Pienaar hangs up his boots

Wednesday, 28 February, 2018 53comments  |  Jump to most recent
Former Everton star, Steven Pienaar, has announced his retirement from the playing side of football at the age of 35.

The South African midfielder made almost 230 appearances for the Blues over two spells between 2007 and 2016 after joining from Borussia Dortmund, initially on loan.

At the peak of his abilities he formed a renowned and effective partnership down Everton's left flank with Leighton Baines but his latter years with the club were blighted by a succession of injuries.

He left Goodison Park 18 months ago to join Sunderland where he managed only 15 games before moving back to his native South Africa to join Bidvest Wits.

Further injury restricted him to just a handful of appearances and he has taken the decision to hang up his boots after almost 20 years as a player.

In a video posted to social media, Pienaar hinted at new initiative in which he will be involved following his retirement:


Reader Comments (53)

Note: the following content is not moderated or vetted by the site owners at the time of submission. Comments are the responsibility of the poster. Disclaimer

David Price
1 Posted 28/02/2018 at 21:32:59
Good luck, Peanuts!!! A quality player and a decent guy who gave his all in a blue shirt. Good luck for the future.
Kenny Smith
2 Posted 28/02/2018 at 21:42:49
Great player. Cost us nothing really first time round and a bit more the second time. You could never question his effort and ability.

Good luck lad and thanks for getting me off me seat with Bainesy.

Terry Farrell
3 Posted 28/02/2018 at 21:46:23
I loved that midfield of Pienaar, Cahill, Fellaini Osman and Arteta. They could all play tackle and score. Pienaar's debut the 2nd time against Chelsea was great and he was MotM and scored.

Loved the way he took the hits and his guile and cleverness to play Baines in as he was in top flight. I remember a game at home to Newcastle at the end of the season and those two ripped them to shreds.

Harry thought it would be the same with Bale but it never happened for some reason. I loved Stevie P.

Paul Cave
4 Posted 28/02/2018 at 22:14:09
Thanks for your efforts, if half the players we have now had your spirit, we wouldn't be in this Dark Place. That said, Allardyce wouldn't have put you in the squad anyway as you have too much creativity. Enjoy your retirement, wherever it takes you!
Paul Welsby
5 Posted 28/02/2018 at 23:28:09
I loved Pienaar and Baines down the left – some great memories.
Jim Bennings
6 Posted 28/02/2018 at 23:35:28
Steven Pienaar and Leighton Baines, 2008-2011 (brief interval ) resurrection in 2012.

The Bainaar, what a left side that was!!!!!

John Pierce
7 Posted 01/03/2018 at 00:16:51
So clever, used his head to maximize his physical deficiencies. Learned to handle the Premier League and became one of the most fouled players in the league.

Ultimately being kicked constantly caught up with him.

Goal v Arsenal at a snowy Emirates was the stuff of PlayStation. That day we deserved the points.

Jack Convery
8 Posted 01/03/2018 at 00:24:33
John Pierce, you stole my thunder! I was going to mention the goal at The Emirates.

He should never have gone to Spurs – Redknapp didn't need him. He just wanted to fuck Everton up, which he did. Our left side has never been the same, even when he came back.

He will always be welcome at Goodison or wherever we end up.

Good luck, Steven – you were a pleasure to watch wearing our Blue Shirt.

Mike Gaynes
9 Posted 01/03/2018 at 01:57:54
A hearty well done, Mr Pienaar.

All the best in the years to come.

Jamie Crowley
10 Posted 01/03/2018 at 03:08:57
Best Everton left-midfielder in my 10 years. Technical skill galore, the pairing up with Baines, tireless engine, a joy to watch.

I've fondness for him, but he'll never reach "ultimate respect" level due to that move to Spurs. Still, I like the guy and wish him well.

Brian Murray
11 Posted 01/03/2018 at 04:04:10
I'm surprised the tearful one hasn't offered him a 2-year swansong bumper contract. After all... it's what we do best!
John Malone
12 Posted 01/03/2018 at 06:39:16
Some of the best football I've ever seen watching Everton involved Pienaar, Baines, Arteta and Osman the goal against Larissa in the Europa stick's out for me!!

Good luck for the future, Stevie, oh how I wish Bolasie was half as good as you!

Rob Young
13 Posted 01/03/2018 at 07:47:48
Wonderful player!

I agree with John, the best football we've played for a long time was when Arteta, Pienaar and Baines were in the team.

And although Arteta was seen as our top player at that time – and he was outstanding for a couple of season before his injury – I always felt that Pienaar was actually the one that made us play. More then Arteta, he was the one that set the tone.

I reckon he was the best player we had under Bavid Moyes. And, my God, the Baines - Pienaar combination was an absolute joy two watch. Two great, great players in their prime and they had this unique understanding.

