Two England players walk into a scandal.
The spotlight, understandably, is on the superstar. He’s the Man Utd player, the one who always grabs headlines – both front and back. The one who isn’t a guaranteed starter for club or country anymore… The one who’s past it, fat, overweight… And England’s top scorer.
But I want to focus on the other wedding crasher – Phil Jagielka.
Some at Goodison are saying that he’s finished too…
Thing’s that can now turn faster than Phil Jagielka. pic.twitter.com/epINiceelz
— John Merro (@johnmerro1) November 19, 2016
Phil Jagielka has conceded 3 penalties in the Premier League this season. In the previous 4 seasons combined, he conceded only 1. #EFC
— EFC Statto (@EFC_Statto) November 19, 2016
Things better than jagielka pic.twitter.com/BDF6UhlAjN
— Soph (@SophieG45028765) November 20, 2016
The tweet about Jagielka and penalties is startling. Three penalties conceded this season, the obvious implication being that as he slows down he’s having to resort to more and more desperate defensive tactics. His sloppy scrambling performances against Chelsea (getting skinned by Diego Costa), City, Burnley, and yesterday have been noticed by almost everyone.
But is any of this his fault?
After 274 games for Everton and 40 for England, captaining both, playing for almost a decade for us, being coveted by Wenger, and consistently solid for us – to see him slow down is a sad thing… We shouldn’t be laughing at him. Joking about how slow he is.
We’re not the press. We don’t get to be twofaced fools, patting him on the back with an open palm, and then hitting him with a clenched fist. Phil’s 34. He’s growing old. He’s been a great player for us. It’s sad to see him decline, not funny. And it certainly shouldn’t be a source of anger. It’s strange to see Jags flapping around on the floor, flailing and stretching in desperate last gap tackles, getting overtaken by attackers as they both go for the ball.
Not funny – strange.