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Is that Anelka in your pocket...

Comments (18)

...or are you just happy to be playing centre half?

OK, I?m going to say it. It?s on the edge but what the hell! It will probably provoke little more than 3 comments if I am lucky, but I honestly thought Jagielka was exceptional on Saturday. Bolton are the ultimate bruiser pub team. Their only strategy is to kick teams off the pitch, and they must have thought they could sneak a point at Goodison after the first half.

After an enthralling and very physical game at United two days before, where Jags and the back four were tested to the limit, this Bolton result should not be overlooked. Anelka is high quality and highly regarded, and Jags had him in his pocket all game. Dare I say he reminded me a little of Dave Watson?? Although he will need to play 400 more games to get into that category! Anyhow, a clear indication from the past few performances, that Jags? best position is indeed centre half. Keep it up Jags.
Chris Masey, Leeds     Posted 28/12/2007 at 11:31:22

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Well, here's Comment no. 1, Chris. I agree 100%, Jagielka was superb against Bolton and it says something about him and Yobo that Anelka didn't get a shot in until the 78th minute.

When he was playing in midfeld I honestly couldn't see him as anything more than a utility man to cover in emergencies but he has looked like a younger Alan Stubbs at the back in recent games and looks like he could have a bright future in that position.

John Audsley
1   Posted 28/12/2007 at 16:32:13

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Totally agree

he has looked superb in recent games

Lets all get behind the bloke cos he?s had a rough ride so far

Here?s to a bright future

Thats done it, OG and a sending off tomora then!!!
Darren Gough
2   Posted 28/12/2007 at 16:33:26

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Nothing but agreement there Chris.

I had the same view as Lyndon, but Jags last few performances have been immense. Looks like a decent player now we?ve found his position. Also keeps Lescott at full back where i think he?s far better.
Gavin Ramejkis
3   Posted 28/12/2007 at 16:52:37

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Play players in their strongest position and just look what happens; Jags MOM as CB in last two games and what a difference to Neville’s game at RB as opposed to CM.

Jagielka does look to be the replacement for Alan Stubbs and one who is already showing great ability.
Mick Simo
4   Posted 28/12/2007 at 16:48:01

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He looks the part playing in his favored position, same as neville, looks comfortable at right back. Not sure if Lescotts best postion is left back though, good going forward but I am not convinced he wont be caught out of position playing left back, he reckons he is more comfortable in the centre and Bains to me will grow into left back and make it his own.
Connor Rohrer
5   Posted 28/12/2007 at 16:49:41

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Jagielka’s an excellent centre half and always has been. I remember Sheffield Utd fans saying he was a centre half who could do a job in other positions and I agree.

He does remind me of Stubbs. Maybe a younger more athletic version but in terms of attributes they are similar. Both good readers on the game and both excellent tacklers. His performance was almost sweeper like. Yobo went up for most of the headers and Jags just sat back and sweeped everything up. His tackling is better than Hibberts. I realized how good he was in this department in the Liverpool game. On the ball he was poor but off the ball he chased Steven Gerrard everywhere and put in a few crunching tackles.

Jagielka problem is when the likes of Yobo, Lescott, Baines and Neville are fit next season where will he fit in? I think the Lescott-Yobo partnership will end up being our first choice whereas Neville won’t be dropped and Baines is first choice left back if he’s fit. It will be interesting to see if he command a place or be a bit part.
Ajay Gopal
6   Posted 28/12/2007 at 17:09:23

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Always thought he was premiership quality, from when I saw him at Sheffield United (on TV). I am delighted that he come good for us.

However, I remember that he had a worrying habit of scoring a lot of own goals !
Greg Murphy
7   Posted 28/12/2007 at 17:22:43

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Chris, where have you been, Blue?!! The word that Jagielka (I just can’t refer to him in the short form) is now superb is old Toffee news!! Just joking, mate.

You’re right-ish. For it wasn’t just Bolton that he was supreme against. For me, it all started about seven mins into the West Ham League Cup tie. He had a really shaky start and I was certainly starting to worry (and loads were already on his back). But around the seven minute mark he got a chance to go right through Cole, which he did and he came out with ball, and after that you could almost see the confidence coursing through his veins.

Since that moment I haven’t seen him put a foot wrong (although I admit I only saw the Alkmaar game on TV).

However, taking your general sense, it has to be said that as good as he’s played since mid-December, he was supreme against Bolton.

