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For Sale, One Jag?

By Dave Wilson :  05/04/2010 :  Comments (133) :
That's it, I've seen enough. If Everton are ever going to play the kind of football we all so badly want to see, Phil Jagielka quite simply has to go. I've felt this for some time but realised that, by even suggesting it, I would be dismissed as a madman or will probably have to wear a helmet for the rest of my life.

The Jag is loved by Evertonians. Since switching to central defence, he has been immense; who amongst us will ever forget LadyBoy's despairing body language as the Jag dispossessed him for the umpteenth time in last season's Cup epic? And who could say with any degree of certainty that we would not have turned Chelsea over in the final had Jagielka's season not come to such a cruel and premature end?

So who in their right mind would want to sell him? Well... me!

Evertonians — me included — have done nothing but moan about how desperately unlucky we have been with injuries, but a few changes have come about because of those injuries... and not all for the worst. <

Would Moyes have bought Johnny H if we hadn't had such a sick list? If Arteta was available, would we have ever found out that Fellaini was so very much more than a performing seal?

Things changed at Goodison during our injury crisis; yes, we got off to a nightmare start but, whether by accident or by design, Moyes began to find the right roles for his players, and our football improved to a level we hadn't seen in years. Unlike Jagielka, Heitinga had not come straight from Neil Warnock's school of Knock it High and Long... Pienaar, recognising Fellaini was a proper player, began to sparkle... Osman rediscovered himself.

Much to all of our delight, Everton players started wanting the ball, they looked comfortable with it and, if anything, the clumsy hoofball we reverted to in Europe only served to highlight this. In a few short months, Everton had become one of the Premier League's top entertainers.

When Fellaini became the latest injury victim, we were gutted; people had long since stopped laughing at Moyesie's boast that he was playing as well as any midfielder in the country. It was a savage blow... but Arteta returned just in time: footballer replaced footballer and we continued to play classy on-the-carpet football.

So what's happened recently?

When Davey Moyes brought on the Jag at WHite Hart Lane this season, it was so Heitinga could slot into midfield for the injured Osman. "Fair play," we thought, "Ossie was having one anyway... and the Jag needed game time." At the time, it seemed to work; we pulled a goal back and could have gone on to win... but at what cost?

Heitinga had been removed from central defence and, from almost that moment, we stopped playing from the back. Neville didn't have Johnny to knock it sideways to, so reverted to type and started launching it again; Distin soon followed suit.

The Jag will be praised for his performance yesterday; he defended as you would expect him to, seeing danger early and snuffing it out... but he has two fundamental flaws to his game, the first being he cannot resist putting his foot through the ball, even when there is no-one near him. This could be a hangover from playing for Sheffield United, or maybe he just doesn't trust his passing ability, but, for the second home game running, I clearly heard Moyes screaming at him to play the easy ball. Moyesie, like the rest of us, knows he can never get the best out of his tricky little midfielders if we keep knocking it over their heads!

The second — and perhaps more serious — of the Jag's flaws is he doesn't show for other defenders; he is not happy to take the ball when under pressure — this only forces them to knock it long... and, before you know it, they are all at it.

As a defender, the Jag is top notch, easily international class... but I wonder if he still fits in our team? Our style of play altered dramatically during his recovery... can he alter his?

I may be wrong; a defensive partnership with Johnny Heitinga may alter the mindset of Jagielka but I don't think so... it's almost second nature for him to hoof it down the park. I'm not saying we are a bad team if he plays, or that we would win any more matches if he didn't, but our football definitely deteriorates when he plays.

If Man City were to come in with an offer similar to the one they prized Lescott away with, personally I would snatch their hands off.

Now... where's that hard hat?

Reader Comments

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Tom Brough
1   Posted 05/04/2010 at 13:42:20

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So instead of selling Jags, would it not be better to play Heitinga alongside him at the back? Solves evrything, Fellaini and Arteta in the middle?
Steve Guy
2   Posted 05/04/2010 at 13:40:21

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Looks like I am one of the first to pitch in......You're wrong. Jagielka would be playing for England and probably on his way to South Africa but for that injury.

You can't on the one hand postulate that we could have won the Cup if he'd played and then say we play worse when he's in the side.

Next season I fully expect Jagielka and Heiitinga to form the defensive partnership which will see Jags sweeping up and Heitinga doing the clever stuff with Fellaini playing in front of them.

Arteta is far more fundamental to our playing a passing game and his absence in the past two games has been obvious.

Yesterday was like role reversal, with the Hammers, renowned allegedly for playing the game "the right way", diving in and pumping the ball forward with abandon, while Everton passed themselves to death at times. They played like we used to and we tried to play "the right way" but without Arteta we came unstuck. Not the Jag's fault... why do we always need a scapegoat?
Ciarán McGlone
3   Posted 05/04/2010 at 14:00:33

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An observation that's been quite obvious for some time Dave...I agree...Jags has very little to offer in a passing game.

However I think getting rid is a little reactionary. I don't think Distin helps...he also has a tendency to do two things with the ball - hoof it, or run 70 yards before losing possession...

While it may be a matter of hope that playing Heitinga beside Jags will improve his offensive game - there is no doubt that Johnny will show for Jags more than Distin and give him the easy pass, so Heitinga can be the route up field...

We need to try and improve Jags game before taking the radical step of getting rid...
Jay Harris
4   Posted 05/04/2010 at 14:00:57

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I normally agree with much you say but I do think you will need a hard hat for this one.

Jags is prone to hoofing it up the pitch if nobody shows for him but against that how many defenders do we have that will put their body on the line with last minute blocks and tackles.

We may have changed our style of play but we've been leaking goals like a sieve all season but the last few games with Jags back (yesterday apart) we've looked more solid and kept clean sheets.

At his best I thought he looked as good as John Terry so we're going to have to give him till next season to fully recover from his injury.

Now is not the right time to judge him.
Mike Allison
5   Posted 05/04/2010 at 14:15:24

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The obvious answer has been said, I can't believe you wrote the article really. Jagielka is our best defender, so no, we don't sell him, and as Tom says in post #1, when Fellaini's back we play Heitinga and Jagielka together at the back. This will also give us Arteta and Fellaini picking up the ball from deep in midfield, which means Jagielka will be far happier passing it to them. I echo Steve's question: "Why do we always need a scapegoat?" The whole team was frustrating yesterday, nobody played as well as they can, and the reasons are probably many and varied. Jagielka feeling he had no-one to pass to was just one of the most obvious symptoms. Credit should also go to the likes of Scott Parker and Mark Noble who pressed high up the pitch, in the second half at least, forcing us to play longer or risk being caught, as Osman was at one stage when we tried to build from the back.
Matthew Lovekin
6   Posted 05/04/2010 at 14:26:08

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Dave, I think that this has already been answered in the first five repsonses. In an ideal world, Jags will be the 'stopper' in the defence, the traditional centre-half that no striker gets past. Heitinga will be Jags' partner, a defender that can stop, but also start attacks. Just in front of Jags will be Fellaini and Arteta, both of which can come and collect the ball, pass and start attacks. In other words, when Jagielka wins the ball, there will be several simple options to choose from which has not always been the case, hence the hoofball.

If only it was an ideal world...
Peter Wilson
7   Posted 05/04/2010 at 14:29:52

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You are right in that Jags isn't great in possession, he does tend to hoof it and isn't natually comfortable on the ball. However, I think we can afford that if the rest of the back 4 are comfortable on the ball. For me, Jags stays because he is a talker and a great defender but Neville and Distin have to go. Neville was truly awful yesterday and gave the ball away time after time. DM has a big decision to make with him as for all his leadership qualities etc, he is costing us from a footballing perspective. We carry no threat at all down that side with him and teams will suss that if they havent already.
Brian Wilson
8   Posted 05/04/2010 at 14:29:39

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Dave, keep the hard hat on lad. Agree with others that this was more of a collective weakness in our play on the day rather than it all being down to Jags.

West Ham pressing high up and pretty vigorously too partly resulted in Jags and others hoofing the ball. But also our midfield were slow to show for the ball or make disruptive moves off it — which is what we did do and well against Arsenal, Siteh and Manure.

Sell Jags? Noooooooo!

Tony Cheek
9   Posted 05/04/2010 at 15:19:40

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No, think you're wrong, Dave. Yes, I think he's been dodgy since he made his comeback, but God, what an attitude the man has. He will be he first to tell you he has been struggling, and has done a few "Yobo`s" in the last few games, but it will be good again, I am certain about that.

I say let's worry about the main issues before next season. A quality striker and a right back that dares. We have not got either at the moment. (Well, we have got the right back, but he's currently doing it for Blackpool.)

Mike Elbey
10   Posted 05/04/2010 at 15:32:47

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Another to disagree with you I'm afraid Dave.

Most CB's are uncomfortable on the ball and prone to hoofing it when put under pressure - look at how Terry played against us when we presurised him.

The solution is not to remove one of our best defenders from the team - it is to pair him with Heitinga and with Felli and Arteta in front you will see less hoofball.

I said many weeks ago that the remainder of thos season should be used to get Jagielka and Arteta some match fitness for next season and also to get Jagielka and Heitinga used to playing as a partnership. The latter was put on the back-burner by Moyes because he wanted Jonny in midfield. Whilst we were still in with an outside chance of europe I accepted that but after yeasterdays result we are going to finish 8th end of.

