Defensive trio face late fitness tests

22/04/2016  34 Comments  [Jump to last]

Phil Jagielka is unlikely to be fully fit but could be risked
Seamus Coleman, Phil Jagielka and John Stones will all be assessed today to see if they can make tomorrow's FA Cup semi-final.

Roberto Martinez indicated that Stones has the best chance of the three of being in the starting line-up after he came off against Liverpool on Wednesday with stomach cramps.

"We are positive about John," Martinez said in an abbreviated pre-match press conference today before confirming that Leighton Baines and Aaron Lennon came through the derby unscathed.

"Medically, I wouldn't expect Phil [Jagielka] to be fit," Martinez continued, "that's the truth.

"Since he picked up the injury, it's only been a short period of time and, in any case, you'd need more time. Knowing Phil, he wants to try everything possible to be available, so we're not going to say no.

"We're going to along and treat his feelings rather than the injury and we'll see how that shapes up before the game." suggesting that it may come down to the England international's desire to play.  

Reader Comments (34)

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Jason Barker
1 Posted 22/04/2016 at 09:30:52
Never mind his feelings! If he's not fit, then he's not fit! You might as well start with 10 men. What a buffoon.
William Cartwright
2 Posted 22/04/2016 at 10:01:57
What on earth does 'treat his feelings' mean? Does it mean Jags will want to play even if not 100% fit. If so why not just say that? Or is there a sinister undertone to it all, and jags is fine but he does not want to play for personal reasons? What is it? Roberto please answer . . . . . . . .
Andy Meighan
3 Posted 22/04/2016 at 10:09:30
I reckon Jagielka would be desperate to play even if not fully fit; he loves the club and knows what it means to us.

As for Stones I don't give a flying one about him – he's a liability and the despicable way he went off the other night knocked me sick. Could you imagine the likes of Cahill, Lyons, Weir etc going off with stomach cramps? No, thought not.

Anthony Dwyer
4 Posted 22/04/2016 at 10:33:46
William, it probably has no meaning, Roberto just puts words together that he feels sound complicated and clever.

One thing I will say is no matter weather Jags is 100% or not, he would put his hand up to play, that's why we have staff in place to take these decisions out of the players hands. If Jags says yes and plays awful, or goes off after 10 mins, what then?

The man's fuckin crazy, might aswel have sacked him before the weekend and told the players to manage themselves!

Rahul Sreekumar
5 Posted 22/04/2016 at 10:54:22
He said Coleman is definitely out. Barry, Stones & Jags to have fitness tests...
Ernie Baywood
6 Posted 22/04/2016 at 11:21:08
I'm assuming treating his "feelings" means painkillers rather than actually fixing the problem.

Coleman definitely out he said.

Stones has only got the trots hasn't he?

Jason Pullen
7 Posted 22/04/2016 at 11:50:47
Isn't Jags a hamstring? There's no painkillers for that. I'd say he's no chance. So will be an interesting team selection. I'd like to see one of the U21 central defenders play, not a makeshift like Besic or Barry. I also want one of the young ones at right back. Players in their actual positions please. A bit of fresh enthusiasm. I hate hearing excuses like "if they play bad it could effect their development". What a crock. Let's see what they've got. Can't be any worse.
James Marshall
8 Posted 22/04/2016 at 11:58:36
I said this on another thread about the 'feelings' comment. Martinez is Spanish, and non-native English speakers often make the mistake of adding the 'ing' when really he means, 'see how Jagielka feels'.

It's purely a language problem - it's not always RM talking shite.

He clearly means they're going to see how Jags feels - ie, let the player declare himself fit rather than look at the injury directly.

Yes, I'm defending Martinez. Shocking I know.

Ian Hams
9 Posted 22/04/2016 at 12:02:47
Didn't Basic get into his national team as a central defender, that would make a shock headline " Player spotted in natural position shocker"
Tony Marsh
10 Posted 22/04/2016 at 12:25:05
I am of the opinion that it now doesn't matter who is in the starting line-up on Saturday as the game is already lost in the minds of the players. I have never seen any Everton team so shell-shocked and lacking in confidence as this shower.

What happened on Wednesday was so predictable, it was worse than the 5-0 drubbing in the 80s and I never thought I would say that. I would've sacked Martinez after the game and put the tea lady in before letting soft lad loose again.

