Louis Saha scored the winning goal against Middlesbrough at the weekend, taking Everton through to the semi-finals of the FA Cup.
I was listening to BBC 606, waiting for the draw, when an Everton fan rang in singing the praises of Saha. “If we can just keep him fit for 90 minutes then…” but he was interrupted. “If Saha could stay fit for 90 minutes week in week out then he’d still be a Manchester United player!”
It’s true. When able to retain his fitness, Saha is Manchester United quality. However, season after season the injuries kept catching him out. Sadly for him, his luck hasn’t changed much since moving to Merseyside.
In all competitions, Saha has made 17 appearances for Everton so far this season, 14 of them in the league, and in all competitions has played for the full 90 minutes on just two occasions. He didn’t play a minute of football through December and January, after coming off the bench against Spurs, only to later be subbed off injured!
Saha, who I’ve always had a bit of a soft spot for, is looking forward to playing against his former club in the Cup (if he can stay fit that long!) although is understandably fearful of the way we’re playing at the moment.
“I know Manchester United well, but even I am surprised at what I am seeing from them at the moment,” said Saha. “They just keep winning and winning. They are hard to break down, hard to beat and they have so many great players. And with a manager like Sir Alex Ferguson, there are always good new players arriving each season, the squad is amazing. Players can be moved in and out of the team and the wins keep coming. Even without their really big stars they can get the results they want. They have so many great players on the bench. When you are able to bring a player as good as Carlos Tevez off the bench, it really is incredible. I have only been away from the club for a season, but things have moved on even from my time there. Now they have Berbatov to bring in, it is amazing the strength they have right through the squad. We know it will be hard in the semi-final, and I am really looking forward to facing my old club and the friends I have there. But I also know we can win at Wembley.”