Everton blog

And we love our Steven Naismith

steven naismithRarely in recent history has a player gone from zero to hero in an Everton shirt, but Steven Naismith is fast bucking the trend and becoming everyone’s favourite forward at Goodison Park.

Everton tradition is that you sign in the sunshine and leave under a cloud with forwards; James Beattie, Andy Johnson, Yakubu, all living proof that, at Everton, a forward’s time ends with boos ringing in their ears and taxis being ordered.

But not Steven Naismith.

Naismith signed after an employment law wrangle at Rangers and in his first season at Goodison Park endured the taunts of the Bullens Road at full force.

But he got about his game.  He may well have dribbled the ball out of play on more than one occasion but he chipped in with goals and he worked his socks off.

That hard work is paying off now.

Three goals in the opening three games of the season has meant that he’s gone from hearing groans from the crowd to “There’s only one Steven Naismith” being sung in a non-ironic way.  Even the lad three seats down from me has got his poster on his bedroom wall when 12 months ago it was being used as a dartboard.

There would have been plenty of players who would have moved on quietly when a new boss came in, but Naismith had been a target of Roberto Martinez before he had joined Everton.  The pair had stayed in touch, in fact, with Martinez wishing him well and Naismith thanking the Spaniard for his interest.

Now, under Martinez, Naismith is a transformed man.  No longer expected to toil as a pretend right winger, Naismith has been handed his favoured role of playing just behind the striker, and the rewards are there for all to see.

In glimpses, he has always shown an unerring composure in front of goal, but now he is finding consistency.  His finish yesterday was vintage Naismith; a touch to control and one to slide past an onrushing goalkeeper.

Long may it continue!

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