Barkley has spent two months on the sidelines after suffering a medial knee ligament injury a day before the 2014-15 season kicked off and was expected to be eased back into action over the course of the rest of the month.
His was one of three welcome names making a return to the starting XI to face Villa, with James McCarthy and Seamus Coleman also completing their recoveries from injury, as Everton recorded their first League home win of the season.
"The truth is eight days ago he was not an option in my mind to start the game," Martinez said after the 3-0 victory. "We benefited from the international break and he has been working individually and as a group and was phenomenal.
"On Thursday he put the ball in the top corner out of nothing and scored three goals in a little exercise we did and it was his way of telling everyone he was ready and he was desperate to be on the pitch.
"The way he trained I had no doubts and there was no risk from a medical point of view. The only doubt was how long he could last and he lasted longer than I expected."
Reader Comments (40)
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1 Posted 19/10/2014 at 07:13:13
2 Posted 19/10/2014 at 08:25:27
3 Posted 19/10/2014 at 08:22:22
I wouldn't even sell him for 㿔 million he is that good, he is every bit the modern day footballer, big, strong, athletic and quick. He certainly made a difference to Everton FC yesterday that's for sure.
It was a far better display yesterday. Lukaku finally looked like the penny had dropped, his overall play was so much improved and that's what we want from him on a week-in, week-out basis.
McCarthy and Coleman? Brilliant, just so happy they are back in our team, the work McCarthy gets through is sensational.
I thought Osman was the weak link again yesterday sadly, games pass him by nowadays. I just can't understand why Martinez never didn't push to sign Mo Diame ahead of Hull, the fella is simply a beast!
It also begs the question what now for the likes of Distin? Alcaraz slotted in very very confidently and was even surprisingly commanding in the air, it looked solid with Jagielka. I could understand why McGeady was left out yesterday, clearly shows Martinez isn't impressed with his form lately. Also, I think it's a big message to Atsu now that next time he sets foot on the pitch he HAS to start producing the goods.
Overall a very good win but we need to go on a winning run now, one win per month is no use. Another three points and nothing less next Sunday at Burnley.
4 Posted 19/10/2014 at 08:41:11
5 Posted 19/10/2014 at 08:40:47
Honestly though, with Besic, Barry, McCarthy and Gibson, I think we have too many similar players...and I think longer term Besic will prove a better player than Diame.
What we do need are quality long term replacements for Osman and Pienaar. Creative, tricky players, preferably with some pace too.
Agree completely about Barkley though. To play like that in his first game back after such a long time out? Amazing. Talk of him joining the England U21’s is frankly insulting given the dross that makes up the senior squad.
As for Alcaraz, it always baffles me when people say they are surprised he’s a good defender. I think he’s played a lot more good games than bad ones for us, and like someone said yesterday, he often seems to get the blame for others mistakes, and his mistakes get highlighted more than those of others.
6 Posted 19/10/2014 at 08:56:05
The problem with McGeady starting in a midfield formation is he does not give us enough defensively and his ball retention has been poor all season. One of the reasons for me we have been so open and easy to get at.
The shape yesterday was much better, allied of course to the return of Barkley, and less commented on, but just as important, Seamus.
7 Posted 19/10/2014 at 08:53:14
8 Posted 19/10/2014 at 09:09:21
9 Posted 19/10/2014 at 10:01:28
If it was a choice between Cleverly or Tadic then it's not even a contest.
I didn't even know Cleverly was playing until I checked on my phone the full Villa team about 40 minutes into the match, he was completely invisible.
Tadic on the other hand looks a right little gem of a player, just right up our street.
You have to hand it to Southampton, they always seem to either produce fantastic players or have a great scouting system bringing in crackers.
10 Posted 19/10/2014 at 10:06:49
11 Posted 19/10/2014 at 09:40:45
12 Posted 19/10/2014 at 10:11:46
13 Posted 19/10/2014 at 10:15:31
But Tadic looks a steal, and there were quite a few of us over the summer and last summer and January saying we should buy this lad and heÂs class and a set up artist and heÂs proving just that at Southampton! 㾶.8m looks a bargain with this lad and heÂdÂve been a player that wouldÂve improved us massively, and especially creative-wise in the final third as heÂs so unselfish, while one or two of our players get excited around the penalty box and get greedy! (McGeady, Osman).
Sigurdsson is another who I wouldnÂt of minded at us, heÂs quality and creative, got goals in him, heÂs another that wouldÂve definitely added something to us!
14 Posted 19/10/2014 at 10:18:41
'Barkley made a successful and encouraging return' would have more accurately represented the truth. And Martinez could have added, 'Let's hope we can keep the lad fit over longer periods!'
