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Saturday, February 18, 2012
Analyzing Donovan's second Everton loan


Unfortunately, Landon Donovan's Everton loan came to an end two games sooner than expected. He was held out of today's FA Cup match versus Blackpool because of the flu, and next Saturday's league game was postponed because Liverpool reached the Carling Cup final.

Now that Donovan is returning to Los Angeles to help the Galaxy defend their MLS Cup, let's take a look at how he has performed in England during his loan spells:

• Whether it was fitness, managerial confidence or another factor like lack of squad depth, Donovan played the full 90 minutes in all nine Everton appearances this year. In 2010, he only played the entire game in four of 13 matches, exiting six games early and subbing into three others.

• Although he failed to score in his nine games for Everton this season, Donovan did have six assists that accounted for as many goals as he did two years ago, when he tallied two goals and four assists in 13 games.

• Since the beginning of the 2009-10 season, the Toffees are plus-0.5 goals per 90 minutes with Donovan on the pitch. That may not sound impressive, but it's the second-best rate on the team among the 25 players who played at least 500 league minutes.

• In his seven Premier League appearances this year, Donovan completed 14 passes that led to Everton shots. That leads the entire league since his first match Jan. 4, and it's the second-most on the Toffees for the whole season. Two of those completed passes were through balls that earned Donovan a pair of assists. No other Everton player has completed more than two through balls all season.

• From a Premier League perspective, Everton was not as successful during Donovan's stint this season as the club was two years ago. In 2009-10, the Toffees rose from 12th to ninth in the standings, taking 20 points from his 10 matches, after winning only 24 points in their first 18 games. The schedule wasn't easy then, as Everton beat top-five finishers Chelsea, Manchester United and Manchester City, and also drew at third-place Arsenal. This time around, Everton was 2-2-3 in league play, dropping one spot to 10th in the table by taking nine points from seven matches, though Donovan again helped the Toffees defeat Manchester City and Chelsea.