Carlo Ancelotti has refused to criticise Gylfi Sigurdsson following his performance against Tottenham on Monday, insisting that the Iceland skipper is a “great professional”.
Sky Sports analyst Gary Neville echoed the feelings of many Evertonians when he laid into Sigurdsson during the match commentary of the Toffees' 1-0 defeat for an anaemic display in the centre of midfield during which he failed to put in a single tackle in his time on the pitch.
It's not the first time that Sigurdsson has attracted the ire of supporters — he was roundly criticised for an anonymous display in the FA Cup against a much-weakened Liverpool team where he failed to touch the ball for 19 minutes despite playing in a similarly important role in the middle of the park.
Ancelotti, who dropped Sigurdsson for the Merseyside derby last month but is not one for criticising players in public, backed the 30-year-old, however, in his pre-match press conference ahead of tomorrow's visit of Southampton.
“I'm not used to criticising players in a press conference,” the Italian said. “I didn't see that he didn't put a tackle in.
“Gylfi's a professional player, 100 per cent. He can play good, he can play bad. We cannot discuss him as a professional. He's a great professional.
“Maybe he could do better but against Tottenham all the team could do better. Now is not the time to analyse the game against Tottenham.
“I already talked to the players. The game against Tottenham has gone. I also said to the players it is time to move to the next game which is an important game against a strong team.”
Everton's lack of options in central midfield mean that Sigurdsson will almost certainly be involved in some capacity against Southampton. Fabian Delph and Jean-Philippe Gbamin are injured, Alex Iwobi is a doubt with a hamstring strain and Mason Holgate, who filled in in midfield admirably in December under interim boss, Duncan Ferguson, is ruled out with a shin injury.
Beni Baningime, an unused substitute thus far, has first-team experience but has yet to be called upon by Ancelotti.
Reader Comments (78)
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1 Posted 08/07/2020 at 17:57:11
Surely Sigurdsson won't start the next game? A blow up doll would be more effective as Southampton would, at least, have to go around it!
2 Posted 08/07/2020 at 18:08:18
3 Posted 08/07/2020 at 18:08:33
4 Posted 08/07/2020 at 18:09:43
5 Posted 08/07/2020 at 18:21:42
6 Posted 08/07/2020 at 18:49:23
As for Beni Baningime, why not skip him and go to the future and have Tyler Onyango a game? He's tall, he's neat and tidy. He's not particularly fast but he's faster than what we have there. He likes a tackle and can get stuck in. Let's give the kid a game at Goodison under the lights but without a crowd.
7 Posted 08/07/2020 at 18:50:16
As for Siggy, I have no idea what's happened to him this season. I could forgive a lot if he was at least pulling the odd goal out of his butt, but even that aspect of his game has dried up.
8 Posted 08/07/2020 at 18:52:04
Time to try something different in midfield, we can't go on flogging a dead horse.
Seamus Keane Mina Digne
Davies Beni Gomes Gordon
Gives me more confidence than the Tottenham starting 11.
9 Posted 08/07/2020 at 18:54:37
10 Posted 08/07/2020 at 19:15:46
11 Posted 08/07/2020 at 19:19:10
How old is he, his career hasn't even took off since the debut three years ago, snubbed by different management and if he can't break into our pathetic midfield then he must have major problems himself.
I'm surprised Carlo has come out though and defended Gylfi, a player that endlessly shits out of tackles and just ambles around the pitch like a unwanted ghost doesn't deserve a mention.
Mind you he's not the only one is he?
12 Posted 08/07/2020 at 19:26:02
13 Posted 08/07/2020 at 19:28:15
I think he got a couple of appearances for Sheff Utd during the proper season - and should be match fit-ish.
Surely a (slightly) better option than Beni?
14 Posted 08/07/2020 at 19:31:31
15 Posted 08/07/2020 at 19:34:36
I'm surprised at you Steve ( Ferns) preferring the very young and vastly inexperienced Onyango to Beni, especially at this time, Beni deserves his chance now, Onyango â€˜s time will come he's only seventeen.
16 Posted 08/07/2020 at 19:36:06
Lets see if the players react after the Spurs game.. sadly I don't think they will.
The season was over before the restart..
17 Posted 08/07/2020 at 19:36:28
18 Posted 08/07/2020 at 19:40:02
So yes, I'd rather than a 17 year old with potential than a 21 year old who hasn't played a game for two years and is unable to pull his finger out and get himself a game. A failure to be loaned out tells you that he refused to drop low enough to get a game. That speaks volumes for me. Also, the 17 year old is bigger and stronger than him.