As such now is the ideal opportunity to put Jonny next to Jags and finish the seaon with Rodwell in the middle and I believe that should happen with immediate effect.
Will Firstbrook
11   Posted 05/04/2010 at 15:20:06

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Not to pile on..... but I tend to agree with the general sentiment of the previous posters. Jags plays a simple, yet effective, stopper role. I doubt very much he will evolve into a smooth, ball moving CB but I don't think we require that of him as long as he's paired with someone who can fulfill that role (i.e., Heitinga). The Jags and Distin partnership (you can thrown Neville in that mix as well)clearly highlights the offensive shortcomings of his (their) game.

Admittedly, there were too many hoofballs originating from the backline (especially in the second half) but I believe that was the result of West Ham clogging up the midfield by pushing players forward effectively minimizing outlet options. When you have 3 slow moving backs, you know what the result is going to be when placed under pressure.

For me, Jags a key piece of the final puzzle. What he does, he does well. As others have noted, I would prefer to see the spine of this team playing healthy (God willing) before passing judgement.

Gerry Western
12   Posted 05/04/2010 at 15:25:08

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Dave if I've understood you correctly the reason Neville is piss poor is because of Jagielka. I doubt if Coleman would resort to hoofing it up the park simply because Hetinga wasn't available for a sideways pass. Personally I'd prefer us to bring Coleman back from loan and that would give Jagielka an option to pass it out on the right rather than resorting to a hoof.

Neville was shocking yesterday and Osman simply didn't show hence Jagielka had limited options ahead of him. I think I'd look to improve things in other areas of the park rather than focus on Jagielka who's clearly still finding his feet after a long layoff.

Dave Wilson
13   Posted 05/04/2010 at 15:08:21

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First of all lets nail this scapegoat nonsense.
This has nothing to do with yesterday, its based purely on what I have seen watching Everton both home and away ever since Jagielka arrived.
We were often accused - even on this site - of using the big boot before Jagielka was injured, but in his absence we have beaten the top teams playing wonderful football.
That's not an opinion, that's a fact . .and I`ll give you another fact, now he`s back we are hoofing it again.

Shout and scream all you want - better still offer alternative reasons, but that`s what has happened

Steve Guy claims that because I think we COULD have had a better chance of beating Chelsea had he played that I cant clam we are better to watch without him. WTF ? of course I can. Tony Adams was an Arsenal legend, but they played ugly ugly football when he was playing, only after he had gone did the start to entertain.

It depends what you want . You all claim you want the school of science reconvened but you are up in arms at the thought of cashing in on our most persistent offender when it comes to aimlessly hoofing it.

Going back to the "scapegoat" claim, of course we have other offenders, but we wouldn't get much for them and they will be phased out anyway, the reason I put Jags name in the frame is that he is a good defender, we`d get a lot of money for him, money we could spend on footballers.

Jags May well end up forging a partnership with Johnny H, but I dont believe at this stage of his career he can change his game, He may well be seeing people Lady boy off for a long time to come yet , but he will NEVER stop aimlessly twatting the ball down the pitch, if that what you want . .fair enough
Andy Peers
14   Posted 05/04/2010 at 15:33:27

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I do not think we should sell jags but I very much understand your frustration with his awful ability on the ball. He reads the games in the Premier League very well and defends accordingly as a great stopper.

That brings me to my next point about Jags and that is about his ability to play in the world cup for England. I do not think he is good enough to play in The World Cup unless he gets a lot of International experience in the next two months which is not going to happen. The International level in my opinion is just too overwhelming for the likes of Jags and Baines and Neville should realize that the only reason he played for England was because of his association with United and Ferguson.

My last point is about the importance of playing Coleman now instead of Neville, this would make the transition from the old Everton of Hoofball and limited scoring to the new Everton of a good solid back four and a great skilfull football team scoring a lot of goals in front of them.

What a great right side with Coleman and Donovan.

Best Eleven for next year: Howard, Coleman, Heitinga, Jags, Baines, Pienaar, Fellaini, Arteta, Donovan, Yakubu, Saha.

Brian Lawlor
15   Posted 05/04/2010 at 16:01:23

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Oh dear oh dear

Thank fuck you're not manager as you'd have Tony Hibbert in the side and would sell Phil Jagielka our best defender by a country mile.

What's your next post going to be? Sell Arteta and buy Stephen Hunt?
Dave Wilson
16   Posted 05/04/2010 at 16:08:47

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Still harping on about Hibbert, Brian ?

In case it's escaped your notice he`s not in the team, hasnt been since the Jag came back and we are STILL twatting it... funny that.
David Thomas
17   Posted 05/04/2010 at 16:07:52

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Oh my gosh we have sunk to new lows now. The man was outstanding before his injury, reminding me of Kevin Ratcliffe in his heyday in many ways. Now he has come back and is still trying to get 100% fit and use to playing regular premiership football and because he has played a few aimless balls upfield people are suggesting maybe we should sell him. I would love to know who is going to play in central defence if we do sell him, maybe we should try distin or senderos with hetinga because they have both excelled since they have been at the club.

What are we going to have next, maybe sell Felli if he does not play like a world beater in his first dozen or so games back.
Terry White
18   Posted 05/04/2010 at 16:28:07

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I can't see that Jags and Heitinga is the ideal partnership. They are both right footed, right sided defenders. Jegs and Lescott were great together because Lescott is left footed and left sided. Jags and Distin complement each other.

We have seen that Jags cannot play the left side when he was paired there with Yobo. So, we are now asking Heitinga to play out of position again? A sure way to get him disgruntled. I don't think Moyes will see Jags and Heitinga as the easy answer.
Alex Whitney
19   Posted 05/04/2010 at 16:31:14

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I think the general consensus is that no decision can be made without seeing Johnny and the Jag play together in defense for a decent run. Only time will tell if we should or shouldn't keep the Jag. I for one hope Johnny H will be able to influence the Jag in the right direction.
Ian Kearney
20   Posted 05/04/2010 at 16:40:50

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As others have said having Jonny alongside and Felli in front will be him on in that regard. the best centre mids make those around them look better, Fellaini and Arteta do this.

I cant agree with your agument on Adams either, in his winter years his Arsenal team were winning in great style, but then he had Petit and Viera in front of him, my point being Adams was a great CB, andplayed in Arsenal teams that played both boring football, and entertaining football, suggesting that there is room for a classic centre back if he has the right players around him.
John Daley
21   Posted 05/04/2010 at 16:30:36

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Sell our best defender (by some distance) and replace him with who exactly? Yobo and Distin are nowhere near the same standard and are equally eager to twat the ball long when there are no obvious passes on. The problem against West Ham lay more with a central midfield pairing of Cahill and Osman, neither one willing (or able?) to come back, collect the ball and offer the central defenders an outlet.
Luke Dunn
22   Posted 05/04/2010 at 16:59:37

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Finally, someone seeing Jags for what he really is, an average defender with no passing ability. I can't believe how people rave on about him as if he is our defensive saviour.
Tony McNulty
23   Posted 05/04/2010 at 16:43:23

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Posts can tend to be a little defeatist after a poor result, and today is no exception. Jags has been an excellent buy.

I was very influenced by Brian Clough’s comment years ago: “The opposition can’t do anything if they haven’t got the baaawl.” We are sometimes very poor at retaining possession. Often we hoof it and Jags isn’t the only one.

I think the players in front of the defenders also have a responsibility here. When one of our defenders has the ball, how well do our midfielders and forwards manoeuvre themselves into reasonable positions so to give the defenders an alternative to the big hoof?
Brian Lawlor
24   Posted 05/04/2010 at 17:06:22

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Dave Wilson - I know how you love your stats. Hibbert's not in the team and we've only lost 2 games in 18... funny that.

"We're still twatting it" — do you watch games with your eyes closed?
Ryan Holroyd
25   Posted 05/04/2010 at 17:14:17

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Didn't Jagielka play against Hull and Man City when we played the passing game? But that was when Arteta was in the side. We are very static in the midfield when Arteta isn't there and the options to pass the ball to are therefore limited. I dare say Rio would have issues if no one in midfield is moving and creating space and options to pass to.
Daniel Miller
26   Posted 05/04/2010 at 17:25:25

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I've got a better idea Dave. Just park The Jag at the back and bring the Spanish motor into the middle — then you'll get hyper-performance...

Quit complaining about the Jag — unless you'd rather buy a rusty old banger.
Kevin Hudson
27   Posted 05/04/2010 at 17:19:27

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You've spouted some garbage before, Dave, but now the men in white coats should be knocking on the door any time soon.

His job is to protect his keeper, not fanny about like Messi. I don't think even his best qualities will be fully re-discovered until after a good pre-season 10-11.

You've deliberately magnified an easily correctable habit of his, purely in the interests of entertaining yourself with a provocative, glass half-full thought you should really have kept to yourself.
Rob Murphy
28   Posted 05/04/2010 at 17:41:15

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If we're getting rid, then hopefully it's Distin thats leaving Dave. Personally, I agree that Jags loves to put his boot through the ball (as does Jo Yo) but I was, like a lot of others here i suspect, masterbating at the prospect of Jags being paired with Heitinga when he returned from injury. Hopefully, when we have a fully fit squad to choose from, Jags and Heitinga will play at the back with Fellaini and Arteta in midfield.
Ian McDowell
29   Posted 05/04/2010 at 17:47:59

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I dont really care about his distribution he is there to defend and get the ball out of danger and he is one of the best at that .
Anthony Bailey
30   Posted 05/04/2010 at 17:43:39

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One of the main reasons we have resorted to the hoof ball, especially in the last two games is because no-one has been showing for the ball.

