Wembley Stadium

Next Game

England v Lithuania

Friday, 27 March 2015, 19:45

European Qualifiers Group E

Celtic Park

Last Game

Scotland 1 - 3 England

Tuesday, 18 November 2014, 20:00

International Match

Martinez: Barkley is special

Everton boss Roberto Martinez has described Ross Barkley as 'one in a million', with a mentality that sets him apart from other English talents.

Last Updated: 25/01/14 at 13:09 Post Comment

Ross Barkley: Has impressed Roberto Martinez with his mentality

Ross Barkley: Has impressed Roberto Martinez with his mentality

Barkley has emerged as one of the most exciting young prospects in the Premier League over the past couple of seasons, and has flourished particularly in the last few months since Martinez took charge at Goodison Park.

Martinez believes the midfielder possesses all the qualities to succeed at the highest level, but says it is the attitude of the 20-year-old that makes him special.

"What impresses me is the mentality," Martinez said in the Daily Mail. "You can talk about talent, about physicality. He has the physical elements of the British game. The intensity and the power. But Ross also has the touch of someone brought up in a different culture.

"You've got a cool character; such an emotionally stable character. And that is what sets him apart. Whether he is playing for England at Wembley, or the opening game of the season against Norwich, or a friendly behind closed doors, his approach will be the same.

"And it's the same after someone has kicked him or he has made a good pass. Only the top guys are like this.

"Nothing fazes Ross. That temperament, I'm not sure we've seen that too often over the years

"For some reason, the English talent is often the naughty boy. It's a short fuse, or he gets into some kind of trouble. Drinking, smoking.

"Ross is the opposite. I think partly because he had a big injury at 17 (he broke his leg in three places). All of a sudden, something took it all away from him. He realised what he could lose. But home is good too. He's well-grounded. His mum is a great influence. He's one in a million."

Martinez is a huge fan of English football but admits it is frustrating that many young talents do not progress in the same way as Barkley.

"I don't blame the individual but the system," he explained.

"We've given our young players too much, too early. We say to someone of 18, 'Yeah, you are going to make it as a top professional; so here you go, big contract'. So at 19, 20, 21, he's going to go to the bookies, smoke, drink. I think the ones who don't do those things are the exception, and doesn't that say the environment is wrong?

"In Spain, for every 10 great talents one is a bit of a nutcase, if you like. Here it is the opposite. But, as I say, I don't think you can blame the individual. I think it's a problem with the system here. The system, to develop a young player, is not demanding enough.

"From the start to 18, we are the best in the world. Maybe too good. With the academies, with the facilities, too good. We give them too much. We even bring the teacher into the academies, so they don't have to go to school. Too easy.

"But the development from 19 to 22 is definitely not good enough. The FA and the Premier League are trying to address it. They are doing some great work. But we are not there yet.

"The environment, particularly the Under-21 league, is not competitive enough. Big professional contracts are being given way too soon and the environment they are in is wrong.

"Sometimes a club then tries to develop a player by sending him out on loan. But then he is out of your hands, possibly working a different way."

Martinez spent a long time reading about the history of Everton when he became manager in the summer, and is determined to bring the glory days back to the club.

He said: "Everton have won the title nine times. Not many football clubs have done that, and not many players here would have realised that.

"I hope it inspires everyone here to want to win it again. How realistic that is right now remains to be seen but we should all have that aspiration. If you don't have that vision and direction you will never get there."

Related News

Most Commented

Readers' Comments

I

really enjoyed this. Thanks F365 for another year of work avoidance - happy Christmas.

megabrow (cufc)
Our Person Of The Year: Alan Pardew

I

m no Sam Fan and this article sums him up beautifully. I always like to imagine that when he watches anything on TV and hears clapping, he stands up and aknowledges the applause, thinking its for him!

cozens
Football Managers On TV: Sam Allardyce

N

ah, Fergie is just having another pop at Rooney. He just wants to put him down whenever he gets a chance. Rooney is by far the best English player. Carrick is not far behind, mind. However, by elevating Carrick like that, Sir is having a dig at Wayne. Fergie is well-known for mind games like that. Good to see he's still feisty.

timbo
Van Gaal will thrive - Ferguson

Footer 365

Premier League: QPR look for result against Arsenal, Rio Ferdinand in selection contention

QPR boss Harry Redknapp says Rio Ferdinand could be back in the team as the squad is rotated through the festive period.

Premier League: Nemanja Matic says Chelsea can win quadruple

Chelsea midfielder Nemanja Matic insists the Blues can win the quadruple this season.

Premier League: Ronald Koeman facing selection crisis ahead of Southampton's match against Everton

Harrison Reed's impressive display against Everton has given Ronald Koeman a selection dilemma.

Mail Box

Van Gaal's Half-Term Report Card...

One Man United fan isn't happy with the rate the team is progressing under Louis van Gaal, while the mailbox also wishes Liverpool fans a Merry Mid-Table Christmas...

Hang On, Rafa's Success Is No Fluke...

The afternoon mailbox kicks the morning mailbox's arse after claims that Rafa Benitez has fluked his success. Plus, big talk about Liverpool's progress and lots more...

© 2014 British Sky Broadcasting Ltd. All Rights Reserved A Sky Sports Digital Media property