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Settled role wins versatile Jaglieka England place

Phil Jagielka is no longer jack of all trades - being master of one has brought him an England call.

In his Sheffield United days Jagielka was often forced to switch positions, from defence to midfield and back again as he tried to make his way in the game.

But since the 26-year-old joined Everton, David Moyes has tried to give Jagielka the continuity of a permanent place at centre-half.

The response has been thrilling. A succession of outstanding performances in the Toffeemen's rise to the Premier League's top six has earned Jagielka a place in Fabio Capello's squad for tonight's encounter with Euro 2008 winners Spain in Seville.

It offers the Manchester-born star a chance to prove he is no one-cap wonder following last summer's debut against Trinidad and Tobago.

And he definitely feels playing regularly in one position has helped.

"Obviously when you are coming through the game you just want to play in whatever position is available," Jagielka told the FA.

"But to establish yourself at the top level you have to be less a jack of all trades and more a master of one.

"I will still play in other positions but I am happy that I have been able to have a consistent run as a centre-half.

"I had a little bit of a taster with England last season, and my form has not been bad at club level so it's always nice when you get recognised and called up for the seniors."

As Capello has already stressed he intends to make plenty of changes on Wednesday evening, Jagielka could match the 45-minute appearance he made in Port of Spain last June.

Given he was delighted just to make a B team appearance a couple of years ago, little wonder it feels like Jagielka is living the dream just now.

"My debut in Trinidad was a brilliant moment," he said.

"It wasn't just five minutes either. To get half a game was fantastic and something I've always wanted to do.

"I was happy enough the season before to earn an England 'B' cap so going one better the following season was fantastic."

Having edged ahead of Everton team-mate Joleon Lescott this time around, Jagielka is now setting his sights on ousting Matthew Upson as first-choice back-up to John Terry and Rio Ferdinand.

Upson has certainly made an excellent impression filling in for both senior men this term. And that is the example Jagielka wants to follow.

"Matthew has been playing really well," said Jagielka.

"He has done really well at West Ham and he has taken his chance at international level with both hands."



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