Victor Anichebe targets injury-free campaign for Everton
Monday 20 August 2012
Victor Anichebe is hoping he can finally show Everton fans what he is capable of this season.
The striker made his debut for the Toffees as a 17-year-old and scored his first Premier League goal in May 2006, but in six further seasons at Goodison Park he has averaged just over 20 games as injuries have taken their toll.
The last three campaigns have been particularly frustrating, Anichebe making only 46 appearances, the majority of them from the bench.
A groin injury was his main problem last season, ruling him out until January, but when he did return he scored five goals in 14 appearances, and he is optimistic he can pick up where he left off.
The 24-year-old told Press Association Sport: "My aim is to stay fit. Last season I came back and I scored five goals in not so many appearances so towards the end of last season I did pretty well.
"Hopefully this year I can stay injury free and I never know where that will take me. I'm sure I've put all that stuff behind me now. I've been unfortunate in the past but that's nothing I can dwell on."
Everton have been handed a very tough opening to the season, with Manchester United the visitors to Goodison Park this evening.
The Toffees have taken points off Sir Alex Ferguson's side in each of the past four years, though, including in last season's remarkable 4-4 draw at Old Trafford.
Anichebe said: "It's always a tough game against them but we're at our home ground, our fans really get behind us so it's going to be a great opening fixture for the club and the players. Hopefully we can get a great result."
The Toffees yesterday confirmed the capture of Belgium forward Kevin Mirallas on a four-year contract after agreeing an undisclosed fee with Olympiacos, although tonight's game will come too soon for the new boy.
Everton will instead again hope Nikica Jelavic can continue his fine goalscoring form after proving one of the best buys of the January window with 11 goals in 16 games.
And Anichebe is hoping for more of the same from the Croatian this season, even if that means opportunities are harder to come by for him.
The 24-year-old added: "Nicky was a top signing for us. No-one really expected him to blow up like he did. It's good for me as well to see how he plays. The fact he scored really crucial goals was a big boost for us and really good for the fans.
"It's great competition when you see new players coming in. It can only push you on and make you improve so it's great for everyone."
Latest in Sport
Arsenal transfer news: Arsene Wenger says he will be 'actively involved' on deadline day... but may not buy a striker despite Giroud injury
Fernando Torres to AC Milan: Jose Mourinho talks up Mattia Destro with Torres on verge of Chelsea exit
Mario Balotelli has been 'spoken to at length' and Liverpool have ensured he lives on Merseyside rather than Manchester
Burnley vs Manchester United: Why Louis van Gaal has been unflustered by United's terrible start to the season
Tottenham vs Liverpool: Hugo Lloris expects Spurs to wipe away shame of 4-0 and 5-0 defeats last season
- 3 Oil tanker with $100 million cargo goes missing off Texas coast
- 4 George Galloway attacked on Notting Hill street by man 'shouting about the holocaust'
- 5 Brother and sister, Christopher Buckner and Timothy Savoy, arrested for 'committing incest after watching 'The Notebook''
Robin Williams Emmys tribute led by Billy Crystal criticised for including 'racist' joke about Muslim woman
The Rotherham child abuse scandal is a tale of apologists, misogyny and double standards
Scottish independence TV debate: Pumped-up Alex Salmond bounces back in bruising second round against Alistair Darling
Do you realise just how foolish the UK looks?
Ukip Douglas Carswell defection: Tory MP jumps ship to join Nigel Farage
When elitism grips the top of British society to this extent, there is only one answer: abolish private schools