Everton news

Martinez backs Osman for England

December 16, 2013
By Mike Whalley

Roberto Martinez has backed Everton midfielder Leon Osman for a recall to the England squad at the age of 32.

Leon Osman scores Everton's first goal against Fulham.
PA PhotosLeon Osman scores Everton's first goal against Fulham.

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Osman became England’s sixth-oldest post-war debutant when he won his first cap, aged 31 years, five months and 28 days, against Sweden in November 2012.

He won a second cap in an 8-0 World Cup qualifying win over San Marino in March this year, although he has not featured in recent international squads.

The midfielder will be 33 by the time next summer’s World Cup finals in Brazil come around but Martinez believes that Osman, who marked his 300th Premier League appearance with a goal as Everton beat Fulham 4-1 at Goodison Park on Saturday, should be in national team boss Roy Hodgson’s thoughts.

The Everton manager told the Liverpool Echo: “Leon Osman showed he can still have a role for England and he can still help the England side.

“It’s a squad game nowadays. It’s not about starting. It’s about the quality of your play and whenever you’re on the pitch you need to help the team and the impact from Leon [on Saturday] was as good as it’s been all season.

“There are two separate players -- to be brutal, there are thinkers and players who do not think -- and unfortunately England have not got too many thinkers.

“Leon is a bright, bright footballer. He’s someone who takes ideas on board, he understands the reasons and he makes teams think. I think if you look at his quick feet in tight spaces he always gives you something. He understands where the space is, is quick and alert and he has a lot to offer.”

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