I love Heitinga to bits but in the last couple of games he has very rarely showed for the ball or at even move into some space. Arteta and Felli are always looking for the ball in that position. Heitinga does do it but not nearly enough to stop the hoofball.

A problem we had yesterday was that we seemed to have Osman playing further up the pitch and Cahill playing deeper than usual. Cahill is a terrible midfielder and hasnt got the vision to take a touch and play someone in firther up the pitch. Instead he just 1-2's it straight back to sender. Osman yesterday didnt show because he was too advanced for whatever reason (not sure what Moyes was thinking with this one!).

Getting rid of Jags is not an option. We need Cahill to stay forward (so if it is hoofed we will actually have players up there!) and let whoever is playing in midfield (Osman, Heits, Arteta, Felli etc) to go and pick up the ball deeper and play from there and not leave the centre backs isolated.

IMO the worst hoof ball offender is Neville. His passes have no direction, are always floaty and are just generally shit!
Rob Murphy
31   Posted 05/04/2010 at 17:52:01

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By the way, I've stopped the wanking now.... me ma caught me & told me it makes you go blind!!!
Neil Steele
32   Posted 05/04/2010 at 18:37:42

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Read the first line, and oh how I laughed. Stop wasting your time watching football pal, it's not for you.
Matt Hunter
33   Posted 05/04/2010 at 18:44:19

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Every centre half who plays with Jags looks a better player... Lescott, Yobo, Distin all look better when partnered by Jags. He's a great defender, the type who could carry on playing for us at the top level when he is 36 a la Gough, Watson, Stubbs. Time and time again, continental defenders who look awesome in foreign leagues come to the Premier League and struggle. I wish we had two Jagelkias.
Andrew Edwards
34   Posted 05/04/2010 at 18:51:05

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dave, your such a knob. twat
Dave Wilson
35   Posted 05/04/2010 at 18:41:43

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So... Choice One: We sell the worst offender of the dreaded hoofball, make a fortune on him (20 Mill + ?) because he IS a good defender, buy a quality ball playing defender to partner Johnny AND that pacey right winger everyone craves, maybe have a bit left over to gamble on a young striker to play when our ageing strikers are unfit - every other week.


We keep a solid defence, spend what's in the kitty, stay where we are and carry on hoofing?

Pull yourselves together ... it's an absolute no-brainer, what do you guys want — a Scientific football or stiff fucken necks?
Dave Wilson
36   Posted 05/04/2010 at 19:01:47

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Not saying you're slow or anything lad, but the Tony Hibbo post was two years ago.

Get help, I promise there is a world that doesn't revolve around him.
David Thomas
37   Posted 05/04/2010 at 19:04:22

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On one hand you are saying that we should get rid of him because he constantly plays long ball and then your saying we could sell him for £20 million plus which would suggest you rate him very highly if you think we could get that sort of money for him.

By the way is there a the ball playing defender that you have in mind?
Brian Lawlor
38   Posted 05/04/2010 at 19:14:00

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Dave Wilson - you are keen of telling lies aren't you?

You posted this season about Hibbert. One of your many posts on him. I could look them up in the archice and show you up but I think you're doing a top job of that all by yourself.
Dave Wilson
39   Posted 05/04/2010 at 19:20:06

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I said right from the start that I rate Jagielka as a defender, I even rate him higher than John Terry, but Chelsea have Millions to spend on the likes of Drogba, When we hoof it, we hoof it to nobody, besides Chelsea fans dont care how they play as long as they win,
I always thought - until tonight - Evertonians did


If you`re looking for Clues as to what the thread is about . . its in the title
Brian Lawlor
40   Posted 05/04/2010 at 19:35:46

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I'm surprised you're not looking to change the subject as you've embarrassed yourself to a whole new level with this thread.
Dave Wilson
41   Posted 05/04/2010 at 19:42:08

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Sticking with it mate, coz I believe I`m right. Like hoofball, do you?
David Thomas
42   Posted 05/04/2010 at 19:41:58

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In essence what you are saying is we should sell last season's fans' player of the year, the players' player of the year and the bloke who played himself into the England squad on the back of his performances for Everton because his distribution is not great.
Dave Wilson
43   Posted 05/04/2010 at 19:54:24

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Not quite, David.

What I`m saying is we dont have any money, so we have to generate some, we beat (whilst playing good stuff) the Prem's finest without Jagielka, contrary to what a lot of people believe we don't have many players who could command a big fee, but Jags is one of them.

I also believe that we will never be bold enough to "play through" a top team with Jags in our ranks, claims that he`s just finding his way back are frankly pathetic, he has always hoofed it.
Thomas Christensen
44   Posted 05/04/2010 at 20:13:24

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One thing I would like to add to the debate.

We only started passing the ball out of defence when the much maligned Lucas Neill made it into the 1st team replacing Jags...

I don't think you can blame Jags. Yobo is the crown prince of HOOOFING, Distin does boot it, but he can pass. Jags can play in CM, so he is able to pass the ball - surely!!! Perhaps Heitinga is to blame for not coming back and offering himself to receive a pass - as Arteta and Fellaini would, this action does help the defender of course.

So Dave - if you are getting rid of Jags because he blasts the ball, you've got to get rid Yobo first.
Brendan O'Doherty
45   Posted 05/04/2010 at 20:26:14

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Thomas — you're right. Joey Hoof is the master!

Reading the other thread about Moyes's passing philosphy would totally contradict the point of this one. Apparently we are passing it to death now according to some people. Which is it?

David Thomas
46   Posted 05/04/2010 at 20:32:55

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Do you think Felli and Stevie P would generate substantial money? Because we played excellent football without them against the team who are more than likely going to win the league title. We also played the richest club in the world off the park at home without Mikel Arteta. Do you think Arteta would generate the club some money?

Because using you argument we can obviously play excellent football without those 3 playes as the Chelsea and Manchester City games have proved this season.
Dave Wilson
47   Posted 05/04/2010 at 20:57:04

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David, I understand the point you are making, but the players you mention represent the beautiful side of our game, surely that's the side we want to enhance, would you really swap any of the three players you mentioned for a "solid defence"?

Thomas/ Brendan, Agreed, but Joey wouldn't fetch anywhere near the price we could get for the Jag... so why bother selling?

I`m not advocating selling for the sake of it, I`m merely suggesting ways to generate revenue without taking anything away from the type of football we are capable of playing.

Neil Steele, weren't you the guy who tried to convince us that all those chances at Wolves were figments of our imagination? Fair play to you for not sinking without trace lad. It's not your understanding of the game that counts — fortunately for you — it's your love of it.
David Thomas
48   Posted 05/04/2010 at 21:25:19

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Yes, Dave, of course I would like to enhance the "beautiful" side of our game, I think every fan would. I can't think of any fan who wouldn't want to see their team play total football.

However, every team needs a player like Jags. Maybe you will be able to prove me wrong but I can't think of any successful team who has achieved success without a player like Jags.
Ciarán McGlone
49   Posted 05/04/2010 at 21:44:05

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Yobo .. doesn't hoof the ball more than jags..
David Hallwood
50   Posted 05/04/2010 at 22:17:53

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Yet another player being discussed in the TW He'sfuckinshite-o-meter, so welcome back from long term injury Jags
Mike Green
51   Posted 05/04/2010 at 22:30:59

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Nice one Dave! Brilliant!

Come on lads - can't you spot an Easter wind up when you see one?

File it with "Manuel Fernandes - a snip at £15m, sign him up!"

Next week: "Bring back Kendall"
Peter Hall
52   Posted 05/04/2010 at 23:15:01

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Agreed with your first para - you are a madman - thought it went a bit downhill after that.
Peter Warren
53   Posted 05/04/2010 at 23:32:51

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Sell Jags and leave Distin Yobo Senderos as our centre backs. Erm, no, don't think that works, in fact, I think this is the most idiotic opinion I've heard.
Peter Moore
54   Posted 05/04/2010 at 23:36:15

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The most important thing is, as you stated, he's an international class defender. You don't get rid of these players. No way. When the shit hits the fan its players like this you rely on. His distribution is poor a lot of the time, more so his choice of pass.He often chooses the wrong option. However this can still be worked on and improved. I seem to remember the best defender of a generation slated for the early part of his career because of his clumsiness with the ball, to the point he was labelled a "donkey"! Yes I give you Tony Adams. At one point he was considered a liability but then Arsenal started playing better football and over a period of time he became a world class all round defender. Same could happen with Jags! Maybe you'd prefer he became this player with another club? One of our close rivals no doubt? Personnally I don't!
David Booth
55   Posted 05/04/2010 at 23:58:02

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Can't be bothered to even reply to such a nonsensical post.

...Oh dear, I just have.

Sell Jagielka? I've never read such a stupid suggestion.
Fran Mitchell
56   Posted 06/04/2010 at 00:57:23

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I think people have gone a bit OTT in the response to Dave. Dave hasn't stated anything untrue: Jags is a great defender, Dave said this; he is also prone to hoofball, Dave also said this. Can't people read something without getting overly excited?

