Everton were set to decide the futures of veteran defenders Phil Jagielka and Leighton Baines during the close season but it appears as though the club skipper is seeking clarification sooner than that.
Both players have spent more than a decade at Goodison Park but are out of contract at the end of this season.
Jagielka, who turns 37 later this year, has started just three games this season due to injury and the success of the central-defensive partnership of Michael Keane and Kurt Zouma.
Baines, meanwhile, has battled injuries himself but effectively lost his place to Lucas Digne who ranks among the most effective and consistent of Marcel Brands's first batch of signings.
There have been suggestions that Jagielka and his agent have held talks with Everton over the possibility of extending his contract by another season at least but nothing has yet been decided.
“You would prefer to know as quick as possible,” Jagielka told the Liverpool Echo after Saturday's dreadful 2-0 at Fulham.
“We've got a lot of players out on loan and a lot of players we may be interested in and I'm sure there is going to be another sizeable turnaround in the summer so you have to be patient.
“I'd would like to have [heard] some concrete stuff yesterday but, at same extent, it's not playing on my mind too much. It's case of just getting on with things and hopefully knowing sooner rather than later.”
Reader Comments (71)
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1 Posted 15/04/2019 at 07:00:11
The time has come to say goodbye, they may still have something to offer but as that beautiful Neil Young song says ''There comes a time''. For these two that time is now.
We need to be looking ahead, bringing in fresh legs, players with their careers and ambitions in front of them . Either promoting the likes of Mason Holgate to challenge for the CB places and to promote or bring in a new young deputy for Digne.
There is no room for sentiment in the dog eat dog world of the Premier League. It is survival of the fittest. Tough decisions have to be made, at the right times, with regards to aging players.
2 Posted 15/04/2019 at 07:08:40
Let's hope the club do the right thing by them, let them leave gracefully along with blue Bill.
Sad to think that these two players never won anything in their long careers.
3 Posted 15/04/2019 at 07:11:50
Both of them have been great servants to the club but at the same time epitomise the weakness of Everton as a club ie they are too nice!
Watching the rs game yesterday it just goes to show how far being nasty little shits can get you. They moan about every decision (crowd included) that goes against them, they are always in the refs ear and they cheat and dive at every opportunity, they never give up.
Jags and Bainesy look like theyre from another century with their spirit of sportsmanship. Smiles all around, handshakes, pats on the back etc We need a few nasty little bastards like Gerrard, Keane or Viera who through sheer strength of character would pull their teams over the finishing line.
After Saturdays game its more than clear we need to clean house and get rid of at least 6-7 players and bring in players who are not only class but who have a winners mentality. Sorry lads, your times up. Thanks for the memories.
4 Posted 15/04/2019 at 07:21:01
5 Posted 15/04/2019 at 07:34:36
6 Posted 15/04/2019 at 07:46:13
7 Posted 15/04/2019 at 08:16:28
The salaries Everton are paying them should be going to players who are going to be serious contenders for a first team spot. Football is a business and with the money involved no club can have players who no longer have a chance of playing regular football.
I'm sure the both of them have seen many other players reach the end of their careers in the top flight and now it's their turn. Although when you have been at one club for such a long time as they both have I'm sure it will be quite a wrench to finish.
8 Posted 15/04/2019 at 08:28:52
But life goes on and a footballer's life is short. As they say, there is no such things as a shop boy's funeral.
9 Posted 15/04/2019 at 08:35:02
10 Posted 15/04/2019 at 08:40:33
11 Posted 15/04/2019 at 08:43:13
Their time has come to move on, whatever about Jags, I def think Baines could do a job for a lower Premier league time for another couple of years.
I wish them both only the best in the future.
As for copying that shower across the park, never. Don't think I'd ever wish to have eleven Richarlson's in the team, falling to the ground at the slightest touch. Don't think Brian Labone would approve, would he!?. Then I suppose I'm old fashioned.
12 Posted 15/04/2019 at 08:49:52
Sadly just two more long serving members that never played in an Everton team that achieved anything noteworthy like won a trophy, played in the Champions League etc.
13 Posted 15/04/2019 at 09:03:09
14 Posted 15/04/2019 at 09:10:34
Regrettably, you can be "as hard as nails", physically, but a pushover mentally.
I thin what Colin was referring to is the need for such players to be "snide" to use a favourite Liverpool word, as well as "hard".