Put it this way, as long as we get a fair wind with injuries, I’m barely worried about losing Joseph for the African Nations.
Keith Glazzard
8   Posted 28/12/2007 at 17:23:25

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It looks like many people beyong the faithful came to the same conclusion about the Jag’s performance. And I’ll bet that he’s delighted just to be in the company he’s keeping.

The centre back pairing next season? next week? who knows ! Too many variables - but we can at least be sure the money was well spent to get him in the squad.

Chris James
9   Posted 28/12/2007 at 17:33:29

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I was over the moon when Jags signed. A typical hard-working Moyes type player I thought and one who’d proven himself in playing lots of different roles (I even remember him getting forward and scoring a few long range belters for the Blades). For the first few months though he really did look out of depth and off the pace wherever he played and I was beginning to think he wouldn’t be able to raise his game.

Now however he’s looking a class act at centre back, the perfect cover for Lescott/Yobo adding strength in depth to our back four and lookinga successor to Stubbs. Even if Neville, Baines, Lescott and Yobo are first choice, the fact that he can fill in (not from kick off though obviosulky!!) in other roles makes him a perfect sub when the former are fit.

In terms of strength in depth, right now we have a decent back-up back 4 too in the form of Hibbert, Jags, Stubbs and Valente.
Obviously Stubbs hasn’t got too many seasons left in him now, but the others are solid squad players (yes I know Hibbert’s passing isn’t the best, but he can tackle and he’s got heart) and mean that our defence should remain solid for 2008 and indeed 09.
Steve Jones
10   Posted 28/12/2007 at 18:13:27

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Totally agree, Jagielka has been tremendous recently - although he isnt quite in his correct position. If you notice when he comes out with the ball and passes it simple he does well - but has to turn onto his right foot, which isnt ideal to get Lescott going down the wing.

Just to be picky, right sided centre half is his position and he will get hi chance covering for Yobo with Lescott at left sided CH - thats a great balance.
Mark Creevy
11   Posted 28/12/2007 at 19:52:45

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Good call Chris. Always hoped Jah-jelka would come good.

Here’s to Joey Barton rooming with Purple Aki until the new year too!

Cheers you wonderful Evertonians!!
Alex Krayford
12   Posted 28/12/2007 at 20:47:03

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Jagielka has one good game, Anelka has one bad game. G Whizz.
Mark Creevy
13   Posted 28/12/2007 at 21:15:07

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What were you doing for the Alkmarr/ Uniturd games mate? Watching Bolton perchance? He looked pretty frigging solid then IMO. I’m hopeful, on the back of his performances this month, Yobo will be hardly missed.

Give the nervy lad a little bit of credit eh?
Alex Krayford
14   Posted 29/12/2007 at 00:39:11

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I watch too much football, and yes I have seen a lot of Bolton and Anelka this season and he is awesome. This is a word I can?t use for Jagielka based on one (or two) games where he has look competent. I have seen all Everton?s games this season, either televised on in person.

I certainly wouldn?t want to face Aneka every week and particularly not with Phil Jagielka in defence. I would feel a lot more comfortable with Yobo in Anelka?s path in the same way that I feel comfotable with Howard/Martin/Southall in goal as apposed to Richard Wright. The sense of security is deserved and Jagielka has far from earned it.

He is a Championship player and shouldn?t be used in the same sentence as Dave Watson. (Maybe Stubbs, he wasn?t/isn?t that great anyway (Didn?t Sunderland give him us back?). He also doesn?t compare to world class players like Anelka.
Tony Williams
15   Posted 29/12/2007 at 01:19:46

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Looks like the Christmas spirit has been packed away in the Alex Krayford residence for another year.
Lars Edissen
16   Posted 29/12/2007 at 06:09:30

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Jagielka has been superb. Right now I think our first choice defence has got to be Neville-Jagielka-Yobo-Lescott.

For a left back that was partly bought for assists and the odd goal, Baines has been somewhat underwhelming so far. He has also been mostly injured during our fantastic run, so I think he still has a lot to prove. Before the season though, he was my pick of our summer signings, so I?ll give him some time.
Tony Williams
17   Posted 29/12/2007 at 13:52:39

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I think Baines has been extremely unlucky. If you look at his record with Wigan, I think he missed about 6 games in 3 seasons.

He will come good no doubt, can’t wait for his first piledriver goal
Chris Masey
18   Posted 31/12/2007 at 10:02:24

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Never again will I post such positive words about a player on this site. I must take some responsibility for Jagielka's performance on saturday, talk about kiss of death.

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