Phil Jagielka: I may never win back England place, says Everton defender

The Everton defender was a part of the side humbled at the World Cup

Tim Rich
Friday 19 September 2014 21:15
Phil Jagielka in relaxed mood during training
Phil Jagielka in relaxed mood during training

Phil Jagielka has said he is not confident of winning back his England place as Roy Hodgson looks to build for the future.

There were not many scapegoats for the worst World Cup finals performance in England’s history. Hodgson kept his job as manager after the debacle in Brazil while nobody at the FA felt the need to resign.

Phil Jagielka, however, remains the one major casualty of the tournament, with Hodgson choosing to break up the partnership with Gary Cahill that had been at the heart of England’s defence since Euro 2012.

The Everton captain found himself dropped for the opening European Championship qualifier against Switzerland and, though he came on for the injured Phil Jones during the 2-0 win in Basel, Jagielka recognises that, at 32, time is not on his side.

“I am not particularly confident,” he said. “It is up to the manager and all I can do is play well for Everton. I don’t feel the World Cup has left a mark. It is an obvious assumption to make because it has not been great.”

Although there was a marked recovery against West Bromwich Albion and then Wolfsburg on Thursday night, Everton’s defence had conceded 10 times in their first three games. Jagielka remarked he had never played in a match like the 6-3 defeat by Chelsea, in which almost every shot finished in the back of the net.

“I am sure I would not have been asked this if we had won the first three games and kept clean sheets but I know I have to answer these questions,” he said.

“It does not feel nice, that is the easiest way of saying it, but the [England] manager has a job to do. If he is looking to build for the future, that can work against me, but if you start looking too deeply at things, it is not going to do me any favours.”

England manager Hodgson

When asked if he had spoken to Hodgson about his place, Jagielka replied: “What is there to speak about? It is the manager who picks the team and I am not going to demand reasons for not playing.

“A lot of people could do that for England. That is not what it is about. We are part of a team and, if the manager makes a decision, you stick by it. Phil Jones at Manchester United is an up-and-coming talent bought for a lot of money. If you are looking at tournaments ahead, it’s good for them to get the experience.”

Earlier this month, Roberto Martinez remarked that Jagielka was not undroppable, although when the Everton manager stuck with his captain, he was rewarded with the club’s first two victories of the season.

“There are periods of your career when you feel you cannot do much right,” Jagielka said. “It has been a sticky four months but the players and the coaching staff here have been brilliant.

“I do not think I have been horrific but, when you look at the results I have been part of, you can throw criticism my way and that is something I have to deal with.”

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