Don’t you hate it when your friends don’t get along? There you are, just wanting to get along with everyone and have a good time, and two people you like are mad at each other. Well, that’s how I feel right now about Ted Knutson and Gylfi Sigurdsson. To be clear, where my analogy breaks down is that neither one of them knows me from Adam’s housecat, but I really appreciate football analyst Knutson’s statistical work and I’ve been a Sigurdsson fan since Euro 2016. (That’s right, I’m still on that bandwagon.)
Here is Ted’s latest Tweet showing a visual of Gylfi’s stats:
The Welsh Job coming off about as well as expected. pic.twitter.com/bT29a0DXIz— Ted Knutson (@mixedknuts) March 1, 2018
That’s um... that’s pretty brutal. Now, Knutson also gave his thoughts on this Everton club record transfer when it happened for The Independent. He thought the price was way too high and that Swans pulled off a heist in getting that much for him. We definitely overpaid for Sigurdsson, there’s no question about that and I don’t think there’s anyone who thought we didn’t overpay for him when it happened.
Some folks have tried to take the price tag and these numbers and present Gylfi as a bad buy or a failure. I disagree. The reason I disagree is that given the financial situation of the club, the amount money we spent on him won’t hurt Everton long term in any way, and the production numbers you see above are largely a product of the stupidity of Everton managers this season playing Gylfi out of position in schemes that don’t suit him. We still have a quality player on the books and hopefully this summer we’ll get him a manager that deserves him.
Gylffi Sigurdsson, Swansea 16-17. Interesting lack of open play key passes - a lot of his value seems to be set pieces nowadays. pic.twitter.com/nEpRtSazNu— Ted Knutson (@mixedknuts) April 7, 2017
Ronald Koeman seemed to think that he was going to play Wayne Rooney as a striker, Davy Klaassen as a 10-ish, and Gylfi as a winger. Mind boggling to look at that today and think that anyone paid to make football decisions thought that’d work. Davy was frozen out pretty quickly so he hasn’t been relevant too much since early in the season but each of our managers has persisted with Rooney and this has continued to force Gylfi out of position.
Royal Blue Mersey has argued repeatedly that Rooney should not be a starter on this roster. I think it’s had a direct negative impact on Gylfi. My greatest hope for this club is that this summer we find a manager willing to bench Rooney (or line him up withdrawn further) and play Gylfi as a ten, because that will not only greatly improve Gylfi’s production, it will also make the team better.
In an inflated Premier League transfer market, Everton don’t need Sigurdsson to play to prove that he’s worth the £45m transfer fee - what we do need is for him to be positioned as the key playmaker and show that he can indeed fit that role.
Gylfi’s a good #10, and an excellent set-piece deliverer. A good manager will know how to use that. Now we just have to find one.