The Blues' captain was named among the substitutes ahead of yesterday's game and came on for a late cameo to help see out the victory at Goodison Park, prompting speculation that he had been dropped due to successive below-par displays.
Jagielka gave away two penalties at Manchester City two weeks ago — both were eventually saved by Maarten Stekelenburg — and had a poor game at Burnley last weekend as Everton lost 2-1 but Koeman insists he rested his skipper with the heavy winter schedule in mind.
“Not always, but sometimes with Jags it is a fitness question," the Dutchman explained with regard to the 34-year-old defender. "I had already thoughts before the Burnley game. I like to protect Jags.
“November, December and January will be very tough for everybody, and sometimes you need to give players the opportunity to show. That was the reason finally that I changed and gave the opportunity to Funes Mori to start.”
Ramiro Funes Mori made only his third Premier League start of the campaign as Everton ran out 2-0 winners over Slaven Bilic's Hammers to remain four points off the top four with 10 matches played.
Reader Comments (4)
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1 Posted 31/10/2016 at 13:33:18
We don't know what Koeman makes of the likes of Mason Holgate in training but I'm onside with him introducing Funes Mori and hope the lad gets a game at Chelsea. Frankly I think Costa would prefer to face Jags, and that's not intended as an insult to him. Funes Mori is more mobile and does have the ability and heart to actually score, and I wish that bit of HIM was also infectious.
3 Posted 31/10/2016 at 15:48:03
4 Posted 31/10/2016 at 15:50:07
Also, I hope Lennon gets some playing time. Both players play with a lot of heart and passion, something this club needs a lot of at this time.
5 Posted 01/11/2016 at 01:45:55
I just hope he keeps players in on merit. Funes Mori played better than Ashley, so deserves to play against Chelsea