Since Diniyar Bilyaletdinov signed with Everton for 8.9 million pounds from Lokomotiv Moscow, my opinion on him has been mixed. I know he has the talent to play in the Premier League and he has shown flashes of brilliance, but at the same time he has also disappeared in one too many matches and seems to lack pace a lot of times. To make things even more confusing, he has played quite well on international duty for Russia and has shown he can play a number of positions there.
Last season ended promisingly, but the first half of this season has been a nightmare for Bily so far.
Just in case you can't remember some of his good times, just re-watch this goal:
While I expected great things from Bilyaletdinov when he first joined the club, I am not completely disappointed with him. He really hasn't got many chances to start or even play to really get into the flow of things. This could be because of his mediocre form or it could have been because he didn't fit into the squad or formation.
Either way, Bilyaletdinov hasn't completely worked out for the club, but instead of complaining or asking for a transfer, he just came out into the media and said he will try harder than ever. Maybe it's because his father is a coach (at Lokomotiv Moscow), but he it seems that Bily is just going to keep his head down and keep working.
This is what he had to say while speaking at a community visit at Wallasey School (All quotes courtesy of this Liverpool Echo article):
He asks me ‘are you really working hard?’ I say ‘yes, of course’ and he says ‘okay, then you have to wait for a chance. You must be professional and don’t be in a bad mood’.
"I try to stay positive because it’s my life and it’s my career. I have to be positive
"Of course if you don’t play a lot you start to think maybe there is something wrong. But that only lasts a few seconds. I don’t think about bad things, I just think about the future."
And more awesomeness:
"It’s nice to work here and I really enjoy it. I don’t think about changing (clubs). The only thing I want to change is the amount of time I spend on the pitch.
"I have to prove myself on the training ground – that’s the best way to do it. I don’t think it’s correct to go to the coach and ask him (why I’m not playing).
"I’m not going to go to him crying about it as I’ve got to be professional."
"I’ll play wherever I’m needed for Everton. I’m happy on either wing and I’ve also played behind the striker for Lokomotiv and the national team.
Now that's just a great attitude. He's willing to working very hard, play any position required of him, and just have a positive attitude. What more can you ask from a player (well, not including quality on the pitch). You know, this makes me root for Bily to do well ten times more. I really hopes he succeeds, not just for the sake of the club, but for the sake of him.
He will get much more opportunities now that Steven Pienaar has left the club to Tottenham, so Bily will finally get some consistent chances to prove himself.