Ross Barkley – Have we really got a diamond?

John Daly 22/09/2016  142 Comments  [Jump to last]

The game against Norwich City on Tuesday night has led to much gnashing of Everton teeth. The fear that perhaps Ronald Koeman is simply emperor’s new clothes has, as much as we might be afraid to admit it, started to nag away at some Evertonians. As Jim Keoghan explored in his article, The Burden of the Past, we have been conditioned as Evertonians to fear the worst a little. I am convinced (as most Blues it seems), however, that this is a new era; that we perhaps are on the cusp of some genuine progression.

Having said that, there is a Ross Barkley-sized fly in the ointment. If the Norwich game was a blip for Koeman, it was an indicator of a greater malaise for Ross. Indeed, listening to some of the open dissent towards him (previously hidden or murmured) on the way out on Tuesday night, it seems that a bigger number of us than ever before are beginning to lose faith. He gave the ball away numerous times, he looked unable to muster himself to press effectively, he declined a number of aerial duels and generally looked lost.

Ross was meant to signal the bright new dawn under Roberto Martinez. “Look,” many of us gloated, “Moyes told us he wasn’t up to it. Of course he didn’t set the Championship alight – it’s like taking a Ferrari out to pick up the milk. Of course he didn’t show his very best. But now he’s been given a chance – look what he can do!” And indeed, in those early days under Martinez, he looked exactly the player any Premier League side would give their right arm for. Bold, physical, two-footed, exciting. He looked the very prototype for the modern footballer. And he was one of us!

So what has gone wrong?

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Expectation, in a word. Ross has simply not progressed. As much as he is capable of the brilliance that we have seen against, for example, Manchester City (on two occasions over the past few years) he is also, unfortunately, more often capable of the listlessness recently observed at Sunderland and against Norwich. Ross is almost 23 now, the age at which mistakes should be becoming a rarity and consistent effectiveness becoming the norm. It seems, however, that he is caught in time, unable to move on from the flawed genius that he was when he first broke through, the player who looked every inch the complete footballer his PE teacher saw:

"It is normal for us to rotate positions but Ross could do it all – tackle, pass, dribble and score – it was all quite natural for him. When he came to us, we played him as a centre-back because of his physique. He was very strong for his age group. He could also score goals too and we felt he needed to be involved more, so we played him up front, before we settled on playing him in midfield at about 13.”

Perhaps Ross’ greatest fault is his lack of physicality. For such an athlete, this seems like an odd statement. But it is his lack of preparedness for the fight, his shying away from the 50-50, his inability to effectively press, his inability to make the decisive happen instinctively that means it looks like he will never quite be the player we all want him so desperately to be. And it is this desperation from the stands for “one of our own” to set the league alight that means if he doesn’t make it, it will be doubly galling.

Every Evertonian would love to see Ross Barkley fulfil his undoubted talent and become a mainstay of our midfield for the next twelve or so years, bursting past defensive midfielders, finding space where there was none a millisecond ago and scoring at will with either foot.

It seems at the moment, however, that this is further away than at any point in his stalling Everton career.

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John Wilson
1 Posted 22/09/2016 at 20:51:03
He can shoot, dribble, and pass but takes too much time to think. Koeman cannot count on him because he has no defensive skills-he can't tackle or mark an opponent. Better use Unsworth to coach Barkley for the next three years and maybe he'll be ready for the Premier League.
Garry Corgan
2 Posted 22/09/2016 at 20:59:29
I think this article is going to get some backlash from match-going Evertonians who see Ross as a great potential talent and, importantly, one of our own.

Having said that, I agree with this assessment and believe that if Ross was a young foreigner we'd brought over, we'd be putting him alongside Oviedo and Besic as signings that didn't quite make the grade.

For me, Ross is mentally fragile and lacks a footballing brain. For all the talent in his feet, he has almost nothing up top. I see a player that runs into challenges, often makes the wrong pass and, as this article points out, offers little in terms of pressing, harrying or tackling. He's our Jack Wilshere – a player who had great potential but has shown little progress but is often talked up by the media.

Somebody, perhaps Koeman, needs to take the bull by the horns and tell Ross that now is the time to step up. He needs to grow a pair of bollocks and play with more arrogance and belief. He needs that to become an intrinsic part of his game.

I think this season will be make or break for Ross, lest a Tom Davies or Kieran Dowell will make him look like he's standing still – or the powers that be decide we need to bring in somebody else to fulfil that role.

Liam Reilly
3 Posted 22/09/2016 at 21:07:44
His confidence is low at the moment and he needs support from the stands. The more he hears groans of frustration the lower he'll sink.

I doubt there's a manager in the PL that wouldn't take a chance on Ross; given the chance and that day, I hope never comes.

Patrick Murphy
4 Posted 22/09/2016 at 21:10:50
Perhaps the lad has had so much advice that he's got himself stuck in limbo, not knowing what to do to please his various advisors, fans included. Ross obviously cares about the team and his role in it, but as has been said, he isn't a naturally outgoing person, and sometimes that shows in his game.

It's getting to the time that will be make or break for him as a top Premier League player. If someone at the club could get his talent to flourish in the Everton team ,it would be fantastic and save the club a fortune, but I and many others have serious doubts that he can overcome whatever it is that is holding him back.

Dan Davies
5 Posted 22/09/2016 at 21:15:38
Does Ross belong in the 'luxury player' bracket?
Jay Harris
6 Posted 22/09/2016 at 21:17:15
I am sick of hearing the word "potential".

FFS, Alan Ball was playing in a world cup final at about 20 years of age. Howard Kendal was in a cup final team at 17, Joe Royle was playing in the top league at 16.

These are the players you would call diamonds. Ross has moments of brilliance but they are just like YouTube cameos.

I actually really like Ross and would love things to work out for him but he hasn't done enough to persuade me or I guess the manager that he should have a regular place in the first team of a club with top 4 ambitions. I really think he needs a rest for a while to recharge his batteries and get his head straight.

Raymond Fox
7 Posted 22/09/2016 at 21:21:46
I thought Ross played well against Middlesbrough but then he puts in a poor performance against Norwich.

He's looking like a lost cause I'm afraid, like Garry I have in the past said the only sense I can make of his performances is that the lad is dim and is therefore not suited to be the playmaker of the team. I take no pleasure in saying that, but I believe that is his limiting factor.

Play him up front with Lukaku where he would have to play more instinctively, it may work!

Can Koeman afford to experiment, though? Probably not.

Paul Hewitt
8 Posted 22/09/2016 at 21:36:30
I love Ross, I really do, but it's time he realized he needs to step up and grow a pair. He has all the potential in the world be he needs to start showing it.

Tuesday was the ideal time for Ross to take a game by the scruff of the neck and run the show. Sadly he didn't, and never looked like he would.

I want Ross to be our Steven Gerrard, but sadly he is miles and miles away, and sadly I don't think h ever will be. I fear Koeman won't put up with it (quite rightly), and fear we may never see the Ross we hope to.
Anthony Hawkins
9 Posted 22/09/2016 at 21:38:45
We all want Barkley to turn good but he is far too inconsistent. He could be the next Gerrard, Lampard or Vieira but needs to apply himself a lot more.
Anthony Dwyer
10 Posted 22/09/2016 at 21:40:02
Maybe we expect to much from Ross, even though he's 23, he isn't a full international, he hasn't yet got a full settled position, and he seems to carry the burden of the Goodison faithful on his shoulders.

Why is Ross viewed as someone who has to perform ever minute of every game, yet Deulofeu can flit in and out of games, month on, month off, and be hailed as our most important player?

Mirallas is similar, he also flits in and out, and while he isn't as widely loved on the terraces, he should be out scoring and assisting Ross at this stage in his career.

Ross has a very similar record as Gerrard, Lampard and Scholes at his current age, yet he plays for a team that hasn't even come close to winning a trophy, all of the above played with much better players than Ross has alongside him.

I think most 23-year-old players play with less expectation than Ross has on his shoulders.

The Prem is a hard place to apply your trade, especially as a midfielder who is expected to be a match winner.

Look at Paul Pogba, he cost 䀅m, he's 23 and he's done nothing at all yet.

Oscar at Chelsea is 25 and is a main stay player in the Brazil squad, what exactly is he doing that outshines Ross.

Wilshere, Oxlade-Chamberlain, Walcott all of Arsenal haven't done much better over the past few seasons.

Even older players like Lallana have gone 25+ games without scoring or putting in a decent performance before a recent change in form.

Anyways, my point is Ross is a quality player, but maybe we expect Ross to be Ronaldo, Messi or Bale, instead of appreciating the fact we have a boyhood blue who has a good level of ability with the potential to become even better. His form will fluctuate as all players form does, we need to back our blue diamond more instead of finding floors in his every movement. We all no Ross should tackle more, track back more and lately he should be putting his foot through the ball in front of goal more, but we seem to forget Ross is a two footed attacking midfielder who can bang in a goal from 30 yards with either foot. We also know he can run the length of the field with the ball at his feet, gliding past international footballers like they simply aren't there, surely that's worth something, we can go and buy a Lee Carsley style player from the Championship to track back and tackle.

We need to back Ross through the tough times as well as just singing his name when he's on fire.

We do have a diamond and his name is Ross Barkley.

Lee Whitehead
11 Posted 22/09/2016 at 21:47:24
Sorry guys but Ross simply isn't good enough. Like the majority on this forum I would like nothing more than to have one of our own running our midfield for the next 10 years. I'm sorry to say it's not going to happen. At 23 he should be an established Everton and England player.

It hurts me to say, but I thought he was going to be our "Stevie Fukin G" when in reality there is not a cat in hells chance of this happening.

I sincerely hope I'm wrong and only time will tell but I have my doubts that he will ever fulfill all our expectations and that is very sad indeed.

Peter Gorman
12 Posted 22/09/2016 at 21:47:31
Cubic zirconia
Rob Dolby
13 Posted 22/09/2016 at 21:50:17
The boo boys' new favourite. I do rate Ross without doubt he has bags of ability but he frustrates in equal measure. His decision making and lack of desire stand out. I can cope with poor decisions as he is invariably trying to thread a needle in the final third. The lack of desire is just not acceptable this is the area that RK must get him to improve.

