Phil Jagielka: Some Everton players will have point to prove in pre-season

By dsguser
22 May 2017

Everton captain Phil Jagielka admits some players did not do themselves any favours in the eyes of manager Ronald Koeman during Sunday's insipid 3-1 defeat to 10-man Arsenal.

Koeman has already shown, in his handling of Ross Barkley - an academy graduate and boyhood Evertonian - that he is not the sentimental type and is not prepared to accept anything less than 100 per cent commitment.

Uncertainty still surrounds the 23-year-old's future following his reluctance to sign the contract on offer to extend his existing deal, which has just 12 months remaining, with Koeman already looking at new recruits who can play a similar role.

And, following the performance at the Emirates Stadium, Jagielka accepts there may be other members of the squad who will return after the summer break with points to prove.

"We've got a pre-season to prepare for next year and players want to put down a marker to be part of the manager's plans," he told evertonfc.com.

"I'm not sure that was the case for every single one out there so that's perhaps something we need to address."

With seventh place and a spot in the Europa League secured a fortnight before the end of the season, there was little for Everton to play for in their last couple of matches.

They finished 15 points adrift of the top four, although there was a similar gap to nearest challengers Southampton.

It is a step in the right direction after back-to-back 12th-place finishes under Roberto Martinez, but Jagielka insists they have to have loftier ambitions - and that will require significant investment in the squad.

"Seventh is good, but we always want to aim higher," he added.

"I think it's a great place to build from. If we'd played to our potential we could have been in the hunt for the other places but seventh is a decent climb from the places we've been in the previous seasons.

"It is progress but there's still a bit of a rebuild to go.

"We're going to need a little bit of a bigger squad next season with European football so we're far from the finished article but it's nice to get back up in the top half of the table. It's something for us to build on for next season."

Everton Match Reports

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