Why Abject England Will Benefit Everton in 2014/15

Following the pattern that has emerged since 1966, England have once again disappointed at a major tournament, however, could their failure to shine be beneficial for the Blues in the upcoming campaign?

By @liammadevisible

Following the pattern that has emerged since 1966, England have once again disappointed at a major tournament. Indeed, two of Everton’s key players, Leighton Baines and Phil Jagielka, have come in for criticism due to this, whilst young hopeful Ross Barkley has been used sparingly.

However, could their failure to shine be beneficial for the Blues in the upcoming campaign?

First of all, the Leighton Baines witnessed in Brazil has been a pale shadow of the swashbuckling yet dependable full back who has been imperative to Everton’s team since late 2008.

True, he was afforded little cover in Manaus v Italy, whilst England’s midfield sought out Glenn Johnson more in the ultimately fatal defeat against Uruguay. That said, he will be disappointed with his contribution at the tournament, having failed to provide the attacking outlet he is famed for in addition to maybe being guilty of affording Candreva too much respect and space for Balotelli’s winner in the Amazon.

Jagielka was outstanding in Manaus, but maybe could have defended Uruguay’s first goal better on Thursday. However, any blame for the second is bordering on absurd in my opinion.

Both players will be hurting, and could well in the long run see their international places in jeopardy, which may not be the worst thing for their club next season. A la David Beckham in 1998 (Sans the vitriolic backlash and peroxide mop), both players will have a point to prove.

And we all know how that worked out for Beckham, right? It is possible both these players, who have shown fortitude throughout their careers, will bounce back better than ever.

Leighton Baines could do so with a Lahm-esque evolution into a holding midfielder, as suggested last season by Everton boss Roberto Martinez.

England's loss, Everton's gain: Leighton Baines
England’s loss, Everton’s gain: Leighton Baines

Whilst his club mate will, in my opinion, most likely bounce back to show the form that made his ascension to both Everton captain and England regular a no-brainer.

One only has to look at his comeback from serious injury and his regaining his place in 2012 to see Jagielka has the ability to bounce back in his locker.

Additionally, if as many seem to want on social media and in sections of the press, the two make way, surely less football for England for the pair would keep them fresh for what will be a very busy campaign for Everton?

On the flip side, as with every England failure at a major tournament, there is more than likely to be a changing of the guard come Euro 2016 qualifying.

And a key element of the new guard is more than likely to be Ross Barkley.

I personally see a twofold benefit in respect of him. First of all, the fact he has not lit up the tournament as a certain striker from Croxteth did at Euro 2004 potentially lessens the amount of suitors for him at the moment.

The second facet is as his international career blossoms following the World Cup, he will surely improve as a player, and hopefully provide the maturity that was lacking on occasion last season for all the brilliance Barkley did show.

In turn, he could also see at this point that regular football at Goodison Park will aid his international career.

This will hopefully lead to Barkley seeing his long-term future with the Blues and allaying any fears some fans may have about Everton losing a prized asset as they have done in the past.

I also believe what I have stated for Barkley can also be applied to John Stones.

The silky centre back was unfortunate not to go to Brazil given his staggering performances towards the end of last season. However, I, and I suspect many others, think he may well have a big part to play in England’s upcoming campaign.

This would undoubtedly aid his development, even if it is at the expense of his mentor and club captain.

Also, would this not send out a message to young and emerging talent both at the club and others that Everton is not only a place where players will get a chance in the Premier League, but also a platform to also forge an international career?

Just ask Gerard Deulofeu for further evidence of that.

In conclusion, England’s disappointing campaign may well be saddening yet not overly surprising, but it could well become Everton’s gain come 2014/15.

Liam Knight


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