Kevin de Bruyne was given no chance under Mourinho as he lacked physical presence and poor decision making. 3 years later De Bruyne is the best midfielder in the Prem. I am clinging on that we do still indeed have a rough diamond.

I do believe that RK will give him enough chances to prove the doubters wrong or he will go out and try to buy a replacement.
James Flynn
14 Posted 22/09/2016 at 21:56:25
Covered it pretty well JD.

And about time you put up an OP. More please.

Steavey Buckley
15 Posted 22/09/2016 at 21:58:45
Ross is at his best when he is running at a defence with plenty of enough space to move in. Things get tricky for him when he is confronted by packed defences, and is forced to change direction to find space to move in, that's when the wrong decisions are made.

Hey, but hang on: footballing problems affect the best. Not the very best, yet, they are few in number.

Ernie Baywood
16 Posted 22/09/2016 at 22:00:35
Ross has the talent and ability right now. There's no need to talk about potential. I've seen him play games where I've just been in awe at what he can do with a ball. For the first couple of months last season he was on another plain. Though many still didn't appreciate him. I think even at his best people are going to struggle to appreciate him. A touch more hard work would help with that.

For him to be another Gerrard, Lampard or Vieira he would need to transform his game. He's a Ross Barkley – a different type of player. He'd be closer to a David Silva then the three players named (though still not a perfect comparison).

He's clearly not performing right now but it's not because he hasn't hit his peak yet. The ability is there now and has been for a while. Ron's challenge is to figure out what's wrong and get him performing otherwise we might as well let him go to someone else (ie cash in; we'll be surprised what clubs will pay for him) and see if they can get him playing well.

Sam Hoare
17 Posted 22/09/2016 at 22:05:41
Agree with Anthony@10. Ross is a good player but not a great one. Yet.

Our expectations are misplaced and it's likely he's never gonna be a Gerrard or a Lampard, 2 of the most consistent midfielders in the Premier League over the last decade.

He's almost more of a Georgiou Kinkladze, superb on his day but often a bit mediocre.

Fans are often expecting too much from the players but that ruin the affair for both parties. The more pertinent question may become is Ross an automatic starter? I think we are still crying out for a De Bruyne, Ozil, Mata, Eriksen type playmaker to pick those intricate passes against a defense like Norwich's on Tuesday night.

Michael Farrelly
18 Posted 22/09/2016 at 22:07:50
Yes, we do have a diamond... if quite not there yet! Let's bite our tongues, withhold our frustrations, keep the negativity that we may share at times under tightly managed control.

I believe his temperament is very fragile and we need to be very mindful of that. He will respond and in the not to far distant future repay our faith in bucket fulls. The most efficient way to finally see him arrive as the finished product and the most dynamic English born attacking midfielder in the game is for him to be nurtured and consistently encouraged by the warmth and overwhelming support that only the wonderful Goodison faithful can bestow!
Tony Hill
19 Posted 22/09/2016 at 22:09:05
I think he has the footballing equivalent of golfing 'yips' or 'dartitis'. Something has got into his head, a type of stage fright, and it's a monster for poor Ross. The sadness is that his fear is born of his great talent and an excessive awareness of what he is expected to produce.

I have no idea if he has ever seen a psychologist but I fear he has gone past that point. You can see it in his eyes and his behaviour, the dread of having to perform – the miscue the other night when he needed a simple lob, the frozen failure to get a shot off when he has space, the hiding from responsibility.

He's the best two-footed natural talent I've seen for a very long time but I am very worried that he's going to be ruined by his own mind.

Jamie Barlow
20 Posted 22/09/2016 at 22:15:55
Ross needs to simplify his game until he finds a bit of form. When he's good, he's good and I think most Evertonians would forgive some of his obvious flaws if he played well more consistently.

The problem for Ross when he isn't playing well is we can't forgive his lack of effort defensively when he isn't doing anything in attack.

We were talking about his potential 4 years ago but when I watch him, he's still the same Ross today as he was then. Nothing's changed.

Maybe our previous managers have messed his head up so I'll wait and see if Koeman can get the best out of him. I won't write him off just yet.

Lyndon Lloyd
21 Posted 22/09/2016 at 22:17:26
Much to agree with in what both Michael (18) and Tony (19) say. It's definitely not too late for Ross, obviously – 12 months ago he was in the middle of the best spell of his a career, creating and scoring goals, before his form nosedived with in tandem with the team's fortunes.

For whatever reason – fear, uncertainty, pressure, expectation or a combination of all four? – he doesn't appear to be acting on instinct as much anymore. That thrilling solo goal at Newcastle, the audacious first-time lob against City, even those rippers from outside the box like his first goal against Norwich in 2013 or against QPR at home the following season... where has that abandon in his play gone where his pure talent just takes over?

It remains to be seen whether Koeman is the nurturing type who can coax it back out of him and settle him back down in time because he truly is a gifted player who, at the moment, appears to be over-thinking everything.

Brent Stephens
22 Posted 22/09/2016 at 22:21:58
Good piece, John.

"And it is this desperation from the stands for “one of our own” to set the league alight that means if he doesn't make it, it will be doubly galling." I will be gutted if he doesn't make it. And for him more than for us. I can't say I know the guy; I'm only surmising from what I see on the pitch and listen to when he's interviewed. But based on that he seems like a nice lad. A quiet lad. A shy lad. Perhaps with things still in his mind from the bad leg break.

And what I fear more than anything, for his sake, is the point we might get to when he gets the same level of yobbish vitriol and bile that the likes of Osman and others attracted.

We've seen him try to chase the ball down this season more than ever, and we've always criticised him for his unwillingness to do that. I just hope he doesn't become a footballer with moderate ability who can also chase the ball.

Come on Ross. We love you. Get your head up and see the pass and execute it properly - that will make you a killer.

Mark Murphy
23 Posted 22/09/2016 at 22:24:18
If he's name was Jack Wilshere, we'd be slaughtering him. He's not all that! Especially in that position. A luxury player that Koeman will dispatch in January, sadly.
Jamie Barlow
24 Posted 22/09/2016 at 22:24:38
Frighteningly true, Tony.

I said on here the other day that he should go and see a Shrink.

Darryl Ritchie
25 Posted 22/09/2016 at 22:25:30
Barkley has all the skills, physically. Mentally, still a work in progress. Sometimes it seems he just doesn't read the game as well as he should. Hopefully Koeman has a plan to help him improve; if not, maybe Ross is destined to be, as Sam and Anthony have pointed out, a good, not great, player.
Andrew Presly
26 Posted 22/09/2016 at 22:27:22
"...his inability to make the decisive happen instinctively that means it looks like he will never quite be the player we all want him so desperately to be."

This. It's all a bit slow & dare I say plodding with Ross now. He's either over thinking and taking too many touches or is nervous and taking too many touches. I can see the rationale for the Sissoko move to try and ease the burden on him, albeit I'm glad we didn't get that particular target because he's shit.

A bit more strength in depth and we'll be able to take Ross out of the firing line as needed. Geri behind Rom in the interim?

Damian Wilde
27 Posted 22/09/2016 at 22:37:53
He's been very poor for a year. He will be at Sunderland or West Brom in a year or so. Bad enough that he constantly loses the ball, but the laziness is very annoying.
Stan Schofield
28 Posted 22/09/2016 at 22:47:55
We all acknowledge the monumental management cock-up of the last couple of seasons. Ross has been caught up in that, as others have, and it couldn't have been easy in terms of developing his obvious potential. Maybe this accounts for his current inconsistency, maybe not. I feel it does, but can't prove it.

If it does, then we would expect the situation to be readily improvable given the right management. I think we now have the right management, so we can reasonably expect improvement. Never say never, so I don't buy into the thoughts of some on TW that Ross will never realise his potential.

If we had had a good and stable management set-up in the last few years, and we had the issues with Ross that we see at the moment, then I would tend to think maybe he'll never realise the potential we expected. But given the reality, I have to think he can, since when he performs well he's top-notch.

So I would say, so long as Koeman is happy to utilise his abilities, however inconsistently applied at the moment, let's give the guy a chance. He can be a game changer.

Steve Smith
29 Posted 22/09/2016 at 22:56:42
I said on a thread after the Sunderland game that perhaps it's time to accept Ross is a decent rather than a great player. His reaction against Middlesbrough was tidy rather than inspiring in the first half and hard to judge in the second half because we strolled around managing our 3-1 lead.

I think a spell out of the spotlight might do him a bit of good, I think it's hard for all of us to see him playing so poorly when we all know what he's capable of, a lot of the groaning is in sympathy for the lad rather than having a go, I think.

Adam McCulloch
30 Posted 22/09/2016 at 22:59:25
I still think it will click with Ross. His confidence looked shattered at times last year; some of that down to the poor decision-making many have highlighted but I also think because he genuinely cares. A lot of the noises coming out from players over the past few weeks (Baines, Barry, Jags) points to a lack of professionalism around the squad under Martinez. Barkley is a player heavily identified with our game under the artless Spaniard, and far too much hype and expectation (e.g. playing him in a deeper central midfield role at times, talking him up relentlessly) hasn't helped.

I agree that he needs to show more. I agree that he needs to improve his end product. I think that in Koeman he has a man with the tactical nous and pragmatic, authoritarian style to bring out the best in him, rather than indulge in his mistakes. Much of this advice could apply to Geri as well, and arguably Lukaku when he's not putting them away.

It is also worth noting that comparing Ross to Lampard and Gerrard is slightly misleading. Gerrard did most of his (hate to say it) best work aged around 25 and Lampard didn't hit double figures in a season until he was 26. The fact that both seemed to be around forever slightly distorts the image we have around Ross. If we are still talking about a player with "potential" when he's 26/27 (Niasse anyone?!) then fair enough.

Great piece John!

Tony McNulty
31 Posted 22/09/2016 at 23:08:12
He is still suffering from belated Soft Ollies Syndrome, an illness caused by his previous manager, who seems to have scrambled his brain with all sorts of strange, conflicting advice, married to a debased currency of unwarranted praise irrespective of performance.

The recommended cure is a few more months of the current manager.

John Daley
32 Posted 22/09/2016 at 23:13:57
"Covered it pretty well JD.
And about time you put up an OP. More please".

