Stats: John Stones must start for Everton, but who does Martinez drop?

Phil Jagielka or Sylvain Distin? Do the statistics give us an answer?

Everton have certainly not started the season in the way they would have liked. The main reason for their poor start has of course been a woeful set of defensive performances, rather than an inability going forward.

They drew 2-2 with Leicester City and Arsenal before losing 6-3 to Chelsea. A record of 10 goals conceded in three games - does not exactly bode well for the two central defenders.

But Phil Jagielka and Sylvain Distin have long been the preferred partnership at the back for Everton, but they have been poor this season.

Both have similar attributes. Composure on the ball and great recovery pace but this season silly mistakes and lapses of concentration has seen them caught out on numerous occasions. In this Everton team, with Seamus Coleman and Leighton Baines always looking to bomb forward the central defenders need to be in tip-top shape. The fact is these two have not, while they are leaving a player out of the team who finished last term on fire.

John Stones had an excellent end to the season with Everton and shone in midweek playing at right-back for England. The fact of the matter is Everton need to get Stones into the starting line-up.

So who do they drop?

Well if you take a look at some of the statistics, it is hard to decide who should go.

  TeamPosError Lead To GoalGoals ConcededError Lead To ShotChallenge LostDuel LostAerial LostAppsMins
Sylvain Distin Everton DF 1 10 0 2 8 5 3 270
Phil Jagielka Everton DF 1 10 2 0 10 6 3 270

Even the duo's better vitals are not splitting the pair apart. But if you were to be honest, it looks as though Distin just about shaves it in terms of not making mistakes, Jagielka just shades it in terms of the positives. It is certainly a tough one to call.

  TeamPosTotal ClearanceWon TackleOutfielder BlockDuel WonAerial WonInterceptionAccurate PassAppsMins
Phil Jagielka Everton DF 28 4 2 11 5 5 166 3 270
Sylvain Distin Everton DF 25 3 2 13 6 3 182 3 270

In the end Roberto Martinez may have to think about the future of Everton as a club. Distin, at 37 in December, is five years Jagielka's senior and it may be a case of dropping the old guard, to make way for the new wave.

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