In defending his stance, I believe Dave also went OTT, Jags is not the 'worst offender of the dreaded hoofball' — that goes to one Tim Howard. Then the defense as a whole, especially Neville. But Jags is prone, as all defenders are. (I know Man U fans who curse Brown, Man U's Tony Hibbert, to high heaven for it, but they also get angry with Rio too.)

I understand what he is saying. We have had many threads in recent months around the subject of 'who we will sell?'.

It's inevitable. We do not have money, yet we need money, so this club will need to sell someone for a large fee, or numerous for lesser fees. We will do it because we can improve Everton as a whole with the money, as we did with the Lescott money (Heitinga and Bily).

So who do we have that could bring in a lot of money? (Prices a rough guideline):

Pienaar (1yr left): £8-15mil
Arteta: £15-25mil
Fellaini: £20-25mil
Rodwell: £20-30mil
Heitinga: £10-15mil
Baines: £10-15mil
JAGIELKA: £10-20mil

Ones we'd have to sell two or more of:
Yobo: £4-6mil
Distin: £3-5mil
Yakubu: £5-8mil
Osman: £5-8mil
Cahill: £5-10mil
Anichebe: £2-4mil

Out of those, and it would take some bidding required to get maximum money, I think Jags is best best for maximum money received. I believe Moyes could replace Jags and make a huge profit, we'd have experienced and reliable back-ups in Distin and Yobo. Plus have money for a winger, which we definately do need.

I'm not saying we should, but it isn't a ridiculous idea (also, Jags hasn't... understandably... exactly been world class upon his return) as some suggest.

I know one thing, I want us to keep every one of those other high value assets and I don't think we could replace the low value assets for players of similar quality for much less than we could sell them for, so it ain't really worth it.

Joey Brown
57   Posted 06/04/2010 at 01:30:36

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Quite an over reaction. I assume no one will read my comment but my thought is more so that Arteta/ Fellaini aren't there to take the ball off him and Neville likes to put a boot into it. Watch the difference when Mikky comes back in.
Mike Green
58   Posted 06/04/2010 at 01:30:09

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Fran - with the greatest of respect...

What club in their right mind would put one of their best players at the top of their "out" list voluntarily?

Hibberts fault.
Mike Green
59   Posted 06/04/2010 at 01:45:08

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Joey - I read your comment mate. You're bang on - problem yesterday was Centre Mid, or lack of it, all day long.

Martin Mason
60   Posted 06/04/2010 at 02:15:20

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David raises absolutely valid questions about Phil J and he is entitled to raise these. The question isn't whether PJ is a good defender, we know that he is. The key question is, will EFC move to a higher level easier with PJ with his limited constructive play or with 20 million in their pocket to buy a top class right side midfielder.

Hoofball is losing football when you play negatively like Everton because you give away that precious commodity called possession. My own feeling is that PJ shouldn't be playing in a good side if he is as woeful with the ball as he seems to be. I'd apply that to Adams as well, he was a towering defender in his day but possibly a dinosaur in the modern age.

I like Daniel Agger as a defender as he seems so comfortable with the ball at his feet. The best defenders I've seen (and I'll include Hansen) were also good going forward not just lamp posts.

Matt Traynor
61   Posted 06/04/2010 at 02:48:45

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Predictably the article has provoked some brickbats, but I think Dave has a semblance of a point. Jags is a limited footballer. He'd played a lot in CM for Sheff Utd, and yet when we tried him in that role at Everton, he was atrocious. He is a solid defender, but he is a limited footballer. He is versatile (despite not doing well in CM for us), and with a small squad you do need some of that - but a team of Jagielkas and Nevilles will not win you much.

Dave has (deliberately or otherwise) hit on the other point we face. In the absence of fresh investment, we are likely to have to sell to buy again this year. Of all the "assets" that we've got, Jagielka is probably the easiest to replace.

Personally though I wouldn't want to sell him.
Dave Wilson
62   Posted 06/04/2010 at 06:11:57

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Talk about bury your heads in the sand.
Whats all this "its because Arteta or Fellaini wasn't playing " shite, ? if he had Xavi and Iniesta in front of him he would still boot it over their heads, dont you watch when you go to the games ? he doesnt even look for options, that's all he knows, that's all he`s ever done, even when he was at his best, he quite simply does not trust his own passing ability.
If you`re happy with Jags, fine,but please dont come on here whining about us knocking long aimless balls.

I honestly thought I`d get slaughtered for this, because I know how popular the Jag is, but I thought SOMEONE would come up with a better way of generating money.
"Sell Yobo" with respect, dont you think I`d thought of him and every other player ? we`d get next to nothing
"Who would we play there instead?" . . . you really couldn't make it up.

Everton football club is on its uppers, unless you live in a bubble you will realise, that to have any chance of buying, we first have to sell. if we dont bring in players we will once again squander our chance and go backwards.

I would ask all the people who dismissed this out of hand - because they so obviously have a better idea - who would you sell ? who the fuck have we got who could generate a sackful of money, without jeopardising the style of play you all claim to love ?
Instead of acting like a sheep, offer an alternative, What would be your plan ?
Steve Guy
63   Posted 06/04/2010 at 07:59:22

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.....who the fuck have we got who could generate a sackful of money, without jeopardising the style of play you all claim to love. Instead of acting like a sheep, offer an alternative, What would be your plan ?........

Dave, the man who needs a plan appparently has one.

Dave Moyes has already said he sees only minor additions ((squad fillers) in the Summer as he feels the current squad is good enough . QED we don't need to sell because we ain't going to be buying; he's going to concentrate on keeping Peanuts and Rodders.
Martin Mason
64   Posted 06/04/2010 at 08:40:47

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And that is the catch 22. We've now reached a level where we can't afford to buy players who are better than what we've got even if we sell, we can only strengthen the squad. We of course need to do that but Bingo, when you don't have the finance you reach a limit and stop and I believe that we are there. Don't shoot the messenger (David) he is absolutely correct.

Never mind though, I for one am very happy with 5th or 4th as long as we play to our potential and give us some pride.
John Nelson
65   Posted 06/04/2010 at 09:09:26

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What a pathetic, pathetic, pathetic assertion from the author of this article. Yet again a needless and disrespectful remark made against one of our players - and one of our best players to boot.

You suggest that Jagielka constantly hoofs the ball up on the basis of one game i.e. the West Ham game - funny that coincidently the game was on TV, so like many other amazing remarks made by contributors over the weekend, I have the feeling that these comments are coming from our "armchair fans".

Jagielka has fitted back in absolutely brilliantly since his injury, and given time to recover, the footballing side of his game will be up to scratch soon enough. Defensively he has been class as usual in my eyes - for examply 3 clean sheets on the bounce before Sunday's game.

People need to put things into perspective about Sunday - yes it was a dissappointing result, however shit happens and we need to put faith into the lads that they will learn from this (especially next season). Nothwithstanding this however, if you would havesuggested to me in December over the next 8 home games we would have 7 wins and a draw I would have been over the fucking moon.

Still a fucking daft suggestion this article though.

Dave Wilson
66   Posted 06/04/2010 at 09:18:57

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Actually I penned the article two days BEFORE the West Ham game

Btw Whats your plan for raisng money ?
Giles Larkman
67   Posted 06/04/2010 at 10:24:08

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I love Jags to bits, honestly, but I can understand the author's view point as my head has been in my hands the past few games. Jags is a great, great defender, that's a given but thumoing long balls up at home to west ham is unacceptable.

The assertion is correct, we have seen what John Heitinga can do from centre back and that is the new benchmark. Can Jags imitate this style????

The long ball game was being erased from our game, but it has come back with avengence since Jag's return. Is this a coincidence?
Kevin Gillen
68   Posted 06/04/2010 at 10:46:41

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Brave to suggest this but sell? No. On his day this lad is the best defender in the country. Get a right back who wants the ball and he'd improve.
Karl Masters
69   Posted 06/04/2010 at 10:56:50

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The thing that has bothered me most about Everto this season has been our total inabilty to close a game down when ahesd and to keep a clean sheet.

Although, we have let in a couple against West Ham amd Brum since Jags returned, on the whole the defence has suddenly looked more like last season when at times we defended so well it looked like we'd never concede.

3 clean sheets, 2 away from home, leading up to Sunday's poor showing suggests to me that Jags' defensive qualities are required. Let others play it out of defence like Heitinga. Distin is the biggest hoof merchant anyway, but just as you would not expect Pienaar to win an aerail battle with Peter Crouch you cannot expect perfection in everything from everybody.

It's a Team game. The blend is everything.
Geoff Edwards
70   Posted 06/04/2010 at 10:34:49

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Before questioning whether or not Jags should be sold, it might be worth pointing out that the poster's argument is based on a big assumption, i.e. that someone will come and cough up 20 mil for him, a good defender with poor distribution.

Man City won't, they've now got a manager with a vague idea of what he's doing, he'll look toward Serie A. Chelsea, Man Utd and Arsenal won't. RS can't afford 20 mil. Spuds and Villa like a good hoof, but can you see them paying 20 mil for a CB? No chance.
Liam Reilly
71   Posted 06/04/2010 at 11:00:49

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Every great side down the years (and I include the 80's Everton side in this), need a combination of both footballers and players with bite. Jags is the in the latter category here.
I am not saying the current side are destined for greatness, but you'll win nothing with too many fancy dans in your team either, (see current Arsenal).