Link

My old mate Jimmy Flynn in arse about face shock?

Not sure if you're crediting me with this piece James, but if you are then I'm afraid you're mistaken.

This is just something similar to that 'smash hit' part of the show 'Knowing Me, Knowing You' where Alan Partridge gets to meet another Alan Partridge.

I'm still claiming credit for winning the Ben Hogan Utah Classic though. Not letting any bastard scratch that from my CV. 

There's actually quite a bit I disagree with in this article, but I've found myself defending Ross Barkley that regularly over the last few years that I'm pretty sure it just registers as favoritism for some by now. 

I'm just about to sit down and eat but I might give it another shot later, although I'm tempted to post under a different name from now on. So, if posts start cropping up from someone calling themselves Ƭ̵̬̊, you know who it is (pretty sure the proper one won't mind)

"Knowing me, Unpronounceable Symbol. Not knowing you, another Unpronounceable Symbol (on account of us mingling in different circles and you being deceased). Aha?"

Brent Stephens
33 Posted 22/09/2016 at 23:22:22
Ah, it's another John Daly. Without the "e".

Reminds me of the joke about the woman whose husband died. She goes to stone mason and asks for headstone inscribed with "God, He Was Thine".

She views the headstone the week after and it says "God, He Was Thin".

She says to stone mason "You've missed out the 'e'". I'll sort it, says stone mason.

She views the headstone the next week and now it says...

"E, God, He Was Thin"

Jim Hardin
34 Posted 22/09/2016 at 23:34:13

I see where those who criticize him and those who support him are coming from. My only gripe is his inability to finish the easier shots and then making a spectacular shot.

I don't even care if he loses the ball so long as it isn't when he is deeper than our centre-backs when they are getting forward as he sometimes leaves us open to the counter.

John Daley
35 Posted 23/09/2016 at 02:34:29
"Ross is almost 23 now, the age at which mistakes should be becoming a rarity and consistent effectiveness becoming the norm"

Where does the thought come from from that consistency must be attained before your mid-twenties, otherwise it's too late and you should be written off as a lost cause? Poor old Ibrahimovic must have the itchiest arse ever wondering if Man United fans will finally be the ones to cotton on.

The league is full of players who are live wires one week, lacklustre the next, and the number aged 23 and over heavily outweighs those who are younger. Consistency isn't the norm at all, if by consistency you mean putting in error free, near perfect performances each time you take to the pitch.

We've got almost an entire squad of players that, on the evidence of the last three seasons, can go from the ridiculous to the sublime at the flick of a switch, but only one who seems to be the 'go to' target for fans looking to get frustration off their chest. Frustration that is par for the course unless he can pull something fantastic out his arse (which is fatter than everyone else's by the way, except for maybe a young Frank Lampard, who we'll get to later) in which case they might be good enough to give him a weeks grace before laying into him again:

"Look, it's Master-Blaster from Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome. Oh no, wait, it's just Ross Barkley with some fucker on his back again."

We've just splashed out 㿅m on an infamously inconsistent 27-year-old with many people claiming Koeman is the exact right man to get him to produce the goods on a more regular basis. People have registered Bolasie's poor goal return and low number of assists for Crystal Palace, but conveniently added the proviso that 'he was playing in a shit team, under a piss poor manager, with teammates not always able to capitalise on the good stuff he does. It must be difficult to be the sole creative spark under such circumstances, like'. The same could be said for Barkley in the last two years but his stats still smash Bolasie's all over the shop, take them outside into the backstreet and twat them about like they were Tommy Gunn. 

Why are people ready to believe Koeman can hone Bolasie (and others) into a more potent force given time, but continually posit Barkley to be a special case who must shit or bust before his 24th  birthday? 

I'm not saying there aren't things in his game that need ironing out, or that he needs to add, because there clearly are,  but why are people so adamant (seemingly with him alone) that if it doesn't all fall into place by some arbitrary cut off point then it never will?

Lampard and Gerrard are always trotted out as the 'next level' names Barkley should be striving to emulate but is supposedly leagues behind at the same age. Yet, if you look at how productive the former were with the same number of games under their belt rather than years on the front of their birthday cards, their actually isn't the world of difference many presume. 

Phil Neville pointed something similar out (without actually physically pointing for once, you contrary motherfucker you, Phil) prior to the Palace game on Sky, so I won't go into the stats again here. The fact Barkley was then poor and got hooked at half-time sort of chucked cold water all over what he had said beforehand, but his point was valid.

What I will say is that one thing Gerrard could always count on from the off was unswerving goodwill and support from the home crowd, no matter whether he was struggling for consistency (which he often did at times during his early career) or stupidly getting sent off for using someone's head as a space hopper. He never had to come through the criticism or constant scrutiny Barkley has been met with.

Lampard, on the other hand, never had the same universal levels of love whilst at West Ham and was frequently the focal point of fan frustration whenever their team were screwed over/blew spunky bubbles.  He faced claims he was overrated, inconsistent, lacked flair and was only in the team because of who his arl fella and uncle were. 

Don't know how many have ever seen it, but there's a video out there from a West Ham fans forum with Harry Redknapp sat alongside the (very) young Frank Lampard. One of their fans lets rip and starts slaughtering Lampard, saying he's shite, that he has an unfair advantage, that nepotism is the only reason he ever gets handed a shirt over other young players, that he's fat, that he's lazy etc, and eventually Redknapp has to step in and defend him. He states that this lad works his fucking arse off, he's one of the most dedicated young players he's ever seen, he's got the talent to go to the very top and become a fantastic player and you should be supporting him to the hilt because it'll be mutually beneficial in the long run.

Redknapp was right of course but, ultimately, it took a move away from the club whose ranks he came up in and the over critical fans who convinced themselves they knew 'the truth' about him as player (to such an extent they couldn't see past their own preconceived notions or the self penned narrative they'd attached to him) for Lampard to really make good on his promise and show he wasn't simply 'someone's reli with a fat arse'.

Those who think criticism can't have a detrimental effect on the confidence of a young player and their ability to express themselves freely should watch it and wince. As Lampard himself admits:

“I was really upset after that fans forum, but Harry defended me. I have often doubted myself throughout my career, and had a fear of failure. I grew up a West Ham fan, lived near the training ground but Chelsea was a big move.”

I've had the horrible feeling brewing for a while now that following a similar path might be the only way for Ross Barkley to truly overcome his own self doubt/fear of failure in front of 'his own' and prove his ever present critics wrong once and for all.

Jim Harrison
36 Posted 23/09/2016 at 04:02:44
Anthony Dywer,10, agree with a lot of what you say

Just did a very unscientific quick comparison of probably the 3 best English midfielders from the past two decades; Scholes, Gerrard, Lampard, looking at the seasons they had around the age of 23. Ross's record stands up favorably statistically in terms of games played and goals scored. It looks (and again, I didn't spend too much time on this!) that around 24 they all hit their best form. (Although Lampard's goal scoring form is scary!)

Perhaps we just expect a bit too much of him? How many of Europe's top teams look to a 23-year-old to be their stand-out midfielder?

It is right to criticise his play when it is poor, but probably over the top to write off his career as a nearly man when he has yet to reach the age where players who seem to do well in his position reach their peak form.

Moyes managed him correctly in my opinion. Bobby probably banked too much on him reaching his potential early. Ron seems to see him as a good player who is on the verge of maturing into a high quality player. He is hardly stinking the place out each week.

Chris Butler
37 Posted 23/09/2016 at 04:50:18
I don't think we can say really, he's capable of scoring great goals such as the ones against Newcastle, Man City and QPR. However he can often lose the ball in the most ridiculous of circumstances in a way, that most top players would never do.

Personally I think he doesn't have the mental strength to succeed; I don't think it he was helped by Martinez who put him under too much pressure too soon. I personally think players like Gerry, Mirallas, Besic, and Gueye will probably get better under Koeman.

I do wonder whether Ross will be afforded the same sympathy under Koeman that he was given by Martinez. I think this whole "do what you want" mentality that was imprinted into his brain under Bobby made him lazy. You can never really predict how some players will turn out – look at players like Pogba and Mustafi. If Ross can increase his upper-body strength I think he could dominate the midfield but not now.

Thomas Lennon
38 Posted 23/09/2016 at 06:59:28
We no longer have to wait and hope. Ross had a big chance on Tuesday and blew it, not ready to be the man we need to win matches consistently. Koeman will buy in his position.
Mike Green
39 Posted 23/09/2016 at 07:15:23
From Day 1, my brother, a Red, has raved about Ross and, other than a few glimmers, I've never really seen it. Decent player but, for him to be the player people think he is, he needs to be visibly dominating games, creating goals and scoring; something he rarely does.

I just hope it clicks for him and he has a good career with a sock drawer laden with a handful of medals and England caps to boot. He's not the Great White Hope, he just needs to nail down a position and concentrate on his work, the rest will follow.

In other news – my dear mate, Jim Keary, has just turned 60; congratulations Jim if you're reading this, you made it onto ToffeeWeb :D ! Happy Birthday.

Kevin Hudson
40 Posted 23/09/2016 at 07:28:41
For me, the jury is out, but I think it's telling that none of the so-called bigger clubs have aggressively pursued him.

Flashes of real brilliance but slow-witted at times. I do like him though..

Ralph Basnett
41 Posted 23/09/2016 at 08:02:49
I think Ross should have shown a lot more than what we have seen by now.

He needs to be moved on for his own sake to develop; if it was going to happen at Everton, it would have happened by now – sell on with a huge sell-on clause.

Some players just come to their time at clubs and he has here.

Trevor Peers
42 Posted 23/09/2016 at 08:39:16
Why do we keep endlessly raking over this subject? The myth that is Ross Barkley. When it's simple really, either he can do the job (playmaker, No 10) consistently or he can't.
After four years no less, all the evidence suggests he cannot and never will, odd flashes of talent can't be enough can it ?

When Ross came off against Sunderland we got a clue of how life could be without him, we we're more mobile less static, we attacked with venom and won in style.

All the evidence suggests he's holding us back, Koeman has to give it a go without him, the sooner the better IMO.

