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Where will Bilyaletdinov find his home?

Left wing
Right wing
The "Cahill" Role
Centre midfield
Another club

Author Topic: Dini' the Russian  (Read 8304 times)

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January 07, 2010, 12:55:50 AM
Reply #45
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blueToffee

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Have a read of this...



Amidst a period of increasing panic among Evertonians in the summer of 2007 as a weakened, threadbare squad remained virtually untouched as a European campaign loomed, David Moyes moved quietly to secure the services of Steven Pienaar.

An established South African international, Pienaar arrived on a season-long loan from Borussia Dortmund after failing the daunting task of filling the considerable shoes of Tomas Rosicky.

It wasn't hard to see why the German club thought they had captured a gem — Pienaar had been groomed at the bastion of footballing excellence, Ajax Amsterdam. But he struggled to find his feet in the Bundesliga and was deemed surplus to requirements.

Chiefly regarded as a central midfielder he was used to act as “link” player before Sneijder took over that position at Ajax. And although it's believed that he dislikes playing on the wing, it was wide left where he established himself at Everton, rapidly warming to life at Goodison Park.

By October, it was clear that Moyes had pulled off another transfer masterstroke. With his quick movement, speed of thought and willingness to make things happen, Pienaar was one of the stars of an Everton side that went unbeaten for 13 games in all competitions, moved into the Carling Cup semi-finals, the latter stages of the Uefa Cup and the European qualification slots of the Premier League by Christmas.

Such was his impact that when his senseless trip on Ryan Giggs three minutes from the end of a hard-fought game at Old Trafford handed Manchester United victory when Cristiano Ronaldo scored from the spot, few could come down too hard on him. His contribution to the side up to that point had been enormous.

There was a predictable clamour for Moyes to make his loan move permanent in the January 2008 transfer window but the manager, presumably safe in the knowledge that he could sign him for £2.5m at season's end per the original terms of the loan, insisted that he would use the rest of the campaign to assess the South African.

As if further evidence of his importance to the team were needed, Moyes tried to eke out every last minute of playing time from Pienaar before he left for African Nations Cup duty that month and announced his intention to include him in the League Cup semi-semi at Chelsea.

That threatened to land both Everton and the player in trouble with the Safa and Fifa who made no bones of the fact that regulations state that participating players must report for duty 14 days from the start of the tournament — in this case, 12 days away — and not from the country's first game — in South Africa's case, 15 days away.

In the end, Everton had to concede defeat, both in that club-versus-country battle and, minus Pienaar, the semi-final itself.  But the young South African was signed up a while after he returned on a permanent 3-year contract.

But he was to miss the first six weeks of the new season with a broken toe sustained  in the last pre-season friendly, against PSV. When he finally appeared, it was clear he had the skills and the flair so sadly lacking among most of the Everton team. But his strenuous efforts rarely produced anything of real note in terms of end product, despite catching the eye.

Nevertheless, he combined well with Baines to form a good partnership down the left side. Towards the end of his second season, it looked like the promise he brought to the team may finally bear fruit.

Indeed, going into the following 2009-10 season, Everton needed to rely even more on Pienaar as the creative spark in Arteta's long continuing absence.  But an ugly knee injury, inflicted by his compatriot and South African team captain Mokoena in a league game at Portsmouth put him out for two months in which Everton managed only one win.

By Michael Kenrick and Lyndon Lloyd
Last updated December 2009

 



It was the end of October (25th) when we went on the run of results (largely timed with Cahill's return I think) and its true Pienaar has rarely looked back since then.  There were 12 or 13 games with UEFA before then though that Pienaar and the team as a whole weren't consistent and both had flashes of brilliance there were often lots of mistakes too.

Anyhow, it was my belief at the time watching the games that Pienaar wasn't doing all that well, there were moments where he made the telling pass but he'd also make some silly errors too. I was worried at the time that we'd lost Fernandes and gained Pienaar who wasn't as quick of feet or thought as Fernandes. However I do remember at the time a lot of people were saying good things about Pienaar and basically to wait and see if you weren't convinced. At the end the of day they were right and I was definitely wrong as he's undoubtably a key player for us now but subjectively there were people (quite a number) that weren't sold on him from the go.

