Everton FC 1 Stoke City 0: Greg O'Keeffe sees the Blues climb the table after beating Stoke

01 November 2010 07:00
Goodison Park 300

'I think if you work hard, the supporters appreciate you, your team-mates appreciate you and I think Yak's certainly improved his work and he's beginning to probably feel more confident in himself.' DAVID MOYES hails the Yak.

'I'm really disappointed with the disallowed goal. It looks a very poor decision which has gone against us again. It was a very even game and in tight games you get opportunities and you have to take them. I'm certainly not blaming the ref for the goal Everton scored.' TONY PULIS feels the frustration factor after a close contest.

AT TIMES over the last six months Ayegbeni Yakubu has looked like he had a mountain to climb to resurrect his Everton career.

Sometimes that mountain seemed like Kilimanjaro, and the Nigerian seemed like a one-armed climber with a phobia of heights.

Short of confidence, and frustratingly short of fitness after a disappointing World Cup, it was natural to wonder whether Goodison would ever rock once again to chants of 'Feed the Yak and he will score'.

But ever since David Moyes sent the Yak and his team-mates up a mountain in the Lake District to prepare for the Merseyside derby, the striker has been a man re-born.

There were signs before that emphatic victory over Liverpool, that Yakubu had started to turn things around. His performances against Fulham, and then Birmingham showed plenty of promise.

Now the former Middlesbrough man has taken that promise and turned it into the only currency that matters for strikers - goals.

David Moyes has two thorough-bred strikers in his stables in Yakubu and Louis Saha, but to his eternal frustration he has to juggle them continually to try and get a string of games from either.

Louis Saha's week started with a family bereavement, so he can receive no criticism for struggling to train consistently, but when he then reported another injury, this time a thigh strain, there was perhaps a little exasperation as well. Obviously the Frenchman does not relish watching from the sidelines. He would rather be fit and playing, but he could perhaps take the robust example of his striker partner.

Yakubu has rediscovered his mental strength, and for an athlete of his physique, he has finally rediscovered the bustling strength, and bursts of power on the pitch that should come naturally.

The Yak took heed of Moyes' pre-match demand for goals from strikers, by creating his own - the first time he has scored for the Blues since a strike against Blackburn Rovers at Ewood Park in April last season.

Source: Liverpool_Echo