Everton boss: We need protection for world-class wonderkid

Everton manager Martinez has called for protection and responsibility from England ahead of the World Cup for Toffees youngster Ross Barkley.

The 20-year-old midfielder has been selected for the England squad this week to travel to Brazil for the World Cup finals after a sensation season in the Premier League for the Everton youngster.

The academy graduate made 34 appearances in the Premier League for the Blues this season, scoring six goals and making two assists for Martinez’ side who narrowly missed out on Champions League qualification.

"My message to every English fan and supporter in general is that we should embrace the younger generation - and it is phenomenal to have that - who have been called up by the England manager," said Martinez.

"But we have to understand we carry a responsibility of allowing the young players to have a positive experience, whatever that is.”

"At the moment it is making sure they are protected in their environment, are allowed to enjoy their football and whatever they bring to the occasion is going to be a great learning curve for the future,” added the Spanish coach.

It goes with the territory of being an England international, that pressure will likely be heaped on the shoulders of such a young talent and special player, especially under the glare of the media spotlight at such a prestigious even as a World Cup.

Young Ross Barkley has seemed to take it all in his stride with the Toffees this term and he has undoubtedly benefited from the freedom and encouragement given to him by his manager Roberto Martinez. Whether or not he’ll receive the same level of care, faith, attention and, crucially, protection from England manager Roy Hodgson is another question.

The youngster may find himself in the firing line for criticism as Arsenal’s Jack Wilshere did earlier this season, if he does not instantly match up to the expectations placed on him but, as in the case of former Liverpool striker Michael Owen, perhaps the pressure and attention will spur him on as a challenge and, as his manager has stated, provide him with even more ambition, desire and experience to improve and develop, to become the star of the future we all hope he can be for both club and country.

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