Phil Jagielka came to us last summer and I can't believe it was a transfer that got many Evertonian's hearts a flutter. Subsequently, missing out on Manny, Gonzales and other 'fashionable' targets seemed to confound some of our disappointment. Upon arrival he was touted as a utility player, a term which always raises eyebrows due to it somehow suggesting that he's a jack of all trades and a master of none.
Within a few weeks we were seeing him in central midfield and he looked woefully short of talent and, more importantly, confidence. A few games at right back showed that he was most definitely a defender, albeit 3rd choice behind the improving Neville and (crowd favourite!) Hibbert, but a defender all the same.
With Lescott's improving performances at left back Stubbsy was brought in for a few games at centre half alongside Yobo. However with his injury and Yobo's call up to the AFCON Jags finally got his chance in his favoured position... and how he has shone!
Now, Lescott is one hell of a player and has obviously had something to do with the immediate understanding and partnership that has developed, but I was amazed at how quickly Jags has settled down in the role. He suddenly looks comfortable and confident. He reminds me of a young Stubbsy, with his excellent reading of the game, but with more pace. Not as quick as Yobo but I also remember how long it took him to eradicate silly mistakes from his game.
With Yobo to come back and Gardner coming in we're suddenly looking really healthy in defence. We haven't seen enough of a Yobo and Jags partnership yet, which would allow Lescott to play at left back and bomb down the wings too.
I can't really see Gardner getting a game unless we're hit with an injury crisis but I'm more than happy with him as a squad player.
I don't think any of us expected much activity in the transfer window but the more I look at it it the more positive I am. Gosling, Manny and Gardner in - McFadden, Stubbs and Anderson da Silva out (+about £6m I reckon).
It's good to be Blue!
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1 Posted 01/02/2008 at 15:35:56
Neville Jags Yobo Lescott
Arteta Osman Manny Pienaar
2 Posted 01/02/2008 at 16:04:41
I admire your enthusiasm though mate!
3 Posted 01/02/2008 at 16:07:10
4 Posted 01/02/2008 at 16:07:10
5 Posted 01/02/2008 at 16:47:28
6 Posted 01/02/2008 at 16:55:15
Lets see if the Premier League notice..
Nothing like having that 12th man.
7 Posted 01/02/2008 at 16:59:18
8 Posted 01/02/2008 at 17:19:09
9 Posted 01/02/2008 at 17:21:45
10 Posted 01/02/2008 at 17:24:10
11 Posted 01/02/2008 at 17:26:58
12 Posted 01/02/2008 at 17:38:33
I honestly can’t wait to get the Yak back because it looks increasingly certain that AJ just can’t do it well enough. I would definitely play James Vaughan right now.
When we think back to those West Ham rumours of a £12m bid...sweey jesus! We should try to cash in on AJ asap, possibly for Kenwyne Jones (great buy if Blunderland go down).
13 Posted 01/02/2008 at 17:58:38
14 Posted 01/02/2008 at 19:10:07
15 Posted 01/02/2008 at 20:35:17
During his first few appearances at Goodison what most impressed about Lescott was his reading of the game. It created time on the ball for him and, with hindsight, probably masked the natural pace that was to appear when he filled in at left back. Less than two seasons later we all know there is a lot more to his game.
We’ve seen the devastation he can cause and goals he can get going forwards, not only from set pieces in the box but also turning defence into attack from left back or centre back. I can’t help but wonder how much more he could do sitting in front of the back four as a replacement for Carsley.
Sat a bit further forward, his ability to read the game would help turn defence into attack. His own pace combined with that we can now deploy in front of him could create devastating breaks. He would also add some much needed height in midfield and take pressure off the back four.
When Yobo returns, with Gardner and Jags we can perm two good central defenders from three even without Lescott. Why not try Lescott in midfield for a few games?
16 Posted 01/02/2008 at 21:49:30
17 Posted 01/02/2008 at 22:20:45
His reading of the game is far better than Joleon who is prone to lapses of concentration.His strength is his physique and athleticism.
Also Jags strength is his one on one marking - HE IS NOT A MF player!!!
I would say let Joey fight for his place back and go with
Nev Jags Lescott Baines
Arteta Osman Pienaar
Cahill to fluctuate with Ossie for the Support role.
Yobo to fill in for Jags/Lescott
18 Posted 01/02/2008 at 21:44:08
19 Posted 02/02/2008 at 00:59:28
20 Posted 02/02/2008 at 03:02:47
Lescott has turned into CB cum LB, add in Yobo and Gardener, who, unless he turns into a Koldrup and given Davey’s habit of ’ try before you buy’ will be here next season, more likely than not. This gives us...
A) a back 3 of Jag, Yobo, Lescott....With any 2 from 3 of Pinnear and Baines and A.N. Other as wingbacks. Another string to the formation bow of 442, 41311
21 Posted 02/02/2008 at 07:11:11
22 Posted 02/02/2008 at 09:33:04
What worries me slightly in this thread is the number of people trying to move Jolson from CB! He is the form CB in the league at the mo, and clearly its his prefered position. If we start moving round our best players to plug our holes, we’ll leave gaps where we are strong.
If he continues to shipped around the park he might just get pissed off and go to Man U!!!
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