Sigurdsson plays as Iceland frustrate Argentina

Saturday, 16 June, 2018 53comments  |  Jump to most recent
Argentina 1 - 1 Iceland

Matthias Hangst/Getty Images

Gylfi Sigurdsson made his World Cup Finals bow with Iceland this afternoon and helped his nation hold highly-favoured Argentina to a 1-1 draw.

Sergio Aguero had seemingly set Argentina on their way when he finished superbly from a central position having taken a touch to create space for his shot.

Iceland were level within four minutes, however. Indecisiveness from Caballero almost let the Nordic side in and when the ball was worked wide to Sigurdsson, his low cross was palmed into the path of Alfred Finnbogason and he turned it into the empty net.

Sigurdsson had two chances late in the first half, first when he jinked past his man in the box but saw his placed side-foot shot saved by Caballero. Then, as Iceland kept the ball, he hammered a volley wide of goal.

Article continues below video content

All the talk before the match was how Lionel Messi would respond to his rival for world's greatest player, Cristiano Ronaldo's hat-trick for Portugal yesterday and the Argentine was handed the chance to reclaim the lead for his team midway through the second half from the penalty spot.

He was foiled by the goalkeeper, however, who guessed the right way and benefited from a shot placed at an inviting height to parry it away.

Argentina dominated the remainder of the half but they couldn't find a way past the resolute Icelanders.


Reader Comments (53)

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Jay Wood

1 Posted 16/06/2018 at 14:51:51
Argentina clearly superior in almost every aspect of the game.

But... it's 1-1!

And on the stroke of half-time, if Siggy had put more power into his first chance, having wriggled past the defenders, or if he had been half a step back rather than on top of the ball for his volley from the edge of the box and able to strike the ball with more accuracy and power, it could even have been 2-1 to the Icemen.

Nice to hear the name 'Everton' used so much in the Brazilian commentary! They like Siggy!

Jamie Crowley
2 Posted 16/06/2018 at 14:58:44
Clearly superior in every aspect almost!

Argentina's centre-backs are terrible. Horrific cowardly defending. Joke of a defense to be honest.

Dermot Byrne
3 Posted 16/06/2018 at 15:29:30
Great for Sigurdsson's fitness this.
Jamie Crowley
4 Posted 16/06/2018 at 15:56:29
Sign that bald defensive mid for Iceland tomorrow please Marcel!
Jay Wood

5 Posted 16/06/2018 at 16:10:25
Love it! Brilliant result!

A country with the total population of Coventry in the UK - Coventry! - or Anchorage in the States, has just held a giant of world football to a draw.

Double win for me. I'm pleased for Siggy and for the missus. Any bad result at ANYTHING for Argentina works for her!

Steve Ferns
6 Posted 16/06/2018 at 16:47:28
Great result. Enjoyed that one, even if it wasn't end to end action like last night.

So, what has everyone learnt about Gylfi playing in an ultra defensive formation and trying to get forward quickly?

I think he can do it, especially as the number 10. He can leave it to others to get the ball forwards and he can look for the ball inside from wide and to get in and around the striker. His stamina, as we knew already, is exceptional. Even at the end he was still full of energy and running. His fitness is clearly not in question, which will be a relief to Iceland fans.

I also think he showed that he can play as a CM in a 3 man midfield, with no number 10, and a defensive midfielder sat behind trying to hit long passes to the wingers and striker.

What's your thoughts guys?

Tony Sullivan
7 Posted 16/06/2018 at 17:04:05
Gylfi was excellent in a role he has never really been given for us.
John Pierce
8 Posted 16/06/2018 at 17:08:45
Steve, I think Siggy is more than capable of playing a midfield role, many posters have thought so from memory.

His key assets, passing range, quick feet, great stamina and work ethic. So of course he could played midfield for Silva.

Somewhat mischievously not too dissimilar assets to our friend Carvalho??

Brent Stephens
9 Posted 16/06/2018 at 17:12:31
Very impressed with Gylfi today. It will be interesting to see how Silva uses him.
Dan Parker
10 Posted 16/06/2018 at 17:12:58
You’d hope the team would be built around him.
Jack Convery
11 Posted 16/06/2018 at 17:24:34
Thought Iceland gave everything and deserved a point. Siggy was very good, especially as it was his first competitive match since March. If he can bring some of the Icelandic determination back with him it would prove very useful. Their motto should be None Shall Pass. Which is actually FS's Motto!