15 Posted 15/04/2019 at 09:23:56
Great servants and great players but its time the club became more ruthless whilst not descending to the depths of that shower across the park- I certainly dont want to see tackles like Gomes on Saturday become commonplace- but some guts, fight and determination would be good regardless of who it is we play.
16 Posted 15/04/2019 at 09:38:56
17 Posted 15/04/2019 at 09:43:08
18 Posted 15/04/2019 at 09:44:22
19 Posted 15/04/2019 at 09:56:43
Both deserve a testamonial as a send off and job at the club if we have any vacancies.
I don't agree with there isn't any sentiment in football anymore. As long suffering fans sometimes that's all we have.
Jags is one of my fav ever centre backs, the lad defended like his life depended on it.
Baines quality was always there to see. He showed a lot of class when Moyes came calling from Utd.
All good things have to come to an end I just hope the club show class in the process.
20 Posted 15/04/2019 at 10:42:58
I think Baines will propably end up working in his first love, music, like Tony Hibbert with his fishing.
21 Posted 15/04/2019 at 10:55:29
Theres always vacancies for ex-players while Kenwright is around. That said, these teo have given the club tremendous service and deserved more than anyone to have won a trophy or two in their time at the club.
Sadly, Everton don't seem to exist to win trophies anymore.,, Premier League survival will suffice for Billy-boy and his cronies because that's the cash cow these days. Going out the cups hasn't seemed to bother a succesion of managers and players as much as us long-suffering fans...
22 Posted 15/04/2019 at 11:05:20
23 Posted 15/04/2019 at 11:23:42
As a few people have suggested, I believe Jags would be an excellent addition to our coaching staff and could possibly be a future manager in the making.
I don't expect any of them to be at the club as players next season as the policy has now turned to developing our youth setup and we need to be playing the younger players to encourage them that there is a path to the first team if they are good enough.
Whatever they end up doing, I hope they have lots of success and thank them for all of their time at the club.
24 Posted 15/04/2019 at 11:35:51
25 Posted 15/04/2019 at 11:58:56
I would say thanks and goodbye. I don't think they should be kept on as coaches. We've never looked good as a team since Duncan Ferguson joined as a coach. Coaches these days need to be employed on merit, not sentimentality; we need to source the best and winningest coaches we can.
26 Posted 15/04/2019 at 12:06:26
Having said that we have lacked aggression for far too long, and I would like to the likes of Tim Cahill added to the Coaching set-up in some capacity. The guy loved Everton and displayed the sort of raw passion that has been sorely missed for far too long.
Slightly off topic, but I was very disappointed in Andre Gomes's stamp on Mitrovic, which after looking at it several times, does appear to be deliberate, and I don't consider that to be aggression, but downright snide nastiness.
He, or anyone stamping on an opponents leg could easily end a player's career, I know it goes on, but I will be very surprised if there are no repercussions from that incident. I think he was probably more agitated at his own, and the team's collective inability to deal with a relegated Fulham side, but the only way to vent that, is by playing better and fairly.
27 Posted 15/04/2019 at 12:10:01
Jags, definitely too old even though he gave his all against Arsenal.
In the end it's down to they won't get regular playing time so do they want to move downwards and still play? Retire and move into another role? Or ride the gravy train one last time?
28 Posted 15/04/2019 at 12:25:08
People should be treated properly for what they've done but should not have jobs created for them or be kept on for sentimental reasons.
They both know that a player's career at a certain level is finite and as "sad" as it may be to see the end of an era ( if that's the right way to refer it) it IS the end.
The club must, just as they must, move on and look to the future.
29 Posted 15/04/2019 at 12:56:03
But they have to go without question. Their contemporaries Distin, Pienaar, Neville and Ossie went without fanfare. Even Cahill was here one day, gone the next.
It's the way it goes.
We still have 8-9 players who are on the books for the next 1 or 2 seasons who Marco does not intend to play. Can't see Marcel re-signing either Baines or Jags, given those circumstances.
30 Posted 15/04/2019 at 13:08:07
"Keep Jags on as a coach".
Isn't keeping ex players on the payroll as coaches one of the perceived problems at this club? By all means do so if he has the qualifications and shows some indications he may become a good coach. To do so solely because he's been a good servant to the club would be madness.
