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With Sylvain Distin injured, Everton’s backline took a bit of a hit, but overall they still have enough to challenge most Premiership attacks.
Recently named to the England national team, Phil Jagielka has been a rock in the center of defense. His pairing with Distin was one of the best in the league, but now he’ll have to make due with others. Apart from his silly penalty giveaway against Liverpool, Jagielka has had a relatively error-free stint this season, and Everton will surely need more of the same.
Johnny Heitinga has finally got time on the field with Distin out, and he didn’t fully embarrass himself against Wolves. Now that his own-goal days are presumably behind him, the “Mad Dog” of Goodison Park should slowly achieve the form that earns him a spot in the Dutch national side year after year.
Listed as a defender, Leighton Baines ventures up field so often that he could be mistaken for a midfielder. His touch and distribution are world class, and are one of the few constants David Moyes can rely on.
Seamus Coleman and Tony Hibbert have done nothing to distinguish themselves, but neither have they played particularly poorly either. Essentially, they’re there to fill out holes in the backline, and having been asked to do only that, they succeed.
With attacking troubles that have few solutions apparent in the incoming transfer window, Everton will need a sterling backline if they hope to compete for Europe. So far, they have the makings of such a defense.