Date:Thursday January 2 2014
So as it turns out Everton are indeed on the brink of a defensive crisis.
Phil Jagielka is set to miss around four weeks with a hamstring problem.
He was replaced by the returning Antolin Alcaraz, who made his first appearance since joining the club in the summer against Southampton.
He seamlessly slotted into defence alongside Sylvain Distin, who then succumbed to hamstring issue after the Southampton game and he was duly replaced by John Stones for the match against Stoke.
With Johnny Heitinga seemingly days away from a move out of Goodison Park to either Italy or West Ham, that doesn't leave too many options for Everton gaffer Roberto Martinez.
Distin is likely to be out for around two weeks, which will mean that stand-in defensive duo Antolin Alcaraz and John Stones will continue to deputise.
Just keep your fingers crossed that we don't lose another one!
"I couldn`t be happier with the partnership. I thought Antolin Alcaraz, after five months out injured, has come back and faced two of the hardest tests you`re going to get in the league - one because of the dynamic play of the Southampton strikers and then today, with the threat of the direct play into Peter Crouch and the movement around him and the physicality, but I thought Antolin was magnificent. Martinez told the Echo.
He continued: "I think we`re going to see something special in John Stones` career.
"He has played right-back many times for the Under-21s but centre-half is his natural position. John Stones has got everything to be a good, modern centre-half. He is good on the ball, is good in the air, he can read the game exceptionally well, but more importantly he has a leader inside of him and I think he will be one of the best centre-halfs in the English game."
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Date:Thursday January 2 2014
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