Phil Jagielka admits he was devastated by Everton's loss to Manchester United in last Saturday's FA Cup semi-final, the Blues' last chance to put “a cherry on the cake” as the captain put it.
Having lost in the League Cup semi-final to the Red Devils' neighbours Manchester City in January despite leading by two goals on aggregate in the second leg and seen their hopes of improving on last season's 11th-place finish dwindle, the FA Cup was the only route to redemption for Roberto Martinez's talented but under-performing side.
A poor first-half performance at Wembley which saw them fall behind to Marouane Fellaini's strike was followed by a vastly improved display from the Blues in the second period but, though they equalised when Chris Smalling put through his own net, United grabbed the win in stoppage time.
It means that Everton have little to play for beyond pride and the outside chance to claiming 9th place from Chelsea in their final four Premier League games as a second season of disappointment peters out.
“We have played well in patches,” Jagielka is quoted as saying at the weekend. “People are quick to point out our negative stuff and we accept it. We're not in the place we should be in the league.
“It's been a frustrating season for the players, manager and coaching staff. It would've been nice to put a cherry on the cake, but as it was the 90th minute killed us.
“There's not really much I can say, losing in a semi-final. We did not play well in the first half, but then took it to them. Kicking towards our fans, we had nothing to lose.
“It was a great end-to-end game and we lost it to the last kick of the game. It was a misplaced pass, it hits his heel, hits foot and then he toes it through. You can tell by my face it's devastating.
“There was no time to do anything about it. That's two semi-finals, two losses this season — not a good place to be. It had to be a season in a game really because whatever we do in the last few isn't going to dramatically change our position in the league.
“So it was make or break and we didn't take our chances when we should [have done].”
Martinez could be without his captain for the final few games after Jagielka played through injury at the weekend.
The England international was rated as doubtful with a hamstring strain but, in a superb shift for 90 minutes together with partner John Stones, he looked to have helped the Blues into extra time.
There have been rumours that he will be ruled out of the remainder of the season to give him a chance of being fit for Euro2016 but nothing has yet been confirmed.
Reader Comments (48)
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1 Posted 27/04/2016 at 07:39:16
2 Posted 27/04/2016 at 07:39:16
3 Posted 27/04/2016 at 07:41:38
4 Posted 27/04/2016 at 07:53:18
There are some other soft objects I would have used to describe it, but that was not polished.
5 Posted 27/04/2016 at 08:00:02
6 Posted 27/04/2016 at 08:07:52
We have grossly underperformed all season and please no rubbish about two Semi Finals like it's something great, a quick glance down the record books will tell you that loads of teams in the last ten years alone have achieved it..
We have had an embarrassing home record for more than 18 months now, I think it's something like 11 wins from the last 40 home games since 2014.
We leak goals, have kept only two clean sheets at home against Newcastle and Aston Villa.
In many ways you can feel sorry for Jagielka, you feel if any Everton player it hurts most it's him having been here 9 years and suffered badly in that time.
Sadly though this season has just been another example of bottling it in the big game's, a tag which we simply can't seem to shake off.
It's the same nearly every year when we are faced with a defining game or huge week, failure and the best we can hope for is heroic failure.
We are never clinical in front of goal when the time comes and we are poorly organised defensively.
7 Posted 27/04/2016 at 08:09:26
8 Posted 27/04/2016 at 08:24:37
I definitely agree that players shouldn't say anything.
But this is only my opinion.
9 Posted 27/04/2016 at 08:47:31
A dismal home record, and not much better away, it's been a season to forget. And of course we shit ourselves when it comes to an important cup game.
10 Posted 27/04/2016 at 08:59:30
11 Posted 27/04/2016 at 09:15:15
12 Posted 27/04/2016 at 09:26:42
We need leaders who are more assertive or aggressive people who will push us forward.
13 Posted 27/04/2016 at 09:29:33
14 Posted 27/04/2016 at 09:33:09
I love Jags, but a cherry on top of a cake is known as the sweetest part of something good.
Winning the semi would have been more like a flake shoved into a dollop of shite!!
As for being frustrated, being a dad of two boys (and a young girl but she wasn't with me) who spent £22 on a pick n mix at Wembley and £16 on two cheese burgers and one chips, to see there little faces screw up almost into tears after we conceded a 93 minute goal AGAIN.
Then try driving home down the M6, with the fuckin thing down to one lane, making your drive over 6 hours long with them constantly asking why didn't we just shut up shop in injury time, and how many times is this going to happen before we learn. (ages 7-10).
To top it off, when ya get to the front of the que that was 1 lane for miles to find out that there wasn't any road works at all, just cones!
Also we all love the blues and want to buy our season tickets before our seats are offered to other fans, but after paying out for Wembley our finances are tight, and it soul destroying to buy our tickets knowing we may have to endure another season of the worst manager in Everton history, but this time without Rom and Stones.
15 Posted 27/04/2016 at 09:34:12
The fact is that we are where we deserve to be, it is not a false position, just because we can play better at times - any club can say that.
It is going to be a big close season, because this club has problems all over the place, from management, to deadwood players, and want-away "stars".
We had better get the new gaffer in pronto to sort out the mess.
16 Posted 27/04/2016 at 09:35:10
17 Posted 27/04/2016 at 09:40:59
18 Posted 27/04/2016 at 09:44:28
With 4 games of the season remaining, we are still not mathematically safe. I actually believe at this moment in time if we were to play Aston Villa they would turn us over.