I also thought William Carvalho had quite a steady game against the Spanish last night.

Kase Chow
12 Posted 16/06/2018 at 17:46:44
Annoys me that everyone bangs on about Siggy being a No 10.

Yes, he can play there but he can play as a 2 in the engine room as per his performances for Swansea. Hence there's versatility there and we ‘could' have accommodated Davy Klaassen in there if he'd shown anything.

Anyway, I deviate: Siggy is a superb technician but also has a football brain and an engine to boot.

He can both score and make goals and dictate play – potentially easier from deep rather than as a No 10. If played deeper his lack of pace wouldn't hinder a potential pressing game either.

Fine player.

Michael Kenrick
13 Posted 16/06/2018 at 18:37:35

"Their motto should be None Shall Pass. Which is actually FS's Motto!"

FS? Did you mean GS? Feisty Scandinavians? Or is this some bizarre reference to Aesop Rock?

Lev Vellene
14 Posted 16/06/2018 at 19:08:32
The only thing I hated, was how Gylfi'd deliberately get in the way to pick up free kicks to stop opposition attacks. My heart almost stopped every time he went down! Yes, good tactics, but my poor heart!!!
Jim Bennings
15 Posted 16/06/2018 at 19:47:29
Sigurdsson is by far and away our most talented midfielder that we have at Everton and as far as I’m concerned we should be building bricks around him and getting better players into this club that can compliment his abilities.

Lev Vellene
16 Posted 16/06/2018 at 19:50:58
Was that officially an assist, by the way? I saw only the goalkeeper deflecting the cross before the ball was put into the net.
Derek Knox
17 Posted 16/06/2018 at 19:59:44
Can only echo the praise for Gylfi, and to a slightly lesser degree his team-mates. Thought Argentina were lucky in the end, to come away with a draw.

Considering he has been out for a few weeks, he showed no signs of being rusty.

Slightly off topic, but still with a World Cup at focus, I watched the Spain v Portugal match, the best match so far, Ronaldo was outstanding throughout.

One of the players I was looking out for, and one we are constantly being linked to, Carvalho, was pretty pathetic. I have seen more movement in Madame Tusaud's, he made Schneiderlin look like the Six-Million Dollar Man in comparison.

I know you shouldn't judge a player on one performance, but if he can't be motivated for his National side in the World Cup, there's little hope he would change in a League game, hopefully we'll swerve him, and get someone better, that won't be difficult, on that performance.

Lev Vellene
18 Posted 16/06/2018 at 20:25:10
No-brainer then, let's sign this Schneiderlin to keep Carvalho out of the team! Oh, wait, is this a trick question???


Jim Bennings
19 Posted 16/06/2018 at 20:55:59
Have to agree Carvalho would be a great waste of money and if we do pursue this then it’s proving we are learning nothing in the transfer market.

Liverpool sign quick incisive attacking exciting flair players while we continue to be attracted to one paced defensive minded plodders (of which we possess too many already)

The signing of Walcott in January was a breath of fresh air, a running man with pace and a dynamic direct approach to football, a very “un-Everton” signing in the modern era if you like.

We need to break the mound of signing defensive one paced stoppers and get at least one or two more like Walcott this summer.

Lev Vellene
20 Posted 16/06/2018 at 21:05:03
Jim (#19),

Walcott on the right and we need to get Lookman in on the left side! Calvert-Lewin was also lively whenever he was placed there, but that's not his position. He did give his best, though!

I still think Lookman would be better as the left flank of a two-person midfield behind Tosun (Sigurdson on the right?), if Silva can find a CDM good enough to hold the fort defensively. They should be able to switch position now and then, just to confuse the opposition.

Steve Ferns
21 Posted 16/06/2018 at 21:17:45
What formation are you on about Lev? Can't see what you envisage. And why play right footed Lookman on the left in a central midfield, and and Sigurdsson on the right, when unlike Lookman, Sigurdsson can use his left for more than standing on?
Lev Vellene
22 Posted 16/06/2018 at 21:31:44
Steve, just based on the fact that Lookman used to play on the left for us when given a chance, and did well, but he's also done good as a #10 at RB Leipzig (if the reports are correct).

And that if Sigurdsson is better in a forward central midfield position, while having both a right and a left foot that works adequately, he can be the 'right fork' of a two-man 'attacking' midfield behind Tosun. He was usually used at the left side, if not in the middle, after all. And he could switch with Lookman (since Lookman is a right-footer (as I understand it).

