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What The Papers Say - 08 December 2012

Moyes on Mirallas, Spurs and Pienaar.

What The Papers Say - 08 December 2012

The views on this page are taken from the local and national media and do not necessarily reflect the views of Everton.

Liverpool Echo



DAVID MOYES admits Everton have missed Kevin Mirallas’ attacking instincts – as the Belgian forward moved closer to full fitness.

The 25-year-old has not featured for the Blues since limping out of their victory over Sunderland on November 10 with a hamstring strain.

But Moyes hopes to have his £5.5m summer signing from Olympiakos available against Spurs on Sunday – and knows Mirallas’ spell on the sidelines has limited the attacking potency of an outfit which had recorded more shots than any other team in Europe before his setback.

He said: “He’s got a goal in him and we’ve missed his goals. Not that he scored loads per se but his attempts at goals and shots were one of the reasons we’ve done so well.

“We’ve been without him now for five weeks and we’ll be glad to get him back around it. I thought it wasn’t that serious a hamstring injury at first but it’s not been something we’ve been able to push, because he’s not been quite ready.”

Moyes knows having the option of Mirallas – and Seamus Coleman who is also nearing a return – would have been helpful outlets during recent games against Arsenal and Manchester City.

“(At City) We needed someone who could maybe take the ball for a run for a wee bit,” he said.

“When City got better in the second half we could have done with someone to take it away. We know that.”

Although Everton have played some compelling football in their last two outings, their manager insists that winning is his over-riding priority as they bid to go level on points with Spurs by victory on Sunday.

“My theory has always been that good performances link to good results,” said Moyes.

“I do want us to keep performing well, but I’d hate to be a manager who says we’re playing well but losing. That’s not my style.

“There comes a time when you say, ‘Hey the results are all important’. Apart from maybe Reading in the second half and Norwich in the second half I’ve really enjoyed the way we play. They haven’t been off colour often.

“There’s no need to panic even though you could say we could have done with a couple more results.”

Everton will be without Phil Neville again on Sunday, with the skipper expected to return early in the new year – although Moyes is happy with his recovery from knee surgery.

He added: “Phil Neville is ahead of progress as we expected, he’s great. Coleman and Mirallas are very close now as well, although Victor Anichebe is not ready yet.”

Liverpool Echo



THEY are one of the Premier League’s most potent pairings - but the genius of Leighton Baines and Steven Pienaar is no longer a surprise.

Yet although Premier League opposition managers know all about Everton’s left-sided menace, they’ve so far been unable to stop them sparkling consistently.

The pair dubbed ‘Bainaar’ by some fans for their symbiotic understanding had reigning champions Manchester City defending frantically during the first half of the Toffees’ impressive draw at the Etihad Stadium last Saturday.

And although David Moyes knows the pair will come under further scrutiny from rival dug-outs, he has every faith in his dynamic duo to keep on unlocking defences.

“They do seem to rise above opponents figuring them out at times,” admits the Blues boss.

“Tactically Man City did something different which maybe allowed them to do it a bit more, and there will still be a case when I need to keep making sure we catch teams out by maybe not always playing them there.

“But the two of them tend to work it out. They're good at that.

“Maybe if I find they're getting no joy that'll be for me to change it in games, and switch Steven's positions to see if we can effect it in a different way.

“They're very good together and the two of them enjoy it. They know they can give the ball to one another and get it back as well.”

Moyes admits the pair’s intuitive understanding is a first during his managerial career.

“I've not really had two players with that level of intuition between each other before,” he says.

“It used to be centre forwards who had that understanding of what they are supposed to do but it’s becoming less and less in football, where you have pairs of strikers together.

“You very rarely get that now, or even pairs of midfielders where one will sit and one will go. You don’t talk about that quite as much anymore, but you can talk about Baines and Pienaar as a combination down that side which is excellent.

“We played well at the Etihad and they showed what they can do. Teams will try and effect them so my biggest concern is that I can keep manipulating them so I can get Steven on the ball, and get the best out of Bainsey.”