Keith Harrison
43 Posted 23/09/2016 at 08:47:37
I think Ross is never fully committed to tackles or aerial duels because of his horrendous injury on England duty. A triple leg break can seriously knock a very young lad's confidence – and also put his development back a couple of years. The fact it was an RS player in training that (accidentally) did it makes it a bitter pill.

Ross has all the attributes for me – except mental, and possibly courage. I really hope he flourishes at Everton, but the name Tony Grant has a spooky parallel to me.

Keith Harrison
44 Posted 23/09/2016 at 08:49:45
And will the real slim Dal(e)y please stand up!
James Byrne
45 Posted 23/09/2016 at 09:03:43
I agree with most fellow fans here that Ross can be quite frustrating when he appears to "have it all". Recent games have demonstrated his poor physical ability and his decision making on the pitch. Without doubt we would love to see the lad having similar qualities of Stevie Gerrard; a player we hated on the pitch but a demonstration of brilliance when it came to vision, passing, tough tackling and sheer arrogance. Ross needs to find more of that anger and passion in his game as he continues to develop.

I'm defending Barkley to eventually prosper under big Ron and I'll explain why.

During the past few seasons Ross has endured being a player under the worst manager I've ever seen; Martinez was probably the man who gave Ross his break into the first team but I'm not convinced he mentored the lad in the best way possible.

Ross has also suffered a personal loss before the season started when Sid Benson became ill this year and who recently passed away, so it is possible he has not been entirely focused on his game.

One other distraction may have been his selection for England in the Euros to end up never kicking a ball and watching that shower of shite from the subs bench. Later on being dropped under big Sam ahead of players who are at best very average. All of these moments will impact on the lad and his confidence.

I'm sticking with Ross and will back him this season but he is running out of time. I'm counting on big Ron and the coaching staff to trigger that spark we know he has.

Steve Guy
46 Posted 23/09/2016 at 10:17:58
Diamond? Yes. Polished? No. Hopefully Koeman is the manager who will prove to be the diamond cutter!
David Harrison
47 Posted 23/09/2016 at 10:22:22
Despite wanting the guy to kick on and become an Everton legend, it gets clearer by the week that Ross is unable to take the next step and become the boss of the team, something that he must do if he is to occupy that central No 10 position.

If Everton want to become a top 4 team we have to remove what is becoming a real block on our fluidity and replace him with someone of genuine vision. Either that or continue to have these debates for the next 10 years...

Matt Williams
48 Posted 23/09/2016 at 10:27:31
I think its been asked many times before on this site, what is Ross's best position? This seems to me to be the crux of the matter.

Is he a striker? No. Is he a box-to-box midfielder? No. Playing off the striker, that's not really working either for a man of his talent. As an earlier poster said, the problem may well be in his head with the weight of expectation.

My solution (and I know this might be controversial): play him out wide as an out-and-out wide midfielder/winger, the Kevin Sheedy role if you like. Out wide he does not have the same responsibilities and can concentrate on being creative.

As previously stated, he is best when running at the opposition so it should be a doddle for him. Apologies if someone else has already suggested this as I have not read every single post.

Raymond Fox
49 Posted 23/09/2016 at 10:47:16
Stan (#28), you don't speak for all of us: "We all agree Martinez was a monumental cock-up' – let's just say I disagree.

On the subject of Ross, we all want him to succeed, but I doubt that Koeman will cut him much slack. If Ross was going to be an established International player, he would be showing consistent quality; he just doesn't do that.

Colin Glassar
50 Posted 23/09/2016 at 11:24:34
Historically we've always been harder on our local lads than other players, so there's nothing new regarding the constant slagging off he gets.

Ross has the talent to reach the very top but does he have the self-belief to get there? That is the question.

David Chait
51 Posted 23/09/2016 at 11:29:27
Ross was my call for Player of the Season. I (like James above) felt with Koeman he would go from strength to strength. He had a great run of months to start last season and felt he would kick on this season.

He has shown flashes of good play but was very disturbed to see him standing still on the field while the ball was moving about among his own players. This was the game after he was subbed.

This is the first time in Ross's career I've had my optimism challenged on the boy. He needs to go find the ball and not have the ball find him. I still recall the U17 champs where he ran the show. That is the boy that could do everything. Yes, the level is different but the mindset I saw in that tournament to what I see now are worlds apart.

Come on, Ross... take ownership of this team! Don't wait to be made captain to act like one!

Stan Schofield
52 Posted 23/09/2016 at 11:35:08
Raymond @49: Yes, I didn't need to say "We all acknowledge." I believe there was a cock-up, and that's all I need for rest of my argument.
Stan Schofield
53 Posted 23/09/2016 at 11:47:16
I feel that sometimes we can be a bit hard on some players. We've seen Ross perform brilliantly, and it's possible (likely?) he's just in the middle of a loss of form, and there's no longer-term issue here.

I remember when our great Alan Ball came back from the 1970 World Cup in Mexico. He just didn't seem the same player in many ways, and there was a lot of comment at the time that maybe he'd just been knackered by the heat and altitude of Mexico, his style of play being constant movement, hence the term 'midfield dynamo'. He never really recovered his form fully for Everton, he got some barracking from the Goodison crowd (which I was gobsmacked about), and Catterick sold him to Arsenal in 1971. My worst day in football. He soon made an impact at Arsenal, and I felt we'd acted too soon in letting him go.

I'm not comparing Ross to Alan Ball, just saying that we should be careful to not judge too harshly too soon.

Denis Richardson
54 Posted 23/09/2016 at 11:51:15
Lots of interesting posts and I agree the problem is more mental as he's shown in games gone past that he can do it on the pitch when his head is right.

It would be great if we had another creative midfielder to take the burden off his shoulders. It seems that the expectation from the fans and probably the pressure and overthinking he puts on himself is as much to blame as anything. A few games on the bench hopefully with decent cameo appearances might help him.

Really hope he comes good and doesn't end up another Rodwell. The talent is there, just needs confidence.

Jack Convery
55 Posted 23/09/2016 at 12:15:54
It's not just TWebbers that have doubts about Ross but the lad himself seems dogged by self-doubt. Maybe if the boo boys left him alone and sung his name a lot more – ie Harry Kane at Spurs. Kane has been rubbish until the last two games. The Spurs fans sang his name nonetheless and he's back.

Ross is one of our own so let's back him not jeer him. He plays in the second most difficult position on the pitch in my opinion and only Rom has more pressure. If he's not going to make it let, it not be because of the boo boys destroying his confidence.

Brian Harrison
56 Posted 23/09/2016 at 12:28:55
I think what is evident from all the posts either for or against, most fans really want Ross to fulfill his and our ambitions. There is no doubt he has talent, but can't seem to really express himself in the way most of us want him too. Yes, I know our fans give local lads more stick than other players, but I think that Ross is liked by most of the match going Blues, but there is no doubt I think he frustrates more than any player I can remember.

My take is that Martinez didn't do him any favours in the way he coached him, not just my view but also I have heard Collymore say the same. I also think that Ross has probably ran games and scored loads of goals and been the star player on the pitch right through to reaching our first team.

But for me he lacks a football brain, and probably growing up he never had to develop one because he stood out without having to need a football brain. The more I watch him just endorses that, given a choice he more often than not takes the wrong option. That's because growing up he probably just dribbled past every kid in the opposition and ended with a goal.

But now, when he needs to know when to dribble when to pass or when to shoot, he doesn't have that natural decision-making in his make up. Like all Blues, I hope that Koeman can help him develop into the player we all believe he can be.

John Daley
57 Posted 23/09/2016 at 12:36:44
"And will the real slim Dal(e)y please stand up!"

At least I've got it easier than Englebert Humperdick, 'The Best Male Escort In Blundellsands', who is constantly being hoofed in the bollocks by bitterly disappointed old biddies when he turns up at their door. 

Kevin Turner
58 Posted 23/09/2016 at 13:12:46
I've got a feeling the love affair Ross has with the club isn't going to end well and, within a year or two, he'll be plying his trade away from Goodison (or the new stadium, wherever that ends up). The love affair the fans had with Ross is well and truly over judging by the comments above. Some are correct and some downright stupid.

The lad has all the talent in the world but something isn't right between his ears, whether that's the fault of the previous manager or it's just his makeup or not will remain conjecture.

In his defence, I'd say the triple leg break he suffered on England duty as a teenager has scarred him psychologically hence his reticence to commit to the 50/50 tackles we'd like to see him win.

Dan Hollingworth
59 Posted 23/09/2016 at 14:20:37
No-one wants Ross B to make it than more all of us. He is Everton like me and you. He has a tattoo on his arm of the day he made his Everton debut. He gets the whole club inside out. But as mentioned in the article, at the age of 23, patience is running thin throughout Goodison.

What I will say in his favour. He lost a year of development to a double leg break. He got injured in his first breakthrough season and lost 4 months on the eve of the 2014-15 season. So in total he has lost around 2 years of development, and losing 2 years of your career at 21 is way more costly than losing 2 years at the age of 29.

I personally think that double leg break is a reason he backs out of 50:50s. I also think he suffers from confidence issues, I remember the video of the FA Cup semi and Jagielka had to re assure him that it wasn't him being booed. When he is in the mood and his head is up, he chips pens down the middle at the end of games.

I think we all need to get behind him. I am convinced there is something there. He can be frustrating but I am sure with Koeman behind him he can sort his issues out. With Moyes, he had a manager who never believed in him. With Martinez, he had a manager who was telling him the wrong things. With Koeman, maybe some cold honest truth will be just what he needs.

Gordon Crawford
60 Posted 23/09/2016 at 14:33:29
He has all the ability in the world but sadly doesn't know how to use it. I'm not sure if anyone will ever get the best from Ross. We can't get the best from him; if he doesn't have it upstairs, then sadly he never will.
Oliver Molloy
61 Posted 23/09/2016 at 14:47:42
If we had a diamond, then wouldn't the likes of Guardiola have been knocking on their owner's door telling them he wants him!

If Ronald Koeman cannot make Ross a better player by the end of this season, what then?

Steve Ferns
62 Posted 23/09/2016 at 15:57:15
If Barkley never makes it to the top level, then that is a fault of the manager. The boy does not seem to have any major off-the-field issues (à la Billy Kenny) or devastating injuries (James Vaughan) so it's down to the manager to get it out of him. Of course you can only lead a horse to water, but a world class manager should be able to bring out the best in Barkley.

