Martinez on mistakes by young players

, 18 January, 26comments  |  Jump to most recent

Roberto Martinez says that he will continue to allow the younger members of his team to make mistakes as they develop into fully-rounded players.

The Everton manager was responding to questions about recent mistakes by the likes of Ross Barkley and, specifically, John Stones who was caught in possession early on in the replay at West Ham but was bailed out by a terrific save from Joel Robles:

You do [have to accept that] and I think that's not just John, it's young players in general, Martinez told the Liverpool Echo. I do feel that young players, when they are exceptional, give you more than you will lose. Ross Barkley and John Stones are clearly that sort of example, also Romelu Lukaku who is only 21.

We have players who are really, really young but who are exceptionally talented and I think as a football club we need to develop these players to reach the best level in order for us to compete and reach levels you are not allowed to.

You have to accept that there is an unknown quantity in trying to reach high, high standards and in the odd moment you will have to accept some errors that are part of their development — but you want the team to get those errors out of the way so they don't affect scorelines.

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Martinez has been consistent in the latitude he has afforded his younger players to learn in the environment of the first team, taking the view that that is the best way for them to become the best they can be.

He is also adamant about adhering to his principals when it comes to a possession-based game that starts with playing the ball out from the back. It was from one such incident that Stones was caught trying to dribble away from his area against the Hammers but Martinez insists that he will not try to take that out of the young defender's game.

No, I will never tell [John] off for carrying the ball out of defence, the boss continued. Clearly there are actions they are allowed to do on a pitch. It's all down to decision making and you need that experience to get the decision to come naturally.

I think John is learning quickly. He is someone who looks more mature than the experiences he has had in the league. When you see players like Ross and John and Rom enjoying their football at such a young age it gives you just a little bit of an insight into how bright the future can be if we can keep those players developing.

Quotes sourced from Liverpool Echo

Reader Comments (26)

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Gerry Quinn
1 Posted 19/01/2015 at 00:10:15
...and let's hope he doesn't have the same opinion on the "older" players who keep cocking up!
Colin Williams
2 Posted 19/01/2015 at 00:27:31
Gerry, well said! The so-called experienced players have let us down this season with MISTAKES!!

I wish Robbie would stop talking! And... get on the grass with the coaching staff to earn their money. The coaching staff should be ashamed of their performance this season.

We have many quality players within the squad (especially young players) who should / could perform at higher level.

Most players go through a sticky patch during the season, some players more than others. Although, when nearly all the players are suffering through very poor individual performances you must look at the "Management Team"!

Once again Robbie, stop looking to focus the problem with youth! Look a bit closer to home!!

Minik Hansen
3 Posted 19/01/2015 at 01:54:07
Maybe our current older members of the squad haven't been in the same setup of their development through this philosophy of passing it around at the back, where absolute top club players are used to.

That is a next level we're waiting for to get to, but we are not a big spending club so we stick to our players going through these challenging times, getting to play this kind of game (though with higher tempo, which we've been lacking, but been witnessing in the last few games), so getting behind them, pushing them to the next level must be our aim. Whatever happens, always be there for the team, COYB.

Harold Matthews
4 Posted 19/01/2015 at 01:57:02
Barkley enjoying his football? Could have fooled me.

Fans are not stupid. We can get frustrated with the youngsters but we know they are learning the game. As Gerry and Colin have pointed out. It's the experienced players who are not performing to the required standard.

Interesting to hear that he is still sticking with the possession football with the build-up from the back. He obviously firmly believes it's the only way we will compete with the money boys and, who knows, with the right personnel he might be correct. Unfortunately, we are now in a slugging match with the paupers and his philosophy is putting us on the ropes.

Also interesting were the words of David Unsworth after his U21s played their opponents off the park the other day. "That was a real Everton performance."

Now what Everton are we talking about Unsy? Your Everton or Roberto's Everton? The School of Science Everton or the New Philosophy Everton? We scored from a corner so maybe that's a clue.

Tim Greeley
5 Posted 19/01/2015 at 03:19:50
Yet you wont' give Luke Garbutt a genuine opportunity, which will lead to him leaving for free in 6 months. He has shown class, get him involved!!!

And while yer at it, Bobbo, bench Barkley for the next two and then unleash Pissed-Off Barks against the Shite. Or would we get Sulky Waa-Waa Barks!?!?
Not an easy job this managing gig!

Darren Hind
6 Posted 19/01/2015 at 06:26:10
It seems mistakes off the pitch (Garbutt's interview) are not so easily forgiven.