Ensuring Baines and Pienaar keep firing is one of Moyes’ various aims ahead of Sunday’s pivotal clash with Spurs at Goodison on Sunday.

And while Moyes curses some of the draws his team have been held to recently - he stresses there is still plenty of the season to go as they continue their top-four push.

“It is still quite early - we are not into Christmas time and a lot will change over the next month or two.

“So you don’t need to be right up there right away, even though I’d like to be.

“But yes, I do curse one or two of those results we have picked up.”

He added: “I think there are good draws and bad draws.

“The good parts of the Man City and Arsenal matches were that in both games, there were periods where we could have won and there were also periods where I was happy with how we defended and made sure we didn’t concede.

“But I think there have been other draws before that where we could say we let points slip and should have done a little bit better.”

Everton’s bright beginning to this season followed a strong finish to last term, in which January signings such as striker Nikica Jelavic - purchased for a reported £5.5million from Rangers - proved key.

Moyes has indicated he does not expect to be spending much money during the forthcoming January transfer window, although he emphasised that, as in the case of Jelavic, funds to buy a player can suddenly become available.

Asked about the Croatia international and if he was anticipating making a couple of tweaks to his squad in January, Moyes said: “No, I don’t think so.

“I think we may go into the loan market to see if we can find anything in that area - I think that is probably where we will be looking.

“But then that was the same as what we were doing last year, and then we made a sale with Diniyar Bilyaletdinov going back to Russia and it freed us up a little bit of cash to go and make the signing. So you never can tell.”

As for Sunday’s show-down with Andre-Villas Boas’ resurgent Spurs, Moyes believes it could be a true test of Everton's European credentials.

“I think Tottenham have always been there or thereabouts. They've set their club up and their team up to try to be in Europe,” he says.

“They were great in the Champions League with Harry [Redknapp] a year or so ago and this year they've done well to qualify for the next stages of the Europa League. Tottenham you would always see as one of the clubs who will be competing at the top end of the league. To finish above Tottenham would give you a great chance to be in Europe, that's for sure.”

Liverpool Echo



NIKICA JELAVIC is on the verge of rediscovering his “incredible” goal-scoring habit for Everton insists David Moyes.

The Croatian striker netted 11 times in 16 games in the second half of last season, after joining in a £5m January switch from Rangers.

Jelavic has notched five times so far this campaign, but has been missing from the score-sheet since bagging the winner in a 2-1 victory over Sunderland at Goodison five weeks ago.

However, Moyes insists the forward’s work-rate and attitude have remained impressive, and he has shown signs of returning to his best.

He said: “Statistically his work rate has been excellent and he’s been putting in the miles. We’ve got no problem with that and I actually thought he played better against City. He looked a little bit more like himself, and I’ve seen little signs in training that his finishing is just beginning to tidy up a little bit.

“Behind the scenes here he’s working hard and he’s in the gym regularly trying to get himself in the right frame of mind. Overall when we get him back into real form it’ll be really good.

“It was almost incredible when he first came – everything in the box he was on the end of.

“So I asked the players are we giving him enough balls in the box, but we’re top of the shots list in the Premier League so in the main we are getting quite a bit of service in.

“I did question it though and wondered if we were getting enough of the type of balls to give Jela a chance to score.

“The ball Bainesy put in for Felli’s goal last week, Jela nearly got the first flick but it skimmed off Kompany and then went to Felli who scored. If we can get him good balls in the box he won’t be far from scoring.”

Daily Mirror




David Moyes admits he felt uncomfortable re-signing Steven Pienaar - because it did not make good business sense for Everton.

Moyes has established a reputation for making value-for-money signings in the transfer market during his decade long stint in charge at Goodison.

Tim Cahill scored 56 Premier League goals after signing for just £1.5m in 2004 while Joleon Lescott, a £5m buy from Wolves in 2006, was sold three years later to Manchester City for £22m.

Despite Pienaar making 100 top-flight starts during his first spell at Everton, Moyes felt uneasy shelling out £4.5m to bring the South African back from Tottenham - 18 months after allowing him to leave for £3m.

But the 30-year-old, who is set to face Spurs at Goodison this weekend, has proved to be another excellent investment.

