Arsenal 1 Everton 1: Ross Barkley compared to Paul Gascoigne and Michael Ballack and can be hero for England at World Cup, claims Roberto Martinez

The 20-year-old midfielder produced a dominant performance at the Emirates

Ross Barkley’s stand-out performance against Arsenal in Everton’s 1-1 draw at the Emirates prompted his manager Roberto Martinez to make comparisons with Paul Gascoigne and Michael Ballack in assessing the 20-year-old’s style of play.

Martinez was effusive about Barkley, who played a role in Gerard Deulofeu’s equaliser, passing the ball wide to Bryan Oviedo for the crucial cross. Watched by Roy Hodgson, Barkley was, according to Martinez, ahead of any English player he had worked with in terms of “mentality” and application.

Martinez said: “I’ve got great admiration for Ross, he’s got great potential. We need to give him time, we have to recognise as real English diamond he isn’t ready yet and it will take time but he has everything to mark a real era in our football.

“What we need to do is make sure we give Ross another 50 starts to see his evolution. Any player needs to develop an understanding and learn how to be effective ... in this country we need to be more protective over our youngsters, because in Ross we have someone, if we look after him properly, who can give us something unique.

Asked about Gary Lineker’s tweet comparing Barkley to Paul Gascoigne, Martinez said: “When I see Ross, I see bits of [Michael] Ballack and bits of Gazza. It’s for us to make those comparisons, but I can guarantee you Ross Barkley is quite unique. He has incredible balance with both feet, really strong, really powerful.

“He is developing an increased awareness. He is someone you can compare to any other nation, and I mean the young Brazilians, Dutch, Spanish players. He has a gift and that talent. It is always good when people love the game and they give their opinion. Ross, as long as we give him time and allow him to develop, he will be fine.”

Martinez also praised the contribution of Gareth Barry, on loan from Manchester City. He said: “I’ve never seen such a level headed footballer. He never gets emotional. We don’t have enough specialists in that position in the English game, that No 6’. Michael Carrick is the only other player. We produce box to box midfielders but we don’t produce that tactical player who plays in front of the back four.

Every team spends a fortune on that number six - Fernandinho, Paulinho, Sandro, Lucas. We don’t produce them. Carrick and Barry are the only two. Managers in the Premier League need to take responsibility to develop players that other countries do.”

Despite not winning, Arsenal’s lead at the top of the Premier League is now five points with games against Manchester City away on Saturday and Chelsea at home on 23 December promising to give them a clear indication of where they stand in the title race. Wenger’s team travel to Napoli tomorrow knowing that they will qualify for the knockout stages of the Champions League if they avoid a three goal defeat.

Were they serious title contenders now? “It depends what you call serious,” Wenger said. “As long as we are five points ahead, you cannot rule us out even with the best desire. It will be a tough Premier League, the consistency in the end will be rewarded. The consistency of course is down to us for us to keep this attitude until the end of the season.

“It gives us belief. Consistency in results strengthen your belief. You could see just in Everton today, if they lost 5-0 at Old Trafford they would not have played like that. They had just won 1-0 at Old Trafford, came here, nothing to lose, you could see what kind of influence confidence has.”

Suggested Topics
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
  • Get to the point
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.

Day In a Page

Not even the 'putrid throat' could stop the Ross Poldark swoon-fest'

Not even the 'putrid throat' could stop the Ross Poldark swoon-fest'

How a costume drama became a Sunday night staple
Miliband promises no stamp duty for first-time buyers as he pushes Tories on housing

Miliband promises no stamp duty for first-time buyers

Labour leader pushes Tories on housing
Aviation history is littered with grand failures - from the the Bristol Brabazon to Concorde - but what went wrong with the SuperJumbo?

Aviation history is littered with grand failures

But what went wrong with the SuperJumbo?
Fear of Putin, Islamists and immigration is giving rise to a new generation of Soviet-style 'iron curtains' right across Europe

Fortress Europe?

Fear of Putin, Islamists and immigration is giving rise to a new generation of 'iron curtains'
Never mind what you're wearing, it's what you're reclining on

Never mind what you're wearing

It's what you're reclining on that matters
General Election 2015: Chuka Umunna on the benefits of immigration, humility – and his leader Ed Miliband

Chuka Umunna: A virus of racism runs through Ukip

The shadow business secretary on the benefits of immigration, humility – and his leader Ed Miliband
Yemen crisis: This exotic war will soon become Europe's problem

Yemen's exotic war will soon affect Europe

Terrorism and boatloads of desperate migrants will be the outcome of the Saudi air campaign, says Patrick Cockburn
Marginal Streets project aims to document voters in the run-up to the General Election

Marginal Streets project documents voters

Independent photographers Joseph Fox and Orlando Gili are uploading two portraits of constituents to their website for each day of the campaign
Game of Thrones: Visit the real-life kingdom of Westeros to see where violent history ends and telly tourism begins

The real-life kingdom of Westeros

Is there something a little uncomfortable about Game of Thrones shooting in Northern Ireland?
How to survive a social-media mauling, by the tough women of Twitter

How to survive a Twitter mauling

Mary Beard, Caroline Criado-Perez, Louise Mensch, Bunny La Roche and Courtney Barrasford reveal how to trounce the trolls
Gallipoli centenary: At dawn, the young remember the young who perished in one of the First World War's bloodiest battles

At dawn, the young remember the young

A century ago, soldiers of the Empire – many no more than boys – spilt on to Gallipoli’s beaches. On this 100th Anzac Day, there are personal, poetic tributes to their sacrifice
Dissent is slowly building against the billions spent on presidential campaigns – even among politicians themselves

Follow the money as never before

Dissent is slowly building against the billions spent on presidential campaigns – even among politicians themselves, reports Rupert Cornwell
Samuel West interview: The actor and director on austerity, unionisation, and not mentioning his famous parents

Samuel West interview

The actor and director on austerity, unionisation, and not mentioning his famous parents
General Election 2015: Imagine if the leading political parties were fashion labels

Imagine if the leading political parties were fashion labels

Fashion editor, Alexander Fury, on what the leaders' appearances tell us about them
Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka: Home can be the unsafest place for women

Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka: Home can be the unsafest place for women

The architect of the HeForShe movement and head of UN Women on the world's failure to combat domestic violence