19 Posted 08/07/2020 at 19:50:29
20 Posted 08/07/2020 at 19:52:36
It seems now Schneiderlin has gone the boo boys need a new focus. Looks like Sigurdsson and Davies are now sharing that mantle.
Agree that Delph has infuriated more than Siggy, what a waste of money and wages Delph ahs been.
21 Posted 08/07/2020 at 20:10:29
Yes, Delph has offered nothing but a very big ego and a lot of â€˜mouth' on the very odd appearance.
Are these injuries partly in his head?? Is there a lack of focus warming up?
We really could do with an England international, title-winning midfielder right now!! Oh, we have one?! But he never plays... and when he does, it almost feels like he thinks he's doing us a favour!!
Very disappointed with him even more so than the ever present (underperforming) Sigurdsson!
22 Posted 08/07/2020 at 20:14:10
Steve you prefer a player who blows hot and cold in the U23s and put him in a team that is struggling in midfield.
By the way I've never noticed or heard that Beni has an attitude problem, he just gets on with the game every time I've seen him, but I bet we are debating two players who won't play tomorrow, but I'll bet you a penny that Beni gets on the bench before you're boy!!.,
23 Posted 08/07/2020 at 20:20:44
A loan move to Brondby fell through last summer and no-one wanted him despite Unsworth saying he was getting a loan sorted after he overcame an injury against Fleetwood last October when he looked decent against League One opposition.
And of course he'll get on the bench. There's no-one else and it's between him and Adeniran and the latter has no Premier League experience. But it'll be Sigurdsson who plays ahead of Baningime every time. No matter how bad he is.
24 Posted 08/07/2020 at 20:23:27
25 Posted 08/07/2020 at 20:32:16
Coleman, Keane, Mina, Baines.
Gordon, Gomes, Davies, Digne.
26 Posted 08/07/2020 at 20:37:03
He's not good enough. It doesn't matter how bad Sigurdsson is, Baningime is not the answer. It'll take a miracle for him to play a game for us next season or beyond. He might get in with an injury or two more this season, but he'd have to play out of his skin to stay and nothing he's done this season suggests that.
Onyango has far more chance of playing for Everton's first team, even if he's probably two years away. I'd rather go with the future than yesterday's man.
27 Posted 08/07/2020 at 20:39:48
28 Posted 08/07/2020 at 20:41:59
Nothing to lose, give him a go?! Cannot be worse than the performance from Monday?! If not now, when?
29 Posted 08/07/2020 at 20:42:06
Looks as if we're closer in views on Onyango though!
30 Posted 08/07/2020 at 20:44:48
31 Posted 08/07/2020 at 20:54:38
32 Posted 08/07/2020 at 20:55:02
Let's be honest, Carlo was never going to criticise him in public, but he subbed him after running half the pitch beside Moura, without even breathing on him!
I hope he picks Baningime beside Davies in midfield. I don't know what happened between Beni and Paul Cook; Paul managed Sligo Rovers over here in Ireland for 5 years, and a nicer fellow you wouldn't meet, and he definitely wasn't injured. But Unsy said he was back to himself for the U23s, it can only be an improvement, on our midfield performance at Spurs.
33 Posted 08/07/2020 at 20:55:02
He is getting stick, along with several others fully deserving of it, because he has been dire all season. Whatever qualities he had, they are long gone now.
34 Posted 08/07/2020 at 21:03:22
But I have to agree, Sigurdsson will be starting and Carlo will be using his experience to try and get some more out of him. It worries me though, no tackle at all from a central midfielder in the last match. How many tackles would Gana have made in the same match? 10-20?
These are the tackles that win possession back, the ball gets to Gomes, the opposition are out of formation and Gomes has got that tiny amount of time and space to create an attack.
This is the reason why Sigurdsson doesn't cut the mustard in any respect as a central midfielder. It is the reason why it is no1 critical we have to have that ball winning, tackling, enforcer player in.
Getting that midfielder in will give us the real Gomes back too and get the midfield functioning again.
It is so important a position that we need quality back up there too, someone young with bags of potential like Sangare. We cannot rely on Delph at all, and Gbamin, who knows?