The former Ajax player has been influential during his team's solid start to the campaign.

Toffees boss Moyes said "I did worry when it was first mentioned about bringing Steven back.

"At Everton, we have always tried to do good deals and have always tried to buy at the right age and the right price.

"We had to buy Steven back for more than we sold him for. That didn't sit well with me because I didn't particularly see it as a good business deal. But I knew on the football side of things he would make us better.

"It's been a great deal for us and we're delighted to have him."

Pienaar completed his permanent return to Goodison in the summer after a successful loan spell during the second half of last season.

Moyes added: "Steven wanted to come back - that was the biggest thing.

"He wanted to come back more than anything and because of that it swayed me to do the deal."

The Sun




DAVID MOYES admits he put his reputation as a bargain hunter on the line by bringing Steven Pienaar back to Everton.

Goodison boss Moyes has made a string of shrewd signings during his 10 years in charge on Merseyside.

Joleon Lescott made the club a whopping £17million profit when he signed for Manchester City for £22m in 2009.

And Seamus Coleman is now a Premier League regular after being snapped up for just £60,000 from Sligo Rovers.

But Moyes says he felt uneasy about re-signing Pienaar from Tottenham for £4.5m — just 18 months after selling him to Spurs for £3m.

Yet the South African, 30, has proved another clever investment.

Pienaar is in fine form as he prepares to face his former club at Goodison tomorrow after playing a significant role in Everton’s impressive start to the season.

 Moyes said: “I did worry when it was first mentioned about bringing Steven back.

“At Everton we have always tried to do good deals and have always tried to buy at the right age and the right price.

“We had to buy Steven back for more than we sold him for. That didn’t sit well with me because I didn’t particularly see it as a good business deal.

“But I knew on the football side of things he would make us better. It’s been a great deal for us and we’re delighted to have him.”

Pienaar completed his permanent return to Goodison in the summer after a successful loan spell during the second half of last season.

Moyes added: “Steven wanted to come back — that was the biggest thing.

“He wanted to come back more than anything and because of that it swayed me to do the deal.”

Daily Star




DAVID MOYES admits he took one of the biggest gambles of his managerial career by bringing Steven Pienaar back to Everton.

Moyes sold Pienaar to Tottenham for £3m in January 2011 – but brought him back on loan 12 months later, then re-signed him ­permanently for £4.5m in July this year.

And the decision has proved a masterstroke as the former South Africa captain has been in terrific form this season.

Pienaar, 30, has missed only one league game and is determined to prove a point when Tottenham visit tomorrow.

The midfielder made just five league starts during a frustrating spell at White Hart Lane.

Moyes said: “We had to buy Steven back for more than we sold him for.

“That didn’t sit well with me because I didn’t ­particularly see it as a good business deal.

“But I knew, on the football side of things, he would make us better.

“Steven wanted to come back ­– that was the biggest thing. He wanted to come back more than anything and because of that it swayed me to do the deal.”

Everton have lost only twice in the Premier League this season, but have drawn seven of their last nine matches.

Moyes said: “There’s no need to panic, even though we could do with a couple more results.”

Daily Mail




David Moyes has urged Steven Pienaar to rekindle Everton's push for the top four after admitting re-signing the South African went against all his beliefs.

Pienaar's return to Goodison Park from Tottenham, initially on loan in January, provided the spark for the good form Everton have enjoyed this year and he will have a key role to play at Goodison Park on Sunday when the two sides meet.

 While Moyes is thrilled that Pienaar is helping make Everton tick, he was less happy in the summer when it came to completing his £4.5million move from White Hart Lane. At the back of the Everton manager's mind was a small fear that Pienaar, 30, would not recapture the form of his first spell.

'I had a worry when it was first mooted about him coming back,' said Moyes. 'But he has been inspirational to how we have played. He has helped the team and he has helped the crowd as well. He has certainly improved us and made us better.

'I was worried about it second time around. At Everton we have always tried to do good deals and tried to buy at the right age or certainly at the right price. We had to buy Steven back for more than we sold him and he was a year older.

