sensational, he pops up in the opposition penalty area, quite unexpectedly, and he poaches goals.
He is also tigerish, will snap back at opponents, and referees, and can be a major irritant to the opposing team, rather like a certain Jamie Vardy, who will be meeting us soon.
I am not saying Nasmith should be an automatic starter, but we certainly could have done with his never-say-die attitude in some of our recent matches.
Come on, Bobby, give the lad his chance. Oh, and by the way, we have another game-changer called Osman who should not be overlooked either!
10 Posted 15/12/2015 at 19:59:17
11 Posted 15/12/2015 at 20:05:36
I will be sorry to see him leave. As people have pointed out, he is a good bloke, with a wider vision than just football. I wish him well if he does decide to move for regular first team football.
12 Posted 15/12/2015 at 20:11:13
13 Posted 15/12/2015 at 20:11:28
14 Posted 15/12/2015 at 20:19:10
Takes a big man to come back from that! Whatever happens now, if he stays or goes he will be remembered very fondly by me and I'm sure most Evertonians!
Personally I hope he stays and scores lots more goals for a club he's clearly taken to his heart! Reminds me a bit of Graham Stuart (adopted Evertonian for life!)
15 Posted 15/12/2015 at 21:08:38
Naismith is not the most talented player, but you cannot criticize his work rate or his attitude. He is in a tough spot. To good to sit on the bench; not good enough to start. I hope it all works out well for him.
16 Posted 15/12/2015 at 21:33:03
The sort of character you would rather have in your camp than the oppositions.
17 Posted 15/12/2015 at 22:09:46
You only have to look at Chelsea, Newcastle, Sunderland and Villa to see how a poor dressing room and poor attitude in players can drag a team down.
I think he needs more chances, sometimes Roberto is a bit slow with the subs and Naismith is ideal to shake it up a bit. I hope he stays.
18 Posted 15/12/2015 at 22:37:56
He has a fighting spirit and some of the others could take a leaf out of his book.
19 Posted 15/12/2015 at 22:38:23
Sandy Brown, Alan Harper and Kevin Richardson. All players who struggled to count themselves as first-teamers, but great medal winners. Naismith fits their mould.
20 Posted 15/12/2015 at 22:49:33
Aye, dream on laddie.
21 Posted 15/12/2015 at 23:00:06
A valuable squad member who reacts quicker inside the box than either Lukaku or Kone, he might get a game over the holiday.
22 Posted 15/12/2015 at 23:00:22
If not then Nessie can still play an important part for us over the Christmas period. He's a great lad who deserves to be treated with respect.
23 Posted 15/12/2015 at 23:10:06
If only we had someone like him.
24 Posted 15/12/2015 at 23:37:56
25 Posted 15/12/2015 at 23:47:20
I watched that Charlie Austin tonight bang in 2 for QPR and could have had 6, he was a real handful. He'll be a great signing for someone in January. He'd be a big upgrade on Naisy, between him and Lukaku we'd be lethal up front.
26 Posted 16/12/2015 at 01:13:29
I'd actually prefer him to Kone any day for his tough, no nonsense ability to get in the faces of opposition defenders. His attitude on and off the pitch screams 'professional' unlike some players nowadays who are only interested in a pay packet every week. He really WANTS to play for Everton, that much is clear and I think he would be sorely missed both on and off the pitch if he left us.
If Martinez made better, earlier use of substitutions he would probably have more game time under his belt but we all know our manager seems incapable of making early enough substitutions to change a game.
27 Posted 16/12/2015 at 01:13:38
I like him but he wanted to go to Norwich to play. On balance let him. For £9M!
29 Posted 16/12/2015 at 07:42:11
I think with Roberto's current strategy (a lopsided 4-4-2... he has said Kone role is playing 2nd striker) is limiting out options. I would prefer a different strategy where Naismith or more importantly Mirallas can get game time. But neither can do Kone's hold up job in the same way that Kone can't do their more direct job.
30 Posted 16/12/2015 at 08:03:39
Both men are used to playing and scoring goals and know what it takes at Premier League level to succeed and we will take a massive risk to sell either in my opinion as knowing our luck, Lukaku will get injured and although Kone has done well of late, he's got a recent history of injury which you can never be too settled with.
I agree that if Naismith was sold, I'd be making a move for Charlie Austin, the guy simply knows where the net is and is as rough and ready as you need.
We are in my opinion a handful away of really clever signings from being a really good team, it's not easy but a quality goalkeeper, a central defender that commands his back five with leadership and is vocal, and possibly as I say Austin to eventually partner Lukaku.
31 Posted 16/12/2015 at 08:42:19
32 Posted 16/12/2015 at 09:19:57
34 Posted 16/12/2015 at 10:27:59
As regards Steven Naismith, I feel very sorry for him, as many have already said on here, his attitude and workrate is unmatched at our Cub.
I cannot understand that in the last three matches where we have managed to turn a dominating performance into a nail-biting finish for a draw, why he was never used as a sub, and with a decent amount of time to contribute to the game. Funny Ol' Game, mate!
35 Posted 16/12/2015 at 10:37:50
Can you imagine a front three of Embolo, Lukaku and Gerri up front? Only the Barcelona front three would be comparable.
36 Posted 16/12/2015 at 10:54:21
Still, I take your point. It would be a tasty trio.
37 Posted 16/12/2015 at 10:57:23
As for Naismith. I think we're going to need him at least until the end of the season with the games coming thick and fast. What a likeable lad fantastic attitude... mightn't be the the most technically gifted at the club. But I doubt there's one Evertonian who dislikes him.
As someone earlier said: "Mirallas, watch and learn."
38 Posted 16/12/2015 at 11:18:19
39 Posted 16/12/2015 at 11:21:40
I think he's right though. He'll get a chances over the next five weeks or so.
40 Posted 16/12/2015 at 13:12:44
Let's be honest, his lack of pace lets him down; tidy enough footballer though.
41 Posted 16/12/2015 at 18:17:41
Drop useless arse Barkley,
43 Posted 16/12/2015 at 19:59:19
44 Posted 16/12/2015 at 22:28:36
I'm miffed how he fails to get off the bench when we need changes or chasing a game.
Stick with us, Stevie, You will get your chance, and the fans are right behind you.
45 Posted 18/12/2015 at 07:18:54
I really hope he gets a chance, as I still rate him above and beyond Kone.
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