Anichebe Setting His Sights on a New Silver Lining; Olympics Hero Is Planning Euro Glory with Blues UEFA CUP, 1ST ROUND, 1ST LEG: EVERTON V STANDARD LIEGE GOODISON PARK, TONIGHT, KICK-OFF 8.05pm (LIVE ON FIVE)
Byline: Dominic King
THE shining silver medal which takes pride of place at Victor Anichebe's home offers a reminder of an unforgettable summer but, in some ways, it seems out of place.
While athletes eternally treasure any gong brought back from an Olympic Games, there is always a hunger driving them on, a determination to ensure their collection continues to swell. Anichebe is no different.
A ppropriate, then, that as another challenge for the UEFA Cup begins against Standard Liege this evening, Anichebe - who was Everton's lucky charm in Europe last season - is dreaming about finding room in his cabinet for another medal next May.
"It's hard to put into words what I experienced out there," said Anichebe. "It was a once in a lifetime opportunity, just so humbling to be with all the athletes. Nobody felt they were superior to anyone else in the Olympic Village. The saying of 'One world, One dream' summed it up in a nutshell.
"We were close to getting gold, but I still can't believe we actually got silver.
I'm just starting to understand what it means. It was huge. What's the dream now? It's got to be silverware with Everton."
Only time will tell whether that dream comes true, but Anichebe's confidence is both admirable and understandable.
Mirroring his team, the further Everton went in the competition last time around, the better the 20-year-old did.
His goal in Kharkiv - which secured his side's passage into the group stages - was followed by efforts against Larissa, Nuremburg and SK Brann, ensuring he hit the best tally by a Everton striker in Europe since Andy Gray in 1985, and Anichebe would love to repeat that feat.
That trip to Beijing, though, rammed home the importance of putting personal glory on the back burner, and Anichebe makes it quite clear that he couldn't care less who scores in the two legged clash with Liege - all that matters is Everton progress.
"Europe is great to be involved in and it would be tremendous if I could score a few goals again," said Anichebe, fresh from scoring against Stoke last Sunday. "But I've also got to make sure that I get a few goals in the Premier League as well, as I didn't do that enough last season.
"But we are looking forward to the Liege game. Playing at Goodison Park on a European night is electric and when we travel away from home, the support we take is always so loud that it drowns out the home fans.
"I got a few goals last year and it has brought me to the season with more experience and more confidence. …