15 Posted 19/10/2014 at 10:43:19
16 Posted 19/10/2014 at 10:47:33
17 Posted 19/10/2014 at 11:04:56
18 Posted 19/10/2014 at 12:35:52
IÂm glad he started now, though. I really believe Lukaku will benefit more from him being back as well, as heÂll give him more service. I thought he was excellent, especially in the 2nd half yesterday. We are starting to get our best players back now and I really believe we will start climbing the table.
Special mention as well to the ever willing Naismith yesterday who, once again, put in a magnificent shift. Personally I wouldnÂt go overboard on AlcarazÂs performance, he was up against nothing yesterday and was actually quite comfortable. That said, you can only play whatÂs put in front of you.
20 Posted 19/10/2014 at 13:26:56
21 Posted 19/10/2014 at 13:52:53
22 Posted 19/10/2014 at 14:46:36
For that, he could become as revered as even Dixie Dean!
23 Posted 19/10/2014 at 16:24:01
I agree that now he struggles in a 90 minutes game but he is an excellent impact sub and has changed the game when brought on with 30 minutes to go, replacing Barkley. Baines looked much happier with Pienaar in front of him and it was a foul on Pienaar that led to Ossie putting Baines in for the cross finished off by Coleman.
These are the players who create our goals, not McCarthy or Barry, and credit should be apportioned throughout the team who all played their part in a decent win. Every player has a part to play and we can compete with any team when we are playing well collectively!
24 Posted 19/10/2014 at 17:16:45
25 Posted 19/10/2014 at 17:28:41
While Osman obviously made more than a telling contribution for that third goal, it does not negate the fact that he was at times simply woeful for long periods of the match. It's obvious to anyone watching, he loses the ball, gets brushed aside with ease, moves break down when the ball comes to him... Why can't we be honest about this?
26 Posted 19/10/2014 at 17:48:22
Makes space for other players. Fantastic talent and NOT injury prone like Dick Brady says.
27 Posted 19/10/2014 at 18:14:33
Yes he is probably better either playing for an hour, or coming on late and picking out killer passes against tired defenders, but his style is fundamental to possession-based football like ours.
28 Posted 19/10/2014 at 18:21:20
29 Posted 19/10/2014 at 18:24:02
30 Posted 19/10/2014 at 18:32:01
Couldn't agree more. Everton wouldn't be Everton if it couldn't find room for a player with Leon Osman's skills.
31 Posted 19/10/2014 at 19:01:57
32 Posted 19/10/2014 at 19:17:09
33 Posted 19/10/2014 at 19:12:24
He has been a tremendous servant and more than reliable player over the last 10 years. I went to his testimonial, if ever a fella deserved it then Osman is that guy. I have loads of time for him just as I do for the likes of Hibbert, loyal people and fairly decent players.
The gripe is merely that, as with many players, age catches up and they become less effective than they were previously, and sadly I think this is the case with Ossie. He will still do affair job but the legs just don't have it anymore.
Pienaar is and has been one if my favourite players for the last 7 years and I believe the major issue with him is the injuries and lack of fitness but when he does play he's shown how much of a class player he still is. Pienaar never relied on pace anyway.
34 Posted 19/10/2014 at 19:19:47
One own goal doesn't alter the fact that he gets blamed for others' mistakes and can only be judged when he's played a run of games. I hope he gets a good run in the team as we need at least one centre back comfortable with a football.
35 Posted 19/10/2014 at 19:32:45
I think Alcaraz will be a good replacement for Stones but I'm not going to delude myself that he'll be playing week-in, week-out until Stones is back.
36 Posted 19/10/2014 at 19:51:40
37 Posted 20/10/2014 at 03:42:48
38 Posted 20/10/2014 at 07:26:45
39 Posted 20/10/2014 at 09:14:24
I always say, you can see a quality player as soon as he steps out on a football pitch, that's why all this talk about Atsu needing months worries me: in other words, his football has been poor so far that's why he's been dropped, for a better word.
If you are a player that possesses talents and are technically gifted, it generally shouldn't take half a season before we see what that player can offer.
Tadic fits in with how Southampton play, and given Martinez liking the ball to be used on the ground he'd have settled well here too. I admit I enjoy watching Southampton play; they play quality football and they move the ball around really fast, in a way that I wish we would on a more regular basis.
Everton are at their best when the game is high tempo and the ball is passed around quickly with intensity, but we look poor when we start slowing it down to snail pace and that's easy to defend against.
Southampton seem capable of playing 90 minutes of high pressing, high intensity football. The players are very well drilled and it's two or three years of very good coaching from first Pochetino and now Ronald Koeman.
42 Posted 20/10/2014 at 11:28:23
43 Posted 20/10/2014 at 13:44:51
Also someone mentioned on another thread Â– who gave the ball away least against Villa? McCarthy and Osman.
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