It would appear that Steven Pienaar is Samson re-incarnated, ponders David Martin.
It’s a strange and frankly baffling coincidence that when the mercurial South African shaved off his trademark dreadlocks, he also appears to have shaved off large amounts of his form. When the season began a re-invigorated Pienaar looked deadly providing energy and an incisive cut and thrust which even resulted in an uncharacteristically impressive finish against Aston Villa.
Sadly, despite the re-establishment of Bainaar down the left side, Pienaar has looked increasingly off the pace of late. His passing is heavy and inconsistent, his touch is woeful and he is making the wrong decisions time and time again. There have been indications of injury from Pienaar in recent interviews and you have to almost hope that he is carrying some sort of strain as he is falling short of the consistent high standards we have come to expect from him. Even his usually telapthic relationship with Leighton Baines seems to be faltering at the moment with far fewer moments of seamless interplay than we have become accustomed to.
Perhaps the arrival of Kevin Mirallas has made life difficult for Pienaar? He is no longer necessarily our sole outlet for creativitity in midfield and he has looked largely uncomfortable when he has been asked to switch wings during a game whereas Mirallas has looked exciting from both flanks. His decision to retire from International football should have been of great benefit to both Pienaar and Everton yet he looks jaded rather than refreshed and while never lacking in effort, he is lacking in end product seemingly wracked with indecision.
With an increasing injury list and some poor results of late Everton need a Pienaar at the top of his game. It can only be hoped that the malaise that seems to have settled upon him lifts very soon.
After all God is Great but Pienaar is better.