Gordon: Why I've Got Much More To Deliver

Anthony Gordon is “nowhere near” the level he can reach for Everton – and the forward wants to be a “game-changer and match-winner” for Rafa Benitez’s team.

The 20-year-old is an increasingly important player under Benitez, who became the first manager to field Gordon for the entirety of a Premier League game in Sunday’s meeting with Tottenham Hotspur.

Gordon has started three times in the top-flight this term and unfailingly shown a desire to get on the ball and influence games with his dribbling and turn of speed.

The player's bold early-season displays led to a first summons from England Under-21 boss Lee Carsley – one of Gordon's targets for the campaign. 

And if he continues ticking off his objectives, Evertonians are going to have fun watching the player from the Club's Academy over the coming years.

“It has been a very good start to the season but I am still nowhere near where I want to be,” said Gordon.

“I see myself as a game-changer and match-winner for Everton and, at the minute, I am playing well but not winning games.

“Until I am doing that I have to keep working and improving. That is where I see myself and nothing else will be good enough.

“I've always had the ability to reach those levels but it was about getting my mind right and having the mentality, not just that I can do it – but I will do it. 

“My mindset is on whole different level from last year.

“Ability is only part of it, the mindset is what will take me where I want to get to.”

At the nub of Gordon’s goal setting is a determination to maximise an enviable natural talent.

Anthony Gordon
I see myself as a game-changer and match-winner for Everton and, at the minute, I am playing well but not winning games.

And he is grateful for guidance along the way from Benitez and teammates including Tom Davies, the midfielder who Gordon spoke to following his England call – albeit not until he’d relayed the news to his mum.

“My mum is so involved in my football and I knew she’d be made up,” said Gordon.

“Her standards are very high and she’s wanted me to be selected.

“Everton have an amazing track record of bringing young players through the Academy and they usually go through the England age groups.

“It feels I am carrying on that tradition and I am happy to do so.

“The people at the Club, the manager and coaches, are the ones working every day to improve me as a player, so it must be rewarding for them when I play regularly and get called-up.

“I couldn’t thank the staff and my teammates at Everton enough for helping me.

“I asked Tom about the step up. It is a bit nerve-wracking when you move up a level with England but I know a lot of the players and the manager, so that put me at ease and I already feel part of it.

“At Everton, I don’t see it as me versus the other wingers. I just have to reach my full potential.

“There’ are no guarantees I will get there [best player at Club] – but I think I will get there.

“I am on my own journey and those are my goals.”

Gordon will, inevitably, encounter stumbling blocks along the way, and there was one last term when a loan at Preston North End didn’t unfold as hoped.

The manager who recruited him, Alex Neil, lost his job, then Gordon’s playing time was reduced when successor Frankie McAvoy reverted to a formation excluding wingers.

Rather than fall flat on his face, Gordon surmounted the obstacle and is richer for the experience.

“The loan benefited me massively,” added Gordon.

“It didn’t go how I planned but the situations you find yourself in, you mature and it does wonders for you without you realising – the benefits show down the line.

“A lot of young, very good players don’t overcome those types of loans, so I can be proud of where I’ve got myself.”