Belfast Telegraph

UK Website Of The Year

Martinez salutes Everton's English starlets

By Phil Medlicott

Published 05/01/2016

England's future: Harry Kane
England's future: Harry Kane

Everton boss Roberto Martinez feels his side's 1-1 draw with Tottenham on Sunday was a game that boded well for England ahead of Euro 2016.

Toffees duo Ross Barkley and John Stones and Spurs' Harry Kane each made notable contributions to an absorbing Premier League encounter at Goodison Park, while the latter's team-mate Dele Alli was widely seen as man of the match.

That youthful foursome - along with several others who were involved, including Tottenham's 21-year-old Eric Dier - are aiming to be part of England's squad for the Euros in France this summer.

And Martinez said: "It was a joy to see so many English players on both sides with young ages but big roles in the game.

"You could see players that probably wouldn't get opportunities in other teams in this league.

"It is the best league in world football, but sometimes you need to be a bit patient.

"What you are seeing now is such a variety of good young English players.

"You don't get many opportunities of having generations with players like Ross Barkley, John Stones, Harry Kane and Dele Alli - a large pool of players with something to offer, but very, very different. The options are huge.

"It is important they play in games like this, that they develop and that they can then bring experience, because the psychological aspect of a player in big tournaments is important."

An England man with plenty of experience who was an unused substitute on Sunday is Toffees defender Phil Jagielka.

The 33-year-old Everton captain was back as part of a matchday squad for the first time since sustaining a knee injury in October.

He is close to a return to action, but Martinez stressed tomorrow's Capital One Cup semi-final first leg against Manchester City at home will not see Jagielka feature in the first XI.

"It was just important for us to have the figure of a captain and that feeling of comfort in the dressing room," Martinez said.

"He will be part of the team in the next few games, but I think maybe the FA Cup third round game (against Dagenham next Saturday) is a more realistic target."

Belfast Telegraph

Your Comments

COMMENT RULES: Comments that are judged to be defamatory, abusive or in bad taste are not acceptable and contributors who consistently fall below certain criteria will be permanently blacklisted. The moderator will not enter into debate with individual contributors and the moderator’s decision is final. It is Belfast Telegraph policy to close comments on court cases, tribunals and active legal investigations. We may also close comments on articles which are being targeted for abuse. Problems with commenting? customercare@belfasttelegraph.co.uk

Read More

From Belfast Telegraph