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Friday, 03 August 2012

Everton: Welcome home Steven Pienaar

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There's an old saying that the grass isn't always greener on the other side. Everton's returning hero Steven Pienaar can vouch for that. And so can I.

When I was 11 I got my first ever FIFA game on my Xbox, FIFA 06. I absolutely loved it. So much so that when FIFA 07 came out on the new Xbox 360, I bought the new console with the game. After playing it for the first time though I turned it off and walked away extremely disappointed. You see I had thought that because this game was newer it would be better. But it wasn't, so I ended up depressed and played Fifa 06 for another year. 

This brings me to Steven Pienaar. In January of 2011, Everton sold Pienaar for a fee believed to be £3 million to Tottenham Hotspur. This called an end to his three-year spell at the Toffees after arriving from Borussia Dortmund. The reason he had been sold so cheaply was because he was in the last six months of his contract, after refusing Everton's attempts at contract renewal offers.

Claiming that he wanted to play the best football and in the best competitions in the world, he joined Spurs. Well Steven, how did that turn out for you? This is a classic case of "the grass isn't always greener" because before the next season started, Pienaar got injured and was forced down the pecking order at White Hart Lane. But this was to be expected anyway considering he plays in the same position as the Welsh wing wizard Gareth Bale.

Making only 18 appearances and scoring one goal in his brief half season at White Hart Lane, when Everton came knocking with a loan offer in the last hour of the January 2012 transfer window, Pienaar could not refuse the opportunity and was soon back wearing the royal blue jersey at Goodison.

After Steven's performances in the first team, the management and team started to realise that he was the missing piece of the jigsaw, he was the one player who could and was getting Everton to play beautiful free flowing and subsequent goal scoring football. I think Pienaar realised this as well and also rediscovered his own love for the club.

Another thing that was noted and questioned was that: Surely a player of Pienaar's quality could have at least made some impression at Spurs? Well it all comes down to the fact that “the grass isn't always greener.” I think it also shows that some players are just made to fit with certain clubs.

Now in August, Pienaar has officially signed a new four-year contract with the club after a fee of £4.5 million was agreed with Spurs. I'm sure everyone is looking forward to seeing Steven back in the Royal Blue jersey and can look forward to many more fantastic performances from him.

Calling all Everton fans: What does it mean to you to have Pienaar back at the club permanently? Can you understand his reasons for leaving in the first place? Do you hold a slight grudge with him for going? Can he be even better in his second spell at the club? Whatever your views, we'd love to hear from you.

For more Everton articles click here

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Colin Illingworth



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