Pienaar's Spurs future in doubt

2011-12-05 20:29

Johannesburg - While the fortunes of Tottenham Hotspur are booming amid the club's finest hour since the inception of England's Premier League, the future of 29 year-old Bafana Bafana captain Steven Pienaar with the North London combination has plunged into the doldrums. 

Pienaar has not played a single Premier League game for Spurs this season as the club has gone from strength to strength enjoying an unbeaten run of 11 matches, of which the last six have ended in victory.

In the process, Spurs have forged into their most promising position yet to challenge for the Premier League title, currently lying in third position on the log, and facing the inviting prospect of leap-frogging Manchester United into second place should they win their game in-hand and thereby edging to within four points of log leaders Manchester City.

It is a vibrant success story in which Pienaar has played no part, having been effectively relegated to the club's reserve line-up, making only two first-team appearances in the subsidiary Europa League.

In line with manager Harry Redknapp's selection policy, Pienaar played for the second-string Spurs in their deflating 1-0 Europa Cup defeat against Greek club Paok last week.

On Saturday, when Spurs continued on their triumphant Premier League march with a 3-0 victory over Bolton Wanderers, Pienaar was on the substitutes' bench but did not play any part in the proceedings on the pitch.

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

While his appearance for Bafana Bafana in the drawn Nelson Mandela Challenge game against Ivory Coast recently indicated he was over the injury, Pienaar has made no progress moving up in Spurs' pecking order.

Spurs are presently endowed with a plethora of outstanding midfielders of the likes of Gareth Bale, Luka Modric, Scott Parker, Aaron Lennon, Rafael van der Vaart and Sandro, and Pienaar's prospect of displacing any of them looks as difficult as penetrating the walls of Fort Knox.

Pienaar's eclipse at Spurs could rub off on the national team as Bafana attempt to revive their fortunes following the nightmare of failing to qualify for the forthcoming African Nations Cup tournament in Equatorial Guinea and Gabon.

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


  • Steenbra - 2011-12-05 20:48

    Should have stayed @ Everton.. now @ 29 you're going to struggle to ge a club.. Swansea, Wigan or Bolton.. who knows

      Warrick - 2011-12-05 23:04

      He is still a quality player, why do you assume the worst for him?

      petercarvell - 2011-12-06 01:48

      This move was all about a pay day. At 28 he had to do it as he would have never go this kind of money at Everton. Sure he would like to play but from a personal point of view I think he did the right thing to cash in at 28 as who knows if he would get another chance or another season as had with Everton before he moved to Spurs. And from a Spurs point of view, why change anything if it is working for you right now. It might have nothing to do with Pienaar, but more with the team that is playing well and not wanting to disrupt the momentum.

  • martin.gee.godfrey - 2011-12-05 21:06

    Everton will have him back in a flash methinks. Should never have left anyway..

  • Leonard - 2011-12-05 22:45

    I am a everton supporter and was upset when Pienaar left us because he thought he was bigger than the club. And this was after we took a chance with him.Joleon Lescott did the same when we took a chance with him as well and like Pienaar he spent most of his first year either injured or on the bench at City. And Pienaar shone at Everton because of his combinations with Baines and Arteta.

  • Cyrus - 2011-12-06 00:00

    From Everton star player to bench warmer. Should have stayed at Everton

      deonk - 2011-12-06 10:30

      he is probably going to play champions league for Spurs next year, but not with Everton.

  • deonk - 2011-12-06 08:45

    I dont really see the news in this story... this should be listed as an opinion and not news. waste of my time reading this dribble. Pienaar is in a great team and should stay there debth in the squad is important for the season. His time will come, he must deliver then.

  • Len - 2011-12-06 09:23

    The score against PAOK was 2-1 against Spurs, with Spurs scoring from the penalty spot as a result of the worst decision I have ever seen in Europe. It was never a penalty and even if it touched his arm, which it did not, it did not deserve a red card as his hands were positioned exactly where they should be. I would expect UEFA to rescind the red card and no suspension should be served. As for our players leaving smaller teams to be reserve at bigger teams, it is a problem but I suppose the salary is inviting.

  • bplupiya - 2011-12-06 12:09

    did he really think he was going to bench Gareth Bale, Luka Modric, Scott Parker, Aaron Lennon, Rafael van der Vaart? come on dude, who the hell is your agent......?

  • coolshoesouthafrica - 2011-12-14 18:34

    Luckily they lost over the w-end so no leapfrogging :-)

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