31 Posted 15/04/2019 at 13:15:22
Not getting angry !!! He has done well for Everton and always given 100% fair enough, hes been here twelve years, earned a conservative £15M during that time, played three matches this season, on full pay and must realise, if hes honest with himself, that his premier league days are over. Count your blessings comes to mind.
32 Posted 15/04/2019 at 13:25:59
33 Posted 15/04/2019 at 13:32:56
34 Posted 15/04/2019 at 13:45:31
Cover at LB is less impressive. Digne obviously has first place but after that it's Baines and then maybe Antonee Robinson who has been very decent at Wigan but is very unproven at top level. Kenny could possibly play LB at a push but i'd be tempted to give Baines one more year while Robinson improves (unless we want to buy a new second choice LB). I think Galloway has been mostly the U23s left back and not sure whether he might have a shot at being the Digne back up?
35 Posted 15/04/2019 at 13:48:52
The People's Club is another myth. The majority shareholder, and de facto owner, is a billionaire just like so many other clubs. We have many small shareholders (of which I am one) but we have no say in the running of the club.
We should try to employ the very best coaches. Anything less is to accept mediocrity.
36 Posted 15/04/2019 at 14:01:51
37 Posted 15/04/2019 at 14:03:59
Neither is first choice so the club needs to be confident that they bring in better than the current first choice or better cover than both of these who will be happy as back up.
I predict youth will be promoted as much as possible but the two situations are different.
I don't regard any of our centre backs as top class. This year's best and most consistent CB is a Chelsea player. Until that is resolved Jags may be kept on, presuming on lower wages and / or possibly as a youth team coach.
Ideally we would be looking to bring in a new first choice top class experienced CB to partner Keane, Mina or 'other' defender. Mina has proved less reliable than Jags and I have not seen enough of him to be convinced that he will resolve our defensive frailties.
Result = Jags to be let go only upon bringing in proven quality. Zouma being a possibility but ideally someone better. Vermaelen?
Digne is without doubt first choice left back and IMO top class. I do not think we will bring in better so therefore its as back up only.
I don't think we can bring in better back up than Baines knowing they will not play often.
Result = extend for another season.
Sadly I think both will be let go with Robinson and Holgate the new backup. IMO reducing the quality of the squad.
38 Posted 15/04/2019 at 14:07:28
Also, do they want to play. I'm sure that for a second tier team, or scotland, or lower level PL team, they would be a valuable player and maybe they would like to finish their careers playing 30 games a season.
We have Robinson to be promoted as Digne's back up, Holgate and Feeney as back up centre backs, or maybe sign someone young and cheap if the former are not seen to be up to it.
Either way, our focus is getting rid of dead wood, there is a lot of it to remove, and build a young, streamline squad. Jags and Baines are not dead wood, they can be valuable players in a small young squad.
39 Posted 15/04/2019 at 14:16:02
40 Posted 15/04/2019 at 14:25:41
42 Posted 15/04/2019 at 14:41:44
of our greatest managers. After the most exciting team ever to grace Goodison won the league at a canter in 1970, Harry Catterick could hardly wait to get rid of them.
Look where that got him- a very stolid 14th just a year later after which he was soon a gonner, himself !
Show respect, please.
43 Posted 15/04/2019 at 14:50:28
I for one, was impressed with the lad, and believe taking into account his rapid ascent from MK Dons to holding down the LB slot for a period of weeks, he did better than expected. Since then, he seems to have either fallen out of favour, or his confidence has been severely dented.
I am a firm believer that form can be temporary, but class is permanent, and the lad showed enough to hint that he does have what it takes, if only he could be given another chance!
44 Posted 15/04/2019 at 14:56:26
I'd give them both new contracts on reduced wages to recognise their current squad status. Or we can pay over the odds for other players on bigger wages and cross our fingers they work out.
Lets keep them and save those wages for the striker we need to bring in. Let's look at the bigger picture for once. Get shut of all the dead wood as in Mirallas and Sandro first and keep them around the club. They will do a job both on and off the pitch.
45 Posted 15/04/2019 at 15:02:38
46 Posted 15/04/2019 at 15:14:01
47 Posted 15/04/2019 at 15:34:16
If we replace them we might not necessarily be
paying over the odds or inflated wages.
MB probably has the brief to find younger, hungrier
players for less money and less wages.
