Belfast Telegraph

Martinez: Club needs take priority

Everton boss Roberto Martinez has stressed in the wake of Football Association chairman Greg Dyke's speech on the state of the English game that Barclays Premier League clubs must prioritise their own individual needs.

Dyke last week said the "frightening trend" of the reduction in the number of England-qualified players in the top flight needed addressing, and pledged to set up a commission to find a solution to the problem with a view to boosting the prospects of the national team.

The 66-year-old wants the FA and the Premier League to work together on the issue, but asked about Dyke's speech on Thursday morning, Martinez said: "The responsibility is - you don't do something for someone else. We do it for Everton."

Wayne Rooney and, more recently, Ross Barkley are salient examples of young English players that have come through the ranks at Everton and made an impact in the first team, leading to involvement with the senior national side.

And Martinez feels it is important for that to continue, albeit with the focus being on what it means for the Toffees themselves.

The Spaniard said: "Our football club has always had terrific young talent.

"We need to make sure we use that talent in the first team. To do that we need to help them and have a structure where they can be given an opportunity to show what they have got.

"Ross Barkley is a great example. We have got similar cases now, deeper down.

"I do feel if you want to be successful at any club, you need to have good young talent, and a good young generation that can be guided, representing the values of the football club, on the football pitch.

"That can help the foreign additions, (in terms of) how to play and how to represent the club."

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