Way to prove me wrong, Pienaar. Osman, not so.

    People always say ‘You’re quick to criticise, but slow to praise”. Well, after last weeks article on the under-performing Steven Pienaar and Leon Osman, I’m saying well done to one of the midfielders for biting back.

    Pienaar was excellent yesterday after scoring his goal. He linked up play incredibly and his link up play with Baines in particular seemed to be back. This doesn’t mean he’s off the hook for a poor couple of months though, he needs to continue this into what actually could be a vital game for Everton, against rivals Liverpool ( Don’t rule 5th place out just yet folks).  He did the same thing against Reading at home last month and then disappeared until Saturday. Unfortunately, the game next week is one of the hardest Everton can face, although the team are below us, we have a terrible record there and we seem to just roll over every time. This is why we need Pienaar to step up, along with other players like Fellaini, Baines, Jagielka and hopefully Gibson.

    Now, onto Osman. While he wasn’t as bad as last week (that was always going to be difficult), he still wasn’t great against a weak Fulham side. We dominated and it was up to him to keep it simple and play it out wide or into Anichebe. He missed a few great through-ball chances, and even though one came off in the build up play leading to the goal, he was still largely poor for 89 minutes. His pace wouldn’t match League 2 standard, and he’s the most dribbled past person in the entire league, which leaves players running at our back four. We’re lucky Suarez is out to take our defenders away and leave one of Countinho or Gerrard running at us next week.

    Saying that, I’d leave Osman in the team for Sunday. Oviedo has shown in his short appearances that he has good technical ability, but is extremely weak. He’d get found out in the derby if he didn’t go into one tackle 100%. As for Barkley coming in, I don’t think he’s ready. He still seems a bit shaky to supporters, and in the derby you need to be able to shake it off and continue. Osman is reliable at the minimum, but I’m hoping he too steps up and puts in one of his 5 good displays a season.

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