Antolin Alcaraz leaves Everton boss Roberto Martinez with a defensive dilemma

Everton face a defensive crisis following 0-0 stalemate with Swansea

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The Independent Football

It is odd to say a side that has conceded just one goal in its last four games is going through a defensive crisis but after Antolin Alcaraz walked off with a dislocated shoulder in Saturday’s goalless draw with Swansea that is where Everton find themselves.

Alcaraz is likely to face a lengthy lay-off and with John Stones also injured, the Everton manager, Roberto Martinez, faces a dilemma.

In September, he seemed to have discarded Sylvain Distin, perhaps for good. The Frenchman, now 36, is out of contract in June and Alcaraz, who accompanied Martinez from Wigan to Everton, seems the better long-term bet.

On Saturday Distin was not even on the bench, so when Alcaraz came off Martinez was forced to employ Gareth Barry as a makeshift centre-back, an experiment that might be repeated.

 

After the stalemate against Swansea – which Martinez likened to going to see a highly recommended film and coming out disappointed – he said Distin “has had a period of not being back to his best”.

Distin may play against Lille in the Europa League on Thursday, as he did in the goalless draw in France.

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