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Martinez urges England coach Hodgson to set Barkley free

Reuters , Wednesday 11 Nov 2015
Views: 842
Views: 842

Everton manager Roberto Martinez has urged England coach Roy Hodgson to give midfielder Ross Barkley more freedom to express himself in the upcoming friendlies against Spain and France.

Martinez's opinion that Barkley is one of the top talents in England has never wavered but the Spaniard has called on Hodgson to set up his team to play to the 21-year-old's attacking strengths to reproduce his club form at international level.

England, ninth in the FIFA rankings, breezed through their Euro 2016 qualifying group with a 100 percent record against modest opposition but can expect a sterner test from sixth-ranked Spain on Friday and France next Tuesday.

"I think it will be a real test of how England use their squad in a different way, because you are playing against probably the best team in the world (Spain) in terms of possession," Martinez was quoted as saying by the British media.

"It is probably the type of challenge they need going into the Euros, because it is completely different to what they encountered in the qualifying group.

"What I always look at with Ross is what he can do offensively against these types of teams because these teams, when they lose the ball, have left space.

"You need pace and power to break into that space, and Ross gives you that," the Spaniard added.

Barkley has scored six goals in all competitions this season but only one of those strikes has been for his country and Martinez says it is up to England's management to get the best out of the midfielder.

"Ross is the best in the business. If England don't want to play like that and just wait and get set and have the ball, then Ross is not special.

"It depends what England want from Ross really," he said.

"England, depending on how they want to use him, are going to (determine whether he will) be influential or not."

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