If Martinez doesn't want inexprienced kids exposing his shortcomings in interviews, he shouldn't put them up to do them.

Joe Clitherow
7 Posted 19/01/2015 at 09:12:53
For some reason this really annoyed me and then I realised what it was: more obfuscation, lack of proper focus, more la la la.

For avoidance of doubt, player development is a medium- to long-term objective, the short-term is to put points on the board and pull away from the bottom. In the situation we are in, giving any player, young or old, permission to make mistakes is the very last thing he should be doing. This is the gung ho attitude that kept Wigan attacking against Swansea and got them relegated instead of tightening up and cashing out.

The guy is just deluded and clearly cannot identify problems and then prioritise.

Any questions of this nature should not have been answered, he should just have said his focus is on the team winning.

While he did answer it though, this all carrot, zero stick approach is a massive part of what is stopping Barkley developing in my opinion. Barkley would be a great player under Alex Ferguson (with a mix of stimuli); a nearly man under Martinez.

Joe Clitherow
8 Posted 19/01/2015 at 09:34:28
By the way, what he is clearly not mentioning that he is doing here is analysing and showing the difference to the player between bringing the ball out and defending by a clearance, and where the difference is a good decision or a bad one; i.e. actually COACHING the players. This is the same as "work out corners for yourself".

What is this guy and his team aactually getting paid for?

Colin Glassar
9 Posted 19/01/2015 at 09:37:00
I just wish that Roberto would shut up for a few weeks and concentrate on winning the next couple of games.

If you want to tell the world about your football philosophy, Roberto, write a book!!

James Martin
10 Posted 19/01/2015 at 09:38:21
Maybe Garbutt isn't getting a game because he's not that good and in Baines and Oviedo he's got two of the league's best left backs ahead of him? Then again, Garbutt has been given games in both the Premier League and Europa League. I don't see many other top teams doing this.

It seems though, just like Moyes, unless Martinez is playing five academy players every game, he's not 'giving youth a chance'. The reality is only Stones and Barkley (when he fancies it) are truly good enough for a regular starting spot.

Callum McNab
11 Posted 19/01/2015 at 10:09:05
So basically it's all been the kid's fault. As someone has just said, I wish Bobby would just keep it shut, keep the performances going, get the points to safety and let's start giving the fans what they deserve.
Fraser Auld
12 Posted 19/01/2015 at 10:20:38
FFS...Damned if he does damned if he doesn't.

Like it or not, part of Bobby's job is to speak to the press. They are going to ask him questions and he isn't going to answer them by saying "Sorry, the lads on ToffeeWeb are fed up of me talking so can we just skip to the end where I talk about us needing to win the next match..."

He can be criticised for much this season but not this, it's bordering on ridiculous.

What exactly do you want him to say when asked a question about mistakes being made by young players?

Seems to me that when Moyes got asked questions about young players there were howls of derision on here because he always emphasised "not making mistakes", resulting in perceived or otherwise reluctance to give youth a chance. Bobby says the opposite and still nobody is happy.

The thing that both managers agree on is young players make mistakes. They sure as hell aren't going to learn from them while sat on the bench, I would suggest Bobby's approach will benefit the players and the club in the medium/long term, albeit accepting that he needs to get results in the short term.

Hope we smash the Baggies tonight.

Brent Stephens
13 Posted 19/01/2015 at 10:57:00
He was responding to questions rather than offering spontaneous opinions so couldn't duck the question.

Joe #7 might have a point about this being obfuscation. And it might seem as if he's blaming the young lads. But, as I say, he was asked a question.

He's doing with Ross and John what we panned the Scottish manager for not doing enough – giving youth a chance. So praise for that.

Having said that, the down side in what he says, as Joe points out, is that the short term objective is points. And what do points mean – prizes! well, avoiding relegation in our case.

Stones coming out of defence is sight to behold at times. But there are times when we would say his judgement has let him down and he should have hoofed it (as in the above example when Robles got him off the hook). I hope in that example Roberto would have been of the same opinion – hoof it.

Nigel Gregson
14 Posted 19/01/2015 at 11:05:38
Well put, Minik Hansen. Couldn't agree with you more. Those guys pointing to Sir Alex Ferguson's development style, should read his auto biography (which I just finished yesterday). I was left with the impression that Roberto is actually trying to follow Sir Alex's blueprint, but with his own personality.

Darren H, Tim Greely: The manager needs to have control of the dressing room and his biggest disciplining lever is taking away game time from a player (from Sir Alex's autobiography). On one hand you all blame Roberto for not being tough enough, on the other hand chastise him from being too tough on Garbutt. Sorry but you can't have your cake and eat it too.

