This week has seen Everton decide against appealing the decision to send off Phil Jagielka in the season opener against Wolverhampton Wanderers. The club captain let the ball escape him and his lunge on Diogo Jota was deemed worthy of a straight red card.
It means that Jagielka will miss the next three games for Everton. It may also mean the end for the veteran defender.
It has been no secret that the fan favourite’s skills have been diminishing in recent times. For the past three seasons, the former England international has been in steady decline. It is, of course, no surprise. Affectionately known as ‘Jags’ the 11-year Goodison vet turns 36 this week. Considering his injury past, it is little wonder his best days are firmly in the rearview mirror.
This summer Everton snapped up two new centre-back signings. Both Yerry Mina and Kurt Zouma arrived on deadline day. One of the pair is likely to replace him for the weekend clash with Southampton. The other should overtake him in the pecking order along with current starter Michael Keane.
Everton should then start considering the future. Talents like Mason Holgate, Morgan Feeney and Lewis Gibson are not going to get any better without first-team action.
Jagielka is and should always be considered something of a legend at Everton for his magnificent service to the club. But, as his red card against Wolves signified, he is no longer on the pulse at this level.
It should be the beginning of the end for the Everton stalwart.