Steven Pienaar: Create an understanding with your team-mates

Everton midfielder Steven Pienaar explains the secrets to his devastating link-up play with Leighton Baines

Gary Neville, winner of 85 England caps and countless trophies with Manchester United, decided it was time to hang up his boots after he suffered an afternoon of torment at the hands of Everton’s deadly left-sided partnership.

"One of the games which drove me to retirement was at Goodison Park against Baines and Pienaar,” admitted Neville.

More after the break

"They have a brilliant understanding, they know exactly what the other is going to do. They are fantastic together.”

The Everton duo has formed a wing combination so potent that Fulham manager Martin Jol compared the Merseysiders to Barcelona after his side salvaged a lucky 2-2 draw against the Toffees.

“Everton are a very good team and they pressed us and their full-backs were almost playing like Barcelona’s do,” said the Dutchman. Eat your heart Alves and Messi.

The partnership is equally adept at protecting the left wing from attack, as it is charging down the flank and supplying ammo for Jelavic and Fellaini.

Whether they’re overlapping or deploying the underlap, where the full-back drives into the box rather than going on the outside of the midfielder, they pose a dynamic threat.
How have the double act formed such a telepathic connection? What do they do in training to enhance their understanding? FFT caught up with Pienaar to find out.

Also see:
Peter Taylor: Wingers and full-backs working together

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