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v Wolfsburg

Thursday 18 September K.O. 20:05

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Duo Have Defensive Know-How

Keeper Tim says Jagielka and Distin have a great understanding.

Duo Have Defensive Know-How
Tim Howard

Tim Howard believes Everton are capable of emulating the defensive stinginess that saw them make history two years ago.

The Blues racked up a Club record 17 clean sheets in the 2008/09 season with Howard proudly displacing legendary stopper Neville Southall in the record books.

Key to that achievement was consistency at the heart of the defence with Joleon Lescott and Phil Jagielka forging a formidable unit.

The duo played nearly every game and Howard watched their understanding develop match by match.

The USA international – named the Club’s player of the month for September – says he see similar potential in Jagielka’s current partnership with Sylvain Distin.

The pair worked superbly in unison to thwart Liverpool on Sunday and earn a third successive shutout – a sequence Everton’s 31-year-old glovesman is confident can be extended.

He said: “Defensively we have been rock solid, we have cohesiveness and the relationship between the back four and keeper is the key to that.

“We have limited the chances against us and made our blocks when we have needed to. When you combine that with your goalkeeper pulling off the odd save then that is what it is all about.

Jagielka DistinEverton's central defensive duo Phil Jagielka and Sylvain Distin share a joke 

“We have consistency and a certainty about the back four and that is so important. A couple of seasons back we had Phil Jagielka and Joleon Lescott and that worked great. I can see the same happening now with Sylvain Distin and Jags.

“They have that understanding. They can read each other perfectly, their body language – everything.

“I have always said that – no disrespect to anyone – Jags would the first name on my teamsheet anywhere. The guy is a rock and he and Sylvain complement each other well.”

The Blues head to Tottenham Hotspur on Saturday looking to extend their recent upturn in form and Howard says the team’s strong foundations mean they have every chance.

“We are excited and have been playing with confidence, we have got momentum and we want to carry on,” he said.

“Spurs have built a wonderfully-talented squad and beat us there twice last season. We are going down to roll our sleeves up and dig in and, off the back of how we are playing, we think we can get something there.

“You have to tip your hat to Tottenham and what they have achieved in finishing fourth last season,” he added. “But we don’t look at them with envy or jealousy and when we stand toe to toe with them I don’t see there being much in it.”

Jimmy SoerheimEven the twos are good, I dont think sending yobo away was the smartest move by moyes, now we are wounerable at the back with only heitinga as a cover and he has shown us that he is elsewhere, and out of form. This leaves young boy mustafi and he is not in the same league as yobo. Though yobo is in love with nigeria that should not exclude him from taking part of our climb up the table.

Friday 22nd October 07:10 Report Comment

Ricky JervisTo all the Distin doubters yes he went through a recent spell of poor form, so does everybody unfortunatly for defenders and keepers it uually results in goals for the opposition, Sundays performance from him showed us all what the boy can do he was immense blocked goal scoring oppertunities and looked totally in control of everything that was thrown at him with Jags beside him they can become a core of a lot of clean sheets. Keep up the great work rate and 3 points will come home from London this weekend

Thursday 21st October 15:54 Report Comment

CRAIG WEILDINGDistin as been a rock this last couple of games.

Thursday 21st October 14:33 Report Comment

Paopitaya SmutrakalinClean sheet again this Sat. But when i saw coleman played last Sun, he is truely a rising star.!

Thursday 21st October 11:54 Report Comment

dan parkeralls good but johnny and jags were better last season

Thursday 21st October 10:14 Report Comment

Wai Kin Lowi admit i am one of those who doubt distin's ability since he came to everton last season but he proved me wrong. he was the man of the match against liverpool for me.

Wednesday 20th October 22:51 Report Comment

Mikel ArreguiCertainly as we've seen these last games clean sheets are key to success, and right now we have a very good keeper and a defense that's getting better game by game, I hope we can continue this way. After all, only in the United game we've conceded more than 1 goal, something to be taken into account! And congrats to Howard, deserved trophy, especially for the United game were he saved us and was superb.

Wednesday 20th October 21:02 Report Comment

DAVE HUNTERJags & Distin are looking better and better every game they play, it takes time to form a good defensive partnership and I think Sunday against Liverpool showed how good they now are together.

Wednesday 20th October 17:24 Report Comment

Glen Williamsdoes this means heitinga's almost definitely off to munich? this would be my team if i was moyesy (if only) Howard Heitinga Jagielka Distin Baines Coleman Arteta Fellaini Pienaar Cahill Saha/ Yak

Wednesday 20th October 16:31 Report Comment

Milin Chandrahmm 4-1 totenhum anyone?

Wednesday 20th October 16:26 Report Comment


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