Where does the money come from? I'd like a pacey winger and cover for left back, but I'd be more concerned with keeping the current squad together as the side couldn't be as unlucky again with injuries next season.
Stewart Littler
72   Posted 06/04/2010 at 11:03:50

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Dave, in terms of your points, I think you are half right when considering Jags' passing ability - my own observation from Sunday was it seemed like he took an age to 'hoof' the ball when he did, suggesting he was waiting for the move from a MF player to play a short ball - unfortunately, the MF were poor so he had to go long. He did however, bring the ball out of defence a few times and play a ball into feet.

In terms of a plan, getting rid of Jagielka is IMO, not the answer. Unfortunately, there's not many we can sell for enough money to improve the side further. We have, in most eyes, hit the proverbial glass ceiling - and that will only change if and when we win the lotto that is CL qualification. That should have been this season - 35 points from 19 games since the start of December prove we have what it takes; the Lescott saga, injuries, poor form, a series of matches where we simply didn't turn up, and Moyes' pissed off approach from August to November ultimately costing us.

The problem with selling Jags would be that it would cost his fee to replace him, and replace him we would need to do. If there are to be any departures, these would be my choice:
Yobo - no less than £4m - replaced by Senderos on a free - either one is 4th choice in my eyes
Hibbert - no less than £3m - replaced by Coleman - great servant to the club, and wouldn't want to see his career fizzle out - definitely deserving of a testimonial
Vaughan - anything we can get - always liked him, but wrote an article before the start of this season suggesting that this was his make or break season... and he broke.

In terms of ins - Mucha, Senderos & Beckford all look likely, and are all free. 3 out, 3 in so far. The only addition I would then make is to spend the £8m or so above on a RM - Donovan would be good, but his time here showed we need a player who can play naturally in that position.
Danny Burke
73   Posted 06/04/2010 at 09:54:39

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I agree Jags distribution of the ball is limited but so was that of the aformentioned Tony Adams, Dave Watson, Alan Stubbs, John Terry, Vidic, Sol Campbell, Sami Hyypia, Steve Bruce, all great defenders with some silverware to show for their careers but all not exactly Franco Baresi when it comes to passing the ball.

A defenders job is to protect his keeper and put thier body on the line to stop goals going in and Jags does that just fine. Ok he does tend to hoof it but if no one shows for a pass then as a defender the best thing to do is not fart around with the ball and give it away near your goal, but play it forward long. Puyol at Barca is similar for me, he is ok on the ball but is a proper defender a la Jags, he very rarly hoofs it as A, it's not the Barca way and more importantly, B, he has any combination of Xavi, Iniesta, Toure, Keita, Messi, Pedro, Busquets all wanting the ball and all very capable with it.

As for raising money, I dont want to sell ANY player we have, shall we have a car boot in the Park End car park, all proceeds going to the "Ball playing defender" fund?
James I'Anson
74   Posted 06/04/2010 at 11:18:16

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Why not sell the lazy bastards who can't be arsed moving into space to give him a pass in the first place.
The lack of movement and desire for possesion is fundamental to any player deciding to have a game of hoofball.
Football is simple. Whilst in possesion give your teamate as many options as possible and when your not in possesion work as a team to get the thing back (watch Barce tonght who'll demonstrate this).
It's only when the players get lazy that it gets complicated.
Ciarán McGlone
75   Posted 06/04/2010 at 11:20:09

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John Nelson,

You may not be an armchair fan...but if you think Jags only hoofed in the west ham game...and hasn't done it for his entire career here...then you are empirical evidence that going to the game is no advantage to an acute analysis.
Gareth Humphreys
76   Posted 06/04/2010 at 12:30:47

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Ciarán, carefull with those fancy phrases - you could turn into Hugh McIlvanney.
James Elworthy
77   Posted 06/04/2010 at 12:58:32

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the guy has had an injury that kept in out for nearly a year, he was absolutely outstanding prior to the injury, when he gets his full fitness back after a preseason under his belt he will be the old Jags again, ridiculous to suggest getting rid of Jags,
John Nelson
78   Posted 06/04/2010 at 12:51:21

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My apologies over not reading the date of the article, and further apologies over bringing the "armchair fan" aspect up - however still to suggest to sell our best defender for years on the basis he hoofs the ball when no-one is wanting it in front of him is fucking ridiculous.


Did I imply that Jags NEVER has hoofed the ball throughout his career? Please read my above comment - also to back that up, name me a single centre half who hasn't twatted the ball for no impending reason at least once throught his career?

Furhtermore, I noticed your comment above stating Yobo doesn't hoof it as much as Jags... Fuck me. So speaking of "acute analysis", I think you'll find it's you who's doing something wrong in that department mate.

Jagielka is by and large our best defender, when fully fit is one of the best centre halfs in England, so by even thinking of selling him is going backwards thus falling back into the "selling club" genre.

Ciarán McGlone
79   Posted 06/04/2010 at 13:53:59

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Your post certainly does imply that Jags is not a habitual hoofer...
in fact you state that his passing game will be back up to scratch soon....Not likely.

And Yobo doesn't hoof it as much as jags...he has a tendency to take on players the odd time and take it out of defence...Jags never does this. Therefore Yobo doesn't hoof it as much as Jags.
Dave Wilson
80   Posted 06/04/2010 at 13:12:00

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There are a number of reasons I`m advocating the sale of the Jag, the main one being that I believe we will get a decent amount of desperately needed cash for him, although Geoff Edwards makes a very valid point when he asks who would pay it ? obviously it wouldnt make sense to sell him for peanuts

I also believe - Know - our best displays have been without him, simply put, I believe Hetinger gives us far more than the Jag and quite frankly I dont understand people asking who would replace him.

Without brainless posts from people who dont have an opinion ( Hi Neil / Andrew) I`m pleased to say the responses today are the sort I was looking for in the first place.

I penned this post with my eyes wide open, I know the jag is a firm favorite with the crowd and I expected an angry response . . but I was expecting a better defence, those who pointed to the three clean sheets may do well to look at how many we have conceded in the other five games he has played and to blame the midfield players on Jagielkas shotcomings is loyalty bordering on stupidity. Ask yourselves why the hoofball that has become so prevelant again had all but disappeared in the Jags absence.

Danny Burke you make a fair point, but the players you list were knocking long balls to people like Alan Smith, Sharpy, Big Dunc, Drogba . . .who is Jagielka knocking his long balls to ? he was even doing it when we played without a striker
Joseph Fong
81   Posted 06/04/2010 at 13:59:00

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I agree and disagree with Dave here.

Agree - Jags does play hoofball all the time and his passing is dreadful. I personally blamed him for WH's 2nd goal. He was following his men from the back which was bad marking there for a top class defender like him. Throughout the game, he tried to pass and they either ended up at opponent's foot or went wild.

Disagree - Selling him is a No for me. I would personally blame Moyes for this. If we dont gualify for Europe, the only person to blame is Moyes. Whenever Jag plays eversince he came back, we played awfully. Moyes should have played him in the reserves to get match fit, and have Johnny and Distin in CM which i think they both did very well when played together. Rodwell could slot into the DM.

I was cursing at Jag for his defending against WH. He was our 2nd worst player in that department behind Neville that day. And its funny how Distin has been getting the stick since he signed. I thought he has been a superb signing...if I was wrong, then Moyes wouldnt be playing him week in week out. Distin looks more composed and steady there and Johnny complements him when played together.
Martin Mason
82   Posted 06/04/2010 at 13:54:31

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It isn't enough now to be just a good defender and to say that all great defenders in the past played hoof ball is nonsense. Take a look at Moore and Wilson and closer to home, Hansen, Phil thompson and Mark Lawrenson. Even our great big man Brian Labone knew how to get the ball to man out of defence. Look at Rio Ferdinand and Carvalho at his best, look at Puyol at Barcelona, look at Dutch total football and Beckenbauer majestically sweeping out of defence ball at feet. With hoofball PJ is half a defender and when you play 11 players back dare I say a liability much as I admire his defensive qualities. Maybe the key is playing Heitinga alongside him as a sweet playing foil to PJ's hooving tendencies. Would we get good money for him? I really doubt it even as an international. What's Matthew Upson worth? 10 mil? That's where Jags is. He's not on the same planet value wise as Lescott was as a left footed good distributer who could score key goals and play in the centre or full back.
Mike Green
83   Posted 06/04/2010 at 14:55:04

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If we are looking to sell before we buy here would be my list for the "out" door - dependent on getting reasonable money for them (I've put what I think's reasonable in).

Anichebe (£3m)
Vaughan (£3m)
Yobo (£2m)
Probably Bily (£5m) and Yak (£8m) if I'm honest

With the proceeds (£21m?) buy a £15m striker and an £6m right midfielder.

We predominately play 1 up front, 2 strikers is enough with Cahill as cover.
Ben Jones
84   Posted 06/04/2010 at 16:07:21

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Hmm, Dave, I do see where you're coming from, but selling him is a bit more of a reaction than a must.

