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Jagielka hails Everton youths

Everton captain Phil Jagielka is confident the squad is capable of hitting the ground running in the new Premier League season - with several youngsters emerging.

Last Updated: 28/07/13 at 19:19 Post Comment

Phil Jagielka: Has faith in the Everton youngsters

Phil Jagielka: Has faith in the Everton youngsters

Starlets such as Ross Barkley, John Stones and Luke Garbutt have impressed in the pre-season friendlies and England defender Jagielka says the atmosphere under new manager Roberto Martinez is a positive one.

"This is the strongest squad we've had for pre-season for a while," said the 30-year-old on Everton's official website.

"Normally it's been interrupted and we've only had 12, 13 or 14 players, but the manager has got probably 16 to 18 players plus a few of the younger lads on the periphery as well.

"It was fantastic to see Ross come back and enjoy himself and play well. The same goes for John. The manager's got quite a few young lads to look at and that can only make us stronger."

Speaking after a pleasing 3-1 victory over Blackburn Rovers on Saturday, Jagielka added: "It's always nice to be scoring goals and the most important thing is to be creating chances - we did that a lot in both halves.

"We could have created a few more, but we're not going to get carried away - it's only pre-season and a few of the boys have only been back a week or so.

"We're still building up for the start of the season and hopefully when you speak to me in a few more weeks we'll be converting even more chances and looking more solid at the back.

"The manager is excited with the potential he sees and that is the state of play at the moment. We're nothing like a finished project yet, but we put in a really good performance. We're a little bit disappointed to concede the goal, but other than that I thought we pretty much controlled the game.

"We gained valuable minutes and a few of the lads came back a bit later than others so it was nice to see them get their first outing and nice for Jela (Nikica Jelavic) to get a couple of goals."

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S

terling needs to be told though that upon entering the Arsenal squad he will re-enact the final scene from Highlander where he will be thrown around a warehouse by cartoon dragons and then be a mere mortal that will only ever spend three to four weeks a season playing football and the rest on the physio's bed. There can be only one.....player available at The Emirates.

rodger's gusset
Arsenal interest in Sterling

T

he game changed in our favour when Carrick came on. We were able to play further up the pitch due to having a player who can give and go with the ball and keep possession. Yet barkley made some runs and Townsend scored a good goal but carrick's inclusion and chiellini's withdrawal made the biggest difference to the flow of the game

ricky villa
Hodgson: Barkley was brilliant

N

o, you've not silenced anyone Andros, i'm afraid. We know you can score a great goal, and it's really handy to have your direct running and willingness to shoot on the bench. But until you can do the other things expected of a winger (beat the man, put a decent cross in, stay wide etc) then you can't expect more than a regular cameo. Wonderful goal though, what a hit! No wonder Buffon wanted the shirt.

badwolf
Townsend: I've silenced critics

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