We continue our player by player review of the past Everton season, in which each individual will be recapped and rated. Next up: Phil Jagielka.
For the first time in what seems like years, Everton had a solid group of players in central defense. Between Michael Keane, Kurt Zouma and Yerry Mina, there was little need for Phil Jagielka to see the field much. Honestly, that’s probably for the best at this stage of his career.
At 36 years old, Jagielka’s best years are long behind him. It was evident last season that the man who had anchored Everton’s back line for years could not relied on to do that job any longer. Mercifully, Everton’s center back group was bolstered and Jagielka’s role was relegated to that of a back up.
Jagielka, did fine as a back up, and likely has something left to give in that role. But it would be poor for the team and the player, should he see significant minutes of any kind moving forward.
The only real stats of note for Jagielka are his one red card, which he started the season with, and his one goal that won Everton a much needed three points against Arsenal.
Marco Silva used Phil Jagielka sparingly, which given the other options available was reasonable. Jagielka’s starts this season came out of necessity. The opening match against Wolverhampton was due to Zouma and Mina having joined the team only a day or two prior. Once both got settled, Jagielka only saw the field in injury time or when Michael Keane was injured.
In fairness to Jagielka, his three starts late in the season were largely solid. Not counting the sudden collapse of the entire squad against Fulham, Jagielka was a part of two clean sheets one of which was against a top six squad.
Jagielka’s contract is set to expire this summer. Given his history with the team, it would not be surprising to see him remain with the team for a discounted price and a lesser role. It would also not be surprising to see him retire and perhaps join the club in a coaching role.
Whatever Jagielka decides to do, his days as the starting center back for Everton are in the past. He has been an excellent representative of this club, and will continue to be as long as he remains at Everton.
He didn’t do much this season, but when he played he was okay. And that goal against Arsenal has to be worth something.