Everton - Big night for Jags
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Big night for Jags

Unlike Leighton Baines, Phil Jagielka is expected to keep hold of his England shirt tomorrow night in Poland.

It will be an emotional night for Jags who technically could have actually selected to play international football for Poland due to it being the birthplace of his grandparents.

But whilst Jagielka could have ended up in an opposition shirt on Tuesday if fate had taken a different turn, the England defender never really contemplated anything other than playing for England.

"It would have been an option but I was born in England, raised in England and I see myself as English.' he said during his England camp interview with the media.

Speaking ahead of the game and taking over the role left by former England captain John Terry following his retirement from international football he added: "I`d like to be seen as the leader of the line, I`ve just turned 30 and I`m not exactly a young lad anymore.

"I`ve played quite a few games in the Premier League and the Championship to get my experience and now I feel ready.

Discussing Terry he said: "As much as I was gutted he wasn`t going to play for England again, it was also an opportunity for me to try and go higher up the pecking order. We`ll have to wait a little bit longer to see who takes on the mantle of leading the back four but I`ll be chucking my name in the hat."

On Friday Jags partnered Gary Cahill against San Marino, but the Evertonian would quite like to be re-united with former team-mate Joleon Lescott on a regular basis as England battle through the World Cup qualifiers.

'Me and Joleon met playing football, Under-19s, England Under-20s. There's a day between our birthdays, so we are pretty much the same age, It just works, the communication, the way we play. Obviously left-foot, right-foot also helps as well. It's just one of those things when you get to play with someone and it clicks. You think in a similar way.

'I find the element of partnership really important. If you're telling the person something and he's listening, you're both on the same page. If sometimes you're saying something and either they're not hearing it or they've decided to do something else it puts you on the back foot. It was something that just came about with me and Joleon.

'I don't know whether we play the game a similar way or not, it just seems to work and we've done OK when we've played together for England.

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The Journalist

Writer: Yak Mail feedback, articles or suggestions

Date:Monday October 15 2012

Time: 1:00PM


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