That goal at the Emirates, when it looked like we were actually going to win there (!), still gives me goosebumps. He had to run all the way from that halfway line and ended it with that finish. In the snow, at the Emirates, to go 2-1 up with minutes to go. Fan-tas-tic.

Baia Dankie, Steven

Phil Head
14 Posted 01/03/2018 at 08:21:15
Probably in the top 2-3 footballers I've witnessed, in 30 odd years of watching the blues. A hugely under appreciated footballer (apart from Moyes), who from my reckoning, was consistently Man of the Match for 3 years straight. Yet heonly accumulated 1 fans player of the year award.

This guy along with Arteta, was completely responsible for anything resembling football that we played during that period and was a classic example of what real bravery is on a football pitch.

Stevie P always made himself available for the ball, regardless of how many opposition were around him and never lost possession. Where his team mates would concentrate on simply controlling the ball, Stevie's first touch would consist of a drop of the shoulder or a feint of some sort, accompanied with a cushioned first touch with any part of his foot and always in the opposite direction of the nearest opposition player.

I always used to say, if we had 10 Steven Pienaars on the pitch, the opposition would never touch the ball and we'd win every game. I think Pep Guardiola's Barcelona team later proved that philosophy was achievable.

We've long been a country that's been obsessed with scouting players that are technically and athletically better than the rest, yet have completely disregarded footballing intelligence. This, as with any subject matter in life, either comes naturally to you or it doesn't and Stevie P had it in abundance.

Personally, it is this attribute in a footballer that I get the most satisfaction from viewing; unfortunately at this club, they've been few and far between.

Colin Glassar
15 Posted 01/03/2018 at 08:29:02
One of my favourite Everton players of recent years. Good luck Stevie P/Peanuts, hope to see you back at Goodison soon commentating on Everton games.
Mark Tanton
16 Posted 01/03/2018 at 08:31:06
Now that's when Everton could scout a player. We had to, we had nowt. With money comes lazy transfer activity. On a side note, the footballing world will not miss his daisy-cutting shots!
Brian Murray
17 Posted 01/03/2018 at 08:42:21
I missed the Golden Vision by a year or two but, because of his no-show in derbies, he was never my dad's favourite, unlike Bally. Same with Pienaar who turned it on versus both the Mancs, Arsenal etc but never in a derby. Ditto Baines Fellaini etc – except for Tim Cahill.
Trevor Lynes
18 Posted 01/03/2018 at 08:55:45
Pienaar was the most fouled player in the Premier league and this eventually caught up with him. The Baines - Pienaar combo was augmented by Distin who covered Baines's forays upfield as he had the pace to cover that left side.

Why our coaches did not provide adequate cover for this duo amazes me. Baines was the assist king of defenders and Pienaar was a real work trojan.

Best of luck Peanuts for your future projects, you were a large part of the few happy memories we have experienced during this past decade and a half.

Dave Abrahams
19 Posted 01/03/2018 at 09:06:06
Phil (#14), I couldn't add much to your great summing up of Stevie Pienaar except to say he was a great technical player with the addition of outstanding work rate attacking and defending, a pleasure to watch him play for the Blues.

When he came back to Goodison from Spurs, Levy made sure he was cup tied, that almost certainly, cost us the semi-final win against Liverpool. Good luck and good health in your retirement, Stevie.

Ray Roche
20 Posted 01/03/2018 at 09:35:37
Rob (#13) – "the best football we've played for a long time was when Arteta, Pienaar and Baines were in the team."

How could that be? I keep reading that we only ever played crap football under Moyes!

How we could do with some of his signings to brighten up the dross we're being served these days in what must, surely, be the worst football we have witnessed in decades.

Pienaar and Baines have been as good a partnership as we have seen in the Premier League era. And I don't just mean Everton. Wonderful little player. But have you heard him speak? He sounds like Bryn Terfel with laryngitis.

Steve Ferns
21 Posted 01/03/2018 at 09:59:23
I loved Peanut. Great player, used to see him in his big Mercedes Jeep outside Beetham tower when he first joined us. He was tiny. Nice fella though. Not quite an Everton Legend, but a player to be remembered fondly with many magical moments.
James Lauwervine
22 Posted 01/03/2018 at 10:14:10
As others have mentioned, the goal in the snow at the Arse was a classic. To have the composure and skill to do that in driving snow with goalie and defender bearing down was quite something. I must have watched it 20 times as I loved the way the goalie scrambled back to try and stop it going in – such was the delicacy and accuracy of the chip.

Unfortunately he slightly ruined it by doing a strange wobbly dance as a celebration plus we conceded a typically bastard equaliser late on. We were excellent that day though – one of the few times a Moyes Everton team really had a crack at a top team away from home.

I remember when he arrived thinking 'er who?' but, given the price, he turned out to be one of Moyes's best signings.

