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Martinez defends caution over Barkley

by | 10/02/2015  Comments (16)  jump

Roberto Martinez has explained his decision to start Ross Barkley on the bench in the Merseyside derby, citing the character of the match and his need to be strategic about substitutions.

The 21 year-old was named among the substitutes for the second match running on Saturday, a reflection of a dip in his form and confidence as Everton have struggled as a whole to find a winning solution in recent weeks. A lively cameo in the last few minutes of the goalless draw has led some to question why he wasn't introduced earlier, however, particularly given how sterile the Blues were going forward all afternoon.

Ross, for me, is the most talented English footballer we have had for many, many years," Martinez told talkSPORT, "but, in the same manner, he is a young man and we need to protect him at times.

He is allowed to have good moments of form and other moments that are a little harder. In the derby it was a fascinating tactical battle with two teams that work really, really well in very different shapes, and Ross was always a player important for us to change things around.

We had a couple of worries on the pitch. When Steven Naismith had a knock on his neck, Ross was going to come on, but we had to be cautious with our substitutions because we had Bryan Oviedo coming back without playing 90 minutes for a long time, James McCarthy the same, and Mo Besic was also carrying a knock.

We always knew Ross could give us that quality, that special moment, and it nearly was the case when he put Seamus Coleman through for the best chance of the game. But Ross Barkley is a phenomenal talent and he is a player we want to build the team around. But, at the weekend, it was a different approach to the game."


Reader Comments (16)

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Colin Glassar
1 Posted 10/02/2015 at 20:52:32
Sounds sensible to me. Now keep Robles in the team.
Len Hawkins
2 Posted 10/02/2015 at 21:46:11
I suppose if Spurs weren't holding back Kane in a similar fashion he'd probably have score 40 goals this season by now instead of the paltry 20+. If Barkley was used in his best position, when RM finally finds which one that is, then he may blossom.
Mike Gaynes
3 Posted 10/02/2015 at 22:18:38
Barkley has shown no signs of a Kane-like "blossoming" to this point... just flashes of talent amidst long stretches of unproductive play. Fact is, he wasn't in the first 11 because he hasn't been good enough.
Chris Gould
4 Posted 10/02/2015 at 23:09:51
If he's sincere about wanting to build the team around Ross then he has to stop playing him out of position. At the moment RM plays his favourites and then squeezes Ross in where he can. That's not building a team around him. It's not even close.

RM has failed Ross this season and his confidence is shot because of it.

Tony Draper
5 Posted 11/02/2015 at 00:02:59
Barkley does not have to play 90 mins every week to progress to his maximum.

He does, however deserve protecting from the morons who seem to believe that moaning/jeering/booing will accelerate his progression.

I'd rather wait 2-3 years to see him completely BEASTING every side in the EPL in a Royal Blue Jersey...... and doing it until he's 40 !

"We've got a diamond called Ross Barkley...... ! "

James Stewart
6 Posted 11/02/2015 at 01:14:12
Does this guy take us for idiots! He has to explain his tactical blunders every week. More bullshit about Besic carrying a knock. That lad was pissed off when he got taken off again and didn't look injured at all.

Barkley should have played a larger part of the game. We offered nothing going forward without his and Lennon's pace.

Kristian Boyce
7 Posted 11/02/2015 at 01:58:52
Martinez is fast becoming the 'Russell Brand' of football. Babbling on using big and fancy words, trying to make him sound cleverer than he is.
Terence Leong
8 Posted 11/02/2015 at 01:56:18
To put into context some perspective:

Steven Gerrard was rested every now and then, because of some growing pains (his back I believe). Back then, people were also criticizing his manager and the player. Michael Owen was all out blazing, and was finished by 26 years old.

Re Ross being played out of position, while I think we are all unanimous in our disappointment over the performances, I am all for educating players when they are young. Let them find out what their strengths are, get the experience of playing in different parts of the pitch. It’ll be good for their overall footballing education.

I remember many fans slating Moyes for doing that for Coleman. I remember Moyes explaining how playing Coleman forward will develop his full-back play. And we can see the benefits of that now.

James Flynn
9 Posted 11/02/2015 at 02:02:24
I'd just play him. Have to allow he came off knee surgery, lest we forget. But if he's healthy, he plays.

The "protection" is him learning from his mistakes and improving his game. He will or won't. That's up to him, not any manager. But we won't find out unless he plays. Let someone else sit the bench.

Whoever Everton is playing is supposed to do the worrying. The other team. About Barkley, they worry. The kid plays.

Bob Parrington
10 Posted 11/02/2015 at 07:00:17
A problem is he can be (is) lazy with futile attempts at closing down when needed (similar to Lukaku). It should be good for him to know that he won't be an automatic choice unless he really puts in a shift, brilliant at times or not.

It could be that RM felt he needed more guts rather than garters early on.

Phil Walling
11 Posted 11/02/2015 at 08:57:54
'I'd just play him' is the daftest quote I've seen on here for a long time. Only a week ago virtually everyone was calling to give Wonderboy a rest and now after a couple of decent passes he's again top of the pops.

Every player has to merit a place on form not promise and this kid is taking a long while to fulfil his. So give him time. But not as an automatic choice, please!

Teddy Bertin
12 Posted 11/02/2015 at 09:17:36
Mike (#3), Spot on. Roberto's statement is the professional way of saying his confidence is low because the fans have been on his back so we're keeping him out of the limelight to lower expectations. Martinez's job is on the line, he wouldnt be resting/protecting a young player who was playing great; he hasn't got time for that.

If Barkley was older we'd say he'd been dropped but as he's still developing Roberto can put a positive spin on it and call it 'protecting'. We need this kid's confidence back soon as we're seriously lacking creativity in midfield.

Brian Waring
13 Posted 11/02/2015 at 14:09:38
"'I'd just play him' is the daftest quote I've seen on here for a long time. Only a week ago virtually everyone was calling to give Wonder boy a rest and now after a couple of decent passes he's again top of the pops."

Can't believe I'm saying this (walks upstairs to have a lay down) but good point Phil.

Dominic Tonge
14 Posted 11/02/2015 at 15:58:13
Roberto Stone guide to Spanish, Lesson Two:
"Mo Besic has a knock......"

This Spanish phrase roughly translates to:
Mo Besic is dropped for Gareth Barry.

Steven Telford
15 Posted 11/02/2015 at 16:38:45
"Ross, for me, is the most talented English footballer we have had for many, many years,"
- RM
Alas, not quite talented enough to replace a quasi-concussed Naismith. Balls!

Martinez is full of shit on this one, he was indecisive and plain wrong on that Barkley (in)decision. Granted, Ross on recent form was justified being on the bench, however giving him 5 minuets, His tactics killed the game off and he showed zero initiative to go for the win.

where better to give an extremely talented local lad (who knows the gravity of the game) a chance to discovered form.

How does he explain the pathetic stats in regards shots. Was it by any chance, "Interesting"

Mark Andersson
16 Posted 11/02/2015 at 16:50:14
I have become a Phil Whaling fan. Seriously Phil talks sense and I was once one of his biggest critics, thinking he was just another half glass empty guy.

Thanks to ToffeeWeb and the many different views my own perspective of things has been a education in footballing matters. I donÂ’t have enough knowledge to contribute but do know when I hear common sense.

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