Everton yesterday released an official statement attributed to Sam Allardyce, saying that they expected Gylfi Sigurdsson to return in 6-8 weeks.
“We’ll continue to assess Gylfi’s progress on a week-to-week basis and the medical team will work very closely with him, as they would with any injured player, to get him back playing as quickly as possible.”
In his pre-match press conference ahead of the trip to Stoke City this weekend, the manager was happy to refute that, using some strong language about the PR team.
“Somebody gave out the wrong statement. It can be less than that, so whoever gave out that statement is going to get a bollocking today.
”So well done, whoever gave that one out you’ve just got a right telling off because you cannot predict a length of injury in its entirety because you have people who heal quicker and we have a highly qualified medical staff and equipment to try and speed up any injury.
”I’ve always felt it the wrong thing to do to tag an injury on its time limits because people recover quicker than others.
”Gylfi’s motivation is obviously to get back playing for us and then playing for Iceland at the World Cup.”
We all know that with Everton’s season meandering into nothingness, Sigurdsson’s motivation is clearly going to be the World Cup before Everton, and no one will grudge him that considering it’s Iceland’s first ever appearance at the global showcase.
Allardyce added -
“Medical experts give a conservative view and you try and beat that and see if you can get Gylfi back as quickly as possible.
”With James McCarthy and Eliaquim Mangala it’s been a tough time all year with injuries and that has certainly had an affect on away performances and away results.
“Being a big signing its a blow. Your backroom staff have a prevention policy but when you can’t avoid an injury like this you look at recovery time.”
One of the players who could stand to benefit from Sigurdsson’s absence is Davy Klaassen, who made his first appearance on the pitch last weekend since September. Allardyce said he’d spoken with the player.
”It’s been a struggle for Davy since he arrived but when he gets an opportunity and if he gets an opportunity hopefully he will shine and show what he achieved at Ajax.
“I’ve spoken to him a few times but at the end of the day it’s not just Davy who has struggled in the Premier League in his first season.
“Like many players who arrive in this country, the first season can be the very hardest. And once they have had the first season under their belt they come in and know what it’s all about, they have felt the disappointment of not performing to the level they can and that we expect and they have a big opportunity to show what they’re made of and why we brought them to the club.”