This boy has the most talent we've ever seen. He's got far more than Rooney. He's fast. He's strong. He's got two great feet. His control can be immaculate. He can pass long, short, quick. He can shoot from anywhere.

His tackling may be terrible at the moment, but anyone who saw him early in his career, or indeed even for the reserves or youth will attest to the fact that the boy can tackle, and there's no physical reason why he shouldn't be able to put his foot in, in the first team matches. He seems to have a weakness in the air, but he's tall and can jump, so no reason that can't be put right. Again, in youth and reserve he scored a lot of headers.

In short, Barkley has got the lot physically. There's nothing you can say if only he was this or that. Any problem with Barkley is in his head, and that is the job of a top manager to get it out of him.

What is obvious to me, is that the boy is a confidence player and needs to feel loved and cherished and probably needs the team to be built round him.

I cannot envisage us not seeing the best of Barkley. I truly believe it will come this season. But let's not forget, he plays the hardest position on the pitch. It really is the hardest. The great Zidane only came of age at 27. World class players like Hazard can appear terrible for a whole season. Wonderful players like Ozil can go missing for games at a time.

Attacking midfielders are worth their weight in gold and that's why Man Utd paid €110m for Pogba.

Jim Harrison
63 Posted 23/09/2016 at 16:34:37
Steve Ferns, you have it there. Even great players have off days.

I still can't see why people are being so harsh on him. Not in regards to how he has performed, but in relation to how they believe he should perform.

He is probably just about where he should be. A good young player who has a touch of class in him, just doesn't know how to turn it on constantly. So, he doesn't tackle much? He plays in a team with two deep-lying midfielder to do that side of things.

He doesn't score enough? He has a comparable record to other decent English midfielders of his age. He isn't the best midfielder in the world... no, he isn't, but he is shaping up to be a very good one.

It's not his fault that the club don't have a ready made alternative to fill that hole whilst he completes his development. Martnez and Koeman both placed a lot of faith in this young man, maybe too much.

Charles Barrow
64 Posted 23/09/2016 at 18:04:19
I am a great supporter of Ross – yes he doesn't always choose the right option. On Tuesday he should have shot first time when through, not tried to take it past the defender and then later in the game he should have controlled the ball and shot rather than lobbed the keeper.

But at least he gets into these positions... surely with a little bit of coaching he can learn to make the correct decisions. On Tuesday his first half display was quite good; nothing spectacular but pretty solid. He did fade in the second half.

But this doesn't justify some of the criticism he receives. There are a number of players who perform below his standards who people don't attack as much. Lets give him support because he is one of very few players we have who can turn a game with their skill.

Geoff Williams
65 Posted 23/09/2016 at 18:22:16
YES WE DO!!!
Jay Harris
66 Posted 23/09/2016 at 19:01:42
Steve,

"He's got far more than Rooney."

Are you serious?

Rooney was better at 17 than Ross is now.

Ross has two skillful feet but that's where it ends for now.

We would all be over the moon if he comes good but experience to date tells us otherwise.

Paul Hay
67 Posted 23/09/2016 at 19:06:53
We all want Ross to be the best he can be – and I think that Mr Koeman can do this. I would imagine that virtually all professional football players dip in confidence at times but in the case of Ross it seems more acute.

He does frustrate for sure, and while I accept some of the differing opinions as to what causes such, it is his decision-making that concerns me as sometimes he appears completely out of sorts.

Let's see what transpires under this manager.

Keep the faith.

Brian Wilkinson
68 Posted 23/09/2016 at 19:17:21
He has talent a-plenty, but like someone else has said, he does not have a football brain switched on all the time, sometimes overthinks and the chance has gone.

What he does a lot of is receive a ball from two feet away, gives the ball straight back, gets it back again, and passes straight back, doesn't look around and runs down a blind alley.

Yet we have seen it on occasions, he can go past players, he can score goals and play a killer pass, so the talent is there, if Barkley can sort his footballing brain out and not over think, then yes, we do have a diamond – just needs a little polishing.

Colin Williams
69 Posted 23/09/2016 at 19:26:32
Yes we have! He's one of us! People consistently pick holes with the lad, even after games when the lad is quality...

All Ross needs are Blues who believe in him and never stop believing in him BECAUSE our diamond is committed to our great club and one of our greatest fans! That's why!

Paul Conway
70 Posted 23/09/2016 at 19:34:34
Steve Ferns (#62),

Maybe we should buy him a Teddy Bear! If it helps to comfort him and get him playing with the rhythm and consistency his potential promised, cause right now the only potential I can see is his potential to put us in danger of defeat, with his hot and cold performances and relentless ball wasting and breaking up (attacking) play.

He obviously disappointed Koeman against Norwich after the faith he showed him. All the skill (or potential) amounts to nothing if it is not employed. The same can be said for Mirallas and Deulofeu, so I am not just singling out Ross.

As I said before, they are like fizzy drinks... They sparkle for a while and then go flat. I can't see why it's up to the manager, or the manager's fault that the lad is not performing. The manager is not in charge of a nursery! If you can't play, there's always the out door!

Rick Tarleton
71 Posted 23/09/2016 at 19:41:47
He's treated rather like Derek Temple was in the late fifties. Temple, of course, overcame the soubriquet of "Shirley" and became the hero of '66.

Evertonians have a thing about local lads, remember more recently Osman's treatment at the hands of the faithful. If they aren't "throw yourself into every tackle" types, they're regarded as "soft".

Barkley is a gem, at times he lacks confidence which is not surprising, considering the gasp that goes up if he misplaces a pass or mishits a shot. Just watch the way he instantly controls a ball with either foot, the way he glides past a man, his shooting ability with either foot and his obvious commitment to his home town club.

Of homegrown midfielders who've come through the club, he's second only to Colin Harvey in my over 60 years of supporting the Blues.

Stan Schofield
72 Posted 23/09/2016 at 19:59:10
Rick @71: I agree totally, and I've supported them for 55 years.
Ian Riley
73 Posted 23/09/2016 at 20:05:43
Think this season will tell us if Ross is in Koeman's plans for the long term. Trying too hard may be. Luxury player... not yet.

He may need to move on to take the nerves away from playing in front of the fans whom expect so much. I feel moving on may be his best option. Those booing him the other night. Shame on you!!!!

Andy Crooks
74 Posted 23/09/2016 at 20:27:45
A really good article, John. It seems to me that Ross has fragile confidence and needs just something to set him going. I hope that Koeman is the man to provide it.

Also, I find the "Ross is not too bright" comments, patronising, ill-informed, utterly unfair and offensive. You can see this from the stands or on TV?

Stan Schofield
75 Posted 23/09/2016 at 22:07:22
Andy @74: I agree about the ill-informed comments about 'brightness'. The irony is striking.
Danny Broderick
76 Posted 23/09/2016 at 22:12:44
I have just read Leon Osman's autobiography, in which Osman referred to Jack Rodwell as an academy footballer. He had all of the talent, but he didn't have the vital attributes of the street footballers. He was quiet, no aggression, no team ethic etc. He'd come through the ranks in a nice environment, where winning wasn't important.

Ross is Rodwell Mark 2. He has all the talent, but he is lacking the vital stuff – call it what you want – heart, hunger, desire. He just doesn't affect the game often enough. This is where those comparisons with Lampard, Scholes and Gerrard fall down. They were team players, who would run all over the pitch and put their foot in. They could match his stats going forward, but they would also help out all over the pitch and when they were not playing well.

Ross has been a passenger for well over a year now. I can accept the mistakes he makes – he will get better and make less mistakes with time. What I can't accept is him going missing in action during games – there are times when you wonder if he can be arsed playing!

In many ways, Ross has been exposed in the cut and thrust of the Premier League. He needed a full season on loan in the lower leagues to show him that football really matters when he was younger. Short cameos at Leeds United and Sheffield Wednesday weren't enough. He's got to the top, but it's the basics which are letting him down.

Personally, I don't think Ross and Lukaku can play together, as they are both too prone to blowing hot and cold and are both too lazy. Alarm bells should be ringing for Ross. He has lost his England place, and he is about to lose his Everton place if things don't improve. We wanted to sign Sissoko – him not coming has given Ross a stay of execution. I hope he takes his chance – I really do. But we are not a charity. We need more from him.

Peter Gorman
77 Posted 23/09/2016 at 22:19:03
Andy, if the 'not to bright' comments are referring to his decision-making on the football pitch, then yes, this can be seen from the stands and the TV.

Barkley is capable to doing things with a football most players only dream about – the problem is they fail to come off about 90% of the time.

I suspect most fans are getting a little weary of hearing how great he is when he hasn't yet proved it. The comparisons with folk like Lampard and Gerrard are valid because they seemed to have infinitely more drive than Ross at their age.

I recall that gobshite Emre Can attempting to start some nonsense with Barkley in a derby, refusing to give him the ball for a quick throw-in. Barkley looked lost, kept mumbling to the RS until it took Galloway to march over and take control of the situation before the ref.

The lad is built like a boxer but seems scared of his own shadow. Loads of posters mention his lack of confidence, well, that is a problem. The real diamonds tend not to suffer from this (and are often insufferable as a result) so that is why Ross is close but not the real thing.

A good player, hopefully an excellent one in the future, but far from a diamond.

James Flynn
78 Posted 23/09/2016 at 22:31:17
He hadn't been coached in three years; important ones. Maybe Koeman's staff gets it out of him. We'll see.

Ernie Baywood
79 Posted 23/09/2016 at 22:39:58
That strikes a chord with me, Peter. There are times where you see him have a go at someone or get a bit aggro and you think "yes, have a go Ross".

Whenever people talked about players who were right on a knife edge and the commentators said "but if you take away that side of them then they lose a bit" I used to dismiss it as rubbish. Maradona, Suarez, Rooney, Cantona etc...

But it seems Ross could do with a bit of nastiness. A bit of win at all costs. It doesn't mean becoming a terrier of a midfielder – Bergkamp had it, so did Pires. Cantona didn't break sweat too often.

Maybe we need someone to flirt with his girl in the stands like the guy in Dodgeball!

