Sigurdsson Exclusive On Everton Community, New Position And Home Routine

Gylfi Sigurdsson says he was relishing the challenge of figuring out a new position before Premier League football went into lockdown – but sport is rightfully being placed on the back burner during a “sad and strange” time.

Icelander Sigurdsson counts himself fortunate to have a gym at home – which he is using to follow a fitness programme devised by Everton’s sports science and medical teams – and insists the Club’s Blue Family campaign is tackling issues of greater significance than football.

Sigurdsson – who is keeping his competitive juices flowing by participating in darts matches with friends and dad Sigurdur Adalsteinsson – started every game for which he was available following Carlo Ancelotti’s arrival back in December.

He admits to some teething problems as he adapted to operating in alien territory deep in midfield under Everton’s Italian manager but the 30-year-old is growing to enjoy the opportunity to refine his game.

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All that is firmly on hold for now, however, following the outbreak of coronavirus and measures introduced by the Government to contain its spread.

And from what he discovered about Everton soon after walking through the door from Swansea City in August 2017, Sigurdsson was confident the Club would rally round its community during a period of extraordinary uncertainty.

“I knew Everton did a lot of work in the community before I came to the Club but I did not realise the extent of it,” Sigurdsson told evertonfc.com

“Continuing that work at this time is so important and I am sure it will make a big difference to a lot of people.

“Everton is completely connected to its community and there are not many other clubs that do so much for the people around them.


“Football means so much to so many people and Everton is a huge part of a lot of people’s lives.

“The work Everton do outside football is a massive part of the Club – and one of the best things about the Club.”

Sigurdsson is completing training routines using home gym kit and logging his daily effort on an app for Everton’s fitness staff to gauge his workload and conditioning.

He concedes, however, the element of unknown surrounding the coronavirus pandemic leaves players confronted with a unique situation.

Dates usually set in stone, for training and fixtures, are up in the air.

Likewise, although Sigurdsson is able to keep ticking over the engine which propels him across more ground than most on matchdays, he cannot work on his dead-ball striking – especially relevant for a player whose 108 career goals include 13 direct free-kicks.

Growing up in his homeland, Sigurdsson would overcome uncompromising winters by training in a warehouse hired by his father.

“You just have to accept what you can and can’t do,” said Sigurdsson.

“There are more important things than football at the moment.

“We have never been in the position of not being able to go to a training ground.

“It is a sad time and very strange.


“But it is easy to stay at home with the family and make sure you are not taking any chances.

“When you’re off in the summer you know when pre-season starts but now we don’t know when we’ll return.

“But we will at some point and you have to stay as fit as possible for when we start training.

“I am lucky enough to have a good gym.

“The long passing and shooting [practice] I just have to accept is not possible.”

Sigurdsson uses his one permitted daily dose of outdoor exercise to walk his dog Koby – a Cavalier King Charles Spaniel – with wife Alexandra.

His more intense workout is prescribed by the Club.

“We have had everything we need, information in terms of what we can and can’t do, and the sports scientists have given each player a programme,” said Sigurdsson.

“We have a programme for the week and an app which lets them know what we have done.

“I start most mornings running on the treadmill and getting on my exercise bike. Then I do gym work, mixing upper and lower body weights.”


Sigurdsson was deployed as one of two central midfielders when Everton caretaker manager Duncan Ferguson introduced the 4-4-2 system which rocked Chelsea in December.

He was nevertheless surprised on Ancelotti’s first day at the Club to learn the new boss envisaged him occupying that position for an extended period.

“I didn’t know if he was joking,” laughed Sigurdsson.

“There are a lot of things I have to think about in games I’ve never thought about before; if we are attacking I have to sit back and make sure we are set up defensively if we lose the ball.

“The things I love are scoring goals and getting in the box, getting on the end of crosses and taking up positions where the ball might fall to you.

“It has always been my target to attack and score goals.

“It took a couple of games to get used to something different but I have started to enjoy that position.

“If it had happened five or six years ago, I wouldn’t have been too happy.

“But as you mature and gain more experience it is a good challenge to play a new position and think about completely different things.

“Carlo is a very experienced and successful manager and we have a good relationship.

“It is nice to be in his team and if you are playing, you are happy.”

Sigurdsson is in daily contact with family in Iceland – last Thursday he was sent video footage of capital city Reykjavic carpeted in snow when the former Tottenham Hotspur player should have been captaining his national team in a European Championship play-off  semi-final against Romania – as well as speaking regularly to his Clubmates and international colleagues dotted around the continent.

The midfielder and friends at home have happened upon an app enabling them to do battle on the oche – albeit the player’s dad, a darts professional, is going to take some beating.

“There is a bit of pride involved and it gets competitive,” said Sigurdsson.

“We play through the app, so you have to trust the other person’s scoring.

“I lost the first game on Friday – 3-1 – but I am pretty sure the guy I was playing was cheating.

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03:42

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“I need to get a webcam on him when he’s playing.

“I might beat my dad in one leg. But over a few sets I can’t beat him."

Sigurdsson continued: “I was sent a video [on the original date for the Romania game] showing snow everywhere in Iceland.

“When we [Iceland’s international players] were young, we were used to that but most of us haven’t played in snow for a long time, so that would have been a strange experience.

“A lot of them [Iceland teammates] are in different countries and we speak every day about what’s happening in those places.”

Sigurdsson admits he has already exhausted his Netflix back catalogue and turned to Amazon Prime for fresh television content.

His diet is being kept in check by Alexandra, who owns a diploma as a natural chef.

“My wife is a very good chef and can cook anything, so I am in good hands,” he said.

“I eat a lot but since we stopped training [at the Club] I’ve not had as much of an appetite.”

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If you already have an official club membership or season ticket and a Digital account, just login to watch the video.

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If you are interested in an Official membership, you can find out how to buy one here.

This video is available for free to Digital Members

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Free Digital Membership will provide you with the best possible experience when logged into the website, including access to the latest digital content.

Digital members will receive a monthly newsletter and get access to exclusive videos and regular member competitions offering money can’t buy prizes.

Your Digital account will also enable you to buy any tickets on general sale, and if you’re an Official member or Season Ticket Holder, the same login will allow you to access and manage your ticketing account.

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02:28 Wed 25 Mar 2020

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