I'm sure the staff are all well aware of their ages and
48 Posted 15/04/2019 at 15:35:02
Jags came in with 15 minutes notice against Arsenal and did a great job despite his age. Mitrovich ran him ragged at Fulham but it seems to me theres still an occasional performer in there. His influence over other players on the pitch is very noticeable too.
As for Baines, hes now our second choice left back. I dont see a third-choice knocking down the door. Antonee Robinson is nowhere near and Luke Garbutt is 26 next month yet only good enough for Oxford United. When Baines has played this season hes done a fine job.
I dont quite understand why we would get rid of two “go-to guys.” Theyre straight in the side as soon as the first choice options are ruled out. Yes, we need to buy and improve but letting these two in the hope of bringing in unproven replacements seems a risky strategy to me.
Offer them a fair wage on a one year “take it or leave it” deal.
49 Posted 15/04/2019 at 15:51:01
Galloways form plummeted when he was taken out of the first team picture.
His concentration and awareness fell apart and he has not shown any kind of form at lower levels since. That is not a "class is permanent" situation.
Before deciding on Jags position we need to establish Zouma and Mina's situations because if both go we will be left very short of experienced cover.
Bainseys situation is similar. Unless we bring in cover for Digne it is worth a 1 season extension.
50 Posted 15/04/2019 at 15:58:24
Joe@48 and others, I agree that Jags and Baines probably could do a decent job for another year but Brands and Silva want a younger squad. The only way the likes of Robinson and Holgate etc will improve is with match time and I think there's alot to be said for trusting in youth where talent has been shown. Yes, they could make mistakes but then so could the pros as we saw with Jagielka against Fulham.
51 Posted 15/04/2019 at 16:11:33
Good lads, earned loads of dosh, they can ride off int the sunset and never work again, or do a bit in a lower league. Whatever.
Jags though really should have mentioned this after he played well against the Arsenal, not after losing to the bottom basement team. It's all about timing Phil.
52 Posted 15/04/2019 at 17:31:48
53 Posted 15/04/2019 at 17:33:42
54 Posted 15/04/2019 at 17:43:10
No wonder the club's in a state, its become like a sentimental, scenile old fool.
Get rid and move on, its the football way.
If some people had their way, we'd end up with 500 old players as coaches.
55 Posted 15/04/2019 at 18:30:41
56 Posted 15/04/2019 at 18:35:07
Otherwise, Everton perhaps should give these players the respect they deserve and allow them all the time they can to find positions at other clubs or on coaching courses.
57 Posted 15/04/2019 at 19:58:15
Oh and anybody out there see any mention of the flare being thrown into the Chelsea end injuring a Child ? No me neither, Echo does not mention one single word about it...
Same old same old at that shite club, Do as we say.. Not as we do... Should have that as their motto...
Wonder why we are Bitter ?
58 Posted 15/04/2019 at 23:05:22
Jags says he isn't angry about the contract situation. The man has never shown a single emotion since being at the club, so this is no surprise.
Baines was all to happy to have a chinwag with his mate Scott Parker after the match on Saturday rather than tear strips of the 14 players that had just taken part in one of the club's worst performances in years.
Jags hasn't been the same player since his knee injury in 2009, and Baines would have been moved on by a brave manager in 2010 when he talked himself out of World Cup contention talking about home-sickness. That was nothing but a lack of ambition.
59 Posted 15/04/2019 at 23:28:24
And I've never heard of multi-millionaire "servants" who deserve testimonials. Give me a break.
60 Posted 15/04/2019 at 23:42:54
61 Posted 17/04/2019 at 07:50:14
62 Posted 17/04/2019 at 08:04:11
Currently Baines is our 2nd choice left back, if were convinced that Antonee Robinson has what it takes to be our 2nd choice left back then we let Baines go, if we dont then we keep Baines.
Same with Jags, if we sign Zouma and decide that Holgate is now ahead of Jags (making him 5th choice), then let him go. If hes still 4th choice then keep him.
Theres absolutely no point crying to get rid of them both without adequate replacements.
Similarly theres no pint shelling out millions for back up players when we have 2 decent players already here.
63 Posted 17/04/2019 at 14:18:37
They could both go on to enjoy a season or so at another club, and it would be easy to say we got it wrong to release them, but all it would be doing is delaying the inevitable.
