John Stones will be a special defender for club and country

    John Stones will be a special defender for club and country

    Roberto Martinez is glad that John Stones is giving him a headache.  The young centre back has been a tremendous deputy for Phil Jagielka and Sylvain Distin and Martinez is enjoying having the competition for places with 4 strong centre backs.

    “That is the sort of problem I want as a manager,” said Martinez. “Young John Stones has had to bide his time and now that he has taken the opportunity he doesn’t want to lose his place, and that is what you want.

    “I will never have a problem having 22 players for 11 positions. The problem is when it is the other way round, when you have injuries, suspensions and are struggling to put a side out.

    “Stones and Alcaraz were magnificent against QPR, and have an incredible understanding after just two games together.”

    Speaking of John Stones himself, Martinez tipped the young Barnsley born defender to become a very special centre-half for the national team and some are tipping the youngster to make a surprise bid to make this years world cup squad.  Martinez says Stones is learning and improving all the time and has all the attributes needed.

    He said: “He has a clear understanding of making the right decision when on the ball.  He is very conscious about when to play and where the angles are. He has got everything.

    “He is a confident boy. He knows that he is quicker, stronger and more athletic than the striker he is marking at any time. John will develop into a special centre-half for England.

    “When he was at Barnsley he was developing as a right-back, but with the way we want to play, he will become a top centre-half.

    “Slowly we have been playing him in a back three to allow him to understand the concepts of a centre-half but he is now ready to play in a back two and I do feel he has an incredible future in his hands.”

    Martinez has said that the only way that Everton will be able to compete at the moment is by developing the youth set up and he feels that Everton have one of the best youth set ups in the country alongside Southampton having seen a number of players come through the ranks to hit the first team in recent years.

    “It is the only way we can compete against money,” Martinez said. “Developing our own youngsters and getting players a little bit earlier, before they are attracting teams with big budgets.

    “It is a way of being creative and not needing the big amounts of money to be able to compete against the top sides.”

    “I don’t know enough about the other squads to be honest, but Southampton, I must admit, have got a very good group of youngsters.

    “I have been working with (academy manager) Alan Irvine for the past six months and he is doing an incredible job.

    “I do feel we are going to get more youngsters through and everything set up at Finch Farm is geared towards that. It would be stupid of me not to open that door and developing a path for our youngsters.

    “It is something quite special for a group of players to be playing together and enjoying their football in that manner.”


    How highly do you rate the Everton youth set up?  Have your say at

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