I would say he is our best defender followed closely by Heitinga, but seeing him waste the ball at times is very frustrating.

I don't agree with playing Heitinga and Jagielka in the same team though. They are both less than six foot. When we play teams with six foot plus target man we would be screwed. We need a balance, like last season where we played Lescott and Jags, that was one of the best centre back pairings for a long time for me.

I think in time and confidence Jagielka will get better in his passing. But in his defence, there is nobody to pass it to. We need a midfielder to drop back and start playing from the defenders. That's why I thought Fellaini was so good for us, and would play him over Heitinga there.

Its a tough decision once they're all fit. But a nice position to be in.
David Holroyd
85   Posted 06/04/2010 at 18:52:25

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Look back to the beginning of the season at some point people have wanted to get rid of all the players. We've all been waiting for Jagielka to get back, now he is some want to sell. Distribution was never his strong point but he makes goal line clearances and always seams to be in the right place the ball is drawn to him. He hasn't come back from a broken fingernail, it was a serious injury; give him time.
James Boden
86   Posted 06/04/2010 at 19:20:37

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Please tell me this is a pisstake? Dave mate are you actually suggesting we sell the best defender this football club has had in years? You the bloke who has spent years trying to convince fellow Evertonians of Tony Hibbert's worth. Likewise you have almost defended to the hilt both Victor Anichebe and Leon Osman yet all of a sudden Phil Jagielka should be sold.

Admittedly his distribution is of poor quality it must be said but defensively he has developed into a excellent defender and how we missed him big time not only in The FA Cup Final but also for the majority of this season. The difference between him and Distin or Yobo is that unlike them 2 he can be trusted. The only thing going for Distin is the fact he is left footed. The guy otherwise is fucking clueless and worthless.

Don't get me wrong I would like to see balance but not for the pure sake of it. Lescott worked with Jagielka because Lescott was a good footballer and a decent defender to boot. Heitinga could work with Jags because aside from being a bloody good defender is also a cracking footballer and also two footed.

Just remember how important the spine of the team is and as proved in The Cup Final how much we missed this great Centre Half.

Andy Crooks
87   Posted 06/04/2010 at 19:35:37

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Dave. you've had a bot of a kicking on this thread. Wrongly, in my view. I think you are wrong about selling Jags but sell we must. I suggested in a post a while ago that it should be Rodwell. The response was negative but nothing like what you have got. At least you are addressing a problem and not advocating that we need a winger with pace, a striker, cover for Baines etc without thinking where the money will come from. A good article.
Peter Warren
88   Posted 06/04/2010 at 20:01:53

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Ciaran, it is you who must be watchin a different game if you think Jags launches it more than Yobo. You state, quite rightly, that Yobo fucks around with the ball trying to take people on — but you seem to fail to recall that after that he boots it up field — or more to the point tries but he ain't even that good at kicking it long.
Dave Wilson
89   Posted 06/04/2010 at 19:43:15

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James Boden

I have defended the local players from idiotic criticism because they cost nothing and trust me the club would have buckled without them.
I would never expect people like you to understand that

I would be happy for any of the players you mention to go if it would raise a lot of money but they wouldn't.
Read the fucken article lad I suggest the jag not because I want him gone but because he would be the one who I think we could do without whilst raising a lot of money

Oh and in case its escaped your notice, Chelsea have had a couple of attempts to beat us this season and failed - conceding 5 goals in the process, when you get a minute make a list of all the times they - or any of the top four - have failed to beat us when Jags was playing . . cue silence.
You are happy with the big boot, fine, but say so, dont hide behind other players, they have nothing to do with this thread.


Have I really took a kicking on this thread ? I dont think so, take another look, 95% of the people who comment admit the jags gives them a stiff neck . . and since I threw out a challenge for people to come up with a better way to make money, look at the quality of the responses ? Mike Green is one of the few who dared and what a laugh, he is deluded enough to suggest we would get a combined total of 14 Million for Vic, Vaughany and the Yak, three players who are yet to prove they will ever recover from career threatening injuries, we`d be lucky to get 14 grand . . and he calls my post a wind up.

In any walk of life if you try to stand still you will go backwards, we have to bring in players and nobody yet has come up with an idea - well not a sensible one - of how we could generate the money to buy these players

Rest assured you would wait an eternity for someone like Andy Codling who wants to mindlessly slag off an idea, to come up with one of his own
Dave Wilson
90   Posted 06/04/2010 at 20:26:28

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Peter Warren

Read the posts mate, I`ll accept hardly anyone is in favour of selling Jagielka, but its universally accepted he is guilty of the big boot.

Its not just Ciarán who is watching a different gamr than you . . .its everyone else

Try watching the game lad
Colin Wainwright
91   Posted 06/04/2010 at 21:33:05

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Why is it always the defenders fault for playing hoofball? I could understand the post if every time Jags twatted it upfield there where four or five players in space screamin for the fuckin thing.

When the blues back four resort to this type of football its because of a collective failure by the team as a functioning unit. We dont play well!

Sell Jags. My arse.
David Thomas
92   Posted 06/04/2010 at 21:26:44

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Whilst i understand you are just putting your point across, comments like the one below don't help your cause

"when you get a minute make a list of all the times they - or any of the top four - have failed to beat us when Jags was playing . . cue silence."

Liverpool away in the league last season
Liverpool in the FA cup at anfield last season
Liverpool in the FA cup replay at goodison last season
Manchester United in the semi final last season
Chelsea at home last season
Manu at home last season
Arsenal at home last season
James Boden
93   Posted 06/04/2010 at 22:22:51

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'I have defended the local players from idiotic criticism because they cost nothing and trust me the club would have buckled without them.
I would never expect people like you to understand that'.
Of Course how silly of me Dave to question you the fountain of all knowledge. Let's see which 1 of them 3 has set the world alight or indeed came anywhere near? Only Anichebe has even shown the slightest bit of potential. In Hibberts defence he was playing ok this season before injury and I would rather have him playing than Neville. Osman on the other hand is the clear weak link and has been for years.
Jagielka infuriates me for his piss poor distribution but more than makes up for it with his bravery, will to win and usually outstanding consistanty of reading the game. Remember this is the bloke who had Torres in his pocket 3 games running. The same Torres who time and time again has ripped the arse out of Ferdinand and Vidic.
While Chelsea may have failed to beat us this season they beat us when it ultimately mattered and that was without our best Centre Half who never would have allowed them 2 goals to be conceded.
If any player should be sold for sake of raising money then Pienaar should be first out the door. The bloke clearly has no interest signing a contract and let's be honest while talented is a bit of a fairy. He is a good footballer hence why we could get a good deal for him post World Cup. Selling someone who defensively is as good as anyone in the league and who is our best centre half for more than a decade will not help matters at all.
Oh and as someone rightfully mentioned what about all the times the Sky 4 failed to beat us with him playing. When in the majority of them games he was the best player on the pitch. Case closed I think.
Brendan O'Doherty
94   Posted 06/04/2010 at 22:51:09

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Except, James, that you think Pienaar is 'a bit of a fairy' ?!

What?? You must be joking! The lad is as brave as a lion, just too skilful for most defenders to handle.

New case opened I think.
James Boden
95   Posted 06/04/2010 at 23:01:23

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You have picked me up on a point I did not explain properly Brendan. Pienaar has suprised and impressed me with his overall will to win. The fairy comment was more aimed at some of his play. He is unpredictable but not because of outstanding talent. Good player but always struck me as bit of an odd player.
Point however is considering he is not going to sing a new contract and considering we only buy when we sell he clearly is the player to sell.
Tom Neeson
96   Posted 06/04/2010 at 23:50:56

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James. you made a fair point which is open to debate. Don't apologize for it. Someone will be sold this summer.
Daniel Miller
97   Posted 07/04/2010 at 00:00:08

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I concur re Pienaar. Sorry if you guys and gals don't see it but — skilful though he is, and in spite of the effort he put in over the 12 months of Mikel's absence — I see him as an asset to sell.

In his defence he does come in for some awful batterings from opponents (see Liverpool away) but unlike, say, a Georgie Best, who would have got up off the floor and beaten the opponent into submission with sublime skills, Stevie gets a strop on and disappears — unlike, say, Tim Cahill.

Now I'm not decrying his contribution (very skilful, several assists etc.) and, lately, his goals, but he strikes me as an "outsider" — and if the right price (£10-12M) comes along, we should bite their hand off. He's probably quite happy to sit on his arse at Spurs or Chelsea..

And I haven't discussed his personal issues which add weight to the "Outsider" argument.

Brendan O'Doherty
98   Posted 07/04/2010 at 00:55:13

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Sorry I have to disagree about Pienaar. I think he has become an integral part of this team. If, however, he does not sign a new contract we will have to sell him this summer while we can still get a decent fee. Maybe his body language at times makes people think he is an 'outsider' but I don't buy that. Can you at least hold fire until the summer until we see what happens, before putting the boot in?

There seems to be an assumption running through this thread that someone will have to be sold in the summer to finance new players. Maybe we are not after any 'major' signings, just 2 or 3 squad players, and as a result no-one will be sold. Let's wait and see.
Dave Wilson
99   Posted 07/04/2010 at 05:54:57

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Isn't it funny how people who want to snipe from the back of the class come up with the most ill thought out post themselves when challenged to put their "ideas" forward? Still, fair play James... at least you had a go.

