So Timmy the Blue Kangaroo is off for the bright lights of New York for the price of a few months of Pienaar’s potential wages. There is no doubt that it’s the end of an era, but does it also herald the start of a brand new approach for Everton tactically?
I’m a real Tim Cahill fan. Not only has he provided us with dozens of vital goals in the last 8 years, he’s also truly embraced what it means to be an ‘Everton player’ and everything that goes with it – something that many UK players haven’t always done, let alone a lad from Australia, via Millwall of course. Whilst Moyes has been criticised by many for the tactics that Cahill’s presence in the side naturally pushes us towards, there isn’t any doubt that the original fee paid for him was an absolute steal. The token fee (not confirmed at the time of writing) of around £1mill which sees him leave, might seem low, but love Cahill as I do, I think it’s not a bad move for any side.
For a player edging towards 33 (nothing wrong with that age by the way – 1979 was a great year to be born!) and no longer a guaranteed starter for Everton, this move is likely to be his last chance to play regularly at a reasonable level. The MLS may be disregarded by some as the poor man’s League Two, but the quality of football in that league is definitely on the rise. I’m sure Cahill will end up playing his last season before retirement in the A-League, but that could be a few years away yet.
So for Everton… how much will we miss him? I think he’ll be a major miss on the training ground and in the dressing room. He seems to have been a great inspiration to a lot of young Everton players and I’m not sure there is anyone else currently at the club who can slot into that kind of role straight off – but time will tell on that.
On the pitch, I hope that Cahill’s departure will lead to a more creative and flowing style of play in Everton’s midfield.
If When Pienaar returns, I can envision a midfield containing the defensive qualities of Gibson, the gazelle-like gait of Fellaini, the quick-mindedness of Pienaar linking up with Baines (Please stay Leighton!) and hopefully a successful attacking partnership in Naismith and Jelavic. No doubt we will miss Cahill’s incredible heading prowess, that ‘right place at the right time’ knack of his and the corner flag celebration that strikes fear into the hearts of red-shirted superfans everywhere – but I’d love to see us take this opportunity to change for the better.
What do you think?…