Now Billy has obviously had a bit more time than Pienaar but the lesson I've learned from Pienaar (and its made me more patient with Fellaini) was that players progress/adjust at different rates. I don't know if Billy will be as key to us as Pienaar is now but time will tell.

However, just by the opinions on here you should be able to see not all fans were convinced on him straight away. Yes you were right in your initial assessment that there was something to be excited about and yes they were proved to be wrong in the main but it doesn't mean there were valid concerns at the beginning of his Everton career. That particular report acknowledges that by October he was making his mark but as I mentioned in the earlier post it was 2 to 2.5 months into the season. And I do remember hearing commentary by media prior to that that their were question marks over Pienaar.

To be honest though it doesn't really matter, Pienaar is Pienaar and Billy will have his own progression for Everton. Maybe it'll not come off for him here but for me it is too early to tell. Elements like tackling and such can definitely be improved, as they were for Arteta after a season or so but anyhow that's my opinion on it, either way we'll have to wait and see.
« Last Edit: January 07, 2010, 12:58:08 AM by blueToffee »

deCoubertin

January 07, 2010, 03:52:29 AM
Reply #46
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sukulpat


TBH, Billy is a decent lefty Central Midfielder, the left or winger are not his natural positions. 

January 07, 2010, 04:26:28 AM
Reply #47
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toffee_scot


I would give Billy more time to settle to the Premier League, I think Moyes warned fans that they would not see the best of him straight away although he did look promising in the beginning but has somewhat faded.

But seeing some of the comments in this debate has made me think about Moyes's transfer policy. In the last couple of years he seems to have brought in a lot of utility players (Billy being one of them as he can play in supposedly 4 positions) and I have to question whether Moyes actually thinks very carefully about the roles certain players would perform in the team.

With Billy for example, did Moyes ever analyse properly his strengths and weaknesses and how he would fit into his ideal formation? Or did Moyes think Billy was some kind of jack of all trades and therefore thought he could play him anywhere he wanted without considering whether he would be effective or not?

It took Jagielka a while to find his best position because Moyes wanted to use him as a utility player mostly covering in midfield but when Moyes was forced to play him at centre back when Yobo was at African Nations, that's when we found out that Jagielka was in fact a very good defender.


January 07, 2010, 05:55:20 PM
Reply #48
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.Rimbo.


Pienaar come off the bench to make his Goodison debut and had quite a part to play in Anichebe's goal (vs. Wigan)

January 07, 2010, 06:06:37 PM
Reply #49
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Jamokachi


I think a few are forgetting that Bily came to Goodison after finishing the Russian season. No summer break and no pre-season. He must be running on near empty. We'll see the true player next year I think. He's shown enough, in flashes, that make me confident he'll turn into a very good player for us. Be that out wide or in the centre, time will tell I guess.

He's no winger. But then I don't think Moyes bought him for the 'wing'. Yes, he plays him wide right/left, but as a winger? No. The fact is, Moyes doesn't play with wingers. He prefers wide men who drift and cut inside, with the full backs taking on more responsibility in an attacking role down the wing. A few people seem to miss this, which is strange given how evident it is with Pienaar, who again, is no winger.

January 07, 2010, 07:27:03 PM
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GLewis

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Pienaar did not struggle in his first season.

He's got better each year, but that doesn't mean he wasn't good in his first year.

Arteta has also improved over the time he was with us.

All this is only natural. It doesn't, however, mean that Bily wouldn't be taken on based on what he's shown so far.

And just because he's not been great in the past couple of games doesn't mean he's being played out of position. It simply means he's not played that well.

As soon as people stop thinking that he's a winger (there aren't that many anywhere these days) and accept that he's a midfielder, then a lot of people will stop being disappointed that he isn't flying down the wing and will start to look at the type of qualities that he will add to the team from a wide position.


