On Sunday Gylfi Sigurdsson and Everton get back to Premier League action following the international.
It’s been a fine start to the season for the Icelandic midfielder after a difficult first campaign with the club.
The talented 27-year-old Icelandic playmaker, who joined the Toffees last summer for a then club record of £45 million, netted six Premier League goals in his first season at Everton, managerial turmoil meant an inconsistent season on the pitch for him and his team-mates.
The new-look Everton opened their 2018-2019 Premier League campaign with a 2-2 draw away at Molineaux against Wolves, before beating Southampton 2-1 at Goodison Park and drawing 2-2 with Bournemouth.
Here Sigurdsson tells FourFourTwo Arabia about the Toffees’ expectations for the 2018-2019 season, as well as his thoughts about the positive changes which have taken place at Goodison Park over the course of this summer.
FFT Arabia: How was your personal experience at 2018 World Cup in Russia?
Sigurdsson: It was a fantastic experience, something I personally dreamed of as a kid, although I never expected to play in a World Cup.
I was just about fit for the start of the World Cup [after my knee injury]. I played my first 90 minutes against Argentina and was probably fully fit after the last game.
Of course, we were disappointed [to not make it out of the group stage] but we knew that it was going to be very tough for us to go through. I think we were in a really tough group with Argentina, and alongside Croatia who went all the way to the final.
I managed to get about three weeks of holiday [after the World Cup], which I felt I needed after the rehab and tournament. And mentally it was important to go and think about something else and spend time with friends and family. To recharge and get ready for the new season.
FFT Arabia: Marco Silva most certainly brings a fresh tactical approach and a positive footballing philosophy to Goodison Park. How excited are you to play under him this season?
Sigurdsson: There are a lot of things he’s trying to bring in a short period of time. Personally, I’ve only been back four weeks [after the World Cup] so there has been a lot of input from the manager, in training and in meetings. He’s trying to bring enjoyment into our football, press the other teams, work hard and be organised defensively. I think we are getting there and I don’t think we are too far away.
I think that’s how the manager sees it – he wants me to play central, which is nice. We’ve got some good wingers with pace and hopefully we can utilise them out wide and me playing through the middle.
We’ve got a very good manager who is organised and passionate about his job. He’s very hands on, takes all of the training sessions and the players really like him. As time goes on and the more we work with the manager, we’ll be a lot better.
FFT Arabia: What are your primary expectations and goals at Everton this season?
Sigurdsson: We are concentrating on improving ourselves and making sure that we are ready. Hopefully we can get a good start in the coming weeks. The main thing is tactical work and working hard in training, which has been good. Most of the boys feel fit and ready to kick on.
Before a new season, you always look for it to be a positive one and you want to improve and do better than you did last season. All of the boys are determined to get a better start than last year as it took us a long time to get going.
I’ve been here almost a year – it’s a great place, a really good club. We have a really good squad of players and all of the players get along.