Andrew Keatley
80 Posted 23/09/2016 at 22:40:55
I don't see much progression in Ross Barkley. The criticisms I had of him four years ago are the same ones I have now. Stand off him and he looks very neat and tidy; put him under pressure and he doesn't know how to adjust.

One thing I've noticed is how he likes to keep the ball between his feet; watching players like Xavi, Iniesta and David Silva they like to keep the ball on one foot – and use their body to protect the ball. Doesn't matter how many times Barkley gets dispossessed by opponents nicking the ball away while he stands squarely in front of them, he hasn't worked this out yet. And defensively he is just a body; he very rarely seems to win the ball, and when it comes to challenging for a header then you might as well forget it.

On the plus side, he has the frame and the talent to be a positive influence on games. If he can work out how to make adjustments to his game then he can still be a world-beater, but I worry whether he can unlearn his bad habits.

Michael Kenrick
81 Posted 23/09/2016 at 22:50:25
Chris (#37),

"If Ross can increase his upper-body strength I think he could dominate the midfield but not now."

I was surprised to read this opinion, Chris, as recent threads on Barkley have said he has spent too much time bulking up in the gym. Seems Koeman is looking to slim them down (for speed?) — ref Mirallas. So I'm curious why you would want to see more upper-body strength?

I agree with those saying it's inside his head where he needs more strength of purpose – to make runs and be bold.

Gavin McGarvey
82 Posted 23/09/2016 at 22:59:06
I think Ross is a great player, and while it is true he's not great every game, that's true for every player bar Messi and Ronaldo. He's still young and has come through a major injury, which came at a crucial time and which I think he's done well to come back from.

He's a better player than Osman, but like so many before him, he suffers from the home-grown player's curse: all the blame, less praise. I'm sure he'll come good, but it'll be tough. He plays in one of the slots that require the most talent, the playmaker. It'll take time, but he'll get there.

Last week, everyone was on here criticizing Lukaku. If Ross had been left on the bench, then this would be an inquisition into Deulofeu's talent. I however, would suggest that the lack of a striker on Wednesday (and deadline day) would be a better topic to explore.

Alex Fox
83 Posted 23/09/2016 at 23:17:13
I sometimes wonder what people expect from Barkley.

Watch a video of our goals from last season (there's one on YouTube) and see exactly how many Barkley directly influenced. He's at the heart of almost everything good we did.

In a season in which he was hamstrung by the most inept manager in Everton's recent history, he still managed to weigh in with a combined total of 17 Premier League goals and assists. The only midfielders that bettered that figure were Ozil, Mahrez, Payet, and Ali – all of whom were drooled over by fans and pundits alike.

I honestly think he is judged harshly by some fans because there was a misguided expectation that he would become our Gerrard. A big, blood and thunder, all-action, local lad scrapping about in the heart of midfield.

We need to start appreciating him for what he is instead: a technical marvel, rated by the likes of Xavi, who provides the kinds of moments that nobody else in our team is even remotely capable of.

Dominating games from an attacking midfield position at the age of 22 isn't easy. Man Utd just paid 𧴜m for someone they believed could do it, and he's looked utterly average to date. Barkley's goal and assist returns compare favourably to Zidane, Iniesta, and Scholes at the same point in their careers. And people think he's not good enough? It's laughable.

He loves the club, never mouths off in the press, doesn't go demanding new contracts each month: he's a credit to our academy and a top player who will only get better under Koeman's coaching.

Gary Mortimer
84 Posted 23/09/2016 at 23:20:05
I've said it on other threads, but Ross is the new Osman. Even if he scored a hat-trick every game, it still wouldn't be enough for some people.

On Tuesday Geri missed chance after chance and yet the blame was laid at Ross's feet by the vast majority of ToffeeWebbers. It's been mentioned above that some players get away with drifting in and out of games with no criticism at all, but Ross gets the blame time after time.

He's had a clueless baffoon as a coach for the last 3 years and that is going to take a while to leave the system. Give him the same slack you give MIrallas, Geri, Lukaku and Lennon.

Diamond? A rough one that needs some polishing in my opinion.

Mike Dolan
85 Posted 23/09/2016 at 23:40:48
I agree with Kieth Harrison (#43) it's the horrendous injury he got playing for England. We tend to think that it only effects him when going into a tackle but it also effects him from making those killer passes he's alway got that physical contact on his mind. It's not being frightened but it is a mental thing.

He does however have mind blowing potential he might be 23 but he had three wasted years recovering fully from the injury and in that sense he's a 20-year-old. Give him time, patience and support, he really deserves that. I would not be surprised if, in two years, he is rated as one of the best players in Europe

Derek Thomas
86 Posted 24/09/2016 at 00:32:56
Have we anybody better at what he does do well?... No. But we have some who are better at what he's poor at... and what's worse, from his point of view, the manager likes that sort of stuff... most managers do.

They will gladly put up with somebody who can only perform at 90% of his 'good points', because they are 100% better at his 'bad points'

The broken leg thing might be a factor but IMO, not a very big one. The more telling thing is He's all Instinct, there's no middle ground it's either Hero or ffs Ross.

I don't think he has a 'Football Brain' and has suffered from being the biggest kid in the group all through the grades. He didn't have to put himself about, all the others couldn't or wouldn't get near him and he hasn't had to use his head to compensate.

Osman and Vaughan could only dream of being half his size and yes they 'got knocked down' but they 'got up again'

Now he's in the big boys leagues, there are plenty who will not be afraid to mix it with him...a nd it comes not to the 'dog in the fight' but the 'fight in the dog'... mental and physical.

He may be a later developer and I hope he does, but I think what we see now is what we will get forever.

If he's lucky and stays here, it'll be as a bench player at best...and the same goes for Delboy too.

Mark Andersson
87 Posted 23/09/2016 at 01:07:12
Any opinions on Ross from fans are hot air. The only two opinions that matter are his manager and himself.

Get off his back and support him.

Ernie Baywood
88 Posted 24/09/2016 at 01:34:00
That's just your opinion, Mark.
Peter Gorman
89 Posted 24/09/2016 at 02:10:01
Mark is right, let's not post on here ever again. Or on any other thread, it is all just hot air.

My missus asked me what I wanted to do this weekend but I didn't say anything in case it was all just hot air.

Rob Hooton
90 Posted 24/09/2016 at 08:13:59
John (#35) and Alex (#83) – Amen.

Ross will get better and as many posters have said most of the great players in his position never blossomed until 26 or 27 and only then became consistent.

My personal opinion is that only complete muppets boo him and might yet drive him away. Then, when he comes back as an amazing player and hammers us, the same twats will boo him and call him a traitor.

Just my hot air for what it is worth, but I believe in Ross like many others and wouldn't it be great for him to be leading the team out in a new stadium in a few years?

Andrew Clare
91 Posted 24/09/2016 at 09:40:22
I cannot understand any Evertonians who boo their own players. There sure are some ignorant people in the world.

Support the players, support the team.

Dave Williams
92 Posted 24/09/2016 at 10:21:38
I remember the great Colin Harvey being the boo-boys target in his early days, not to mention Joe Royle and Jimmy Husband. Ross has been described by a Finch Farm employee as "not the quickest learner" and undoubtedly his tackling aversion is down the his triple leg break.

If it is accepted that he will never lose this problem of tackling, we can surely work around it. Kevin Sheedy was seldom a player who would tackle but Kendall built the team around him so that Reid and Bracewell would win the ball and then give it to Kevin to be creative. Howard bought Van den Hauwe to give such defensive strength to the left side so that we didn't need Kevin to tackle back. This worked wonderfully well and maybe Ronald can devise a system which will bring the best out of Ross.

In the meantime, he appears to be someone who needs his confidence boosting – as someone above said, he isn't a naturally arrogant person and he really does need our support to help him progress.

I have never understood why some supporters are so vile towards our own players. I witnessed a young Adrian Heath take dog's abuse in one game when he was struggling for form but fortunately he had the mental strength to come through that and become a smashing player for us.

If some fans realised the damage they can do to a player's confidence by abusing them, then maybe the player would thrive in a more encouraging atmosphere. Ross certainly has a lot of work to do but he will stand a far better chance of getting there if the boo boys leave him be.

Stan Schofield
93 Posted 24/09/2016 at 10:31:23
These days, when things go wrong, like when a watching machine malfunctions, folks tend to just replace the item. They could find out what the issue is, and fix it, like replacing a failed component. If replacing the component is too expensive, or there are other issues as well, then fixing the item may not be practicable, in which case we replace the whole item. But it's sensible to see if it can be fixed first.

Maybe there's a similar tendency with footballers. When they fail to function as expected, there can be a tendency for folks to want them replaced, rather than trying to remedy the problem. Easy come, easy go, consumer society, let's just splash some cash on a replacement. Could be especially prevalent in football, with all the dosh that's around these days.

Well, footballers are not washing machines. They are not always easily replaceable. Ross Barkley is not easily replaceable. He is not a washing machine. He is a diamond.

Stan Schofield
94 Posted 24/09/2016 at 11:03:21
Dave @92: Yes, I remember the booing of Harvey. Same with Ball when he got back from Mexico in 1970 (and his form dipped) and Kendall circa 1974 (when his form dipped slightly, but he still kept us in the 1st Division).

As someone famous once said, "A boo-boy is merely an arsehole who goes to the match".

I can't remember who said it, but I think it was either Socrates or Oscar Wilde.

Terry Underwood
95 Posted 24/09/2016 at 11:26:27
FFS, we lose one match, in which Koeman made loads of changes both in personel and position, and all is suddenly doom and gloom. Gradually, the players are getting used to each other again and getting fitter.

Remember, Runcorn wasn't built in a day (although Milton Keynes was). We are taking baby steps. Give Koeman a couple of seasons before we start building the gallows.

Dave Williams
96 Posted 24/09/2016 at 11:30:52
Very good, Stan – I like it!
Paul Johnson
97 Posted 24/09/2016 at 12:00:42
I have never booed a player per se. I have however called quite a few a pile of shite, not fit to wear the blue shirt. I believe these claims were justified by the way. James Beattie was one in a particular case that nearly had me coming to blows with a fellow Evertonian one New Years day at the Etihad.

