Apr 112014

Everton manager insists influential duo have begun to stir memories of some of club’s greatest midfield pairings over the years

James McCarthy and Gareth Barry have rekindled the spirit of the school of science, claims Roberto Martinez.

The Everton FC manager insists the influential duo have begun to stir memories of some of the club’s greatest midfield pairings over the years.

Asked whether he would have relished coming up against his current star pupils, the former midfielder said: “It’s a good question. I’ve never thought about it that way! I’m just glad they’re so influential for our team put it that way.

“For me they are the all what modern football is about; the way they can adapt to different systems, and be true thinkers about the game. They complement each other perfectly.

<img src="http://i3.liverpoolecho.co.uk/incoming/article6839395.ece/alternates/s615b/jr150314everton-17.jpg" width="615" height="908" alt="Everton take on Cardiff City at Goodison Park. James McCarthy battles with Gary Medel. Picture Jason Roberts.” class=”captify” title=”Everton take on Cardiff City at Goodison Park. James McCarthy battles with Gary Medel. Picture Jason Roberts.” /> Everton take on Cardiff City at Goodison Park. James McCarthy battles with Gary Medel. Picture Jason Roberts.  

“Historically the core of the school of science success was that midfield area and James and Gareth show they are deserving to be considered worthy of that level.

“They haven’t missed many games together. It’s been at the centre of everything we want to do – the combination of experience and youthful enthusiasm.”

McCarthy and Barry have rarely missed a fixture this season, while Steven Naismith has had to bide his time in order to make an impact.

The Scot has certainly done that in recent weeks however, and he is happy to fill whichever role is asked of him as the crunch end of the campaign gathers pace.

Naismith has scored in Everton’s last two victories against Fulham and Arsenal, scooping the man of the match accolade in both games.

And the 27-year-old explained how he has learned to understand how to contribute, whether he starts matches or doesn’t.

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Everton FC open training session at Goodison Park

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“I’m contributing more regularly and I feel as though I have played my part in recent weeks,” he said.

“It’s all going well but throughout the season I have had to be ready, even when I have been on the bench. It’s a squad game and you have got to be ready – the manager has made that clear. And that shows because I have played the last few games.

“As I have got older I have found it easier because I am taking in the game more. When you are younger and on the bench, you are maybe frustrated or angry because you are not playing. That can play on your mind rather than concentrating on the game.

“I have realised it is more about the squad and the only time you are going to get more opportunities is by coming on and doing something. I’ve managed to learn to observe a bit more and see where I can make more of a difference in games.”

Naismith has often found himself deployed in a number of roles across the forward line since arriving at Goodison Park in the summer of 2012.

Last week against Arsenal he played central, just behind Belgian duo Romelu Lukaku and Kevin Mirallas who were positioned on the flanks.

Everton's Gareth Barry (left) and Fulham's William Kvist Jorgensen in action Everton’s Gareth Barry (left) and Fulham’s William Kvist Jorgensen in action  

And Naismith hailed the tactical wisdom of his manager Martinez who plotted the memorable victory.

He said: “We’ve not really played that system before this season but we did a lot of work on it during the week. I take things in pretty easy and for the new drills or formations we do I don’t need to be told over and over, so it came quite naturally to me.

“It was a role I really liked playing and Rom [Lukaku] and Kev [Mirallas] led by example further forward occupying the defence which gave me opportunities to get on the ball and supply them with chances.

“We knew what the manager wanted and he explained the reasons behind it and what would happen if we played this way, so that was all the backing we really needed.”

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