‘Martinez to blame for Barkley’s Everton struggles’

Date published: Monday 31st October 2016 11:22

Roberto Martinez stunted Ross Barkley’s development at Everton, according to Kevin Kilbane and Ruud Gullit.

Barkley started 36 Premier League games and appeared as a substitute in the other two under Martinez last season, but struggled at times in the Spaniard’s system.

He ended the season with a respectable eight goals and eight assists, and was selected in England’s Euro 2016 squad, but did not play a single minute of the tournament.

Only Romelu Lukaku (3,177) played more minutes of the 2015/16 campaign than Barkley (3,087) as Everton finished 11th.

Under new manager Ronald Koeman however, Barkley has played fewer Premier League minutes so far than five of his teammates this season.

Koeman has made no attempt to protect the England international from criticism, and the Dutchman’s approach seems to have paid off.

Daniel Storey says that the 22-year-old has benefitted from having his ‘on-pitch freedom removed’, and Kilbane and Gullit both agreed on MOTD3.

“We know what Ross Barkley gives you from an attacking point of view when he’s on his game,” Kilbane said.

“One thing that has been criticised by Ronald Koeman in recent weeks is his lack of work rate for the team, lack of positional sense, lack of awareness with the side.”

Gullit agreed with the former Everton winger, stating: “Sometimes he chases the ball and gets out of position. When he’s out of position… you get in trouble.

“Over the past few seasons working under Roberto Martinez, you know from speaking to Martinez he let him go out and express himself, but I think that maybe took away from his development.

“I think he might have needed to be shown on video, look that’s where you’re going wrong.

“The most things you learn from the older players who are close to you because they are on the pitch. If you don’t understand that you need to see the video and be told this is where you’re doing things right, this is where you’re doing things wrong.

“He’s 23, he has to develop himself as a grown up. He has now four years to play and then he gets into a routine. The best years are 27-31 where you have all the experience. Now he has to show it week in, week out, he has to be at least a six and then maybe excel to an eight or a nine.”

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