Opta Jury: James Beattie
By Duncan Alexander
Last Updated: 01/01/70 1:00am
The latest player up before the Opta Jury is Everton striker James Beattie.
For Everton, currently rooted to the foot of the Premiership table with just one goal to their name, the time has come for James Beattie to justify the £6 million fee that The Toffees paid for him in January.
Previously one of the most feared strikers in the top division, Beattie has been a shadow of his former self since arriving at Goodison, managing just one goal in 14 appearances.
Beattie began his career at Blackburn but made only four top-flight appearances for them and it was at Southampton that he truly established himself on the Premiership stage.
The sight of Beattie marauding through defences gave many a manager a fretful afternoon and David Moyes certainly did not see it as much of a gamble when he brought Beattie to Merseyside.
The erstwhile England striker's stats at Southampton make impressive reading. He plundered 68 goals for them in a seven-year spell, his finest period being the 2002-03 campaign when he scored 14 times. Beattie also contributed 24 assists in his time on the south coast, and it is his general all-round play that made him such a popular player with his team-mates.
The last 10 months, however, have been extremely difficult for Beattie. He has scored just once for Everton and has yet to create a goal for the north-west giants. Even worse, he collected the only top-flight red card of his career in the match with Chelsea last season, needlessly headbutting William Gallas just eight minutes into the game.
|Goal Attempts|| || |
|Games per goal||3||14|
|Shots On Target||200||7|
|Shots Off Target||228||14|
|Passing|| || |
|Pass Completion %||62%||68%|
|Discipline|| || |
When Beattie made his latest return from injury in the Uefa Cup tie with Dinamo Bucharest, he looked much leaner than when he joined Everton in January. Some fans have hailed this as proof that the striker has knuckled down and will soon be in the sort of form that generated his £6 million price tag.
David Moyes will hope so, because Everton's need for goals at present is massive.