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The Waiting Game

The Waiting Game

Liam Prenderville, 24th March 2013 - 17:37

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Twitter: @Prendo_10

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When Victor Anichebe made his Everton debut as a late substitute during a Fourth Round FA Cup tie with Chelsea in 2006, many of the Goodison faithful had high expectations.

This was a player, who along with James Vaughan, looked set to take on the mantle left by the retirement-bound Duncan Ferguson and score the goals that would fire the Club into Europe.

However, his development into a first-team regular was severely hindered by a series of injuries which wreaked havoc with his fledgling career.

After a turbulent couple of years and the incomings of several high-profile strikers, Anichebe is now proving his worth to David Moyes and developing into a fearsome forward.

His performance last weekend against Manchester City was full of effort and determination but also showcased his talents as a maturing Premier League footballer.

The sending-off of Steven Pienaar forced an alteration in shape, as Moyes reverted to a 4-4-1 system, leaving Anichebe justifiably isolated.

However, the Nigerian frontman proved to be a constant menace to the City backline, so much so he received a standing ovation when he departed the Goodison turf late on in the encounter.

For a player who has had something of a mixed relationship with the Gwladys Street faithful, this kind of reception was a telling turnaround in attitude towards him.

As well as injury after injury hampering his progress, it was even rumoured in the tabloids on occasions that he might leave the Club.

But there is a reason why David Moyes kept faith with him.

His style is a throwback to that of the old-fashioned centre-forward who will match his opponent physically, while also having the skill and speed to outsmart them.

Attributed with pace, power and aggression, he has also developed into a player who causes defenders, even those of the highest level, a multitude of problems.

Anichebe’s performance against Aston Villa last month emphasised this development, the 24-year-old giving Ciaran Clark a torrid time with a display that was almost reminiscent of Didier Drogba.

He brings something completely different to the side; a focal point and an ability to maintain possession when we are under pressure, a persistent threat to opponents’ defenders and a physique that is perhaps unrivalled in the league.

It may have taken longer than expected but Victor Anichebe is becoming the talent that we were promised.

But we should know by now, Mr. Moyes rarely makes a bad call.

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