Colin Glassar
23 Posted 01/03/2018 at 10:18:09
James, I’d seen him play for Ajax and then in Germany and I thought he’d be great for us. As you can imagine, I was chuffed when he moved to Everton. Btw, I had him in my Everton team on PlayStation years before we bought him.
John Hammond
24 Posted 01/03/2018 at 10:25:31
Lovely little player.

I think it was the last game of his loan spell from Spurs (should never have left in the first place!) and at the end of the match while still on the pitch, an interviewer asked him whether he'd like to return to us permanently, and he started welling up, saying he'd love to. Brought a lump to my throat.

Robert Leigh
25 Posted 01/03/2018 at 10:45:44
As above, a great player for us over the years.

Even looked to be a key player in Martinez's first season; a midfield of McCarthy, Barry & Barkley flanked by Pienaar and Mirallas looked like it'd be great.

Another player we haven't really replaced, as well as Distin from that side.

Liam Reilly
26 Posted 01/03/2018 at 10:56:52
Great player; wish him well in his retirement.

Jim Bennings
27 Posted 01/03/2018 at 11:06:41
Great little player, great combo with Baines and in those years between 2008 and 2013 very few teams really knew how to put the shackles on the Bainaar.
Jim Bennings
28 Posted 01/03/2018 at 11:08:57
I remember the 7-1 win against Sunderland in November 2007.

That was when Pienaar, Arteta, Cahill, Osman and the Yak up front played football that would have arguably put any opponent to the sword.

Jamie Evans
29 Posted 01/03/2018 at 11:28:27
Good luck with your retirement Steven.

A really clever player who brought the best out of Baines when Leighton was probably our most potent attacking option.

Shame he couldn't wait to jump ship once Spurs came calling though.

Paul Birmingham
30 Posted 01/03/2018 at 12:29:43
Those were the last decent days at this club when Peanuts was doing the business down the left with Baines.

Opposition teams had a fear factor of their play. How times have changed at Goodison Park. Good luck and health, Peanuts, for the future.

Nick Armitage
31 Posted 01/03/2018 at 12:38:56
With him in the team and in form we had a chance against anyone. Great player and Phil Head hits the nail on the head with his observation of football intelligence.
Shaun McGough
32 Posted 01/03/2018 at 13:00:40
Good luck and thanks, one of very few players in the last few decades that could've played in the mid-eighties squad.
Darren Marsh
33 Posted 01/03/2018 at 13:10:16
Good luck, Peanuts, one of a very, very few players who could get you up off your seat since the mid-80s.
Brian Murray
34 Posted 01/03/2018 at 13:58:45
Stevie says his best moment was stopping Man Utd's title win in that 4-4 game. A meaningless game for us. Shame it wasn't a week earlier versus Liverpool at Wembley... but that's just me being weird and wanting a derby win. Too much un-Everton-like.
Jim Hardin
35 Posted 01/03/2018 at 15:03:45
One-half of one of the best footballing tandems I have seen, period. Enjoy your retirement. Or, maybe get your badges and you and Arteta can come back and coach Everton. Please?
Minik Hansen
36 Posted 01/03/2018 at 15:15:04
My first Everton shirt had his name on it. Thanks for the good memories, Pienaar, and the inspiration how to keep the ball in possession.
John Graham
37 Posted 01/03/2018 at 15:47:30
Great player first time around and struck up a fantastic partnership with Baines. Skilful, energetic, good footballing brain, quick, could score a goal. We could do with someone like him now...

It did prove the old adage about not going back the second time around as I think lots of the earlier memories were wiped away.

I do think he would have made a great coach for the young players but, whatever he gets involved in, I wish him luck.

John Davies
38 Posted 01/03/2018 at 16:55:41
Good luck to the lad, whatever he does. Bloody marvellous player for us, loved watching him. He says it's been an honour and he's right. The honour was all ours.
Ryan Payne
39 Posted 01/03/2018 at 17:37:46
Pienaar during his 1st spell can take all of the plaudits he can get. Great player and very exciting on the wing with Baines.

However, the Pienaar who was bullish about wanting to leave to go to Tottenham and forced his way out does not sit well with me. Furthermore, we bought him back 18 months later when his London sojourn didn't turn out like he hoped it would and it ended up costing us about £4m more than we sold him. This, at a time when we were cash strapped. I can't forgive him for that. Also, on his return he wasn't half the player we sold, with him constantly injured and collecting a wage.

I will file him under Moyes's true statement that "the grass isn't always greener when you leave Everton" and state that he left us in the lurch when we needed him so he could move to our rivals, Tottenham, and we shouldn't have gave him the satisfaction of a return. Good riddance.

Nick Lacey
40 Posted 01/03/2018 at 18:10:25
Him and Baines on the left side was the best partnership that I've ever seen. It was like they were linked.