That does leave a spot for a left winger, though, I see that. Or Lookman at the wing, but I'd prefer him more centrally!

Lev Vellene
23 Posted 16/06/2018 at 21:35:42
Silva says he wants to play 4-3-3, so in front of the back-4 I see a CDM and two more offensive midfielders. Lookman ans Sigurdsson could fit in there. Or Gueye/Davies behind one of them. I just think it's time to think new thoughts, then bunker down if that doesn't work out, after all... :D
Steve Ferns
24 Posted 16/06/2018 at 21:47:41
Lev, can you really see Sigurdsson and Lookman going box-to-box, yes that includes tackling and defending the edge of our own box. Also counter-attacking means more defending than attacking. Why take one of our best wingers and play him in the middle? We need Lookman on the left touchline getting the ball and driving inside.
Lev Vellene
25 Posted 16/06/2018 at 22:03:20
Steve, yes I can see that, sort of. But Lookman is not a true winger, and neither is Gylfi. So I'm hoping Lookman will do a lot better in a leftish central attacking position than he did out on the wing.

Lookman is not known for his ability to track back and defend, but Sigurdsson did well at that last season. So Lookman to stay offensive, Gylfi to drop more back as needed. And a good left wing + Walcott to back them up!

I'll keep dreaming my dreams, I guess! ;)

Steve Ferns
26 Posted 16/06/2018 at 22:50:46
Lev, if we play a more truer 4-3-3 rather than a 4-2-3-1, with say a very static DM like Schneiderlin, then you can have two box-to-box midfielders like Davies and McCarthy (but really going box-to-box) and so Lookman left and Walcott on the right do not need to track back.

They would firstly press and try to win the ball back, then secondly press to delay the opposition's attack and allow teammates to recover shape. The other 7 outfield players are responsible for winning the ball back and these 3 forwards are meant to be ready and waiting for the ball to go on the quick counter and cause problems.

Neil Lawson
27 Posted 16/06/2018 at 23:29:20
Derek Knox (#17).

I am in complete agreement. I paid particular attention to the performance of Carvalho. What a fraud. A couple of neat touches and absolutely nothing else. He didn't tackle. He could only pass 2 yards sideways or back. He never broke sweat and jogged around trying to look pretty. Pretty shite I would say.

If that is the standard of performance to be expected from him then he would be an utter waste of money.

Look elsewhere, Marco. He's not fit to wipe Beni's boots.

Paul Birmingham
28 Posted 16/06/2018 at 23:45:09
Very pleased for a good fighting performance by Gylfi and Iceland. All in and bearing his game time the last 4 months, his performance, in my view, was excellent, and bodes well for this season and life under Silva.

Time for the coins to drop at Finch Farm and build a proper team, hopefully a team that picks itself. Well done, Gylfi and Iceland.

Ajay Gopal
29 Posted 17/06/2018 at 07:24:17
Interesting discussion between Steve and Lev.

Question for Steve:

What do you think of Gana as a single defensive midfielder - primarily protecting the Back 4 (the ‘Carsley’ role), and Siggy and Maddison - if we sign him - as Box-to-Box midfielders, with Lookman, Tosun and Walcott as our Front 3, playing interchangeably like Liverpool’s Sane-Firmino-Salah? Width would primarily be provided by the full backs - Coleman and our new, young LB replacement. Gana could be covered by McCarthy and Baningime. Davies and Dowell could be back-ups for Siggy and Maddison. Which means exits for Schneiderlin, Klaassen, Besic.

Tommy Surgenor
30 Posted 17/06/2018 at 07:45:57
Ajay (#29),

Unfortunately Gana doesn't have the passing ability to play the #4 role in this system.

In this system, the #4 also acts as a pivot. Think along the lines of a player like Arteta (Barcelona, PSG days), Alonso or Guardiola.

Mike Kehoe
31 Posted 17/06/2018 at 08:40:50
Carvalho looked very ordinary but Mooy had a brilliant game and an excellent season with a shit Huddersfield. I imagine his energy and drive would bring much more than Carvalho's plodding tidy style. I would love to snatch Shaqiri and play him in a 4-3-3 on the left with Walcott or Lookman on the right.
James Marshall
32 Posted 17/06/2018 at 09:19:58
Carvalho does a particular job for Portugal - he's a water carrier and enforcer but they were playing Spain.

