Player: Phil Jagielka #6
Games Played: 37; Games Started: 37; Goals: 6; Assists: 0; Shots: 13; Shots on Goal: 6; Fouls Committed: 19; Fouls Suffered: 33; Yellow Cards: 1; Red Card: 0
With another Premier League season now in the books, the writers at RBM will be posting season review articles for each player. First up is the captain, Phil Jagielka who just completed his eighth season with the club.
One of the back-field stalwarts, Jagielka found himself paired with a rotation of new partners this season as Sylvain Distin fell out of the squad and injuries took their toll on the others. The 32-yearold (he will be 33 in the second week of next season), continued his work with Leighton Baines and Seamus Coleman while developing a relationship with the youngster, John Stones.
What He Did Well
Jagielka was one of the few Everton players who managed to fight off the injury bug and logged 37 league appearances and 48 total appearances in Euro League and cup competitions. The most important part of all of those minutes that he played was that he maintained his consistency as a defender. He finished with a solid passing percentage of 87.5%; in line with Roberto Martinez's pass-heavy philosophy. He also helped spark some offense of his own by notching six goals during the year - his best ever tally in a blue shirt.
The club and his colleagues clearly felt that he was the best among them. At the end of season awards event, he picked up awards for Player of the Year, Player's Player of the year and goal of the year. You may remember that equalizing strike against Liverpool back in September.
Earlier in his career, he had been moved to midfield at times to help push the ball forward. Though not officially used in that capacity at Everton he did make the effort to add attacking football back to his resume. Per the Echo:
"We did so well last season that a lot of teams did come and put 10 men behind the ball and it becomes harder to make the space...So maybe people don't expect me to be making forward runs so don't mark me. They think I'm not daft enough to be making 30 yard runs!..."As captain you've got a role. I never go out there thinking "Watch me dance down the right wing," I wouldn't wish that on anyone. But equally you have to sometimes take the game by the scruff of the neck and try and dig in."
What He Could Have Done Better
Though solid defensively, Jagielka got off to a slow start like the rest of the first team. That goal against the Reds in late September was his first of the season. As a center back he's not expected to get on the score sheet often but one would think that he'd grab a few assists every year. This year he did not record any.
In all, those are the sum of my qualms with the player. This was a disappointing season and most of the players did not perform up to par. Although Phil Jagielka did not wow everyone during the season, he still had a solid year and should be able to rest easy at night.
We will be using the hyper-scientific rating scale of A+ - F to grade each player's season performance. An "A" would represent a great season, a "C" for average and "F" for an utter failure. With that set, how do you rate the captain's performance for this year against the expectations you had for him at the start?
After voting, please share your comments below.