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Carlo Ancelotti refuses to criticise "great professional" Gylfi Sigurdsson

:Headline: Carlo Ancelotti refuses to criticise 'great professional' Gylfi Sigurdsson:
The Iceland international was criticised for his performance in Monday's defeat at Tottenham.

Everton manager Carlo Ancelotti has defended Gylfi Sigurdsson after the midfielder came in for criticism for his performance in Monday's defeat at Tottenham.

During the 1-0 loss, television commentator and former England defender Gary Neville called out the Iceland international for pulling out of a tackle, while after the game ex-Toffees midfielder Tim Cahill said the club's record £45million signing had to be more accountable.

Ancelotti, however, was keen to move on from the Tottenham disappointment and absolved Sigurdsson from being singled out for blame.

"I'm not used to criticising players in a press conference. I didn't see that he didn't put a tackle in," said the Italian, ahead of Thursday's visit of Southampton.

"Gylfi's a professional player, 100 per cent. He can play good, he can play bad. We cannot discuss him as a professional. He's a great professional.

"Maybe he could do better but against Tottenham all the team could do better. Now is not the time to analyse the game against Tottenham,

"I already talked to the players. The game against Tottenham has gone. I also said to the players it is time to move to the next game which is an important game against a strong team."

Sigurdsson, in his defence, made his career as a number 10 but such is the paucity of resources in central midfield he has been asked to play a slighter deeper role, which is not necessarily suited to his game.

Ancelotti accepted himself, after the Spurs defeat, they had "lost the fight in the middle of the park" but brushed off suggestions what they were lacking was more physicality.

"I think at the end of the season we are going to analyse the season together," added Ancelotti, who accepts his side will have to win most of their five remaining matches to stand a chance of European qualification.

"We are going to try to improve the squad for the next season but now is not the time to judge.

"I've known them for six months, I know really well their quality so they don't have to prove anything to me but they have to prove to themselves, for the club, for the supporters because to play Europa League will be really important for the next season.

"But if this doesn't happen nothing has changed. The plan for the future is quite clear.

"It means we are going to improve the squad 100 per cent. We try to be more competitive at the top of the table. This season we are closer to the bottom and next season we would like to be more close to the top."

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Premier League Table
TeamPWDLFAGDPTS
CLiverpool38323385335299
2Manchester CityMan City382639102356781
3Manchester UnitedMan Utd391813867373067
4Chelsea392061370571366
5Leicester CityLeicester381881267412662
6Tottenham HotspurSpurs3816111161471459
7Wolverhampton WanderersWolves381514951401159
8Arsenal381414105648856
9Sheffield UnitedSheff Utd381412123939054
10Burnley38159144350-754
11Everton401411154858-1053
12Southampton38157165160-952
13Newcastle UnitedNewcastle381111163858-2044
14Crystal Palace381110173150-1943
15Brighton & Hove AlbionBrighton38914153954-1541
16West Ham UnitedWest Ham38109194962-1339
17Aston Villa3898214167-2635
RBournemouth3897224065-2534
RWatford38810203664-2834
RNorwich CityNorwich3856272675-4921
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La Liga Table
TeamPWDLFAGDPTS
CReal Madrid38269370254587
2Barcelona38257686384882
3Atletico MadridAtletico381816451272470
4Sevilla381913654342070
5Villarreal381861463491460
6Real Sociedad38168145648856
7Granada38168145245756
8Getafe381412124337654
9Valencia381411134653-753
10Osasuna381313124654-852
11Athletic Bilbao381312134138351
12Levante38147174753-649
13Real Valladolid38915143243-1142
14EibarEibar38119183956-1742
15Real Betis381011174860-1241
16AlavesAlaves38109193459-2539
17Celta Vigo38716153749-1237
RLeganes38812183051-2136
RMallorca3896234065-2533
REspanyol38510232758-3125
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