Date:Friday June 6 2014
Whilst comparisons with the likes of Wayne Rooney and Paul Gascoigne should be flattering for Ross Barkley, they also add unwanted pressure.
On Vital Everton we've been well aware of his undoubted talent for years.
We often felt he was being held back by former gaffer David Moyes and wasn't surprised in the slightest when he burst onto the scene this season under Roberto Martinez.
In truth, allowing him to gain experience out on loan with Sheffield Wednesday and Leeds United probably aided his development.
Too much pressure too soon can damage a young career and whilst England's World Cup hopes are now pointing towards a successful tournament for Barkley, the England boss is also wary of the added pressure.
'That was his full debut (against Ecuador). He`s got to be very satisfied with it. Hodgson told the world's media.
He continued: 'I was anxious to play down the expectations, seen too many young players lifted to the stars, the new Keegan, the new Hoddle, the new Gascoigne, the new Terry, the new Rio, every time someone has a half a good game, they are the new star.
'We believe in him but people shouldn`t be suggesting our World Cup should be hinging on his performance. He should be an England player for many years to come.'
Some reports have twisted those comments into criticism. For me, it's a very honest statement. We've often seen players peak early and never appear to fulfil that potential the likes of Theo Walcott were thrust into the limelight too soon.
With Hodgson looking after Barkley at International level and Martinez looking after him at club level, he appears in good hands.
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Date:Friday June 6 2014
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