Alan Wilson
11 Posted 22/04/2016 at 13:17:03
James (8) - he's quoted as saying 'we will treat his feelings rather than the injury, and see if that shapes up before the game'; he could have said observe or monitor. At the end of the day, it would a bit remarkable (of a qualified physio) to say 'medically he's not fit, but if he feels OK we'll play him).
Jay Harris
12 Posted 22/04/2016 at 13:17:34
I would like to see Besicand Stones At CB
United rely more on pace than brute force so Besicshould be Ok in the circumstances.
I hope the players can generate more enthusiasm than me.
It is the first time I haven't looked forward with hope and optimism to a SF.
Anto Byrne
13 Posted 22/04/2016 at 13:47:13
Kone is playing you heard it here first with Mirallas dropped. Lennon at right back and Oviedo dropped for Pienaar. No kids but Hibbert will make the bench for central cover.
Xavier Spencer
14 Posted 22/04/2016 at 14:09:04
Feelings nothing more than feelings, trying to forget my feelings...
Michael Kenrick
16 Posted 22/04/2016 at 15:14:12
That is a bit harsh, Andy (#3) – 'stomach cramps' is a polite term for a case of the runs... although I guess you could determine that to have been psychosomatic in the circumstances.

I just hate the way so many of us rip into our supremely talented youngsters and send 'em down the banks.

Brian Cleveland
17 Posted 22/04/2016 at 15:21:50
Yes it's all smoke and mirrors, but come on, he has to TRY and keep United guessing a little rather than say, "no chance any of them will be fit and we'll have 3 under 21s with absolutely no top level experience playing". Yes, he speaks funny, but English isn't his first language... people still laugh at my choice of words in Spanish too sometimes, and it will always be like that. Give the guy a break on this one.

Although I'd still bank on some of the youngsters to shit themselves less than Stones...

PS. Not a Martínez supporter, I want him gone, but for his phenomenally bad management of our team, not the way he speaks!

Terry White
18 Posted 22/04/2016 at 15:25:13
Andy (#3) and Michael (#16), Stones was late coming on to the pitch after half time so I think it is clear that all was not well at that time. I agree with you, Michael, too many of our so-called "fans" are all too quick to get down on all our players.
Andrew Ellams
19 Posted 22/04/2016 at 15:37:56
Two banks of 4, Lennon, Stones, Besic , Baines with Mirallas, McCarthy, Cleverley and Oviedo in front of them. Press, press, press (I know) and hit them on the counter. Bollocks to what Martinez thinks, Utd don't like it if you compete with them.
Richard Reeves
21 Posted 22/04/2016 at 16:18:03
I don't know why but for me there is an inevitability of loosing if Martinez does what he has done before and plays injured players on painkillers or just not fully fit.

Yet I have this feeling that, if a few young players were thrust into the action, they could surprise us all and show Martinez what he should've done earlier in the season – what he teased us with what he was going to do in his first season.

Liam Reilly
22 Posted 22/04/2016 at 16:41:17
I fear we won't have the legs to compete on that pitch for 90 or possibly 120 minutes. Need to get a couple of goals ahead and close the game out.

What the fuck am I saying.

Harvey Miller
23 Posted 22/04/2016 at 16:45:14
I will watch until they are 2-0 up. Then to the kitchen and open the whisky bottle I have saved for special occasions.
Then we hopefully hear the news considering the changes in Everton's management.
John Malone
24 Posted 22/04/2016 at 17:26:41
If we get beat tommorrow Martinez has to be sacked first thing on Monday for the good of the club and the fans.

That four nil capitualtion at Anfield will take a long time to get over regardless of the FA cup result but 'if' we lose the semi the amount of bad feeling and negativity which will be surrounding the club will multiply and can only mean one thing!

The manager has lost the player's and the fan's his whole regime is based on belief and that belief is gone!

Daniel Lawrence
25 Posted 22/04/2016 at 17:29:38
Why Monday morning? He should be sacked on the pitch at full time.
Charles Brewer
26 Posted 22/04/2016 at 17:39:00
The best way to motivate this team would be to fire Martinez before the match
Andrew Keatley
27 Posted 22/04/2016 at 18:41:19
Agree with Michael (16). I don't know what discomfort John Stones was experiencing at Anfield on Wednesday night - but let's honour the reports and say that it was stomach cramps. Well, anyone who is on the receiving end of a severe bout of diarrhoea is not really going to be at their peak in terms of footballing ability. Maybe it came on slowly and by that point in the game it took over. Who knows. But people questioning his desire - saying that other players would play on in similar circumstances - are probably slightly misremembering their own lack of athleticism and focus when they were last suffering from a case of the sh1ts.
Stephen Morgan
28 Posted 22/04/2016 at 18:49:26
Why not play a couple of the kids? The senior players have constantly let us down this season. Think I'm right in saying Colin Harvey made his debut in the San Siro. They would bring an energy to the side and at least they would run around a bit which is more than the experienced players have done of late.
Dan Davies
29 Posted 22/04/2016 at 19:32:09
The shits had nothing to do with Origi's goal. Origi was in a better position attacking wise than Stones was defensive wise. Simple.

