Shedding ten stone in such a short amount of time is a feat usually afforded to such mythical figures like Andy Fordham or the Nutty Professor but following Gylfi Sigurdsson’s scrappy goal against the Spammers on Monday night, we can add the Icelander to that list, too.
Speaking to Ham & High today, the faltering 23-year-old described how his equalizer in the glorious 3-2 win felt like both a weight of the shoulders and a shot in the arm of confidence, all in one go.
“Getting that first goal, I feel 10 stone lighter,” he said.
“This is why I came to a club like Tottenham, to play games like this and win game in the last minute.”
“I’m enjoying it, even though it has been quite tough – especially with me not scoring in the league. Hopefully this will give me a bit of confidence and a bit of luck and I can keep going.”
Indeed, for all the Bale-mania and outpouring of man love for the likes of Jan Vertonghen, Lewis Holtby and others this season, Sigurdsson has been something of a black sheep within the Andre Villas-Boas project this season.
Bar his decent showing – made largely redundant by the score line – in the 4-2 car wreck at home to Chelsea, his 35 minute cameo against West Ham was arguably the best we’ve seen of him since he made his move from Hoffenheim in the summer. Considering we’re about to hit March, that perhaps tells you all you need to know.
He has, however, been deprived of anything resembling a fair crack of the whip. Far from receiving a run of starts in the league, Sigurdsson has made only six all season and although some rather paltry performances didn’t help his cause, there’s often felt like there’s been no way through for the ex-Reading man in this team.
Although given the evolution of that boy Bale throughout the season, things aren’t quite as cut and dried within Villas-Boas’ starting XI thesedays. And that could well suit Sigurdsson down to the ground – starting as soon as even this weekend.
With Bale now effortlessly occupying a more central role, what was once an impregnable position on the left-hand side might now become a realistic starting opportunity for Sigurdsson. When he came on against West Ham the other night, he looked both inventive and industrious, offering us a little guile and something different on the flanks.
Does a decent half an hour eradicate the numerous other meager showings we’ve seen from him coming off the bench? Not entirely and regardless of how important his equalizing goal was the other night, for a player who was supposed to carry such a goal threat prior to coming to N17, you wouldn’t have thought it since he moved here.
But as the weeks have gone one this season, in tow with Bale’s growing presence centrally, we’ve looked a far more compact outfit and for Sigurdsson, that can only be a good thing. The Icelander is a due a start and in terms of giving us something off the bench, he’s unlikely to do much more to earn himself one than what he did on Monday.
Fitting him in will be no easy feat and if it’s a toss up between dropping Adebayor and whacking Bale up tops or seeing Holtby sit this one out, as much as we’d all like the former to happen, it’s more likely be the latter that happens. Whether we see Sigurdsson start on Sunday, we shall wait and see. But Sigurdsson deserves a start and at 10 stone lighter, perhaps there’s no time like the present.