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‘Everton will struggle to cope without Aiyegbeni’

Posted by By Rasaq Oboirien on 2008/12/18 | Views: 1249 |

‘Everton will struggle to cope without Aiyegbeni’


FORMER Everton striker Andy Gray said Louis Saha is too unreliable to spearhead the Toffees' attack in the absence of Yakubu Aiyegbeni.

FORMER Everton striker Andy Gray said Louis Saha is too unreliable to spearhead the Toffees' attack in the absence of Yakubu Aiyegbeni.

Gray, speaking to Everton's website, said: 'If they could rely on Saha's fitness it wouldn't be such a problem, but the fact of the matter is they can't rely on Saha yet to play 20 games in a row.'

The Frenchman signed from Manchester United in the summer and the 30-year-old has scored three goals in an Everton shirt. But Saha is currently nursing a hamstring injury sustained in Everton's 1-0 victory over Tottenham in November - the same game in which top scorer Yakubu ruptured his Achilles, an injury that will rule the Nigerian striker out until the summer.
Gray, who won the FA Cup, league title and the European Cup Winners' Cup during an 18-month stint with Everton from 1983 to 1985, thinks Yakubu's injury will be a 'massive' loss to the club.

He said: “Yakubu is a proven Premier League goal scorer. He may not always be easy on the eye and he is a streaky player - he has spells where he goes without a goal for a while. But he'll come back with five or six in a row and his threat is always there. He's always worrying defenders and they never know where he's going to pop up.” Following the loss of Yakubu, Saha and 20-year-old James Vaughan to injury, Gray said it would be an 'unbelievable achievement' for Everton to repeat last year's Premier League fifth place in 2009. He added: 'It would be probably a bigger achievement to make up the ground on Villa and overtake them. Villa are in pretty good form, they're confident and they'll probably strengthen in January which David might not be able to do.'

But Gray did not feel the Champions League spots would be the exclusive domain of Liverpool, Man Utd, Arsenal and Chelsea in May.

He said: 'I sincerely hope that we're not at a point now where we have a game that will be dominated by the same four teams and that all others feel they have no chance of breaking that down. I don't think we are to be honest. The likes of Everton, Aston Villa and Manchester City have all got the potential to challenge in coming seasons - and it's not unthinkable that it could happen this season.'

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Comments (6)

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Joel Efiong(Calabar, Nigeria)says...

This is a great piece. The examination bodies should hire you as ICT consultant.

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Sunday Mbe(Kaduna, Kaduna, Nigeria)says...

ULIMASI means' GOD,THANK YOU' not THANK GOD.

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Sunday Mbe(Kaduna, Kaduna, Nigeria)says...

The name ULIMASI is from the UTUGWANG tribe in OBUDU local government area of CROSS RIVER STATE in Nigeria.

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Okfold(Sobe, Edo, Nigeria)says...

I want the meaning of female owan name Ekeke (Edo state)

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Toluwalase Samuel Olufemi(Ijebu, Ogun, Nigeria)says...

Authority belongs to God, once He decrees it is final and binding