Phil Jagielka started his career at Sheffield United and helped his side earn double promotion. After playing eight seasons of professional football for the Blades, he was signed by the English Premier League side, Everton. The 40-year-old spent 12 years at Everton before returning to Sheffield United for another two seasons. The experienced centre-back has racked up 376 appearances in the English Premier League. He was released by Sheffield United at the end of the 2020–21 season. Derby County signed him at the start of the 2021–22 season, and he spent half of the season in the EFL Championship. He was released by the club following their financial issues. Stoke City came in to sign the defender, and since then he has become an important member of the heart of the defence for the Potters. His performances even earned him a contract extension, which will keep him at Stoke City till the end of the current season. Stoke City are fighting relegation and they need players like Jagielka who could keep up the club with their experience on the field. We now look at some of the stats that show how the defender has fared in the EFL Championship since his return.
The return to the EFL Championship
Phil Jagielka returned to the EFL Championship after playing 15 seasons in the English Premier League. He made 40 appearances in total in the English Second Division. Of these 40 appearances, 20 came for Derby County and 20 for Stoke City. The above viz shows the player’s pizza chart from the last season. This chart compares the percentile rank of the player for different stats against the other right centre-backs in the league. It can be observed that Jagielka was rated highly for his passing abilities. The player was less involved in the defensive work and therefore had a low percentile rank. His experience at the back proved to be handy for Derby County as well as for Stoke City.
This season, the 40-year-old has made 15 appearances for the Potters in the EFL Championship. He has scored a goal and also has an assist to his name. Both goal contributions came in the same match against Sheffield United. The above viz shows the percentile rank in comparison to the other centre-backs in the EFL Championship. It can be observed that there is a bit of improvement in the attacking stats of the player. He is highly ranked in comparison to where he was ranked last season.
Phil Jagielka plays in the heart of Stoke City’s defence and has helped his side keep three clean sheets in 15 appearances. The player contests 3.55 defensive duels and 5.08 aerial duels per 90 minutes. He has a very high win percentage of 79.3% for defensive duels and 50.6% for aerial duels. Adding to this, the player makes 5.02 interceptions per 90 minutes, with most of them coming in the defensive third. Jagielka has also shown a bit of discipline and has only committed four fouls. The above map shows that the player has contested most of the defensive actions just on the edge of the defensive and middle thirds.
Last season, Jagielka spent more time on the right side of the defence. He contested 5.1 defensive duels and 4.8 aerial duels per 90 minutes. The win percentage was once again high, at 68.2% for defensive duels and 53.6% for aerial duels. However, he gave away more fouls, and a few came in the defensive third, including a penalty. This season, he has not committed any silly fouls and has also improved at winning defensive duels. The interception rate was 5.4 per 90 minutes, and a few came in the middle third. Overall, he has shown some improvements in defence.
Playing in the heart of the defence adds a bit of responsibility on the player. He has to put his body on the line and stop the opposition from scoring a goal. Jagielka has done the same thing in his 55 appearances overall. Last season, the player blocked 22 shots, and this season he has blocked nine in total. The majority of the blocks have been made inside the penalty box. This shows that he is still not afraid to put his body on the line.
Progressing the play
Phil Jagielka is comfortable playing the ball from the back. He is always available to receive the ball and tries to play some progressive passes that could allow his midfielders and forward players to create attacks. This season, Jagielka attempts 45.46 passes per 90 minutes and has an 88.4% accuracy rate. These include 5.02 passes to the final third with a 56.1% accuracy rate. The above viz shows that most of the progressive passes have been attempted towards the flanks. The majority of these passes have been attempted from the edge of the defensive third to the final third.
Last season, Jagielka played a relatively higher line. He averaged 49.36 passes per 90 minutes and had an 86.9% accuracy rate. These included 5.52 passes to the final third, with a 52.9% accuracy rate. The passes were a bit similar, as he once again directed them towards the flanks. His presence was mostly on the right side, and therefore most of these passes have been attempted on the right side. The player has kept the ball for his side and has distributed it evenly to both flanks.
Phil Jagielka hasn’t had much of an impact on the 1×2 odds as well as the over/under lines. He plays a deeper line, and that hardly affects the goal-scoring. As for the 1×2 odds, his exclusion from the team due to injury or suspension can raise the odds for Stoke City. He has been a regular for the Potters, and the exclusion of a regular starter makes an impact on the overall odds rate.
Phil Jagielka is still giving his best toward the end of his professional football career. He is still delivering some good performances, and these have helped his side stay above the relegation zone. The 40-year-old will look to help his side climb up the league table. His consistency on the pitch earned him a contract extension. The player might look to spend another season in the Championship.
Visuals via TFA data viz engine