Michael Owen defends brilliant Everton player from criticism

Michael Owen defends Everton and England international defender John Stones.

Former Liverpool and Manchester United striker Michael Owen claimed on the Matchday Live with Fletch & Sav show on BT Sport 1 on Saturday morning (broadcast from 10am, April 2) that Everton defender John Stones has not made as many mistakes as many are suggesting he has.

Stones is one of the best and most promising young defenders in the Premier League, but there have been criticisms of his performances of late.

Many Everton fans and football observers have suggested in recent weeks that the 21-year-old, who can play as a centre-back or as a right-back, should not be playing a ‘passing game’ from the back.

The England international is very comfortable on the ball, but there have been accusations that he takes too much time on it in dangerous positions and should clear it quickly.

Former Liverpool and United man Owen rates Stones highly, and has claimed that the youngster does not make as many mistakes as many claim.

“I have watched a lot of football this year,” said the former England international striker on the Matchday Live with Fletch & Sav show on BT Sport 1 on Saturday morning (broadcast from 10am, April 2).

“I am still struggling in my mind to think what mistakes we are talking about. He slipped the other day (on England duty), I remember one at the Gwladys Street Stand for Everton in which he passed the ball to Tim Howard, but half of me said it was Tim Howard’s fault.

“I am struggling to think of that many mistakes that he has made this season, yet everyone keeps telling me that he keeps making mistakes. What mistakes? The lad’s brilliant.”

According to Opta Stats, Stones has been responsible for two of the goals that Everton have conceded this season.

  Error Lead To GoalError Lead To ShotAppearancesMins Played
John Stones 2 1 24 1,997

It is not exactly a terrible stat, but it clearly shows that Stones needs to improve and must make better decisions.

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