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Gylfi Sigurdsson on life during the lockdown, Everton in the Community and his future under Ancelotti

The Iceland midfielder is keeping busy despite the absence of football

Arsenal FC v Everton FC - Premier League Photo by Chloe Knott - Danehouse/Getty Images

In these strange, uncertain and unsettling times, talking about football seems a futile exercise.

The Premier League are desperate to resume as soon as possible to avoid paying back TV money. But all talk of a resumption jars with the public mood given we remain in the midst of a pandemic.

Deprived of their profession, footballers, like most of us, are now stuck at home, seeking to keep fit as best they can.

Gylfi Sigurdsson is no different, though he is not complaining given the gravity of the situation.

He told the official site:

“You just have to accept what you can and can’t do.

“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.”

Everton are doing their best to monitor the squad’s fitness, with players being given individual training regimes.

“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.

“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.”

In the absence of football, Everton have transferred most of its focus into the club’s community programme.

The ‘Blue Family’ project, launched earlier this month, seeks to help people who have been affected by the coronavirus outbreak, particularly older members of society who may be feeling isolated.

“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.

“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.”

It seems like a long time ago now, but Everton actually played football once, before the world was turned upside down.

Back when we were angry about such things, Sigurdsson attracted much of the supporters’ ire.

The Icelander has struggled to make an impact this season, with just two goals and two assists in 29 appearances in all competitions.

His usual number 10 position was also made redundant in December upon Carlo Ancelotti’s arrival, with the Italian preferring a 4-4-2 formation.

That mean a new, deeper position for the 30-year-old, but it is a challenge he is enjoying.

“I didn’t know if he was joking! 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.”