Right now, everything he does is a problem, it seems, and the narrative will be built to somehow denigrate him.

Daniel A Johnson
15 Posted 19/01/2015 at 11:13:52
Best ignore all the pre match news conference bullshit to be honest.

Especially when Martinez is asked questions like :

Would you like to win on Monday?
Are 3 points crucial?
Will you wear a cap like Pulis?

Let's see what the talking is like on the pitch. If Martinez cocks WBA up then he's already one foot out of they door, in my eyes.

Brian Harrison
16 Posted 19/01/2015 at 11:07:04
Surely what he should have said was that he encourages the players to play the ball from the back, but John has to realize there are times that's not possible. But RM has said that he won't shout at John for his mistake.

Now I can well imagine what Alex Ferguson would have told his young centre back after he tried to dribble round 3 players on the edge of his own box. And I don't think it would be what RM has said about Stones, and Ferguson had the best record ever of producing young talented kids. I don't remember any of them playing with fear but they knew if they cocked up they would be told in no uncertain terms of what was expected.

Phil Walling
17 Posted 19/01/2015 at 11:16:03
Pissing about in your own penalty area invariably leads to disaster whether you are 21 or 37. What the feck does it prove? That you've 'got good feet'? Or are cleverer than the other guy(s)?

More likely that your one-dimensional manager has got to you!

Brian Waring
18 Posted 19/01/2015 at 11:40:08
Worth a read:
Struggling Barkley deserves a break — in the Sunday Times (Subscription required).
James Stewart
19 Posted 19/01/2015 at 11:56:28
All well and good but Stones has hardly played this season. What are Howard’s, Barry’s, Distin’s and Jagielka’s excuses for regular cock ups?
Daniel A Johnson
20 Posted 19/01/2015 at 12:03:30
Surely though its one thing allowing young players freedom of expression and letting them make mistakes.

But surely its another not to drill defensive discipline, respect for your opposition and some common sense into young players.

If in doubt put it out surely.

Harold Matthews
21 Posted 19/01/2015 at 12:48:33
Stones was not playing to the system. It's the way he is. Super casual. Very little sense of urgency right now but he seems smart enough to learn from his mistakes.
James Stewart
22 Posted 19/01/2015 at 13:44:17
What system is that Harold? If we have a defensive system, it's pretty well hidden!
Denis Richardson
24 Posted 19/01/2015 at 14:50:55
Tbh I was hoping Roberto would make more use of the younger players. Stones and Barkley are the only two who've gotten regular minutes.

I would have liked to have seen the likes of Garbutt, Oviedo and Browning given more run outs, even if as a few subs appearances. Besic is only getting regular game time because McCarthy's injured.

With all the injuries we have had, and still have, I'm surprised these guys are not playing more.

Colin Glassar
25 Posted 19/01/2015 at 15:14:12
Fraser, I'm one of his biggest backers on here but I think A) he's under no obligation to give long winded answers and, B) he could just do a Fergie or a Mourinho and tell them it's none of their business or, keep it monosyllabic.

Whatever he says will be twisted by all and sundry to fit their own dastardly purposes. So, if I was him, I'd talk less and get that 'defence' sorted.

Will Firstbrook
26 Posted 19/01/2015 at 15:27:35
Spot on Denis. Seems like a case of the gaffer saying one thing but doing another on this particular point.

As has been noted, the number and length of injuries we've had this season would surely have supported, if not warranted, more regular first team playing opportunities for some of the younger lads (beyond Barkley and Stones and to some degree, Besic). Yet we've seen all too often this season, the preferred option of playing senior players out of position instead (with no real benefit or success). This is what irks me the most, I'll admit.

I am not suggesting we throw all of the reserves into the first team but I think some have been deserving of a run here and there for experience. I thought Browning did well in the derby back in Sept, all things considered. If a young lad can come out of that experience intact, surely he is capable of playing in a side against the likes of QPR, Hull, and others?? The Garbutt situation is similar if not more alarming due to his contract winding down.

Fraser Auld
27 Posted 19/01/2015 at 18:36:22
That's fine Colin, like I said he can be criticised for a lot this season, the state of the defence being one of them.

He can't win at the moment though, if he had answered as you suggest there would be a different thread on here titled "Martinez avoids talking about mistakes" and there would be a load of posts slagging him off for not answering the question. There's a poisonous atmosphere around the club and has been for months, this is just another example.

Mourinho's last press conference was 16 minutes long, that wasn't 16 minutes of him telling the press to mind their own business.

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