'It's been a great deal for us and we've been delighted to have him and I've done many a worse deal. But at the time it just felt as if it wasn't lying well with me.'

The Times




David Moyes, the Everton manager, has revealed that he was reluctant to bring Steven Pienaar back to the club because the £4.5 million transfer fee did not make good business sense at the time.

Pienaar faces Tottenham Hotspur, his former club, at Goodison Park tomorrow with Moyes pleased with the South African’s contribution since re-signing in the summer. Yet the move almost did not happen, with Moyes uneasy about having to pay more for the 30-year-old’s services, after a successful loan spell, having sold him to Spurs for £3 million 18 months earlier.

“Steven wanted to come back more than anything and because of that it swayed me to do the deal,” Moyes said. “I did worry when it was first mentioned about bringing Steven back. At Everton we have always tried to do good deals and have always tried to buy at the right age and the right price.

“We had to buy Steven back for more than we sold him for. That didn’t sit well with me because I didn’t particularly see it as a good business deal. But I knew on the football side of things he would make us better. It’s been a great deal for us and we’re delighted to have him.”

Having missed just one league game this season, Pienaar has played a significant role in Everton’s solid start, although Moyes’s side head into tomorrow’s game seeking only their second win in ten matches. Seven of the past nine games have ended in draws and the Everton manager is keen that his side, who start the weekend sixth in the table, return to winning ways.

“I do want us to keep performing well, but I’d hate to be a manager who kept saying ‘we’re playing well, but losing’. That’s not my style,” Moyes said.

The Independent




Everton boss David Moyes curses some of the draws his team have been held to recently - but has stressed there is still plenty of the season to go as they continue their top-four push.

The Toffees made a flying start to the campaign with four wins and just one defeat in their opening six Barclays Premier League fixtures, prompting plenty of talk about their chances of claiming a top-four finish to qualify for the Champions League.

They have only lost one more game in the nine that have followed, but their progress has stuttered due to seven of the matches ending in draws and they are currently sixth in the table, three points behind fifth-placed West Brom, fourth-placed Tottenham who they play at Goodison Park on Sunday, and third-placed Chelsea.

While 1-1 stalemates against Manchester City and Arsenal in their last two outings have not left Moyes too displeased at all, some of his side's other draws - they have also emerged with a point from clashes with Norwich, Fulham, Liverpool, QPR, Wigan and, earlier in the season, Newcastle - have been hugely frustrating for the Scot.

He is not losing sight of the fact Everton still have 23 league fixtures ahead of them, though.

Asked if he curses some of the draws, Moyes said: "I do, but it is the start of the season.

"It is still quite early - we are not into Christmas time and a lot will change over the next month or two.

"So you don't need to be right up there right away, even though I'd like to be.

"But yes, I do curse one or two of those results we have picked up."

He added: "I think there are good draws and bad draws.

"The good parts of the Man City and Arsenal matches were that in both games, there were periods where we could have won and there were also periods where I was happy with how we defended and made sure we didn't concede.

"But I think there have been other draws before that where we could say we let points slip and should have done a little bit better."

Everton's bright beginning to this season followed a strong finish to last term, in which January signings such as striker Nikica Jelavic - purchased for a reported £5.5million from Rangers - proved key.

Moyes has indicated he does not expect to be spending much money during the forthcoming January transfer window, although he emphasised that, as in the case of Jelavic, funds to buy a player can suddenly become available.

Asked about the Croatia international and if he was anticipating making a couple of tweaks to his squad in January, Moyes said: "No, I don't think so.

"I think we may go into the loan market to see if we can find anything in that area - I think that is probably where we will be looking.

"But then that was the same as what we were doing last year, and then we made a sale with Diniyar Bilyaletdinov going back to Russia (to join Spartak Moscow) and it freed us up a little bit of cash to go and make the signing. So you never can tell."

Moyes has also made it clear he is not worried about the prospect of other clubs coming in for his players.

"I've said many times - if they want to come, they can come," Moyes said.

"It is no problem for them to come and watch from the stands. But they better come with a big cheque book."


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