However, in the case of Ross, I believe we have a great player who suffers badly with self esteem. I love the kid because every time he receives the ball he is looking to do the positive thing at get at the opposition. And also get a shot away. So when things don't come off for him I think we should get behind him and back the next effort.

So I believe we have a diamond he just needs polishing. Unlike some others, a la James Beattie as the saying goes you cannot polish a turd.

Aidy Dews
98 Posted 24/09/2016 at 12:31:55
I like Barkley, he's got something but I'm not totally convinced he'll become one of the very best midfielders in the premier league.

He's got great technique off of both feet, he's got a good turn of pace, he's got stature and by the looks of it, the physicality (although he doesn't get involved in that side of the game much), but...

His stamina seems an issue, he still has moments in games where he's blowing and not got the legs but I think he is asthmatic and that could be a factor?! Defensively I think we can all agree it's not the strongest part of his game, still got a lot to learn with that one. His decision making in key areas is hit and miss, sometimes he picks the right option, a through ball or a shot or its vice versa and he'll take a shot on when it needs a pass or they'll be a through ball on and he passes square.

His footballing brain isn't all that either. When we try to break quickly and pop the ball off 1 & 2 touch to advance quickly, the ball goes to him and he takes numerous touches and slows the play down, allowing the opposition to get back in numbers. Then when games are tight and were holding onto leads and the ball goes into the final third, he'll look for through balls or try and beat men and lose the ball, or in our own half under pressure he'll try tricks and drag backs to get away from men and out of trouble and lose the ball when all it wants is a simple pass to a free team mate or a chip into the channel for Lukaku to chase to relieve the pressure.

Now a lot of those things can be worked on and improved and I hope for his sake they are but he's got to put the effort in and turn all that around. People talk about his confidence being low, being fragile but a lot of the players were in the same boat, the likes of Jags, Baines, Coleman, Barry & Mirallas etc all had a tough couple of seasons but a new manager and a good run of form has got all them doing better, some better than most and it should of had a similar effect on Barkley imo and it hasn't quite worked out like that.

Personally I don't think a couple of games out won't hurt him at all. Let him see the games from the bench and let him reflect on what he needs to do to get back in the side and start to perform at the level that is required.

Les Martin
99 Posted 24/09/2016 at 15:13:21
Ronald Koeman is a gift from god to Ross Barkley; if he cannot sort out this conundrum then no manager will.

Of course Ronald wants Ross to "man up" and be more confident and puff out his chest and be aggressive. He needs that fire that Gueye has, the talent as we know is already there and this will be his defining season.

If he fails, then he will be replaced and possibly shipped out. We all hope that is not the case and that he progresses to be the diamond of a player we dreamed of.

Paul Black
100 Posted 24/09/2016 at 18:54:20
Trevor, 42...I agree 100%.
Damian Wilde
101 Posted 24/09/2016 at 22:34:06
He stunk again today.
Mal Smith
102 Posted 25/09/2016 at 00:33:09
Let's get real about Ross; he has suffered by having a very bad manager in Martinez, but a great player would have done it despite this.

He is a good player and no more; he will never be a superstar.

Gary Reeves
104 Posted 25/09/2016 at 11:06:07
Several posts on here comparing Barkley's footballing path to Gerrard's – what ARE you people watching??

We've been bombarded with evidence regarding this kid – it's there in front of your eyes... almost twice weekly for the last 3 seasons... He'll never make it.

Ben Howard
105 Posted 25/09/2016 at 11:11:14
Right now things are not working for Ross and I'd argue that without addressing things quickly his confidence will sink even lower and Koeman could have a real problem on his hands.

We can all agree that he has some undeniable qualities. Pace, power, technique, shooting and passing. That's quite an arsenal and yet, in his current position, we are asking him to create and provide. This requires a level of footballing brainpower that I question whether Ross possesses.

With experience he may learn to play this position to a level where instinct takes over, but we can't expect him to have the speed of thought required to do this right now. So let's stop hanging him out to dry and give him something else positive to try.

5 things Ross (Koeman) needs to try to get the best out of him:

1. Lose a stone.
2. Limit his responsibilities.
3. Give him a simple, defined role.
4. Try him as a second striker.
5. Try him next to Gueye in midfield.

I still strongly believe we have a diamond and with the right, continued support he will flourish to play wherever we want him to. We have to lower our expectations in the short-term right now though.

Damian Wilde
106 Posted 25/09/2016 at 11:19:14
Disagree, Ben, he's been consistently poor for over a year – he's finished. I wouldn't even have him on the bench.
Neil Pickering
107 Posted 25/09/2016 at 15:13:18
Loathe to say it, but I think that Moyes and also Warnock were right about our Ross. I've said on here months ago that he has all the gear but no idea – by that, I mean physically he has everything but in terms of general football intelligence and mental strength he is very average. (And I know I will get slaughtered for this as well:) I think he's not even at Premier League level.

He's been a bit unlucky as well; suffered bad injuries at key stages in his development, and also had a clown of a manager tell him he was the best player in the country despite not actually playing well aside from a few nice goals. It's all contributed to what we see now, which in my view is not far off the best he will be, sadly.

Michael Penley
108 Posted 25/09/2016 at 21:30:27
Don't be too impatient with the lad. There's a reason why we call him a 'diamond' – diamonds take forever to form. If we need to wait a couple more years in Ross's case, who cares? It'll be worth it.
Don Alexander
109 Posted 25/09/2016 at 23:12:12
Even fans willing to overlook his various frailties aren't blind to Ross's lack of development given his gifts with the ball at his feet .. occasional as they've recently become.

Expectations that he'll ever become our version of Stevie G are ludicrous. He's way short of the fight and arrogance to do so. He has zero inclination to even try to win the ball back, never mind tackle. His heading is ordinary too.

So in my opinion, if he can ever gain consistent command of his talent, he'll become a luxury player in a bloody good team. If he can't he'll end up as a 21st century Tony Grant, and I fear whatever it's to be will happen pretty damn soon.

Brian Porter
111 Posted 26/09/2016 at 00:54:00
Anthony Dyer (#10), you say Ross isn't a 'full international' yet, but he has 22 England caps at present I believe. At what point or after how many caps would you consider him to be a 'full international'. And oh yes, he's been to a World Cup with England too.
Martin OConnor
112 Posted 26/09/2016 at 02:42:04
Three okay performances so far this season: Tottenham, West Brom, Middlesbrough, and the rest have been woeful. Takes too long on the ball, gets knocked off the ball, losses it to easily. At present has not progressed from Martinez's first season.

Would the Barkley of today score that goal at Newcastle in Martinez's first season? We all know the answer to that. He should think less and act more on instinct and first touch. At present, he is short of confidence and should be benched.

Sean McCarthy
113 Posted 26/09/2016 at 10:13:34
I've said it a few times on here, and got slated for doing so, but in my view Barkley isn't and never will be anything like the 'diamond' we all hoped for. If he wasn't a local lad who'd come thru the ranks, but rather someone we had splashed the cash on, we would be screaming for him to be dropped or at best indifferent to his presence or not. Similar to the faith we have (or rather don't have) in Deulofeu never being more than a bit-part player.

Barkley can consider himself lucky to have amassed 22 England caps to date. Will he ever reach 30 internationals? I doubt it because he's simply not good enough.

I see him plying his trade at someplace like Stoke or Sunderland or West Brom within 2 years. And whilst he usually talks utter rubbish, Neil Warnick said as much on the radio last week when he effectively said he didn't have enough between the ears to make a top level footballer. His performances over the last 18 months would appear to support that view

Paul Tran
114 Posted 26/09/2016 at 10:23:19
No we haven't. We're desperate for him to be the player he isn't. Same with Deufelou. Same with Mirallas.
Derek Thomas
115 Posted 26/09/2016 at 11:24:13
Michael @ 108; Sometimes a 'Diamond' is just a piece of old coal.

A real diamond is a piece of coal that has been formed under great pressure and stresses and came out the other side the real deal.

Time might yet work it's magic... but jeez it's going to be a good trick to see.

Phil Lewis
116 Posted 26/09/2016 at 12:20:04
The truly great players do not need time to think. The messages flow instinctively from their brains to their feet in an instant. Similarly, positional awareness is instantaneous. This is not something you can coach or train a player to have. Great players are gifted, they have this innate natural talent, which they are born with, that sets them apart from the rest of us.

I have been fortunate over the last 50 years to have seen several truly naturally great players in the Everton blue. Unfortunately, I'm sorry to say, Ross Barkley is not and never will be one of them.

It is about the brain, not the feet! His skills with the ball at his feet are not in question. Undoubtedly he has this ability and will perhaps, continue to ply his trade in the Premier League for the immediate future. But make no mistake: he will never be a great player.

He could be coached to do a specific role and, if he is able to stick to the script, could prove effective for us. But he will never, in my opinion, be the creative force that we all hoped for. That would take imagination, awareness and quicksilver action; unfortunately he lacks in all three departments.

Sean McCarthy
117 Posted 26/09/2016 at 12:40:27
"I would not be surprised if, in two years, he is rated as one of the best players in Europe."

I'm sure Paddy Power would give you generous odds on that!! In 2 years, he won't be rated as one of the best players at whatever club he's playing at because I'm pretty sure it won't be Everton!! And I'm sure my odds would be a lot shorter than yours.

He's got as much chance of being one of the top players in Europe as Jeremy Corbyn has of being Prime Minister!! A nice enough idea but, in reality, never gonna happen.

Chris Williams
118 Posted 26/09/2016 at 15:11:12
No we haven't got a diamond. He is still making the same basic errors he was making 3 years ago. He still makes the wrong choices and decisions. He still wastes possession or loses the ball in the last third. He still picks the wrong pass or is just plain sloppy. He is too meek and 'fragile'.

As someone wrote on here last season, you can't coach gormless.

Sad but true, and would love to be proved wrong...

John Daley
119 Posted 26/09/2016 at 16:38:21
"Loathe to say it, but I think that Moyes and also Warnock were right about our Ross"

Moyes was right about what exactly?

When here, he merely pointed out that Barkley was a young player still with much to learn. He never wrote him off as a waste of space or claimed he would 'never make it'.

