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Roberto Martinez says Everton's Ross Barkley meant no disrespect with early celebration

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Ross Barkley celebrates early before scoring in Everton's 6-3 win against Bournemouth

Former Everton boss Roberto Martinez believes Ross Barkley meant no disrespect with his early celebration against Bournemouth.

Barkley caused a degree of controversy on Saturday when he celebrated before putting the ball in the net for Everton's sixth goal in stoppage time of their 6-3 victory over the Cherries.

Martinez managed Barkley while Everton boss between 2013 and 2016, and has claimed that the England midfielder would not have meant no harm in the celebration.

"It shows you what Ross is," Martinez told Goals on Sunday. "He doesn't do it in a disrespectful manner, he's not trying to take the mickey out of the opponent.

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - FEBRUARY 04:  Ross Barkley of Everton scores his sides sixth goal during the Premier League match between Everton and AFC Bournemouth
Image: Ross Barkley has been criticised for his early celebration at Goodison Park

"It's just pure joy. You would see Ross playing in the back yard and that's what he would do with his mates.

"He's effective on the pitch when he's having fun. The quality he has, the physicality with the technical ability, makes him quite unique.

"Of course you always want the perfect footballer to defend well and react well when you lose the ball, but when he has a smile on his face there is a very special talent."

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Roberto Martinez takes his seat ahead of the Chelsea v West Ham
Image: Roberto Martinez has defended Barkley

Martinez was sacked as Everton boss in May 2016 following a disappointing campaign in which the Toffees finished 12th having conceded 55 goals and lost eight games at Goodison Park.

For Martinez though, Ronald Koeman's Everton are still struggling defensively.

"As a fan you always want to see teams scoring goals and winning games. This performance was about that," Martinez said.

"The only worry is that we had defensive fragilities last year and they cost us too many points.

Romelu Lukaku (C) celebrates with his Everton team-mates
Image: Everton beat Bournemouth 6-3 in a comprehensive display

"The performance was going in the right direction, you are doing everything right and then one action you look fragile.

"I can see the same things still now. Three goals in the first 30 minutes and I thought Everton were magnificent,
but at 3-2 Bournemouth looked as if they were going to get back into it."

"The objective of Ronald Koeman will be to get into Europe, because when you become Everton manager you realise very quickly that you are not at a normal football club."

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