Evertonians raved about the left-sided pairing of Steven Pienaar and Leighton Baines for years, but former striker Yakubu has hinted that perhaps we should have included him in our praise!
Pienaar and Baines were sometimes referred to as “Bainaar” such was the near telepathic understanding the pair had of each other’s whereabouts, but Yakubu reckons he was a part of that too.
Speaking to NSNO at Everton’s USM Finch Farm complex on Sunday, The Yak said that he loved being in the same team as Steven Pienaar, someone who clearly enjoyed spending a lot of time with and who he credits with the “Dove of Love” celebrations.
He said that it was great to play alongside players who you trusted, and who trusted you, and said that as he preferred to operate on the left side of the pitch, he particularly enjoyed the Baines and Pienaar partnership, but that he also felt a big part of things on the left hand side.
“I loved being in the same team as Steven Pienaar,” he said.
“Him and Leighton Baines were always down the left side and I usually like to play down the left.
“Steven used to call me ‘Bros’ which is like brother in our speech, and if I would come deep for the ball he would say ‘Bros don’t come, we’re going to give it to you’ and it was really good.
“We had a good understanding.
“They’d say sometimes they would pretend not to see me but they would tell me to make the run anyway and they’d make sure they got the ball to me.
“It’s good to have these guys who believe in you.
“It was a great feeling to play with players who trust you.”
Yakubu is at Everton ahead of the SportPesa Trophy final against Gor Mahia at Goodison Park on Tuesday night, where the Blues become the first Premier League side to entertain an East African side in the UK at 7pm.