35 Posted 08/07/2020 at 21:18:24
36 Posted 08/07/2020 at 21:23:39
37 Posted 08/07/2020 at 21:39:28
38 Posted 08/07/2020 at 21:42:24
39 Posted 08/07/2020 at 21:50:25
40 Posted 08/07/2020 at 21:50:27
41 Posted 08/07/2020 at 21:50:52
He wasn't injured and as you say, and as reported at the time, Cook says he went with the more experienced guys as he didn't think Baningime was ready for the fight (from the middle of February all the way until the end of the season).
And now this kid, who is weeks short of joining Tom Davies's age of 22, and hasn't played a first team game since, is good enough to play for our first team?
Nope. Sorry, don't buy it. He has clearly taken a wrong turn in his career and has gone backwards and only makes the bench as there is no other fit midfielder with first team experience.
42 Posted 08/07/2020 at 21:53:22
43 Posted 08/07/2020 at 21:57:45
44 Posted 08/07/2020 at 22:00:04
But what can he do? We don't have a rapid midfielder that can carry the ball 30 yards and not lose it. I'm thinking Kaka or Gazza or De Bruyne or Hazard. Nothing in this squad, apart from Gordon.
So we stay compact to ensure there's no big gaps if the midfield stray too far from the back four for the last few games, suck eggs, and hope Gordon, or Digne, or one of our forwards has some magic moments.
Next season, when we get two or three players that can drive forward and get back very quickly into formation, we'll be much more expansive. At the moment, Carlo can only play what he's got to choose from.
I'm relaxed about it, it's only a few more matches of seeing frustrating bad decisions from previous managers affecting our club until this season is done. From September, I'm pretty sure we'll be full of hope when Carlo gets the recruitment done and the balance right.
45 Posted 08/07/2020 at 22:02:07
46 Posted 08/07/2020 at 22:04:11
47 Posted 08/07/2020 at 22:16:01
Seems the reverse at L4 currently.
48 Posted 08/07/2020 at 22:19:22
49 Posted 08/07/2020 at 22:34:29
50 Posted 08/07/2020 at 22:43:07
I reckon Carlo will know the weakness and the imbalance through the spine of this team as witnessed oat Spurs.
Hopefully Anthony Gordon can start and Carlo can find a balance to prevent us getting over run in the midfield.
Interesting to see whom starts surely it won't be a repeat of the crapfest served up at Spurs.
If the players have any pride then they'll want to make amends tomorrow night.
If Hoelberg plays it will also be interesting to see how's he's playing.
Hopefully this time Thursday night, we will be on higher spirits regards EFC
NB surely the rumours about Lingaard, are pure rubbish?
51 Posted 08/07/2020 at 23:07:33
In all seriousness I think it has to be Davies and Sigurdsson, which is hard for me to write but Gomes is knackered and Beni must be poor in training or we'd have seen him get a few minutes by now.
Unpopular fact: If Delph were fully fit, he would be our best centre-midfield at the moment. Losing him and Gbamin for pretty much the whole season has been instrumental in our pourous midfield.
52 Posted 08/07/2020 at 00:17:32
Maybe he is a great pro, doesn't really matter if you can't do it when you cross the white line though.
We don't have any options so it'll be two from Gomes, Davies or Sigurdsson, whether we like it or not.
On a brighter note, Ancellotti was saying in his press conference today that he's had assurances from Farhad there'll be cash available this window. Just get to the end of this season and pray that midfield gets an overhaul for the new season.
54 Posted 09/07/2020 at 01:07:34
We've not seen him at 100% yet, the final judgement on him should at least be when we've seen him at full sharpness for us, for at least ten consecutive games.
As for midfield, what's Bobby Carroll like? Thought of very highly at Doncaster. Just throw an 18-year-old with energy in there, I say. Why not?
Bernard's counsellor is actress Lorraine Bracco, apparently. According to Buzzfeed.
55 Posted 09/07/2020 at 01:11:46
Edit; Sam @ 51; I think my stat above proves that stats can prove anything. My conclusion is we haven't got a decent midfield player in the Club.
We have plenty of individuals in poor form in this position or that one.
But, as I have been saying for ages, we don't have a midfield unit.
56 Posted 09/07/2020 at 01:13:16
Such is our predicament that I'm taking your suggestion seriously and saying yes to Carlo in midfield. By his own admission, he was slow, and chubby in his prime. Looks to me like he's still in his prime. I think Osman is still considering his options too and not officially retired. Bring him back too and all the fans who slated him for years can weep when they see he's better than our current superstars.
57 Posted 09/07/2020 at 01:18:22
Leave the back 4 alone they have looked pretty solid apart from deflections.
