Many people are tipping Everton to break into the top-six this season and Gylfi Sigurdsson has been pleased with their start to the campaign. The Toffees went into the first international break of the season sitting sixth in the Premier League standings after taking a respectable seven points from their opening four games – including their 3-2 victory over Wolves at Goodison Park last time out.
Indeed, the only real blot on Everton’s copybook was their disappointing 2-0 defeat at Aston Villa, although Sigurdsson feels, that result aside, it has been a strong start to the season for Marco Silva’s team. “It’s been a good start. The first game was a difficult match against Crystal Palace,” Sigurdsson, who is currently away on international duty with Iceland, told newspaper Visir. “The loss against Aston Villa was very frustrating, but we are in sixth place, which is a good start. We have two decent games ahead that could put us in a good position.”
Despite Everton’s strong start, Sigurdsson’s own performances have drawn criticism in some quarters and he admits he hasn’t been on the top of his game, although he feels he may have turned a corner after an improved showing against Wolves. “I wasn’t quite at my best in the first few games, but the last few games have been better,” he added. “I’ve been better, and the team is better going forward. We’ve now scored seven goals in two games. We knew we were creating opportunities but weren’t sharp enough up front.”
Everton have not finished in the top-six of the Premier League standings since 2014, but they have winnable games against Bournemouth and Sheffield United to come after the international break.
The Toffees will then face a stern test of their credentials when they welcome Manchester City to Goodison Park at the end of the month, but a positive result in that match would certainly make the rest of the league sit up and take notice.
Everton certainly have a recent precedent in the fixture, as they inflicted Pep Guardiola’s heaviest defeat as City manager when they claimed a 4-0 win back in 2017.