Monday, 5 December 2011

Stevie P's White Hurt Lane

Life couldn't be any sweeter for Tottenham fans right now. Sitting pretty in third spot in the Premier League and with a midfield quartet that is the envy of every manager in the land, some are even suggesting that the north Londoners could become champions for the first time in more than half a century.

However, not everyone at White Hart Lane is enjoying the ride. It's now been eight months since Steven Pienaar made his last appearance for Spurs in the Premier League as he has been relegated to a largely peripheral role at the club thanks to a combination of injuries and the superb form of his team-mates.

Defeats in both Europa League matches that the 29-year-old South African captain has started since returning from a groin operation have certainly not helped his cause, yet there is already a sense that Pienaar may have made a serious error in deciding to join a club where he was always going to struggle to hold down a regular starting spot at such an important stage of his career.

Known as more of a tricky winger in his youth at Ajax Amsterdam, the player that won Everton's Player of the Season in 2009/10 was renowned for his phenomenal work-rate from his starting position on the left flank. His combination with full-back Leighton Baines was invaluable to David Moyes's side and made Pienaar an attractive prospect for several suitors - especially when he refused to sign a new contract at Goodison Park.

The decision to join Spurs when they already possessed a player as supremely talented as Gareth Bale in his position was therefore a risky strategy to say the least. With the superb Luka Modric pulling the strings in the centre, Aaron Lennon's pace and trickery on the right and now Scott Parker's calm assuredness at the base of the midfield diamond, the best 'Schillo' can hope for is a place on the bench.

How that situation may change in the near future is hard to envisage. Brazilian Sandro is still ahead of Pienaar in the pecking order, while even youngster Jake Livermore has been preferred by Harry Redknapp in recent matches.

Of course, it would be ridiculous to suggest that it's time for him to move on just yet. Rumours of a loan move in January are unlikely to materialise given the trouble Spurs took to sign him and there is every chance that a couple of injuries may end a situation he described as 'depressing' last month.

But with his 30th birthday just around the corner, Pienaar cannot wait forever.

No comments:

Post a Comment