How can we keep Bryan Oviedo happy?

    Oviedo is probably the shock of the season. Before this season I and many other Evertonians saw him as a squad player. On only a few viewings, it seemed he had talent but was too weak for the Premier League and was never going to displace Pienaar or Baines down the left-hand side.

    This season however he has shown us all what he can do. Stepping in for an injured Baines in late November, he proved an efficient defender and just as strong going forward. He chipped in with 2 goals, one which could be one of the most important of the season to give us our win at Old Trafford, and 4 assists during his regular slot in the side.

    Then, Baines returned. Oviedo kept his place in the side but was shuffled forward. You could tell it wasn’t his most natural position but he still played OK, and easily could have had another assist had his low cross not have been poked wide by Barkley, a chance that was harder to miss than score. Along came the Stoke game, and he was back to the bench. Finally, Baines dropped out of the squad to face QPR and Oviedo returned, making 2 assists and again could have had more if not for wasteful finishing, including Jelavic’s penalty miss.

    What worries me is that Baines is thrown in as soon as he is ready, and while this is no fault of Martinez, Oviedo could not do much more and is dropped to the bench. The Costa-Rican states in nearly all his interviews how long he had to wait for a chance, it must be frustrating for him to have waited so long, to then perform so well and subsequently is dropped.

    If Baines is back for Norwich, I’m sure he’ll play ahead of Oviedo. I can’t see him getting ahead of Pienaar either, who’s had a lengthy rest. As we reach a more regular schedule with games mostly coming once a week, Oviedo is likely to be reduced to FA Cup games and the odd substitute appearance here and there. Therein lies the problem, will Bryan accept becoming second choice again? Will he be happy sticking around much further? I can’t offer an answer as I’m not a football manager being paid thousands of pounds a week, but it is something that could become a dilemma over the next year for Martinez.

    The positive is that it’s great to have a dilemma like this, instead of previous seasons where it seemed the world would end when Baines picked up an injury! I hope Oviedo gets more of a chance, I think he deserves it.

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    1. I think Bobby needs to get Baines to sign a new deal now, if he won’t ship him out, United are desperate and his value will only go down. If he did go we’d have a ready made replacement and a pocket full of readies to strengthen not only in that position but elsewhere too.


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