English Premiership

Neville lauds Pienaar's impact

2012-02-12 18:00
Steven Pienaar (File)

London - South Africa midfielder Steven Pienaar has rediscovered his best form since returning to Everton, according to Toffees captain Phil Neville.

Pienaar rejoined Everton on loan until the end of the season during the January transfer window after a frustrating year mostly spent on the substitutes' bench at Tottenham.

The 29-year-old has made up for lost time by showing the kind of influential, energetic dislays that made him such a favourite at Goodison Park and he delivered a match-winning performance, including the opening goal, as Everton clinched a shock 2-0 victory over Chelsea on Saturday.

Neville was delighted to see Pienaar turn on the style and he is convinced his return to Merseyside is the key to his form.

"It was a great performance from Pienaar. He is obviously back doing what he does best at a club he enjoys playing at," Neville said.

"I don't think he realises how well thought of he is here.

"When he was at Tottenham I don't think there was a day that went past when we didn't speak about him.

"The combination between him and Leighton Baines on the left-hand side - there is no better combination in English football at the moment.

"He has had a good return. He was man of the match at Wigan last week and probably our best player, along with Denis (Stracqualursi) against Chelsea."

The victory maintained Everton's recent revival after another sluggish start to the season.

David Moyes's side, who beat title-chasing Manchester City in their previous home game, are now unbeaten in five league matches as well as through to the FA Cup fifth round.

Neville believes the spark for that good run was provided by Moyes's success in the transfer window.

Darron Gibson and Landon Donovan arrived early in the month before the late captures of Pienaar and striker Nikica Jelavic.

"At the training ground there is a bounce in everyone's step, the manager is bouncing and the players are all confident," Neville said.

"There is a real competition for places now and no-one is guaranteed a place.

"All of a sudden you are thinking we are beginning to look like a powerful squad again and that is why the performance levels have been raised."

Read more on:    epl  |  steven pienaar  |  phil neville


Read News24’s Comments Policy

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.
Live Video Streaming
  • Blitz
    Mon, 24 Nov 2014 @00:00
  • SS1
    Mon, 24 Nov 2014 @01:00
  • SS2
    Mon, 24 Nov 2014 @02:00
  • SS3
    Mon, 24 Nov 2014 @03:00
Video Highlights
Sport Talk
Most Read


Rugby World Cup 2015

All the action from the 2015 RWC, including live coverage of all 48 matches, breaking news, fixtures, results, logs - and much more!


Rugby World Cup 2015

De Allende's star burns bright
Boks were 'in a dark space'
Pacific island teams singled out for rough tactics?
Ireland favourites but France bullish
17 October 2015
Tottenham Hotspur v Liverpool, White Hart Lane 13:45
Manchester City v Bournemouth, Etihad Stadium 16:00
Everton v Manchester United, Goodison Park 16:00
Crystal Palace v West Ham United, Selhurst Park 16:00
Southampton v Leicester City, St. Mary's Stadium 16:00
Chelsea v Aston Villa, Stamford Bridge 16:00
West Bromwich Albion v Sunderland, The Hawthorns 16:00
Watford v Arsenal, Vicarage Road 18:30
18 October 2015
Newcastle United v Norwich City, St. James' Park 17:00
19 October 2015
Swansea City v Stoke City, Liberty Stadium 21:00
Team P W PTS
Previous Results

Date Home Team Result Away Team

Who was the best summer signing in the EPL?

Love 2 Meet
English Premiership flutter

Take Sport24's "expert" tips at your peril...


Take a photographical trip down memory lane and remind yourself of how the Springboks fared in their five previous Rugby World Cup campaigns. In addition, pick your all-time Springbok Rugby World Cup Dream Team and you could win R3 000!

Latest blogs

Twitter Follow Sport24 on Twitter

Facebook "Like" Sport24's Facebook page

WIN Enter and win with Sport24!

BlackBerry Stay in the loop on your BlackBerry

iPhone Latest Sport24 news on your iPhone

RSS Feeds Sport news delivered really simply.

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.