January 07, 2010, 07:37:18 PM
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blargins

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I think a few are forgetting that Bily came to Goodison after finishing the Russian season. No summer break and no pre-season. He must be running on near empty. We'll see the true player next year I think. He's shown enough, in flashes, that make me confident he'll turn into a very good player for us. Be that out wide or in the centre, time will tell I guess.

He's no winger. But then I don't think Moyes bought him for the 'wing'. Yes, he plays him wide right/left, but as a winger? No. The fact is, Moyes doesn't play with wingers. He prefers wide men who drift and cut inside, with the full backs taking on more responsibility in an attacking role down the wing. A few people seem to miss this, which is strange given how evident it is with Pienaar, who again, is no winger.

I'd say you are half right there Jamo. Moyes plays Hibbert, so he clearly isn't looking for both full backs to making attacking threats!
"Life shrinks or expands in proportion to one's courage." Anais Nin

January 07, 2010, 07:43:42 PM
Reply #52
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Jamokachi


I think he wants Hibbert to do so, and to be fair to the lad he does get forward given the opportunity. Not half as much as Baines, granted. But is that problem sorted with the emergence of Coleman? Let's hope so. The only issue is Moyes' obvious hesitance to throw Coleman in at the deep end. Maybe this groin injury to Hibbert will force his hand?

January 07, 2010, 07:45:30 PM
Reply #53
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GLewis

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I'd say you are half right there Jamo. Moyes plays Hibbert, so he clearly isn't looking for both full backs to making attacking threats!

Which is why we've been after a RB for years, it's just that none of them have turned out as well as we'd have hoped. Or at least in that position in Jags' case!

Attacking full backs have been what most teams have been after for years. As midfields have got fuller the need for the fullback to attack has increased.

This has been seen with many foreign managers using an attacking fullback as their first sub when looking to up the tempo of a performance.

January 07, 2010, 07:47:10 PM
Reply #54
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.Rimbo.


I think the search has ended with Coleman. Granted, Moyes might wait a year and ease him in, playing Neville/Hibbert/Heitinga/Neill there for now, but Neville will be finished in about two years, Neill won't be here, 'tinga will probably be at centre half or centre midfield and Hibbert...well...I was going to say he probably won't be here but he's lasted this long!

January 07, 2010, 07:54:06 PM
Reply #55
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GLewis

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I think the search has ended with Coleman. Granted, Moyes might wait a year and ease him in, playing Neville/Hibbert/Heitinga/Neill there for now, but Neville will be finished in about two years, Neill won't be here, 'tinga will probably be at centre half or centre midfield and Hibbert...well...I was going to say he probably won't be here but he's lasted this long!

It's very possible.


January 08, 2010, 11:26:52 PM
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ToxtethBlue


I don't have a problem with him not being a natural winger, there are very few around and many attacking midfielders have been effective outwide, it's nothing new, players like Pienaar and Modric have proven that.

But Bilyaletdinov honestly looks like a Frank Lampard type player playing outwide. A player who can pick a pass, has good control and is intelligent on the pitch. He doesn't look comfortable when he has to pick up the ball and carry it, even when he's cutting inside. Pienaar is far from a byline hitting winger, but he has the agility, movement and trickiness to make a nuisance of himself. He's quick thinking and mobile.

Bilyaletdinov doesn't seem to have any of this, or at the moment, he's not showing it. I think he'll be a good player for us, he's certainly a good footballer, but I'm not convinced it'll be as a winger/wide player.
ToxtethBlue

January 08, 2010, 11:34:28 PM
Reply #57
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.Rimbo.


I'm with you there TockyBlue. I think he'll find his home somewhere more central. He looks a genuinely central player to me now.

January 08, 2010, 11:40:07 PM
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blargins

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So as a central midfielder, with every other midfielder we have also being central midfield, we did not really need to buy him, did we?
"Life shrinks or expands in proportion to one's courage." Anais Nin

January 08, 2010, 11:46:33 PM
Reply #59
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.Rimbo.


No, don't think so Blarg! :@