I`m at a bit of a loss here James, I really dont know how to get the value of local lads through to you. Let me put it this way: if they are wanted and are sold, like Jeffers, Rooney, Ball, you can end up £45 million to the good for no lay out at all. Even if they belong in the next tier and only amount to squad players, they still save the club millions they would have had to spend to build that squad...

And this is the best bit: with those millions you can go and buy players like Arteta, Cahill, Pienaar and yes Jagielka, get it? They don't have to be world beaters, they just have to be good enough to make the squad and they save us millions!

David, I was aware that we had clawed 4 measly points from dozens of attempts against the big four when the Jag has played, I was also aware of our cup run, the "cue silence" remark was made because I thought people would be too embarrassed to point to such a desperate record, particularly as we have been swatting these teams like flies in Jags absence,

"Sell Pienaar"... What a cunning plan, the world and his dog knows his contract is due to expire, if he wants to go, he can negotiate a very lucrative transfer and the people who he agrees to join will get him for buttons, because Everton fear they'll get nothing if they don't accept.
what disturbs me is, if that where not the case and we could get a big fee for Pienaar, given a choice between keeping one of the best footballers we`ve had here for decades or a "brave, dependable defender". Followers of the School of Science would opt for the latter.


I've said my piece, it's been an eye opener, it appears to me that, for some people, their appreciation of hard work, bravery... and the big boot, has overtaken their desire to see the good stuff.

School of Science? You really are 'avin' a laff!

Derek Thomas
100   Posted 07/04/2010 at 08:55:30

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Dave; Yes.... but no.

As with Mr Marsh, sometimes it's the way you say it, not what you say.

What you mean, I think, is... that, with less hoofball from the back, we as a team would be ' better'.

But, with our restricted cash situation, what we (mostly) pay for is mostly what we get. We pay £5 mill for a £10 mill player (Jags) but he is behind the Terrys and Ferdinands of this world, not withstanding that Rio was a bit over priced and Terry came through. So there will be deficits and failings.

Those with the big money (including Citeh) have sense to go with their money (excluding Citeh). They might go to £15 mill but no more... so what's the point?

Just stick with "Less hoofball from the back is good", then you can take off the tin hat.
David Thomas
101   Posted 07/04/2010 at 09:46:33

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Dave... "particularly as we have been swatting these teams like flies in Jag's absence"

Dave, I am not being funny but you really don't help yourself, do you?

Without Jags:

Lost to Chelsea in the Cup Final
Lost to Arsenal at home
Lost to Liverpool home
Lost to Liverpool away
Lost to Manchester United away
Drew with Arsenal away
Drew with Chelsea away

I put the draws in this list because, as your previous point pointed out, you think we should be to embarrassed to include draws against these clubs as a good results.

Out of 9 games with the big 4 since Jag's injury, we have won 2 and you are using this record as a reason to sell our best defender because, as you say, "We have been swatting these teams like flies in Jag's absence."
Dave Wilson
102   Posted 07/04/2010 at 10:22:13

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David, I said right from the outset we struggled to get over a whole host of injuries, but we did and we grew stronger, so please remove Arsenal from your list and while you are at it, take the Chelsea Cup Final out too, we have long since moved on.

Oh and while were at it, take Liverpool off your list too — they haven't been top four for all season.
Now... Let's be serious:

Man City Home.
Man City away.
Man U home
Chelsea home.

All well and truely played off the park... and you can add Arsenal away to that list, even if they did get a poxy last minute equaliser.

Compare that little lot to the kind of hoofball that's recently crept in against some of the poorest sides in the EPL lately and you may get somewhere near close to understanding the point.

If we played a top team tomorrow, we would be back to being blown away again... that's what happens if you cheaply surrender possession to the better teams by hoofing aimless balls down the park.

We are trying to take the next step, we are nearly there... but any progress will go straight out of the window if we revert to using this brainless tactic?

Øystein Bjaanes Lemvik
103   Posted 07/04/2010 at 11:11:39

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I disagree with the article, Dave, and not because I disagree with your analysis — that Jag hoofs the ball more than... well, most. However, I think that when fit he's our best defender, and good teams do need good defenders.

Case in point: Man U. Sure, Rio can play ball. But can Vidic? Not to save his life. He is a defender (and a dead ball threat). He sometimes brings the ball forward, but that is only when teams fall back, and give him acres of space. And he can't pass long. Still, he is an important part in a (horrible! horrible!) Championship-winning side.

And if you look across the park — you may or may not throw up in the process — you'd see Carragher. I sometimes believe I pass the ball better than he does.

Arsenal does not have such defenders, but neither can they defend. Only Chelsea have two reasonable footballers playing in Jags' position.

So I say we keep him. When CMs meet for the ball, he'll hoof less. And if (when, I hope) we partner him with a footballer, he won't have to take the responsibility.

Plus, as some have pointed out, we won't get much for him these days — the big-paying clubs won't come for him.

So we keep him, but switch to Heitinga (and hopefully Coleman will take over at RB, showing he's good enough; we don't know he is, but I live in hope), and build the play around Mikky and Fella in CM, and I can see a footballing side somewhere in our near future.
Øystein Bjaanes Lemvik
104   Posted 07/04/2010 at 11:21:18

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Off topic here, but I believe that Joseph Fong is off the mark in blaming Jags for WHU's second goal. Distin has positioned himself in no-mans land, and Ilan is tracked by Heitinga — until he reaches the box. Then Heitinga turns off, and Ilan sprints to meet the cross. Jags, who was covering someone else (don't remember who), has to try to pick up Ilan and fails. But that's not his fault.
David Thomas
105   Posted 07/04/2010 at 11:10:36

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Dave, What are you going on about? At least have some idea of what the team is from each game. You state Manchester City away as an example to prove your point of us playing great football without Jags, he played the full 90 minutes in that game. He was the one who had City's best player Carlos Tevez in his pocket all night if you were not sure.

You seem to be changing the goal posts every time you make a comment to suit your point.

You say we have been swatting the teams away like flies, I give you a list of the games we have not and your response is, "Yeah take the cup final game out, take the first game of the season out, take this game out and that one and then you can see my point is right"...

Are you really being serious?
Dave Wilson
106   Posted 07/04/2010 at 11:41:36

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David, I`m not sure if you are deliberately missing the point or just can't grasp it.

The goal post have NEVER moved, I said right from the outset that in Johnny Heitinga we have a better centre back, that's why I believe we can do without Jags. Why the fuck do you insist on listing games we played before he even got here?

Much as it might suit you increasingly desperate argument, the Cup Final and the home game against Arsenal quite simply do not come into it.

We have played our best football for years/decades at the Emirates and against Man United and Chelsea building from the back against some of Europes finest and yes we did swat them like flies... and guess who wasnt there?

When the penny finally drops — please let it drop — ask yourself why we always get twatted against these teams when he is there.
David Thomas
107   Posted 07/04/2010 at 12:01:25

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Are you pissed or something?

"why the fuck do you insist on listing games we played before he even got here ?"

On my previous post of the 7 games I mentioned JH was at the club for at least 5 of these games.
Martin Mason
108   Posted 07/04/2010 at 12:23:02

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Surely though, hoofball when you have nobody forward is totally unacceptable? I love Jags for his very good defensive qualities but if he and Everton want to improve he's going to have to up his game and we will have to have somebody partnering him who can play the ball out. Defensive set ups away from home are also different to the qualities required to break down teams at home or lesser teams away. There is no point having top class players like Fellaini, Arteta, Rodwell and Pienaar when the ball is wizzing over their head. That was Graham Taylor's tactics and look what it did for him.

You are all correct in isolation, Jags is a great defender but not a great team member now until he can contribute with the ball and give other defenders confidence to give him the ball when they are in trouble or we can frame our tactics around his limitations. I believe the fact that Moyes screams in frustration at him is the key thing to note.

Jags was brilliant last year in tandem with Lescott who has gone now. Jags has to become great again under the new set up and hopefully he can do it. He will always limit us if he doesn't
Dave Wilson
109   Posted 07/04/2010 at 13:32:17

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David, you're looking silly and desperate now lad, you INSISTED that the first game of the season and the cup final were relevant, fuck knows why... neither player played in either game. And although Liverpool have struggled to get into the top five all season, you are trying to pass them off as top four... why? That's obvious, because without them your don't have a list.

The simple fact is, since joining Everton, Heitinga has not played in a side that hasn't played these TOP teams off the park. However, on the numerous occasions Jagielka has played against them, we may have occasionally held out for a draw, but we usually end up surrendering meekly, offering only the big boot as resistance.

Sorry I`m happy to accept you want to keep Jags — I even understand why... but let's not pretend we offer any threat at all to the better sides with this shameful hoofball.
David Thomas
110   Posted 07/04/2010 at 14:45:25

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Firstly, the player you are thinking about is called Heitinga and not Heitinger.

By the way I am not sure how this seems to have become an issue regarding the merits of the two of them. As far as I am concerned they are both pivotal to our future and both equally play very important roles for the club.

Also, you seem to be re-writing history in your head.

JH was playing at Old Trafford this season when we got stuffed 3-0. I must have been at a different game to you if you thought we played them off the park that night.

Also, as mentioned previously, the last time we played a team who is in the top four in Manchester City, we played them off the park with Jagielka in the team.

