Martinez excited by Barkley promise
Everton boss Roberto Martinez believes there is plenty more to come from teenager Ross Barkley - but said he has not cemented a place in the team yet.
Barkley, 19, underlined his potential by capping an excellent performance with a stunning long-range strike in last week's season-opening 2-2 draw at Norwich in the Barclays Premier League.
The midfielder, who has represented England at various under-age levels, has been tipped for big things for some time, but Everton have carefully nurtured his progress.
He first appeared in a matchday squad three years ago, but suffered a triple leg break soon after and has been eased back, via loan spells at Sheffield Wednesday and Leeds.
Martinez said: "When you have all the attributes he has as a player - he's a powerful boy with exquisite technical ability - he gets you excited.
"I think more importantly, in a young player, you need that mentality and that desire to learn and to want to listen. Ross has that.
"He had a very good performance against Norwich, but he's still fighting for his place and he wants to make sure that he takes advantage of that opportunity that he had on Saturday.
"He's another member of the squad and we need to give him that freedom to enjoy his football."
Martinez is now preparing for his first competitive home game in charge as West Brom visit Goodison Park.
The Spaniard is relishing what will be a special occasion for him but his prime concern is his team's performance.
Martinez felt they gave a good account of themselves at Carrow Road, where they came from behind to lead before being denied by a Ricky van Wolfswinkel equaliser.
He said: "It will be special but remember football is about players. It's not about managers.
"Always the first home game is a great memory but the memory will be around the result, the performance and the relationship that I can see between the fans and the players.
"I'd rather focus their energy and their support towards the players rather than to myself because football is about the players."
West Brom head coach Steve Clarke would like to think Nicolas Anelka will play for the club again - but admits he does not know what to expect.
Anelka has been granted indefinite compassionate leave by the Baggies following the death of his agent Eric Manasse last weekend.
Clarke confirmed the 34-year-old former France striker spoke to him and West Brom's sporting and technical director Richard Garlick about retiring from football altogether on Thursday before departing the club's training ground.
Asked on Friday morning if he fully expected to see Anelka playing for the midlands outfit again, Clarke said: "Fully expect? I don't know, because from the conversation we had the other day, it was really negative.
"But we have given him time to think about it. So I'd like to think he could play for West Bromwich Albion again."
Clarke was adamant there had been no hostility in the exchanges between Anelka and the club.
"Obviously Nicolas lost a close friend and an agent over the weekend - he died suddenly," the Scot said.
"Nicolas went to Richard on Thursday and indicated that he wasn't in a good place.
"I went in and had a very brief chat with him, and he wasn't in a good place.
"So the club have decided just to give him a bit of time to go away and think about it and get himself in a better place for the future.
"Really, that is as much as there is to tell on the situation - it wasn't dramatic, there was no big bust-up, he didn't storm out of the training ground. It is just a boy who is really quite upset."
West Brom's first match without Anelka, who was a free agent when they signed him this summer, is Saturday's top-flight trip to Everton.
Clarke stressed an injury had already made it unlikely that the frontman, who made his Albion debut against Southampton last weekend, would feature at Goodison Park.
He said: "He was actually injured. He hadn't trained with us this week, so I was preparing the team for Everton without Nicolas in it anyway - he got a kick against Southampton."
Someone who is set to be involved against the Toffees is Scott Sinclair, whose season-long loan switch from Manchester City to the Baggies was confirmed on Thursday.
On the 24-year-old, Clarke said: "He comes here hungry and determined to prove he is still the quality player he showed he was at Swansea. He is desperate to play this weekend."
The other new faces Clarke has added to his squad this summer are striker Matej Vydra, recruited on loan from Udinese, and defender Diego Lugano.