Pienaar in limbo at Spurs

2011-12-20 15:28

Johannesburg - Already suffering the indignity of demotion to what has effectively been Tottenham Hotspur's reserve team in Europe's subsidiary Europa League competition, Bafana Bafana captain Steven Pienaar now finds himself in limbo at the in-form North London club.

Spurs were eliminated from the Europa League in spite of their recent 4-0 victory over Shamrock Rovers in which Pienaar scored a rare goal.

Coach Harry Redknapp, however, has given no indication of installing the South African captain into the line-up that has moved into third place on the Premier League log table.

Despite Pienaar's presence on the bench for the weekend's 1-0 victory over Sunderland at White Hart Lane, he played no part in the action as Redknapp used three other midfielders ahead of the South African as substitutes.

Pienaar has not played a single Premier League game for Spurs this season as the club has gone from strength to strength losing only one of their last 13 matches.

Spurs have forged into their most promising position yet to challenge for the Premier League title.

A victory over Chelsea on Thursday will leave Tottenham hot on the heels of log leaders Manchester City and second-placed Manchester United.

It is a vibrant success story in which Pienaar has played no part, having been effectively relegated to the club's reserve line-up and making only three appearances in the Europa League where Redknapp has fielded second-string combinations.

The game against Chelsea would be a timely lifeline for reviving Pienaar's future at Spurs, but there is no indication of the South African featuring in the starting line-up or as a substitute.

Pienaar's dilemma, it would seem, began soon after his transfer from Everton early in the year when he suffered a recurring groin injury.

While his appearance for Bafana Bafana in the drawn Nelson Mandela Challenge game against the Ivory Coast last month indicated he is now over the injury, Pienaar has made no progress in gaining a first-team place with Spurs.

The trouble for the Bafana captain is that Spurs presently have a plethora of outstanding midfielders of the likes of Gareth Bale, Luka Modric, Scott Parker, Aaron Lennon, Rafael van der Vaart and Sandro.

Pienaar's eclipse at Spurs could rub off on the national team and his effectiveness as captain.

Bafana coach Pitso Mosimane deprived long-time captain Aaron Mokoena of the leadership when his fortunes deteriorated in England and Pienaar could be confronted with a similar situation as he attempts to resurrect his career.


  • trevor.charles3 - 2011-12-20 15:49


  • Dave - 2011-12-20 16:39

    Should never have left Everton, rather a biggish cog in a small machine than a small cog in a biggish machine. Scott Parker is miles better than Pienaar, and a much harder worker. If Pienaar was good enough he would be playing.. Look ay Bongani Khumalo where is he now , league one I think....

      Skhumbuzo Mgobhozi - 2011-12-20 16:47

      @Dave, totally agree with you. I was so shocked by that miscalculated decision to leave the Toffees whilst he was still their best player. It was clear that Redknap was still shopping around building his team. Not that Pienaar's not as good as other players but football is strange in that sometimes luck, not capability or talent, can take you places, so the opposite's the same. He must just keep his head up and seek a January transfer!

      Sean - 2011-12-20 21:17

      Agree with Dave and Skhumbuzo Mgobhozi - Pienaar fitted well into the Everton team and he is not a player of such calibre that can just jump around and be first choice. Don`t get me wrong , I`m not saying he is a bad player , he is fairly good .

      Len - 2011-12-21 10:57

      Gents, look at this way. Schillo needed the money. He is not young anymore. If Everton are not willing to give him the money, surely he has very right to sell his skills. He could have been injured at Everton and forced to retire, without getting anything for it. At Spurs, he at least knows his salary is guaranteed and will secure his future. He is not young anymore.

  • Tshifularo - 2011-12-20 17:25

    Wrong career move - Jackie Selebi (Finish and Klaar) - Sometimes teams buy players to make the opposition weaker. Look at poor Schillo.

  • Alon - 2011-12-20 17:37

    Simple... if you watched Pienaar in his last Europa league match you would have noticed that he missed a number of great chances. He needs to up his game and get to full fitness, he will understand that he is in a squad with great strength and depth, and to be sitting on the bench there is no insult. He needs to regain match fitness and get his finishing right so that he can compete with these other players. He is as good a player, but they can finish, and if I were the coach I would certainly choose the players that are more likely to score as well as create. Nonetheless love the player, and think it may have been a big mistake to leave Everton.

  • Kevin - 2011-12-20 22:21

    who wrote this rubbish. pen your name

      Donovan - 2011-12-21 07:48

      Absolute hogwash article.. "he played no part in the action as Redknapp used three other midfielders ahead of the South African as substitutes". In actual fact, Redknapp used Pavlyuchenko (a striker), Jake Livermore (a defensive midfielder) and Danny Rose (a left-sided midfielder) as his 3 substitutes. I was surprised when he didn't bring on Pienaar for Lennon in the early stages of the game, but Harry's choice was vindicated when Pav scored the goal that won the game. and @ztoefy - Pienaar better than Parker and Lennon? go get your head checked...

  • Cyrus - 2011-12-21 07:22

    Well, if he wants CL football, he will have to be patient. Big clubs always have good players on the bench to add to their depth. He must lift his game.

  • Paul - 2011-12-21 10:47

    The fact that Piennar is struggling to make a come back shows the level of competition at clubs in the English premier league. Once a player sustain an injury, the other player who is been warming the bench is ready to pounce and take advantage of the situation thus, making it difficult for the other player to come back straight into the starting line-up. This is exactly what we are currently missing in South African football when it comes to the type of players we have in the PSL. Our national coach often finds himself in a position where he ends up selecting under performing players mainly because we have serious shortage of high quality players hence our league is not that competitive, this is lesson that can be learned by our so-called professional players.

  • Len - 2011-12-21 10:47

    Why not use a locally based player as Captain, mainly due to their regular playing time? Using players who ply their trade overseas puts too much pressure on them when they are constantly trying to maintain their position.

  • Boer - 2011-12-21 11:13

    there is only one problem with SA football players...the are useless in front of goal

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