As a 'Moyes apologist', I once said on here 'be careful what you wish for' and got royally flamed. All my nightmares have come to be a lot quicker than even I dared to think.
Gloss and cracks would have been a better metaphor, Jags lad.
19 Posted 27/04/2016 at 09:46:53
Should Leicester fail to clinch their title at Old Trafford at the weekend then of course who would they clinch it against but good old Everton. I only hope that there is still some vestige of professional pride and application left in this sorry state of a team to avoid a similar "title clinching annihilation" such as the one we suffered to an Arsenal team in their pomp some years ago? What a perfect coincidence this game against Leicester threatens to be - the so called "over achievers" ( congratulations to them) against the under achievers of the season. I think Tin helmets will be called for at Filbert Street!
20 Posted 27/04/2016 at 09:54:28
21 Posted 27/04/2016 at 10:40:48
22 Posted 27/04/2016 at 10:45:49
23 Posted 27/04/2016 at 10:53:40
25 Posted 27/04/2016 at 13:31:04
Either show you are better or shut up.
26 Posted 27/04/2016 at 13:34:08
27 Posted 27/04/2016 at 13:58:47
28 Posted 27/04/2016 at 14:15:26
Could be another twatting with the pace in that side.
29 Posted 27/04/2016 at 14:33:20
However, a bad choice of expression by Jags rather than belief that the season was actually good so not worth worrying about.
It should however be recognised that he put in a pretty good performance on the day despite being injured, hope he recovers properly in time for the Euros.
Now come on you so called internationals, pull your fingers out and for the last 3 games at least remind us why you're in your national teams.
30 Posted 27/04/2016 at 15:28:56
31 Posted 27/04/2016 at 15:30:41
(Not intended seriously!)
32 Posted 27/04/2016 at 16:13:05
Hope that puts some minds at rest. Next season however.......!
33 Posted 27/04/2016 at 16:19:00
34 Posted 27/04/2016 at 16:39:09
35 Posted 27/04/2016 at 16:47:53
36 Posted 27/04/2016 at 16:56:01
Relive the moment:
37 Posted 27/04/2016 at 16:59:43
38 Posted 27/04/2016 at 18:26:19
Okay they should beat Bournemouth and everything will be okay but Spurs should have beaten Albion and it didn't happen.
Seems like Manure are also on a roll so I wouldn't be at all surprised if Leicester will win the title on their own ground against a feeble side like Everton (or will it just be a nothing game for both sides).
This weekend will reveal the answer but more important for Everton to get 3 points. (remember Robbie? that's not a draw or a loss but a win !!)
39 Posted 27/04/2016 at 18:36:51
Personally, I would like to see someone else as captain. I think we need to buy one, but in the current lot Barry would be my captain, simply because he leads by example like Jags, but he doesn't think twice about getting stuck into the opposition, or making the odd cynical foul for the benefit of the team.
This team is crying out for a Rooney or someone to demand more from all of them.
42 Posted 27/04/2016 at 20:00:07
The club captain is the manager's right-hand man and if they are not working on set-pieces and free-kicks and variations in play, then what the fuck is he doing wearing the captain's armband? At 34 and approaching a decade at Everton, surely he knows a thing or two.
He is a great defender, quick and courageous, a bit weak in the air and prone to ball watching and losing his man. When you are schooled under Neville and Moyes as a defender, why the fuck would you let Martinez throw it out the window?
Both Eto'o and Distin were shown the door for not liking the style of play and to some extent Mirallas has been given the cold shoulder.
For a player regarded as one of he best, Barry has done nothing to stop the decline except pick up his handsome paycheck each week. Baines is the only one with any balls to come out and say that it's not working only to be rudely slapped down.
Martinez hasn't listened to the support when all around it's obvious that it's not working and needs refining and tweaking until it does work, but he's been flogging a dead horse now for months.
Just how many times can you bang your head into the wall before you realise this isn't the way? Well, after two full seasons, you would think we're not making a lot of headway here: mid-table, can't win games, lost two semis, humiliated at Anfield and now the support have turned hostile. More spin and I'm the man... FFS, just go.
43 Posted 27/04/2016 at 20:20:01
46 Posted 27/04/2016 at 21:50:57
No, we should be lower Jags! Let them eat cake, that's what I say.
47 Posted 27/04/2016 at 22:16:59
48 Posted 27/04/2016 at 22:29:45
49 Posted 27/04/2016 at 23:04:32
But if Leicester need to beat Everton to win their title then, with their pace, drive, commitment and togetherness, I would still think there may be a need for tin hats albeit at the King Power Stadium... (If I am now up to date!) Thanks for the reminder!
50 Posted 27/04/2016 at 23:28:00
51 Posted 28/04/2016 at 01:55:39
52 Posted 28/04/2016 at 08:32:00
I have to work with RedShites all week and, believe me, they're giving me loads. And what makes it worse I've got no argument. That's 'disappointment', Jags... listening to gobshites mouthing off and you can do fuck all about it.
53 Posted 28/04/2016 at 08:59:43
I think it was Joey Barton who said ages ago that Barry is basically a teacher's pet and would never rock the boat or speak up to ensure he gets picked every week. This was before Barry was at Everton but seems to ring true.
As I recall, he also said Barry has a bloody good agent which is the main reason he's done as well as he has in the game. Barton also called Frank Lampard a fat prick apparently at breakfast one morning when he was called up by England... ha, ha unrelated but funny!
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