Former Premier League defender Jason Cundy has highlighted to Football Fanzone three key mistakes that Everton defender John Stones makes on a regular basis, and has blasted Roberto Martinez for failing to coach the youngster properly.
Stones has experienced a noticeable drop in form and consistency this season after Chelsea had three big-money offers for the England centre-back turned down last summer.
In the 4-0 defeat to Liverpool in the Merseyside derby on Wednesday he was not the only Toffees defender to look lost, but was directly at fault for the third goal when he passed the ball out of his own penalty area and straight to Lucas Leiva, who played in Daniel Sturridge to score.
Cundy questioned the way in which the youngster is being managed by Martinez, and suggested that due to the Spaniard's inability to properly coach the player he has depreciated in value since last summer.
The former Tottenham Hotspur defender told Football Fanzone: "My question is why has he not developed at all under a manager I have taken to calling Roberto Mythinez? He has looked lost since Chelsea made a £40m bid for him in the summer and in fact due to his lack of development, their asset might have depreciated in value.
"It seems that Martinez isn’t keen on developing him as a player as he keeps making the same mistakes over and over again without Martinez intervening to point out where he is going wrong. The simple fact is Martinez is negligent when it comes to defending, all his teams have been and Stones is feeling the effects of this because of the way he wants to play and the way he sets up."
Cundy did admit that Stones himself is also culpable for his poor form, because of the number of mistakes he makes, and outlined three key errors that the 21-year-old repeats far too often.
The pundit continued: "He doesn’t make his decisions early enough and thus encourages strikers to press him, and force mistakes. He takes unnecessary risks like little flicks and Cruyff turns in the 6 yard box which can be suicide. And he is seemingly yet to learn when to play out from the back and when to send it up top.
"There is nothing wrong with a ball playing centre-back but he has to know that you can’t do this all the time and I feel Martinez isn’t teaching him this. Why does he not know that playing out from the back with 10 men against a side who have a penchant for pressing is akin to hammering the self-destruct button?
"Stones is an incredibly talented footballer but the wrong manager and wrong team are seeing him regress, so if he is to improve either he leaves or Martinez does."
After Ramiro Funes Mori's red card on Wednesday added to Phil Jagielka's injury, Everton are experiencing something of an injury crisis in defence and so regardless of his failings they will be praying Stones shakes off his knock to start against Manchester United in the FA Cup semi-final at Wembley this weekend.