Post by Everton News. on Mar 10, 2015 13:56:33 GMT
Everton don’t want Ross Barkley to play for England at Under-21 Euros
Ross Barkley, the Everton midfielder, needs a complete rest after the campaign to recapture last season’s impressive form, says his manager.
Roberto Martínez will object to any attempt by England to include Ross Barkley in the European Under-21 Championship this summer owing to concerns over the player’s workload.
The Everton midfielder is eligible for the tournament in the Czech Republic and is under consideration for Gareth Southgate’s squad despite not featuring in the qualifying campaign and having graduated to full England honours under Roy Hodgson. The England manager has given the Under-21 coach first call on several young players for the tournament at the expense of their involvement in the senior friendly against the Republic of Ireland plus the Euro 2016 qualifier with Slovenia in June.
Southgate, who will oversee friendlies against the Czech Republic and Germany at the end of this month, has yet to contact the Everton manager about his intentions for Barkley and the Premier League club would have little chance of preventing his participation if selected.
However, Martínez believes it is in the best long-term interests of England and Everton for the 21-year-old to have an extended break from football this summer, with the lack of one a contributory factor in the midfielder’s poor form at club level this season.
Barkley played in the 2013 Under-20 World Cup before his breakthrough campaign in the Premier League last season. He then featured in the World Cup in Brazil last summer and missed the first two months of this campaign with a knee ligament injury, disrupting the midfielder’s progression towards full fitness. Martínez attributes a lack of sharpness to Barkley’s struggle to recapture last season’s impressive form and feels the midfielder needs a complete rest come the end of this campaign.
ROBERTO MARTINEZ has cast major doubt over Ross Barkley playing for England under-21s this summer by saying he needs a “proper break”.
The Everton midfielder has joined up with the senior side this week ahead of games with Lithuania and Italy but will be considered for the u-21 European Championship in June.
Gareth Southgate’s side head to Czech Republic for the tournament and he will be hoping to select Barkley for their squad.
However, Martinez feels the 21-year-old - who played at the World Cup last summer - needs an extended rest after the season has finished so he is firing on all cylinders for the Blues come August.
Barkley has struggled to recapture the form he showed last term in his breakthrough campaign at Everton but was the Blues’ star performer in their Europa League exit against Dynamo Kiev recently.
Martinez said the display offered glimpses of the “old Ross” and he believes a prolonged rest this summer will see him back to his top levels in time for the new season.
“What Ross brings is the bigger the occasion, the bigger the performance and bigger the response,” Martinez said.
“What was pleasing last Thursday night was to see the ‘old’ Ross getting away from people, being so threatening with his forward pass and getting his shot away with either foot.
“He hit the post with his left foot and with his right foot. I loved seeing the signs of the old Ross appearing.
“We need to look after him and make sure he has that sort of standard for the rest of the season and has a proper break in the summer.
“Do that and we will have a player completely new for next season after the experiences he has had this season.”
England boss Ross Hodgson earlier today, said: “Ross Barkley will be available to play for the under-21s and it’s up to Gareth to decide whether in conversations with Ross himself and Roberto Martinez whether the summer tournament is the best thing for him.”
Barkley, who has made 28 appearances this season, was a high point on a desperately low night in Kiev last week and Martinez has praised the temperament he showed in the Olympic Stadium.
Captain Phil Jagielka admitted that some of the Blues’ players failed to deal with the hostile atmosphere in Ukraine but Barkley was not one of them.
“It is not just because he breathes the club it is more the type of player he is and the bigger the game the easier it is for him to find spaces, the easier it is for him to control the game but more than anything his character has never been a problem this season,” Martinez said.
“It has been more about finding that freshness and finding that fitness that allows Ross to be at his very best.
“On Thursday night he looked like the powerful Ross that can have an impact going forward in the game and it is something that will help him fulfil his potential because experiences like Thursday night don’t come around too often.”