Coleman, Keane, Mina, Digne.
SidibÃ©, Gomes, Davies, Gordon
58 Posted 09/07/2020 at 01:21:46
59 Posted 09/07/2020 at 02:45:45
60 Posted 09/07/2020 at 06:28:56
Until now I'd thought Mr Ancelotti's press conferences had gone very well but saying it is not where you criticize players is saying that you probably have in private, so, let's just hope we see a bit more effort and effect with all that professionalism.
61 Posted 09/07/2020 at 07:13:29
62 Posted 09/07/2020 at 07:26:30
When I remind myself what we spent on Sigurdsson when we could have got Maddison for less than half the money (and wages) as proposed by several here on TW at the time, the rumours of Lingard/Jones in exchange for Richarlison and Holgate take on an all too frightening realism. It wouldn't be the first time we've been totally shafted by the Mancs in the transfer market would it?
63 Posted 09/07/2020 at 09:32:01
64 Posted 09/07/2020 at 09:35:01
65 Posted 09/07/2020 at 09:37:42
66 Posted 09/07/2020 at 09:51:13
67 Posted 09/07/2020 at 09:56:21
Fully expect us to win tonight, we can and usually do beat most teams at home. Once we have got over our confidence issues after that awful Spurs performance. It will be a very nervy start.
68 Posted 09/07/2020 at 10:19:13
69 Posted 09/07/2020 at 11:37:43
I find Gomes the most frustrating of our so-called midfield, his ball skill and passing ability is manifest, but somehow, he doesn't make an impression. He has little stamina, his tacking is a liability and offers the opposition too many free kicks, and his passing skill is usually spent in forty yard crossfield balls to a full back.
Ancelotti needs to work on the midfield, as he has worked on the defence and hopefully he will see a similar improvement. But I can't see it with the personnel available.
70 Posted 09/07/2020 at 11:47:44
He's spoken a lot recently about mentality and he'll try and change that over the coming months. I expect him to get at least three players he trusts and who have that mindset eg Silva, Allen and Rabiot or Rodriguez.
Right now he's not interested in age, he's said so, he'll want players who understand his methods and will carry them out on the pitch. Trust Carlo to get it done.
71 Posted 09/07/2020 at 12:32:30
Let's find out by playing him. Football is a lot do to with momentum, mentality and being in the right place at the right time. If Beni plays tonight and has a good game then maybe he gets some momentum, like Tom did a few years ago when he had first team exposure and looked a lot better in the 1st team than he did at the time in the ressies.
72 Posted 10/07/2020 at 14:30:05
Did you forget about Siggy sitting in the goal mouth and costing us a winner against utd.
So on that basis even sat in the centre circle by Beni, would be no worse :-)
I would give Beni a run out.
73 Posted 11/07/2020 at 17:21:49
74 Posted 11/07/2020 at 22:13:11
In case it's not obvious, I want him gone and can only assume Ancelotti is bigging him up to get at least some of the money we spunked against the wall back. He's not the only one but he's symptomatic of the low standards accepted by our Club.
75 Posted 12/07/2020 at 10:12:50
Tom Davies has had ample opportunity to establish himself as an ever present, but far too often has come up short. Sigurdsson has never done it for me, he simply isn't good enough. Gomes is a class act, but that injury has taken its toll, mentally as well as physically. He may never fully recover. Seamus did, but it took a while.
First impressions, I was hugely impressed with Bernard, but he seems to have lost his way. I agree with an earlier post, perhaps deploying him in a more central role behind the front two may bring about an improvement in his game. And who knows if or when and to what capability Gbamin may return.
So we undoubtedly need a strong intelligent midfielder. He will no doubt cost us a considerable amount of money. In the meantime, with nothing at stake in the remaining league fixtures, surely the time is right for Beni Baningime to be given the opportunity to stake his claim to being that player.
76 Posted 12/07/2020 at 10:49:22
77 Posted 12/07/2020 at 11:38:00
I stated quite clearly that his loan periods and injuries proved a failure. But anyone who goes to the match (which I assume you do) could not deny that his first performances in a Blue first team shirt were very good.
Added to the list of my previous post, Delph is not the answer, he lacks pace and guile. Iwobi is the proverbial 'chicken with its head cut off!'
So under these circumstances and I repeat, with nothing at stake, throw Beni back in to see if he can reproduce his initial good form. What do we have to lose?
78 Posted 12/07/2020 at 16:54:49
80 Posted 23/07/2020 at 15:20:42
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