He's always available, has a good range of simple passing, he's a get-the-ball-and-move-it type of player in the Kante mould and he's a giant of a bloke. He's also an excellent passer of the ball and he had more touches than any Portugal player with 90% accuracy the other night.

I know people judge on the amount of running about players do these days, but a lot of your comments seem, to me anyway, to be missing the point of what Carvalho brings to the Portugal team.

I watched him a lot the other night, and you have to remember he was up against one of the best midfields on the planet in Isco, Iniesta, & Busquets. Special mention for Isco here, as he's fast becoming the new Iniesta and is an absolute joy to watch, pure quality footballer.

You really can't judge Carvalho on the Spain game and should leave it out until later in the tournament. Personally I'd be delighted if we bought him, and he definitely fits in with the way Silva wants us to play.

Len Hawkins
33 Posted 17/06/2018 at 09:49:50
There are now THREE certainties in life Death, Taxes and the new one Arguing on ToffeeWeb about a player that the club have not signed. Do the journalists just throw out a name of a player alongside the name Everton then sign on to ToffeeWeb to piss themselves at the ensuing opinion.

I think it is now well known that Brands and Silva will decide who they think will do a job for Everton then pass the slip of paper over to the Finance Department naming the player. Do you think they will have a sneaky peek at what ToffeeWebbers think before going ahead and contacting his club?

Top of my list would be Sergio Ramos – a hero on one half on Merseyside.

Lennart Hylen
34 Posted 17/06/2018 at 09:59:17
Football is a team game. Iceland has a TEAM who fight for the country. Everton in Season 17-18 had no team but 11 individuals who did not fight for the good of the team. Hope for better the coming season.
Sam Hoare
35 Posted 17/06/2018 at 10:43:31

“He’s always available”

I would strongly debate this. My biggest disappointment in Carvalho was him not showing for the ball. Quite a few times when his teammates were being pressed he could have burst into space to make himself an option but he did not. In no way did he strike me as a player who craved the ball, who wanted to take hold of the game. That’s what I want from a player in this position, someone who’s always helping his teammates out by showing for a pass. Not convinced that’s Carvalho at all but perhaps he felt obliged to stay rigid in position against such quality opposition.

Jon Withey
36 Posted 17/06/2018 at 10:48:10
It's just one game, but I don't think I saw Carvalho run with the ball - so he wasn't carrying much water.
James Marshall
37 Posted 17/06/2018 at 12:38:17
Sam, he always followed the play and was within 15 yards of the ball at all times. I think he showed great awareness. He didn't burst into space like you say, and he was up against the Spanish midfield which I think he held together very well all things considered.

He does the job he's there for very well from what I can tell. I guess like you say though, it depends what you want from a player in that position.

Again though, let's see how he fares in the rest of their games as one game against Spain isn't a true reflection of his ability/worth.

Geoff Lambert
38 Posted 17/06/2018 at 12:59:20
Agree with James (#37),

My take on it was he was told to hold deep and keep the ball moving, which I thought he did very well and never saw him concede possession. He will not face a tougher more skilful midfield than the Spanish.

Let's see how he looks in the next two games before we judge him.

Jon (#36) you must know you don't run when carrying water you will spill it everywhere.

Peter Roberts
39 Posted 17/06/2018 at 16:33:53
Len 33

Ramos is an awful player, basically Ryan Shawcross with long hair. He wouldn't cut it in the Premier League as he'd be sent off every other week.


Brent Stephens
40 Posted 17/06/2018 at 16:39:21
"Ramos is an awful player, basically Ryan Shawcross with long hair".

Yes, I'm surprised that that bang average Spanish side hasn't replaced Ramos with Shawcross.

Don Alexander
41 Posted 17/06/2018 at 17:00:15
Ramos is to football what Watneys Red Barrell is to real ale, a complete pseud. Labby would turn in his grave if we ever sign the likes of him.
Alan McGuffog
42 Posted 17/06/2018 at 17:21:18
Ramos is single-minded, ruthless, cynical and bloody tough. He is ambitious and a winner. He knows what it is like to thump the RS. Why would we want someone like that?

Jesus wept... in one of his last derby matches, didn't John Stones, our cultured centre-half, go off cos he'd shit himself? I'm sure Ramos has followed through on many an occasion but never in that sense.

I'd love a side that had Ramos's attitude

Lenny Jameson
43 Posted 17/06/2018 at 18:07:32
Well done, Mr McGuffog.

