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The Mail Bag

Jagielka In England Squad

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Some of you may have seen that Phil Jagielka has been named in Fabio Capello's England squad for the friendly against Trinidad & Tobago, which shows an amazing turnaround from how things were at the start of the season. From being labelled a waste of money after playing at right-back and holding midfield, he's grown in statue since Moyes moved him to the centre of the defence, and is a major reason for our fifth place finish this season.

Admittedly he's probably only in there due to injuries (including our very own Lescott) and the weakness of the opposition, but it's a great testament to Jags that he didn't take the early criticism on board, knuckled down when played out of position, and took his chance when Moyes gave him his chance at centre-back. It's also good to see Capello being true to his word and picking players on form, not just going for those playing for the top 4.

All the best Phil ? you deserve it!
Alex Robinson, Aberdeen     Posted 11/05/2008 at 20:32:51

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Connor Rohrer
1   Posted 11/05/2008 at 21:06:03

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He does deserve it. I still can’t believe people don’t rate him. He’s shown superb consistency and as an out and out defender he is the best at the club. His last ditch tackling and reading of the game are excellent. Despite only being 5ft 11 he gets up very well aswell.

His distribution does need work but its improving. He’s showed today and against Arsenal that if midfielders come short and show for him he’ll make the short pass.

Excellent player and a valauble member of our squad. Well done Jags.
Martin Cutler
2   Posted 11/05/2008 at 21:11:46

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And well done Moyes for buying him!!
Brett Bradshaw
3   Posted 11/05/2008 at 21:13:06

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Class player who is keeping Baines out of the first team, and Lescott at LB!

Who would have guessed that at the start of the season!?

It also begs the question... when will Baines play LB and when will Lescott return to CB?

Can Yobo play RB?

Howard with
Yobo Jags Lescott Baines in defence sounds good to me


Just need a new Captain.. :p Decisions aye!
Barry Scott
4   Posted 11/05/2008 at 21:18:35

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It looks like his gamble has paid off, he rejected Poland’s advances a few years ago because he wanted to play for England.
Timmy Churchill
5   Posted 11/05/2008 at 21:41:16

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Jags has been excellent - if a little eager on the long ball (but that seems to be the results of a midfield reluctant to make themselves available when moving the ball out of defence).
I really want to see Baines playing left back next season as he can play as a proper wing back - so I?d like to see it down to Lescott, Yobo and Jags to put themselves in the team - who ever is on form - plays.
Regarding next years captain... I think TC.
Andy Lea
6   Posted 11/05/2008 at 22:25:28

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Fair play to Capello - Phil has been in good form - distribution is an issue but it is for a number of first teamers. I think Joseph, Joleon and Phil should only be considered for the centre half role, form being the factor with competition keeping the 3 on their toes. Leighton at left back with Nuno as back up. Right full back could be Neville initially with Gosling challenging and maybe even Rodwell, remember Rats started at left back just for experience.

As for skipper I wrote a piece on here 2 seasons ago pushing for Yobo to be captain, think it would be the making of the man. People like Neville and Cahill will be captains without the armband but again like Rats the armband would bring Yobo on leaps and bounds. Fitting too in that he was Moyes first signing.

Really do hope there is a contract for Moyes and the backing is going to be hefty in the summer. The fact he never appointed a number two once Irvine left makes me wonder about his thinking!
Alex Robinson
7   Posted 11/05/2008 at 22:33:13

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Brett - thanks for the response. As for Yobo at right-back, I think he showed the odd times Moyes played him there that he’s NOT meant to play at RB. Yes, Pip and Hibbo have their weaknesses at that position (much debated on this site), but I’d rather have either of those two rather than Yobo down the right flank.
As for if Baines will play LB, it’ll depend on the opposition AND who Moyes signs in the summer. I can see Moyes playing Baines as the attacking full back and Hibbert the "holding" right back if teams are weak down their right side, and, vice versa, Pip as the attacking RB and Lescott or Valente as the "holding" LB.
Anyway, this is moving off the subject. Let’s hope Jags gets some time on the pitch on the friendlies!
Anthony O'Sullivan
8   Posted 11/05/2008 at 23:47:53

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Big congrats should go to Moyes, in an interview with Jags he said that after his poor start he really doubted himself and felt he was out of his depth here but told how Moyes changed all that by instilling a belief in himself that turned his game around.

Well done Jags, great season: keep it up now .
Derek Thomas
9   Posted 12/05/2008 at 05:28:53

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It will be interesting to see what sort of formation Capello plays.

I think that for Everton the answer seems obvious.

3 at the back, Jags as RtHd centre half, Yobo in the Middle and Lescott as left Hd Centrehalf.

Baines as Lside Wingback.

A.N.Other on the right...NOT Hibbo or Neville.

Manny as the Holder, a young Carsley with silkier skills.
Dominic Duerden
10   Posted 12/05/2008 at 08:22:38

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I cant see Baines getting in the team. The back four of Lescott , Yobo, Jagielka and Neville is the reason we are in the Uefa Cup.

Unless Lescott insists on playing centre back next year, I think Baines will have another season on the bench... and I don't see that being a problem.
Jonathan Tasker
11   Posted 12/05/2008 at 08:44:26

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Oh my God; someone just said something good about Neville; I have fallen off my chair

In the light of us finishing 5th and our very good defensive record, perhaps we have been unfair on Phil.
Steve Templeton
12   Posted 12/05/2008 at 09:23:01

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I still can?t believe that people are having a go at Neville after yesterday?s performance. It was him and Carsley who steadied the ship at 0-0 and 1-1 which then allowed our more creative players to find their form and take control of the game.

I?ll say it again - Phil Neville is a good right back!

As for changing Captains, why? He is one of the few players who will stand up and be counted when things are going against us and the crowd are on the players back, I just so not see the point of taking the captain's armband off him for no good reason.
Jon Parry
13   Posted 12/05/2008 at 10:55:44

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Really pleased for Jags - he is a great player who gives everything - rarely gets booked, is never injured and plays the game in the right spirit. I?m a Blade and now that Everton have him, they are mine and my kids? team in the Premier League. It would be great to welcome him back to Bramall Lane sometime soon in a competive match against the Toffees. He?s get a great reception. Moyes is a top manager. Good luck in the Uefa Cup
Paul Niklas
14   Posted 12/05/2008 at 13:48:16

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Great news for jags bad news for Lescott.

Jags has taken his cebtre back position and has now taken his England place.

Lescott said recently he wanted to play centre back and he had told the manager that.

This could create a problem.

A good one for a manager but dont underestimate how badly Lescott wants to play centre back.

This is a hard pill to swallow for him.
Jason Lam
15   Posted 13/05/2008 at 04:15:05

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Yobo and Lescott is the better pairing for me. Lescott miles ahead of Jags at centerback. The ’problem’ is a good one for Moyes, Lescott is a very decent left-back which allows the 3 of the them to together in team. With 10 goals a season I’m not sure what Jolly is complaining about! Maldini started his career at left-back and eventually move to centerback as the years (he’s like 40 now??) took it’s toll. Versatility is a good thing and got him in the England squad in the first place.

I don’t think Jags will be played ahead of Ferdinand though.

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