I also think it is easy to forget what a fantastic midfield we had with Pienaar, Osman, Arteta, Cahill, Fellaini and a couple of years before with Carsley and Gravesen. How we didn't win a trophy with them is amazing.

Moyes in charge with his rock solid defence, and the midfield I mentioned, all we needed was a real proper striker and we really could have competed.

I'd take Moyes over Fat Sam any day.

Dermot Byrne
41 Posted 01/03/2018 at 18:17:07

"Furthermore, we bought him back 18 months later when his London sojourn didn't turn out like he hoped it would and it ended up costing us about £4m more than we sold him."

Bang on. I cannot forgive those shops I have bought crap from for 58 years. Especially in those years when I was skint! Bastards.

Tony Abrahams
42 Posted 01/03/2018 at 18:24:00
If Moyes said that, Ryan, about the grass not being greener, then it shows you what a foolish arrogant man he became, once Man Utd came calling!

Remember Pienaar's debut at Bolton. He played on the right, had a hand in Yakubu's first goal, but I wasn't sure he could make it in England, because he wasn't particularly fast or strong. (Klaassen?) Although some of Pienaar's best games came when he played inside.

How wrong I was, and what an absolute pleasure it was to watch this little fella, when he was on form. I consider a player to be brave, when he constantly wants the ball, so in that respect Pienaar had the heart of a little lion.

Watching Pienaar, constantly coming towards the ball, often used to make me think about the difference in the coaching, between the English and the foreign footballer. The English run away from the ball whilst the foreigners do the complete opposite, but that's only my opinion, and is probably why I've enjoyed watching Steven Pienaar play for Everton, more than most of the others I've seen in my 43 years watching Everton. Always a pleasure!

Mike Berry
43 Posted 01/03/2018 at 18:36:29
Pure class!
Kevin Tully
44 Posted 01/03/2018 at 19:36:10
Steve (#21) "Not quite an Everton Legend, but a player to be remembered fondly with many magical moments."

Trust me, mate, 3 games for the U23s and you're guaranteed "legend" status these days. He only has to call Uncle Bill and he'll be offered a job for life.

Terry Underwood
45 Posted 01/03/2018 at 20:23:06
Best of luck and much love to our Peanut.
Mike Gaynes
46 Posted 01/03/2018 at 22:29:09
Pienaar says his favorite Everton moment was the goal in the 4-4 draw with Man Utd that denied them the title. One of my favorites too:

Dick Fearon
47 Posted 02/03/2018 at 08:39:24
Thank you, Steven, for bringing sparkles of light into too many gloomy afternoons.
Tony Abrahams
48 Posted 02/03/2018 at 09:09:26
I don't know if Pienaar ever took his job home with him, Kevin, but if he did, it would be great to have him back at Everton mate.

Look at the way he constantly came towards the ball, was it a gift, or was it down to the coaching he received when he was a young kid, possibly at Ajax?

I'd put a man like this in charge of the coaching side of the academy, especially considering that football is well on the way to becoming a non-contact sport.

Ernie Baywood
49 Posted 02/03/2018 at 11:42:48
I was a huge fan. The boy could play and that Bainaar combination was incredible to watch.

The one thing I always remember about 'nuts is his performance against Arsenal. No, not that one. The one where they smashed us at home when Lescott was on the brink of leaving. With 10 minutes to go we were well behind and you saw the players just give up. Pienaar did the opposite and was chasing players down. Plenty of character that lad.

Best of luck in retirement!

Clive Mitchell
50 Posted 02/03/2018 at 18:45:15
Unless we haven't had any legends since 1987, Pienaar is one – a better player than any of the 1995 Cup winning team (Southall excepted), rate him as highly as Cahill.
Frank Bortoli
51 Posted 03/03/2018 at 10:54:30
A true blue legend, it was a great shame he wanted the move to Spurs but will always remember his partnership with Baines. All the best peanuts.
Steve Solomon
52 Posted 05/03/2018 at 07:46:38
It was always with great pride that I watched fellow South African Stevie P play for my team and my country. Best of luck in all your new ventures, boetie.
Justin Doone
53 Posted 06/03/2018 at 11:18:22
Great player for us. A real handful, team player, energetic and good footballing brain. Who knows, one day he may be back in a different capacity.

He went to Tottenham to improve his chances of winning trophies. That's ambition, that's what footballers dream of. That's what fans want, hopefully that's what Everton can achieve in the next few years.

Happy he came back but injuries to both him and Baines meant the left side partnership never got back to their best.

Compare it to the last few years of non-football and it was still one of the best combos.

If only Mirallas, McGeady, Bolasie (more skillful players) had his brain and desire.

Add Your Comments

In order to post a comment, you need to be logged in as a registered user of the site.

» Log in now

Or Sign up as a ToffeeWeb Member — it's free, takes just a few minutes and will allow you to post your comments on articles and Talking Points submissions across the site.

About these ads