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Fears that linger behind Pienaar's return.

STEVEN PIENAAR returned to the football club "close to his heart" this week.

And Blues fans rejoiced. They were right to ... for now.

But there's also a subtext to Pienaar's comeback which offers more long-term concerns for Blues fans.

Because Pienaar's experience simply highlights the growing differences between Tottenham Hotspur and Everton - differences which may prove damaging in the very near future.

Harry Redknapp has resembled a younger sibling copying his older brother in recent seasons - with David Moyes playing the role of big brother.

Remember Kyle Naughton? Everton agreed a fee with Sheffield United for their promising right-back and the Blades even told their fans on the club's official website he was heading to Goodison.

Then Arry got wind of the deal.

He jumped in, offered a bit more - and Naughton signed for Spurs.

The sum total of Kyle Naughton's Premier League appearances for Tottenham? One - as a 90th minute substitute.

Then there was Steven Pienaar. Everton desperately wanted to keep their South African creator and offered a new deal.

Arry heard of the offer, topped it - and Pienaar headed to White Hart Lane.

The sum total of Pienaar's Premier League appearances with a cockerel on his chest? Two - as a 78th and 88th minute substitute.

Then there was Niko Kranjcar, the Croatian international coveted by David Moyes in the summer of 2009. Spurs also swooped and Kranjcar declared: "Everton is also a big club but, in the end, the tradition and greatness of Tottenham made the difference."

Kranjcar fared better than Naughton and Pienaar, but not by much - just 26 Premier League starts in two-and-a-half years.

Maybe Arry genuinely thought he needed Naughton, Pienaar and Kranjcar.

But when I think of Redknapp's transfer policy, I can't help be reminded of that Spitting Image sketch mocking Ron Atkinson, where a heavily tanned hand stretching from a sheepskin coatsleeve, adorned by a chunky gold bracelet, offers a fistful of pounds 20 pound notes for a copy of the Manchester Evening News and says "Keep the change."

And that's where the worries emerge.

Harry Redknapp, court case depending (and was his capture of Louis Saha part of a potential insanity plea?) is the next England coach elect.

If that scenario plays out, that would leave Spurs seeking another accomplished coach. And David Moyes' is in the final 18 months of his Everton contract.

Would the Blues boss relish the chance of managing a club where he can afford the Naughtons, Pienaars and Kranjcars of this world? Your guess is as good as mine, but Moyes is no mug.
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Title Annotation:Sport
Publication:Liverpool Echo (Liverpool, England)
Date:Feb 3, 2012
Words:427
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