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Jagielka defends Everton style after criticism from Liverpool captain Gerrard

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By Andrew Tuft

Wednesday 31 October 2012

The Merseyside derby may have ended in a 2-2 draw but the sides are still fighting it out in the Press rather than on the field, as the Daily Mail reports Everton defender Phil Jagielka has replied to the comments of Liverpool captain Steven Gerrard.

Phil Jagielka and Steven Gerrard contest a challenge

Gerrard criticised Everton’s style of play earlier this week, complaining that Everton’s style was too direct and physical, despite the statistics of the contest not bearing out the midfielder’s claims.

Jagielka, meanwhile, has suggested that Liverpool’s own style of play is counter-productive, adding that the Reds now try to play passing football simply for the sake of doing so. The centre-back admitted that, at times, Everton could be a direct side, in order to play to the strengths of Marouane Fellaini, but hinted that the way Liverpool adhere to a strict short passing philosophy is not beneficial.

If Stevie says we are a long ball team then I’m not going to deny the fact that we play long balls. Do we play them for the full 90 minutes? No. But we play quite direct. Who wouldn’t when you have…Marouane Fellaini?”, Jagielka said.

We don’t believe in passing it around for half an hour for the sake of it. We won’t change the way we play. We won’t start to look to put in a thousand passes a game.

The Mail notes that, in the match itself, Everton registered 56% of possession compared to Liverpool’s 44%, and also made more passes - 448 to 314 - than their near neighbours.

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