In fact, his most recent comments about Barkley, after he was left out the England squad by Allerdyce, reinforce that he feels there's still another jump in improvement to come from the player you're trying to make out he pinpointed as being pish:

"Ross will play for England many more times, and I think he will develop as well because there's another stage of his career to go when he becomes one of the senior players. At the moment, he's really still one of the boys who are progressing and he's finding his way.”

Contrast that with shite like "he's finished" from some on here, and it doesn't seem like Moyes is anywhere near pitching his tent in the same premature 'consign him to the scrap heap' camp to me.

As for Warnock, who puts any worth in what that fezless Tommy Cooper faced fucker thinks? Sat there slurping tuna brine out of a tin until he spots a chance to cram his beak back into a little crack of media spotlight again. He had Barkley for a few weeks, five years ago, before having to send him back (to the chagrin of Leeds fans at the time, by the way). How does that give him any special insight whatsoever into what's going on with him here and now?

Andrew Clare
120 Posted 26/09/2016 at 16:52:03
Ross looked like the cat's whiskers two years ago. What has happened? Is he being asked to play in a role that doesn't suit him? I think he is and as a result he has lost confidence.

He's a diamond for sure – he just needs help to shine.

Steavey Buckley
121 Posted 26/09/2016 at 17:10:11
Why does everyone expect Barkley to take the attack to the opposition, week after week? He is just one of 10 outfield players. Or one of 6 forward players.

Is that because Everton are not strong enough in all attacking areas of the field? After all, it is a team game. He is not a tennis player or snooker player.

Chris Williams
122 Posted 26/09/2016 at 18:54:28
I think most people would be content if he showed the slightest sign of learning lessons, improving his decision-making, playing as part of the team, and generally developing his game from three years ago.

The only thing he has developed is his physique which is a waste since he is not one to put it about like Ali at Spurs, for one example.

Mike Jones
123 Posted 27/09/2016 at 07:50:38
Fellow Evertonians, I – like every other – would love nothing more than for Ross to, dare I say, become our "Steven Gerrard"; however, I struggle to remember the last solid quality 90-minute performance he has had for us?? It hasn't happened for a long long time... if indeed at all.

Yes he has showed glimpses of brilliance but, if you type in "Diniyar Rinatovich Bilyaletdinov" on YouTube, you will also find glimpses of brilliance. It's about time Everton did sign a new Number 10 and take the pressure off Ross to see if we can finally develop him into a top player.

Another great Martinez quote I remember was "We had a chance to sign Payet before he went to West Ham but we decided Ross Barkley was our Number 10." I think Kenwright should be hiring someone to try to get that £10 million compensation back, and more, as he has literally robbed us.

Terry Underwood
124 Posted 27/09/2016 at 12:04:41
I honestly think Ross would benefit from a couple of games with the U23 side, games which he should be able to dominate. This would build up his confidence, then maybe he could transfer that to the first team.

On the downside, if he can't dominate U23s then we/he are in problem territory...

Anto Byrne
125 Posted 28/09/2016 at 05:50:15
He needs to go after the ball and then dictate the play. He has the ability as we saw against Boro.

Let's not forget other teams don't give him any space so he has to play box to box picking up deep and driving thru the middle with energy and aggression and he needs that big look of a mongrel about him. He should study Roy Keane and Gerrard and maybe Lampard and model his game on what they did.

The fancy pants stuff he can leave in his locker.

Eddie Dunn
126 Posted 28/09/2016 at 09:34:29
Ross is suffering because there is a lack of good movement around him. Like many skillful players in the premier league, he gets marked tightly and often receives the ball too late, or when he does get it the movement from his forward or wingers is poor. He has the ability to beat a man, and instead of just playing a first time ball, he knows he always has Plan B. This holds up play and allows defences to reorganise.

If he were at say Arsenal, he would slip it to one of the other quick, skillful lads and they would flit this way and that and someone would put in a lovely pass and Sanchez would pop it in the net.

At Goodison, he looks up Rom is stationary pointing at a bit of turf two yards from him, all the defenders can see him doing it, Ross looks left and right and the wingers are coming backwards so not to run offside, and then he either tries a trick and loses the ball , or passes it back to Barry.

Lampard worked very hard, but was often given a free role to come late to the box for his trademark goals he was surrounded by high quality players. When he played for England he was never as good, because he didn't have a Makelele doing his work for him.

Gerrard worked his socks off but for the reds , he usually had clever midfielders around him and very good strikers making passing easier. This season the likes of Mahrez and Payet are having a very poor time. They like Ross, are given special attention. It might well be better if Barkey goes somewhere else, like Lampard did.

He is still young and I remember how inconsistent Ossie was at that age, and look how he improved over time. Plenty of time still for our Ross.

Gary Reeves
127 Posted 28/09/2016 at 20:38:53
Think Eddie's post should put this thread to bed!

"If Barkley could improve he might turn out to be a latter day Leon Osman." ... And who says Evertonians have low expectations?

On a more serious note, I'm convinced Koeman will not select Barkely on Friday, and I for one am delighted!

Geoff Evans
128 Posted 29/09/2016 at 09:08:45
I think Barkley's days under Koeman are numbered. At best, or potentially if you like, a good Championship player.
Sam Hoare
129 Posted 29/09/2016 at 09:48:06
A good Championship player? Wind-up surely?!

Despite playing beneath himself and in a poorly functioning team, Ross got 12 goals last season and a bagful of assists.

At least half if not more of the teams in the Premier League would be desperate to have him. He may not be at his best right now, or what we need in our team, but let's not get carried away.

Geoff Evans
130 Posted 29/09/2016 at 09:52:02
Which of the top teams would Barkley get a regular game for?
Dave Lynch
131 Posted 29/09/2016 at 09:58:53
Errrrrrrrrrr... None
Ray Roche
132 Posted 29/09/2016 at 10:01:02
Geoff, apart from Man City, Man Utd, Chelsea, Arsenal...I imagine they are what you mean by top teams, as opposed to Palace, Saints etc, he'd be pretty much a regular with most Premier League sides.

He's having a bad spell but has still contributed more in a goal scoring/assisting sense than most of our "stars" last and this season. Anyway, he's getting a regular game at one top team right now. Us.

Or don't you see us as a top side ..?

Alex Jones
133 Posted 29/09/2016 at 10:06:57
These threads make me despair. Barkley is a class above all our other players. He has some mental issue regarding hitting tackles, but he's playing at number 10.

It's not his primary purpose. He's there to score and assist and this he does as well as any comparable player in the Premier League.

Geoff Evans
134 Posted 29/09/2016 at 10:12:39
Ray, I see us as THE top club; Koeman is trying to turn us into a top team and hopefully he can move Barkley on to be a part of it. Unfortunately at this moment in time I feel that he's a long way from what he needs to be.
Ray Roche
138 Posted 29/09/2016 at 10:59:25
Geoff, I DON'T think Barkley is a "long way" from where he needs to be, I just think he needs to hear some cheers and not jeers from the terraces. Whichever way you look at it his development has been put back, firstly, by a career threatening injury and then by Martinez and his circus. Left winger? My arse. Look at photos of Barkley from three years ago and he's bulked up considerably, in my opinion, to the detriment of his game. He's no longer quick over the ground but he's quick between his ears WHEN HE ACTS SPONTANEOUSLY. When he has no time to dwell on the ball he has great talent and vision.

The body bulk must have been with club/trainer approval. Do you not think that it can impede some players? More weight up top means more weight for legs to carry, OK on a sprinter who runs for 10 seconds but not for a mid fielder who runs for 90 minute.

And when it comes to speed I know what I'm talking about. I once did 100 yards in 10 seconds.
.
.
.
.
.
I fell off Beachy Head.


Sam Hoare
139 Posted 29/09/2016 at 13:27:23
Geoff, there's a pretty big difference from saying he wouldn't get regular games for the very top sides (Man City, Arsenal, Man Utd) which I still think is pretty debateable, and saying that he is at best a good Championship player, which is nonsense in my opinion.
Geoff Evans
140 Posted 29/09/2016 at 14:39:36
Sam, we beg to differ on this one and I sincerely hope your right.
Damian Wilde
141 Posted 29/09/2016 at 22:17:03
Barkley has been poor for over a year. Him constantly giving the ball away is despairing enough, but the lazziness (trotting around like he's not arsed) is a disgrace and I have seen no change from this.

He would never get anywhere near Arsenal or Man City's bence and imo shouldn't be in Everton's side. He's a West Brom/Sunderland type standard. He's still living off the Newcastle and Man City goals.

This lad winds me up big time. I've never seen a player give the ball away so much. And when he has the ball he drifts from side-side like he's line dancing. Had we signed Sissoko, Barkley would not be starting.

Andy Crooks
142 Posted 29/09/2016 at 22:32:09
Ross gives the ball away a lot because, in my view, the movement of Everton's flair players is abysmal and has been for a number of years. To me, Ross is left with few options time after time.

Koeman has inherited a style of play that will take time to undo. I believe that Ross will be great and, if he was at Arsenal, it would be happening now. I am happy that Ross is one of us and will stay to be part of what will be built.

Trevor Peers
143 Posted 29/09/2016 at 22:57:37
If Ross gives the ball away a lot because we don't have good enough flair players around him, there's only one solution – don't play him!

Sometimes you need an attacking midfield three, that knits together to form a good unit. I think trying to accommodate Ross is holding the team back. Koeman has to give it a go without him or we could start to slide.

Damian Wilde
144 Posted 30/09/2016 at 23:59:59
Barkley is finished.
Terry Hayes
145 Posted 03/10/2016 at 12:29:27
I'm convinced that, when he shoots, he's actually seeing how high up in the stands he can reach.
Tony Kost
146 Posted 04/10/2016 at 20:02:55
I've not read all the posts but obviously it's easy to understand that some are critical – Ross has let himself and the club down over the last year or so. He has been badly managed by Martinez.

Hopefully this will be a bit of a "break through season" (yes another one!) under Ronald Koeman.

I say persevere – He still has great talent in abundance.

I am sure he knows what is required. I, for one, back him to succeed.

Ray Said
147 Posted 04/10/2016 at 20:22:04
I think he needs to be pushed further forward just behind Lukaku, he has a great shot, he can beat a man, he can bully his way past defenders and he can create chances. Use him in a role that lets him employs his strengths; don't put him in a role where his weaknesses are exaggerated.

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