Bring in players who challenge the current first choice. For too long we have had a good first 11 but been woefully prepared for injuries.
Across the squad there are plenty of good players, macarthay for instance, who from memory seem good, but the reality is they are yesterdays men for a team aspiring to challenge at the top.
64 Posted 17/04/2019 at 14:44:28
65 Posted 17/04/2019 at 15:20:53
Derek #43, Galloway did in fact do a fine job deputizing for Baines during that stretch of late 2015, then was himself injured, but he was also found out for a major weakness -- he could only tackle on one side, the left. Once the Prem scouts got the word out, attackers started cutting inside on Galloway instead of trying to beat him to the outside, and they ate him alive. He has barely seen the pitch since -- his loans to WBA and Sunderland were complete disasters as his managers abandoned him. At WBA he played the first three games of the season and was dropped permanently. At Sunderland the following year he was banished after five games.
This year he's had a dozen appearances for our U-23s, including the title-winning game the other night, but it's hard to imagine he's good enough for the senior side.
To those who mentioned Antonee Robinson, the news is finally good... he hasn't missed a minute for Wigan since returning seven games ago after a three-month absence due to ankle surgery. He'd been injured in November while on international duty with the USA. I'm sure Silva/Brands assessment of him this summer will determine Bainesy's fate. Is Robinson ready to be Digne's deputy or does he need another loan season? We'll see.
66 Posted 17/04/2019 at 22:16:47
He did really well for EFC when asked to step into the breach this season, but that was too far between! So if he elects to take the step(s) down below the PL to help his parent club in any way, I really applaud that! He's got many more active years left in him below what regular PL availability can offer him! I'd miss his reliability as a proven sub, though!
67 Posted 17/04/2019 at 22:31:41
68 Posted 20/04/2019 at 19:39:10
But unless theres very good reasons for giving then new contracts, it should be the end of their playing careered at GP.
I hope the club will treat with dignity and sincerity and go about what happens, better than they did with Hibbo and Ossie.
69 Posted 20/04/2019 at 20:04:37
70 Posted 23/04/2019 at 10:26:19
71 Posted 23/04/2019 at 11:33:21
1. Jags making public comments about his contract (presumably answering a journo question) - bad timing considering he'd just had a shocker against Fulham, where he'd been blown past by Babel and manhandled by Mitrovic. Granted the whole team was off but he was particularly bad. Mitrovic beat him like a drum, no disrespect to a once-outstanding defender but it is what it is. Yes he had a good game vs Arsenal but come on guys, he'll be 37 in August. Much like youngsters, ageing players struggle for consistency, but unlike raw players inconsistency will increase until it becomes the norm.
2. At his age genuine first-rate central defenders like Ferdinand and Terry were finished at top level. If he wants to actually play then he needs to step down a division and maybe eke out a final season at a lower level, like Terry did at Villa. When a player is no longer useful to a club then it's time to say thanks and goodbye. Jags is no longer even a reliable backup. We will sign a starting-calibre CB in the summer, maybe Zouma and Holgate (or one of the kids) can serve as no.4 next season.
3. Crikey Justin (#37) Thomas Vermaelen as superior to Zouma? He's 34 in November and has been plagued with injuries since 2013. He was a cracking player at Arsenal but we're going back a long time. He's been enjoying a semi-retirement jolly on Barca's payroll for the past 5 years since they bizarrely signed him. If he carries on after his contract ends in the summer no doubt he'll be off to China or the Gulf.
4. Baines too, is done at top level. His position in the EPL demands a good engine and decent pace, neither of which he has anymore. If he can stay fit then he'd be best advised maybe look to play in a less physically demanding league, like Spain or Italy as he still has technique and can play intelligently. As cover for Digne we should evaluate Robinson and if he's not ready yet then bring someone in with the required physical attributes to step in when needed. Baines is too injury-prone even to provide reliable cover now.
5. As regards staying on in non-playing roles, I've not heard either express this as a goal. I highly doubt Baines will move into coaching. Jags, maybe but has he even taken his badges? Maybe Silva wants to assemble his own staff and not get lumbered with rookie would-be coaches put in place for sentimental reasons? If Jags, at his age and with almost zero game-time was interested in making the transition to coaching at Everton it would've been wise to start this season and try and impress Silva enough to be brought onto his staff. No indication this has happened.
72 Posted 24/04/2019 at 03:47:12
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