Wits’ Pienaar shrugs off criticism
DURBAN: Well travelled midfielder Steven “Schillo” Pienaar is unfazed by the heavy criticism he has been getting since returning to South Africa.
Pienaar (35) is currently plying his trade with Bidvest Wits. He returned to the Premiership after spending so many years in Europe where he played in top leagues.
Wits are the defending champions of the Absa Premiership but they have endured a terrible start to their campaign.
They have lost four games in 7 league outings. Wits have recorded a single victory this season.
They are at the basement of the league.
Wits boss Gavin Hunt has been criticised for tinkering with the side that won him the league last season.
Pienaar has been singled out as one the main culprits for Wits’s poor start this season.
Addressing the media during the soccer clinics at the Global Copa Coca Cola in Durban he made it clear that he is unfazed by unfair criticism he has been receiving from the South African public.
“It not unfair critism. If you are in a professional sports you have to face criticism and also deal with pressure. It is part of the game.
“When you play you always under the big glass. Maybe I came here with Sunderland bad luck, who knows,” Pienaar stated while laughing.
Sunderland were relegated from the English Premier League. at the end of last season, and Pienaar was the part of the team.
“But on a serious note, criticism is a part of the game. For me everything is blocked out. Whatever people say, I always laugh it off. I came back here to enjoy my football. Everywhere I play I play with all my heart. If I can’t, I walk away.
“We are going through a difficult patch at the moment. The results are not coming our way. As the defending champions the club is under the big glass. All eyes are on us. There’s a lot of expectations from us if you look at the signings we made. In life you can to go through difficult times if you want to reach the top. We are having bad luck at the moment,” Pienaar elaborated.
It is been a while since Pienaar tasted league success in his 18 years as a professional footballer.
“Yes it been a while. The last time I won the league was in 2004 with Ajax Amsterdam. I want to finish my career on a high. We’ve only played seven matches, and if I recall Chelsea didn’t have the best of starts last season but they come back and won the league. We are not playing bad. We are not scoring goals. We are conceding from silly mistakes. I believe that we can still lift the league. If we can win six to seven matches in a row we will be back amongst the contenders,” Pienaar said.
Pienaar is looking to follow in the footsteps of the likes of John Moshoeu, Andre Arendse and Benni McCarthy, who all won the league in their first season after their return from Europe.