I've been going to the match now for 60 years and I love being an Evertonian. But I can also appreciate players of other teams. Proper players. In the last year, I've had the great fortune to see Real Madrid live twice. Most recently this April in Malaga.

To see Ramos live is an absolute joy. The man is a colossus. A leader of the highest calibre and a marvellous player. He controls the whole defensive half. Senior internationals look to him for inspiration. Of course he's a master of the dark arts and all the better for that.Imagine what he could teach the likes of Keane about defending. About how to play like a man!

I pride myself on Evertonians being a knowledgeable gang but to compare Ramos to Shawcross is, I believe, the single most stupid thing I have ever heard in my life! Get a grip!!

Alan McGuffog
44 Posted 17/06/2018 at 20:36:00
Thank you, Lenny.

Don, I can see your point. Labone was labelled by someone the "last of the Corinthians" and that is a wonderful description. However, throughout the 1960s he played alongside Bobby Collins, Jimmy Gabriel, Roy Vernon and Johnny Morrisey – all wonderfully gifted players... and absolute bastards to play against.

I want more gifted bastards.

Derek Knox
45 Posted 17/06/2018 at 21:00:02

Sergio Shawcross, or Ryan Ramos? I suppose it is a very valid point!

Lenny Jameson
46 Posted 17/06/2018 at 21:00:44
Right again, Alan. And not forgetting that immensely talented bastard, Tony Kay!
Andy Crooks
47 Posted 17/06/2018 at 21:31:04
Steve Ferns, what is your view on this, Gana or Schneiderlin? We surely can't play both unless Silva thinks that Sam was on the right track.

I think a motivated Schneiderlin with a fit McCarthy might be it.

Carl Manning
48 Posted 18/06/2018 at 01:08:49
Sergio Ramos is an awful player, a player who has won 34 major honours in his career?

More European cups than any English team bar the RS, a World Cup, 2 European championships and so on and so on. They say the sign of a truly great player is to count his medals at the end of his career, I think he scores quite highly! It's not as if you can say the guys been carried for over 15 years.

Darren Hind
49 Posted 18/06/2018 at 01:28:44
Are we likely to see either again, Andy/Steve ?

Macca reminds me of Brian Robson. Not as good of course, but he does have a tendency to go for balls which are not his. Young James Vaughan was the same. Unless Macca can change his style, his next injury is always just the next 20-80 tackle away

Silva is going to have to be something of a horse whisperer to get a tune out of Schneiderlin.

I love McCarthy. His latest injury was heart-breaking and it is one which will force him to tone it down. We cannot start the season pinning our hopes on these two.

A decent return from either would be a massive bonus for me.

David Barks
50 Posted 18/06/2018 at 01:41:00

The one thing I’d say about Macca’s last injury is that a bone break is far more favorable to tendon injuries. He should be able to come back just fine. The question is whether his chronic hamstring injuries can be resolved, which maybe can be a nice surprise from rehabbing this injury and focusing on his flexibility and lean muscle. I just don’t think we can bank on him but wish we could.

Tony Abrahams
51 Posted 18/06/2018 at 07:18:57
He's had a very, very bad injury McCarthy, and I hope he can recover without losing the ability to get around the pitch the way he does.

He hasn't had a good run of games for a few years now, but if he can stay fit, then he's as good as most players in the holding role, and could be a vital cog in the team.

Along with Sigurdsson, and possibly Gana Gueye, then these three would give us great energy in the middle of the park, but I would probably swap Gueye for somebody with a bit more craft if I was playing Football Manager!

Ian Jones
52 Posted 18/06/2018 at 07:28:53
I think Sergio Ramos would do okay in the Premier League... I could see him playing for Chelsea! He seems intelligent enough to be able to adjust his game and would know how far he could go to get away with things a little like Diego Costa.

Whilst I don't necessarily like the idea of having someone like Ramos at Everton, we do need to toughen up defensively.

Keown was a tough nut, with us all too briefly, but his recent comments that he would have no doubt targeted Salah's shoulder had he been playing against him made me laugh. His follow up comment was no surprise...

"Of course I would have done. I once played against Ruud Gullit with a bandaged knee – it was like a dartboard for me!"

Footballers eh...

Laurie Hartley
53 Posted 18/06/2018 at 10:11:26
Lenny Jameson (#46) – and (the perhaps not quite as talented) but equally fearsome Sandy Brown.

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