Martinez - Embrace The Younger Generation
Everton manager Roberto Martinez has talked about the fans protecting young midfielder Ross Barkley by not demanding the world from him in the Cup.
Speaking to the press following the youngsters involvement in the 23 man squad for the World Cup finals, Martinez was talking specifically about the 20 year old, but his words would easily and equally apply to the other youngsters selected by manager Roy Hodgson.
'We shouldn't expect Ross Barkley, at the age of 20, to go into a World Cup and be someone who has to win games single handedly. That would be very wrong. What is important, as a nation, we have a responsibility to look after a young man who goes to the World Cup with the only intention of helping England be as good as they can.'
Martinez goes on to say that being as young as Barkley is, it's down to the press and the fans to protect him and allow him the time to learn and develop through this experience as then in a few years time we really could be sat here talking about a world class talent and not just somebody with immense potential.
'But it's down to us to allow him time and a little bit of a path to fulfil his potential with England. My message to every English fan and supporter in general is that we should embrace the younger generation - and it's phenomenal to have that - who have been called up by the England manager.'
Clearly there is a difference between embracing them and accepting they will make mistakes on the pitch as they continue to learn and even just adjust to the pressure of international competition, and then demanding perfectly and instant success, because the latter is not going to happen.
'We have to understand we carry a responsibility of allowing the young players to have a positive experience, whatever that is. Then we can allow them to grow and put them in a position where they have 300 to 400 games and can then be tested and pushed to see if they can win a World Cup.'
Finishing by saying for now they should be allowed to simply enjoy the experience and allow it to help them develop as individual players and learn to mentally cope with the occasion but for each of them Brazil is going to be a 'great learning curve' for them, and anything they can offer should be looked at as a bonus because they will benefit irrespective of results.
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