Pienaar targets trophies
03 August 2012 | JABU MATTHEWS
The Toffees showed great faith in “Schillo” by handing him a four-year contract, almost unheard of from manager David Moyes for a player already into his thirties. It is also the fourth time that Moyes has signed Pienaar after two previous loan spells on Merseyside as well.
And now the Westbury-born star said he is ready to repay that faith by bringing glory to the club and helping them to qualify once again for Europe.
“He [Moyes] has shown so much belief in me and the the only way I can thank him is to play well and hopefully this time help the club to win a cup,” said Pienaar in an in-depth interview as he made clear silverware is now a priority.
“This is the fourth time that I have signed for Everton, so it’s now time to win a trophy. That is my goal for this season.”
Pienaar said that his move from Tottenham has come as a relief, as he knew that he wanted to return to Everton even before Spurs’ new coach Andre Villas-Boas was appointed. “When I went back to pre-season training I said to him [Villas-Boas] that even before he was appointed I had wanted to leave. But I said ‘I will be a professional and train hard and do what you want me to do, but if the opportunity comes to go to Everton, I will grab it with both hands’.
“He understood and wished me well after they went on pre-season to the United States so … I’m happy that I’m here.”
Pienaar was arguably one of the form midfielders in the English Premier League at the end of last season having arrived on loan at Everton in January. It was his goal at Old Trafford in a 4-4 draw with Manchester United that went a long way to deciding the destination of the Championship.
He believes he can rediscover that form, but says his first goal is to get fit and having been training on his own after making his feelings to Spurs clear, that will take some doing.
“It’s going to be a new challenge again, the form last season is behind me now and it is a new season. I have to work hard and make sure I get fit, it is going to take a while to get back to full fitness. I just hope it will come early so I can continue to enjoy my game.
“It is difficult when you work on your own, but I have been motivated and the people that have been supporting me have kept me going.”
His decision to leave Everton for Tottenham in 2011 was met more with disappointment than anger by Everton fans, who had voted him the club’s Player-of-the-Season for the 2009/10 season.
He says he appreciates the support that he has received from the Toffees fans.
“It is a special feeling for me … quite a few of the Everton fans have told me how they want me back at the club and that this is where I belong. For me it is special that people appreciate you like that.”
As for this seasons aspirations, he is convinced that if the club can put behind them their recent woes in starting the season poorly, big things could be on the horizon.
“If we can start this season well, then I am sure we have got the players here to end well. If we do then hopefully we can go on and win a trophy and hopefully qualify for Europe,” he says.
“We have got a strong team, if you see the way we finished last season, I think we were one of the best teams at the end of the season.”
Pienaar initially joined Everton on loan from German side Borussia Dortmund for the 2007/08 season after a torrid time in the Bundesliga. He was signed on a permanent deal the following season and became a cult hero at the club.
His desire to play Uefa Champions League football saw him leave for Spurs in January 2011, but injury and a reluctance from then boss Harry Redknapp to select him meant he did not make a single League start for Spurs.
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