December 6 2013 Latest news:
By Ben Pearce, Tottenham correspondent
Tuesday, August 20, 2013
Gylfi Sigurdsson is hoping to pick up where he left off last season and get among the goals after being deployed in his favoured No10 role at Crystal Palace.
Sigurdsson struggled to find his feet in the first half of the 2012/13 campaign, following his £6.8million move from Swansea, and he scored just two goals in his first 33 appearances for the Lilywhites – against Carlisle and Slovenian outfit Maribor.
It took until February 25 for the Iceland international to find the net against Premier League opposition as he pounced at close range in the 3-2 victory at West Ham – but he went on to end the season with seven goals and six assists for his club.
The 23-year-old admits he initially found it difficult to adapt to life at White Hart Lane. However one year on, having got the nod for the first game and played throughout the victory at Crystal Palace, he has high hopes for the coming campaign.
“Obviously it took me a while to settle in and get off the mark,” he said. “Did the fans see the best of me last season? Probably towards the end. I wasn’t happy with myself at the beginning until Christmas.
“I think my first goal in the league came at West Ham - a scrappy one but they all count. Then after that things started falling for me and I got a couple of goals.
“I was joining a top club and, if you look back, Luka Modric took a bit of time and Gareth [Bale] took a bit of time to settle in as well.
“Sometimes you just fit in straight away - that’s what happened at Swansea - but it’s taken a bit of a longer time that I wanted here at Tottenham and hopefully I can do well this season.”
Sigurdsson earned his move to Spurs after an impressive loan spell at Swansea in the second half of the 2011/12 season, when he hit seven goals in 19 games in his role behind the striker.
Seemingly signed to perform the same function for Tottenham, the Iceland international’s poor early form meant he lost that spot – and Bale went on to excel in the role.
When he returned to the side, Sigurdsson generally found himself operating on the flanks. However, Bale’s absence has given him another chance to impress Andre Villas-Boas in his preferred No10 position, and he is keen to take it.
“It was nice to play there again, I enjoy playing there,” he said. “Hopefully I’ll stay there behind the striker because [Roberto] Soldado and Jermain [Defoe] are top strikers and it’s quite easy and good to play behind them.
“As long as I’m playing I don’t really mind, but that’s one of my better positions - playing behind the striker. I think that’s probably what I prefer but if the gaffer wants me to play on the left or right side then I’m quite happy to play there.”
There were encouraging signs of a budding relationship between Sigurdsson and Soldado at Palace, particularly when Soldado left his team-mate free in front of goal in the second half – only for the finish to slide wide of the bottom left corner.
In the end, it was the record Spanish signing who hit the matchwinner from the penalty spot, and Sigurdsson predicts the £26million man’s debut Premier League goal will be the first of many.
“What does he bring? He score goals!” said Sigurdsson. “He’s a fantastic striker who’s off the mark, which is very important and hopefully he’ll continue throughout the season and get his 20-goal mark.
“We’ve brought in a few good players. Hopefully there’ll be one or two more to strengthen our squad because it’s a long season, we’ve got many competitions, and we need a lot of good players.
“It’s been difficult for them [the new signings] to come in. They need to know how we play and we need to know how they play as well. A few more games and everyone will know each other a lot better.
“It was important to get the three points [at Palace]. Obviously it was their first game in the Premier League so we knew it was going to be difficult.
“The grass was a bit dry so it was quite hard to pass the ball and dribble, but we got there in the end and, with a clean sheet and three points, we’re very happy with it.”
Next up for Spurs is a trip to Georgia to face Dinamo Tbilisi, and they then host Sigurdsson’s former club Swansea at White Hart Lane on Sunday.
“It would be nice to score or get three points and keep the start going,” he said. “They had a tough start against Manchester United, they’ll be raring to go and I’m sure it will be a good game.”
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