Tom Cleverley criticism condemned by Everton manager Roberto Martinez, who labels petition against Manchester United midfielder 'aggressive'

An online petition has been set up urging Roy Hodgson not to take him to the World Cup

The Everton manager, Roberto Martinez, has condemned the baiting of Tom Cleverley as damaging to the player and something that would happen in no country other than England.

Although the Manchester United midfielder did not play in Wednesday's friendly against Denmark, he was booed when he was named as one of the substitutes. The 24-year-old, whom Martinez managed at Wigan, is the subject of an online petition urging Roy Hodgson not to take him to the World Cup. The petition, set up by Glenn McConnell, an England fan from Blackpool, has attracted 15,000 signatures.

"I don't understand it, I just don't," said Martinez. "Tom is part of a new generation of outstanding English talent. There are only a few English players who have had the sort of education where they look as if they could have been brought up in Holland, France or Spain. Tom is part of that.

"My disappointment is that he is being judged so aggressively. He is still growing. In other countries you wouldn't get this. You would judge someone at 28 or 29 – that is when you would expect such strong opinions. But for a young man to have such pressure, it's incredible."

 

Martinez, for whom Cleverley played 19 League matches while on loan from United three seasons ago, described him as "a level-headed boy". However, he warned that the sustained abuse could do his career long-term damage. "It will have a huge impact," he said. "Psychologically, you need to be perfect to play in those big games and that will affect your preparation. I hope it won't force him to hide or look away. I think it will be the opposite; he is going to be motivated to be as good as he can be. But I do not understand that sort of scrutiny of a young player."

Suggested Topics
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment
'The Archers' has an audience of about five million
radioA growing number of listeners are voicing their discontent; so loudly that even the BBC's director-general seems worried
News
people
News
20. Larry Page: Net worth: $23 billion; Country: U.S; Source of wealth: Google
business
Life and Style
tech
Arts and Entertainment
A collection of 30 Banksy prints at Bonhams auction house in London
art
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services

Day In a Page

Isis hostage crisis: Militant group stands strong as its numerous enemies fail to find a common plan to defeat it

Isis stands strong as its numerous enemies fail to find a common plan to defeat it

The jihadis are being squeezed militarily and economically, but there is no sign of an implosion, says Patrick Cockburn
Virtual reality thrusts viewers into the frontline of global events - and puts film-goers at the heart of the action

Virtual reality: Seeing is believing

Virtual reality thrusts viewers into the frontline of global events - and puts film-goers at the heart of the action
Homeless Veterans appeal: MP says Coalition ‘not doing enough’

Homeless Veterans appeal

MP says Coalition ‘not doing enough’ to help
Larry David, Steve Coogan and other comedians share stories of depression in new documentary

Comedians share stories of depression

The director of the new documentary, Kevin Pollak, tells Jessica Barrett how he got them to talk
Has The Archers lost the plot with it's spicy storylines?

Has The Archers lost the plot?

A growing number of listeners are voicing their discontent over the rural soap's spicy storylines; so loudly that even the BBC's director-general seems worried, says Simon Kelner
English Heritage adds 14 post-war office buildings to its protected lists

14 office buildings added to protected lists

Christopher Beanland explores the underrated appeal of these palaces of pen-pushing
Human skull discovery in Israel proves humans lived side-by-side with Neanderthals

Human skull discovery in Israel proves humans lived side-by-side with Neanderthals

Scientists unearthed the cranial fragments from Manot Cave in West Galilee
World War Z author Max Brooks honours WW1's Harlem Hellfighters in new graphic novel

Max Brooks honours Harlem Hellfighters

The author talks about race, legacy and his Will Smith film option to Tim Walker
Why the league system no longer measures up

League system no longer measures up

Jon Coles, former head of standards at the Department of Education, used to be in charge of school performance rankings. He explains how he would reform the system
Valentine's Day cards: 5 best online card shops

Don't leave it to the petrol station: The best online card shops for Valentine's Day

Can't find a card you like on the high street? Try one of these sites for individual, personalised options, whatever your taste
Diego Costa: Devil in blue who upsets defences is a reminder of what Liverpool have lost

Devil in blue Costa is a reminder of what Liverpool have lost

The Reds are desperately missing Luis Suarez, says Ian Herbert
Ashley Giles: 'I'll watch England – but not as a fan'

Ashley Giles: 'I'll watch England – but not as a fan'

Former one-day coach says he will ‘observe’ their World Cup games – but ‘won’t be jumping up and down’
Greece elections: In times like these, the EU has far more dangerous adversaries than Syriza

Greece elections

In times like these, the EU has far more dangerous adversaries than Syriza, says Patrick Cockburn
Holocaust Memorial Day: Nazi victims remembered as spectre of prejudice reappears

Holocaust Memorial Day

Nazi victims remembered as spectre of prejudice reappears over Europe
Fortitude and the Arctic attraction: Our fascination with the last great wilderness

Magnetic north

The Arctic has always exerted a pull, from Greek myth to new thriller Fortitude. Gerard Gilbert considers what's behind our fascination with the last great wilderness