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Cape Town - England manager Roy Hodgson has
bemoaned an "obsession with Ross Barkley" following the 2-2 draw with
Ecuador on Wednesday.
The 20-year-old made his first
start for the Three Lions and produced an eye-catching performance, providing
the assist for Rickie Lambert's 51st-minute goal.
Due to the midfielder's strong
performances on the domestic stage with Everton last season, there have been
calls for the playmaker to be fast-tracked into England's starting line-up. However, Hodgson is wary of
rushing Barkley's progress, insisting the youngster still has much to learn.He said: "There always
seems to be an enormous obsession with one player.I will be prepared to
start any of the players in any game but I'm not prepared to address your
obsession with Ross Barkley. If he's going to be the
player we want him to be, he has to make better decisions when he turns with
While he insisted that he
wasn't criticising Barkley's performance, the former Liverpool manager felt
there were other players who were deserving of praise.
He added: "That's not a
criticism but there were other performances out there today. [Alex]
Oxlade-Chamberlain and Phil Jones were outstanding, as was Jack Wilshere in the
middle of the park, while Rickie Lambert scored a magnificent goal."
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