Sunderland vs Everton: Phil Jagielka recovers from World Cup hangover

The Toffees defender was a part of the England squad who fell at the first hurdle in Brazil last summer

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The Independent Online

Phil Jagielka’s World Cup hangover is finally at an end.

Back in September, the Everton defender said he did not expect to play for England again. His club, who face Sunderland on Sunday, had conceded 10 goals in their first three games, six in a single, chaotic clash with Chelsea.

But Jagielka was last week named in the England squad to face Slovenia and Scotland and Everton manager Roberto Martinez believes he has now dealt with the trauma of a terrible World Cup.

Martinez said: “A lot happened in the World Cup and it was in his head for a long time. The start of the season was tough for us – we conceded a lot of goals.”

Martinez thought the turning point was the game Jagielka thought might be his last international, the 2-0 win over Switzerland in Basel, when the defender came on to  replace the injured Phil Jones

He said: “I saw a big difference from that moment. There was a real change in his confidence

“You cannot control everything in football. You play it with your feet, so it is a game of errors. It is how you react to those errors and Phil reacted in a phenomenal manner. He took the challenge and grabbed it with both hands. He became a captain on and off the pitch.”

Meanwhile, one of Martinez’s former players has warned Everton fans they had better enjoy their manager while they can as he is destined to move on to bigger things. Sunderland’s Jordi Gomez, signed by Martinez at Swansea back in 2008, said: “With all due respect to Everton he has everything to go higher than he is now. He has everything to become one of the top managers in the world.”

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