Nikica Jelavic has given an honest interview to Everton’s official website about where his spell at Goodison Park went wrong.
Jelavic was flying after arriving from Rangers during January of the 2011/12 season.
But his performances tailed off the following campaign and by January 2014, Roberto Martinez had sold him to Hull.
Jelavic admits he took his eye off the ball, dropping his standards slightly with big consequences for his Toffees career.
“Probably I was thinking, ‘I had a good season, I can repeat this’. But in my head, I was maybe too relaxed and thought, ‘I can chill a bit after the season’,” he said.
“You have to do everything necessary, every single day, to keep that high level of football for many years. I didn’t do this. I thought, ‘I can go a little bit easier and still play well’.
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“You need to slow down just one step and you’re gone – and this is what I did. I thought, ‘I can play a high level of football with a little bit less training’. If you do that in the Premier League, you disappear, like I did.
“Sometimes, if I didn’t feel well, I skipped training. Before, I would still have trained. They are small things but very important. I regret it, I would do it differently today.
“I could have done much more. The supporters were cheering my name and I was grateful for that.”
Jelavic’s plight is something of a cautionary tale for any player who thinks they can take their foot off the gas after a good season.
It’s easily done, but Jelavic has seen first hand how quickly the landscape of football can change.
He deserves credit for being searingly honest and not trying to make excuses.