Mikel the Magician ?By: Anne | August 20th, 2008
Hi friends. Iâm Anne, of the California Victory blog and The Offside Podcast, and I will be supplementing Robâs fantastic coverage of the Premier League.
So are there any Everton fans out there? Your two cents are needed.
âMikel the Magician.â
Those were the commentatorâs words last Saturday morning when Everton midfielder Mikel Arteta smashed a wonderful ball, from a set piece, into the back of the net for the Toffeeâs first goal against Blackburn. Wow, I thought, that IS impressive, glossing over the fact that Arteta had attempted almost exactly the same shot from the same place minutes earlier- that time hoofing it horrendously wide.
Upon further reflection, I remembered that Arteta had accomplished almost the same exact feat during Evertonâs second game of the season last year against Tottenham. Another impressive free kick wonder headed in by Joleon Lescott. Oddly enough, though, Arteta went on to score only one goal in the Premier League last season â out of 28 appearances. A significant step down, if you consider that he scored nine goals in the 2006-2007 season
So, my Toffee pals, – whatâs up with Arteta?
From my not-a-huge-Everton-fan-but-still-follow-them position, it would seem that with some more consistency Arteta could be up there with the great set piece takers, and help Everton over come that itchy fifth place spot in the table, and make it to Champions League football. To be fair, Arteta did have a stomach injury for part of last season, undergoing surgery this past May.
All things considered, whatâs the verdict? Did Arteta just have a poor season due to injury last year? Or is Arteta a âone trick pony,â only riding once a season?