Schillo You Crazy Diamond

He’s only gone and done it. He’s only gone and signed for Everton.

That’s right, all summer we’ve been waiting expectantly – like a dog-walker doing that fielder’s crouch, hand swathed in an inside out Lidl bag at the business end of their golden retriever – for Steven Pienaar to confirm his permanent return to the club where he belongs. Despite rumours of interest from Sunderland and QPR, and reports saying that a deal was edging closer at a rate that would embarrass tectonic plates, the brilliant little South African finally put pen to turquoise paper in that weird little office first made famous by Phil Neville and his lurid Adidas tracky top.

Signing scenery is a constant delight to Everton fans, and one photo shows that behind a massive potted plant there was a big screen with generic footy figures etched on it, not unlike the window of a William Hill’s. From henceforth said glasswork will be known as the ‘Pienaar partition’.

Whether the workings of the deal were lubricated by cash raised from Tim Cahill’s departure to the New York Red Bulls we’ll never know, but the timings do hint at that being the case. Cahill has actually said that returning to Goodison on a Landon Donovan-style loan is something that he would be willing to consider, but in all honesty, would anyone want to see that happen? Given that those arrangements involve the US club receiving a fee, Everton would really have to be desperate for Cahill’s presence to invite him back given his form in the last 12 months.

It would mean that Nikica Jelavic’s leg has fallen off, Steven Naismith has struggled to adapt to English football, or Victor Anichebe has failed to make the step up that he has been talking about recently.

A little pause there for comic effect.

Anyway, we love the permanently-looks-like-he’s-on-the-brink-of-tears Aussie as much as the next Blue, but the fact is he departed at the right time for everyone. We only want to see him back at Goodison in a Red Bulls shirt or presenting someone with an oversized cheque.

Talking of which, the rumoured details of the deal that Liverpool are insisting on if Andy Carroll is to go out on loan are quite remarkable. Apparently the Reds are insisting that there is a clause whereby the club that take him, providing they remain in the top flight, MUST buy him for £17 million at the end of the season. Not an option to buy, a guarantee that they will, for half of what Liverpool paid a year ago. In short, they are trying to safeguard a loss of over £15 million quid. Which can only mean that they fear another season of top flight exposure will see his value fall even further.

They must think he is even worse than everyone else does.

Anyway, just to finish off, a Blues’ team containing a number of players from the first team squad, including Jack Rodwell, Seamus Coleman and goalscorer Apostolos Vellios, dipped out of the Liverpool Senior Cup, 2-1 at Prenton Park. Vellios opened the scoring before former Toffee James Wallace levelled from the spot. Conor McAleny then missed a penalty for Everton, allowing Andy Robinson to send Tranmere Rovers through with a goal in injury time.

And on that note, this newly established site won’t be updated for just over a week now thanks to prior commitments. That’s right, we miss Blackpool and Tony Hibbert’s testimonial, but promise to come back fresh and eager for the start of the season proper.

Try and not abuse any failed Olympians on the internet while we’re away. We know what you are like.

New York State Of Mind

Fair enough, there are only about two news articles on this site so far and they contain ‘considered’ speculation that Leighton Baines will be sold to pay for Steven Pienaar. Well, either Baines or Joseph Yobo.

And while more wild stabbing in the dark was going on than in the woods in The Secret History, David Moyes has sold Tim Cahill instead. And still not bought Pienaar.

You are right to be impressed by this level of newsgathering.

Tim Cahill though. It’s the end of an era, certainly, but this feels like a pretty nice way for a modern-day icon to bow out, especially when you weigh up the alternatives.

We won’t have to see him turning out for another Premier League side, which would be last – much worse than seeing his good buddy Mikel Arteta in an Arsenal shirt. Having him linger at Goodison wouldn’t be great either – watching him become increasingly marginalised while continuing to make a big dent in the wage bill. That would only lead to his relationship with the supporters deteriorating, and that’s the last thing that anyone wants.

As it is, he leaves an Everton team that has a few more attacking options and no longer needs to rely so heavily on his goalscoring abilities. He can certainly look at his eight years at the club though and be proud of what he has achieved in a blue shirt, often carrying the hopes of success-starved fans on his shoulders; picking up the baton carried for so long by Duncan Ferguson and then held all too fleetingly by Wayne Rooney. Just to mix some metaphors.

The modern instinct is to screw your nose up and dismiss any current player who is bestowed any sort of hero or ‘legend’ status, especially when it’s one who has won no silverware. However, it’s during the toughest times that the fans need totems the most, and Tim Cahill has certainly filled that role with distinction.

He’s always given everything, showed opponents no fear whatsoever, scored a hatful of goals and always spoken about the club and the supporters with the utmost respect. As another article somewhere said, you don’t win the love of the Millwall and Everton fans if you’re a phoney – what’s more, Moyes doesn’t build a team around you and hold you in such high esteem unless you are a serious, dedicated individual.

Ultimately, what more could you ask for from a player than what we got from Tim Cahill?

As for Cahill himself, what an opportunity he has now, to go and play football and live in New York City, while he’s still only a relatively young man at the age of 32. Hopefully he is a massive success over there, and if we are really lucky some sort of ‘prestige friendly’ in the Big Apple was part of the deal. We could all go and boo Rooney’s brother if he still plays for them.

Great Cahill moments are plentiful, with his performance in the Andy Johnson derby probably the first to spring to mind for most Blues, but the one that perhaps sums him up best, because of how it was against the odds and the explosion of emotion it released, was that overhead kick in the final minute at Stamford Bridge. Strewth!