Surely that would suggest we don't always revert back to hoofball when certain players are in the side.
Daniel Miller
111   Posted 07/04/2010 at 15:25:49

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I fail to see how you can blame the right-side centre-half for a goal that came from the opposite side of the pitch and was clinically executed with a bullet header in an area that was not (primarily) Jagielka's to defend. Even if you want to blame Distin (Pienaar/Baines) etc. etc. We didn't deserve to win the game — not on the 2nd half performance at any rate.

Still, we've helped West Ham stay up... 6 points next year in the bag methinks.
Dave Wilson
112   Posted 07/04/2010 at 15:16:28

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David, the merits and shortcomings of these two players are pivotal to the whole thread, without Heitinga I wouldn't contemplate selling the Jag.

Heitinga did play in a seriously depleted side at OT this season, but he also played in the stronger side that played them off the park at GP a few weeks ago, so my statement is 100% correct.

Jags has had umpteen opportunities against these sides and the best you can come up with is a win against a side that may finish 4th but could well finish 7th... impressive.
Stop embarressing yourself clutching at straws mate, you have no list.

Everton with Heitinga have played better and with more success in five minutes against these teams than the Jag has in a lifetime.

I don't even know why you think you can argue, it's not an opinion, it's a fact.

David Thomas
113   Posted 07/04/2010 at 15:40:13

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Dave, you are a lunatic.

First you state: "when you get a minute make a list of all the times they — or any of the top four — have failed to beat us when Jags was playing... cue silence."

I give you a list and you basically respond by saying, "Yeah but that does not count".

Second, you state: "particularly as we have been swatting these teams like flies in Jag's absence".

I give you a list of games when that has not been the case and you respond by saying that a number of those games should not be taken into account because some of these clubs are not in the top 4 at present and you bring up Manchester City home and away in post 102.

I then stress to you that Jagielka played the full 90 minutes against City away... You then say: "Why the fuck do you insist on listing games we played before he even got here?" ... when in fact 5 out of the 7 games I listed JH was playing for the club

You then say in post 109 that Liverpool can't be considered because they are not in the top 4. Fair point.

You also mention that we have never lost against one of these clubs with JH in the team and i respond by saying, "We lost to Manchester United" and your response is basically that one does not count.

You then state: "Jagielka has played against them, we may have occasionally held out for a draw, but we usually end up surrendering meekly offering only the big boot as resistance."

I respond by saying what about Man City away, bearing in mind this is one of the games you mentioned first in defence of your argument.

Your response is they may finish in the top four or 7th. So I take it those games don't count either.
Geoff Edwards
114   Posted 07/04/2010 at 16:10:49

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Oystein, personally i thought Heitinga was at fault for the 2nd goal. He completely lost Ilan's run.
James I'Anson
115   Posted 07/04/2010 at 18:53:37

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How many teams in the top 6 would be looking to sell a player who is on the verge of the England squad?


If any of these teams were lucky enough to have Jags, do you seriously believe they would be looking to sell him because of the odd hoof?

Absolutely fucking ridiculous.

Dave Wilson
116   Posted 07/04/2010 at 18:37:50

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David, When you came on with your list of games we have failed to win in the Jag's absence, why bother naming games before Heitinga was here, you knew that was the question? Or are you going to pretend you didn't know and if you really are that stupid didn't, why stop there? Why not go back to the 85 cup final, or further... you could have had a proper list then. The fact is we were swatting them like flies, or are you going to try to deny that too.

You come on here trying to act all knowledgeable, listing seven games, the first two were ruled out because Johnny H wasn't here, the second two are ruled out because, by your own admission, the shite are NOT top 4....

We should have won at the Bridge and we played Arsenal off the park at the Emirates... I honestly can't tell if you put them two fixtures in for the defence or the prosecution, like we`d have got the draws with the Jag in the team? He's never beaten Chelsea in his career.

Your argument was battered out of the park, your list evaporated, you where proven to be nowhere near as clever as you thought you were.

You also seem to think I said we haven't lost to a top team with Johnny H in the team; that's not true, go back and read what I said again, if you cant understand it, dont try to respond.

Finally, I tried to take Man City out of the equation because you had been well and truely routed in this debate and I thought I would leave you with your one crumb of comfort, but you keep gobbing off so I`ll just point out that when we beat City at GP (without Jags), they were in 4th; when we beat them at Eastlands (with Jags) they were in 6th . .so technically and factually Jags STILL hasn't won a game against a top four team this season. LOL.

David Thomas
117   Posted 07/04/2010 at 19:44:07

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Dave, you are an absolute nut job, I think you should stop listening to the voices in your head.

If anyone else is reading these posts, can they comment please because I feel like I am in the twilight zone talking to Dave Wilson. I'm not sure if he is actually being serious or whether he is just taking the piss.
Brian Lawlor
118   Posted 07/04/2010 at 20:22:19

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David Thomas - you are wasting your time with him as he's a total fantasist who twists things to suit his argument, will also deny things he's actually posted and use flawed stats to try and prove his argument.

Interesting in his last post he claimed we should have beaten Chelsea at the Bridge. Strange that when Chelsea had 20-odd attempts to our 4. Our 3 goals included an own goal by Cech and another goal punched by Cech on to the back of Saha's head. We were unbelievably lucky that day and we all know it but in Dave's world it suits his argument today to say we should have won. As a say, he's a fantasist who i think lives on his own, spends 20 hours a day in front of his PC and posts controversial things so people will talk to him.

Ben Jones
119   Posted 07/04/2010 at 20:27:18

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I think Dave what you have forgotten to consider is that it is not necessary Jageilka's fault for the hoofball. Recently, I've seen it more and more and it's no co-incidence since we have lost Fellaini and Arteta to injury. I'd blame the midfield more than Jags - nobody every drops back to help him out.

Even if players like Vidic are crap at passing, they never hoof, they pass to the midfield because the defence always have options to pass to.

I don't think selling Jags is the answer, I think getting Fellaini and Arteta back is!!
David Thomas
120   Posted 07/04/2010 at 20:40:11

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Thanks Brian,

I think you have summed it up perfectly, much better than I could have. I gave up with the debate with him because I thought I was going mad. At least I am not the only one who finds him a fantasist.
Mike Green
121   Posted 07/04/2010 at 23:31:28

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I think I've made my point on this one but, just one other thing -
Mike Green
122   Posted 07/04/2010 at 23:37:48

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We're up to 123 post on this one folks and going strong — push on!
David Booth
123   Posted 08/04/2010 at 00:53:16

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Pointless, speculative, deliberately provocative, increasingly argumentative nonsense — and he's going nowhere anyway... thank goodness.

Jagielka's a centre half and his job is to stop the other team scoring, which he does very (very), well.

In comparative terms, his distribution is probably no better than, say, Arteta's defending and heading.

Hmmmm, perhaps we'd better sell them both?
John Andrews
124   Posted 08/04/2010 at 01:20:42

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I could not agree with you more Dave.

AJ used to get loads of stick because he was always running towards the corner flag. That is because that is where bloody Jagielka always managed to kick it!
Brendan O'Doherty
125   Posted 08/04/2010 at 01:26:10

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John, that's because he was told to kick it there.
Øystein Bjaanes Lemvik
126   Posted 08/04/2010 at 08:37:06

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Geoff, that's my opinion as well. Not too well communicated, it may seem :)

I am however willing to put some blame on Distin, but not too much — he was positioning himself to cover for Baines, but he should have looked around to check what was coming.

However, Ilan is Heitinga's man, and Heitinga drops him — so it's primaily his fault.
Ben Jones
127   Posted 08/04/2010 at 10:34:01

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We should have won at the Bridge Dave? You mean this season? We were lucky to scrape the draw, 3 of the luckiest goals I have ever seen!!
Geoff Edwards
128   Posted 08/04/2010 at 11:56:54

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Oystein, looking back at your post, it was perfectly well communicated, just not properly read by myself!
Brian Lawlor
129   Posted 08/04/2010 at 16:22:13

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In your mind you thought you were there but really were sat behind your computer. The only "facts" you deal in are Dave Wilson facts.
John Andrews
130   Posted 09/04/2010 at 10:16:23

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I would beg to differ Brendan. Jagielka has always been a "Hoofball" man and I suspect he always will be.
Alan Clarke
131   Posted 14/04/2010 at 22:22:49

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Dave, you've lost it. You've spent all season defending Osman and now you're saying sell our best defender. What about that sick note Arteta? Why don't we sell him? And that Rodwell fella, how overrated is he? I also think Pienaar should be sold and Fellaini, they don't contribute enough. We should build the team around Osman, Distin and Phil Neville. Fuckin hell, you're a mad man Dave Wilson.
max maclennan
132   Posted 14/04/2010 at 22:30:51

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i agree with ciaran the guy that done a comment earlier distin only brings one thing to the defence which most of the defence has power but so does jag as well as yobo hibbert and senderos but i have not seen much of him but would definetly try to sign him .

the only defender that doesnt have a phydical presence is baines but his aerial abilty helps he is a twig but is lightning up the wings and has pin point passing.

another player i think well be a star for everton is coleman
Mart Bolton
133   Posted 12/05/2010 at 21:23:09

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That Messi fella looks a good prospect. Get your dusty purse out Mr Kenwright :-)

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