On a weekend in which Fabio Capello handed the England captaincy back to John Terry, David Moyes argued that Phil Jagielka should steel himself to take Terry's place permanently.
With the 2012 European Championship co-hosted by Poland, the country his grandparents fled after the second world war, it would be fitting if he were part of Capello's squad. However, while there is little doubting his ability, Moyesbelieves the 28-year-old needs to mentally toughen up for the role.
"He needs to drive himself on to be that person; it has got to come from within," said the Everton manager, reviewing another fine display from his centre-back that, bar a spectacular clearance from Carlos Salcido, would have been rewarded by a goal. "He has got to be the one that says: 'I want to overtake John Terry and the others in front of me.' That's the bit I want to see come from him."
Perhaps Jagielka is too nice – a criticism that has seldom been levelled at Terry – to elbow his way to the top. "Sometimes he suffers from self-doubt," said Moyes. "He has got to get back to training more regularly but he is a real good game player and that is why some of those clubs [most notably Arsenal] wanted him in the summer and why we were determined to keep him.
"He should be looking at himself as a future Everton captain and he agrees that he has to start being a leader. We have Phil Neville and Mikel Arteta but he is one of the ones who should be looking to take the group on."
When interviewed after Everton had celebrated Moyes's ninth anniversary at Goodison with an 18th successive home victory over Fulham, Jagielka was much too modest to press his own claims, though he did concede some rebuilding in the summer is necessary. Even though Seamus Coleman, the man of this particular match, cost £150,000 from Sligo Rovers, Everton are crying out for substantial investment.
"Last season wasn't too good either," said Jagielka. "Maybe it has been a couple of years of mediocrity and we need to freshen up the squad. Hopefully the gaffer can buy some players in the summer and we can have a good season."
The two are not necessarily linked – but if top-10 finishes are not to be the limit of Everton's ambition, there seems no alternative.
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