Marco Silva’s regime at Everton has begun in a promising manner which is bound to delight supporters who were starved of entertaining football under Sam Allardyce last season, and the results of his philosophy are already beginning to bear fruit in the early stages of the new season.
The arrival of Silva promised to deliver a new brand of football in stark contrast to the one which was baulked at by the Goodison Park faithful last season, and so far that promise has been fully delivered on the field of play. Richarlison’s big-money arrival combined with a handful of core tactical tweaks have enabled the Toffees to express themselves in a free-flowing manner which suggests the future is bright for the club.
Richarlison naturally stole plenty of headlines after bagging his 3rd goal of the new season against Southampton, but Phil Neville was eager to heap praise on a different attacking player whilst he delivered his verdict on BBC’s Match of the Day. Indeed, Neville stated that Sigurdsson was “the best player” out of Everton’s front-four, and on the evidence of his performance it would be difficult to argue with Neville’s assessment.
Neville also went on to add that Sigurdsson didn’t have a great season during his first year at Goodison Park and the statistics serve to back that argument.
For a player who cost Everton £44.5 million in the summer of 2017, a return of just 4 goals and 3 assists represented a poor return on the club’s investment. However, Sigurdsson’s failure to thrive during the early stages of his Everton career can be explained by Allardyce’s approach which deterred freedom of expression and fluidity of movement – two traits which are central to the Iceland international’s creative instincts.
Under the new manager Sigurdsson is now in an ideal position to consistently prove that he is worth the hefty price-tag he commanded in 2017, especially with exciting attacking players such as Theo Walcott, Richarlison and Cenk Tosun all working in tandem to create opportunities in the final-third.
Against the Saints Sigurdsson was at the core of Everton’s attacking play as his incisive vision and desire to take risks in the final-third served as a menace to Southampton’s back-line. In truth, Southampton simply couldn’t handle Sigurdsson’s intricate and quick-witted linkup play, and he thoroughly warranted the individual praise from Neville on Match of the Day.
It’s an exciting time for Everton supporters with Silva implementing his ambitious and aesthetically pleasing style of football at the club and, if Sigurdsson continues to emulate the level of performance he set against Southampton, there’s no doubt he will play a pivotal role in determining the success of the Portuguese manager on his debut campaign in charge of Everton.
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