By all means give youth a chance, we shouldn't be making excuses for them when they are at fault, they need to be told otherwise they won't learn.

I know Stones is a talent but John and others have had the manager blowing smoke up their arse for too long. Martinez even called Stones something like the best centre back in Europe.

Talk about setting him up for a fall! If there was any doubt about illness then he shouldn't have played.

Andrew Keatley
30 Posted 22/04/2016 at 19:48:58
Dan (29); how do you know the shits had nothing to do with Origi's goal. Seems like a strange claim to me.
Gerard Carey
31 Posted 22/04/2016 at 19:49:44
Harvey, 23, best have a couple of glasses before hand. Softens the blow if they are 2-0 up, then polish the rest of the bottle off.
Dave Williams
32 Posted 22/04/2016 at 20:18:04
Stones was close to the best in Europe the way he was playing several months ago.

I agree we slag off our own players way too much and it is hardly surprising they then lose confidence and regress.

That said I cannot believe what I am seeing at the moment and if they can't do better then it must be time to drop some of them and give the kids a chance on the grounds that they must surely be better able to last 90 minutes.

I have just done a 550 mile round trip for my dads funeral and will do another 400 miles tomorrow up to Wembley and back- is it too much to ask that the players put some real fight in for 90 minutes??

Turn Duncan loose on them before the game to see if he can instil some guts and desire but please don't play Jags if he isn't fit- we can't waste a sub like that.

Dan Davies
33 Posted 22/04/2016 at 21:03:01
Andrew #30 are we really going to blame a poorly tummy on the fact that Origi out thought and out jumped Stones?

Personally I find it a bit strange Stones played if he was that bad to the point he was a liability in defence, the last place you need passengers is the Derby.

Then again what do I know. Just speaking my mind Andrew if you have a different view your welcome to it, personally I'm fed up of all the excuses coming out of the club lately.

Andrew Keatley
35 Posted 22/04/2016 at 23:51:00
Fair enough Dan. Perhaps Stones' health deteriorated more than was predicted by the player and medical staff - these things can be hard to judge. And if Stones was ill - possibly dehydrated etc - then that is going to hamper his ability to run/jump/move/play at 100%.

Agree with you about statements/excuses coming out of the club - and I'm also fed up. I just think that the players - particularly the younger players - shouldn't be written off or berated too much. The dressing room must be a toxic place right now; nobody is anywhere near the sort of levels they have shown themselves to be capable of.

Dan Davies
36 Posted 22/04/2016 at 00:03:41
Andrew, Stones is going to be world class, but we will never see 100% out of him while Martinez is in charge.

He's a gifted footballer no doubt but he needs a good grounding in defensive duties first and foremost, once he has that in his locker, then he will be some player.

As we all know by now Martinez doesn't do defence and that is why Stones is struggling, with the right manager schooling him the skies the limit.

Jack Convery
37 Posted 22/04/2016 at 00:11:41
John Stones is a young man being asked to be the man of the house far too soon. This year has been really pressurised for him. His rise to being 'a future England Captain' when he's not even considered up to captaining Everton is a case in point.

Martinez has done him and others no favours with his hyperbolic (word chosen deliberately), comments of how good he is and will be in the future – Barkley has suffered from this too imo.

Stones has found the kitchen a lot warmer than he is used too and not just on the pitch. The January transfer window fiasco put him all over the back pages. All EFC needed to do was tell Chelsea he was not for sale at any price and that he would be looked after financially by EFC as he progressed.

The slip against the Netherlands was blown up out of all proportions by the Southern press.

He has not had a permanent partner at the centre of defence due to injuries to Jagielka. Funes Mori is still coming to terms with playing a different style of football and living in a different continent – though he has been a lot better than we all expected,

My final point is that he has been told to play the high risk football in his own half that Martinez wants – a lump up the field or into Row Z is not the RM way and never will be – hence all those points dropped from winning positions, which have now come back to bite Martinez big time, as not only has Stones's confidence been shot but also that of the whole squad when they step onto the pitch.

Senior players have downed tools on Martinez – what must that be like for young players like Stones, who will never have been in that situation before? Being told one thing by Roberto and his staff and another by senior pros.

The kid needs a break from all the negativity that surrounds him. He should not go to the Euros but should take a long summer break and get away from football completely.

A refreshed and fully focused John Stones under a new manager will be a real asset to EFC next season; if he is sold, EFC and us, the fans, will regret it for the remainder of his career.

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