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Everton Boss Roberto Martinez Shoulders Blame For Ross Barkley Decline

Toffees boss explains poor performances from England prodigy.

Everton manager Roberto Martinez has hinted that he is to blame for the decline in performances from star youngster Ross Barkley this season, according to the Daily Telegraph.

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The Spanish tactician’s arrival as manager at Goodison Park last season coincided with a superb breakthrough campaign for Barkley, who established himself as one of England’s most promising young players and earned himself a call-up to Roy Hodgson’s squad for the 2014 World Cup finals in Brazil.

The 21-year-old has also been the subject of some transfer interest from bigger Premier League clubs such as Manchester City, though Martinez admits he is not playing as well this year as he did last.

Still, the former Wigan boss is not overly concerned by the player’s dip in form, insisting that it is all part of his development and that his own tactical advice has perhaps ‘bombarded’ him this season as he adapts to playing new positions and in a different style.

“Last season he was just a young man enjoying his football, now he’s Ross Barkley and the opposition pay him extra attention – that makes it harder for him,” Martinez explained.

“He’s still getting through that process. What we should know is when he’s on the pitch usually the opposition have two players on him and that means there is space elsewhere – that’s something we need to exploit.

“I have been playing him in different positions, bombarding him with information to grow quickly.”

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