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?
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.
Reader Comments (142)
Note: the following content is not moderated or vetted by the site owners at the time of submission. Comments are the responsibility of the poster. Disclaimer
1 Posted 22/09/2016 at 20:51:03
2 Posted 22/09/2016 at 20:59:29
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.
3 Posted 22/09/2016 at 21:07:44
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.
4 Posted 22/09/2016 at 21:10:50
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.
5 Posted 22/09/2016 at 21:15:38
6 Posted 22/09/2016 at 21:17:15
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.
7 Posted 22/09/2016 at 21:21:46
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.
8 Posted 22/09/2016 at 21:36:30
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.
9 Posted 22/09/2016 at 21:38:45
10 Posted 22/09/2016 at 21:40:02
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.
11 Posted 22/09/2016 at 21:47:24
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.
12 Posted 22/09/2016 at 21:47:31
13 Posted 22/09/2016 at 21:50:17
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.
14 Posted 22/09/2016 at 21:56:25
And about time you put up an OP. More please.
15 Posted 22/09/2016 at 21:58:45
Hey, but hang on: footballing problems affect the best. Not the very best, yet, they are few in number.
16 Posted 22/09/2016 at 22:00:35
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.
17 Posted 22/09/2016 at 22:05:41
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.
18 Posted 22/09/2016 at 22:07:50
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!
19 Posted 22/09/2016 at 22:09:05
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.
20 Posted 22/09/2016 at 22:15:55
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.
21 Posted 22/09/2016 at 22:17:26
For whatever reason â€“ fear, uncertainty, pressure, expectation or a combination of all four? â€“ 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.
22 Posted 22/09/2016 at 22:21:58
"And it is this desperation from the stands for “one of our ownâ€ 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.
23 Posted 22/09/2016 at 22:24:18
24 Posted 22/09/2016 at 22:24:38
I said on here the other day that he should go and see a Shrink.
25 Posted 22/09/2016 at 22:25:30
26 Posted 22/09/2016 at 22:27:22
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?
27 Posted 22/09/2016 at 22:37:53
28 Posted 22/09/2016 at 22:47:55
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.
29 Posted 22/09/2016 at 22:56:42
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.
30 Posted 22/09/2016 at 22:59:25
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!
31 Posted 22/09/2016 at 23:08:12
The recommended cure is a few more months of the current manager.
32 Posted 22/09/2016 at 23:13:57
And about time you put up an OP. More please".
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.Â
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.Â
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 themselvesÂ Æ¬ÌµÌ¬ÌŠ, 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?"
33 Posted 22/09/2016 at 23:22:22
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"
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.
35 Posted 23/09/2016 at 02:34:29
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.Â 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.Â
Why are people ready to believe Koeman can hone Bolasie (and others) into a more potent force given time, but continually positÂ Barkley to be a special case who must shit or bust before his 24th Â birthday?Â
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, Â 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 atÂ 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.Â
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. Â He faced claims he was overrated, inconsistent, lacked flair and was only in the team because of who his arl fella and uncle were.Â
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.â€
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.
36 Posted 23/09/2016 at 04:02:44
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.
37 Posted 23/09/2016 at 04:50:18
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.
38 Posted 23/09/2016 at 06:59:28
39 Posted 23/09/2016 at 07:15:23
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 â€“ my dear mate, Jim Keary, has just turned 60; congratulations Jim if you're reading this, you made it onto ToffeeWeb :D ! Happy Birthday.
40 Posted 23/09/2016 at 07:28:41
Flashes of real brilliance but slow-witted at times. I do like him though..
41 Posted 23/09/2016 at 08:02:49
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 â€“ sell on with a huge sell-on clause.
Some players just come to their time at clubs and he has here.
42 Posted 23/09/2016 at 08:39:16
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.
43 Posted 23/09/2016 at 08:47:37
Ross has all the attributes for me â€“ except mental, and possibly courage. I really hope he flourishes at Everton, but the name Tony Grant has a spooky parallel to me.
44 Posted 23/09/2016 at 08:49:45
45 Posted 23/09/2016 at 09:03:43
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.
46 Posted 23/09/2016 at 10:17:58
47 Posted 23/09/2016 at 10:22:22
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...
48 Posted 23/09/2016 at 10:27:31
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.
49 Posted 23/09/2016 at 10:47:16
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.
50 Posted 23/09/2016 at 11:24:34
Ross has the talent to reach the very top but does he have the self-belief to get there? That is the question.
51 Posted 23/09/2016 at 11:29:27
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!
52 Posted 23/09/2016 at 11:35:08
53 Posted 23/09/2016 at 11:47:16
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.
54 Posted 23/09/2016 at 11:51:15
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.
55 Posted 23/09/2016 at 12:15:54
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.
56 Posted 23/09/2016 at 12:28:55
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.
57 Posted 23/09/2016 at 12:36:44
At least I've got it easier than Englebert Humperdick, 'The Best Male Escort In Blundellsands', whoÂ is constantly being hoofed in the bollocks by bitterly disappointed old biddies when he turns up at their door.Â
58 Posted 23/09/2016 at 13:12:46
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.
59 Posted 23/09/2016 at 14:20:37
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.
60 Posted 23/09/2016 at 14:33:29
61 Posted 23/09/2016 at 14:47:42
If Ronald Koeman cannot make Ross a better player by the end of this season, what then?
62 Posted 23/09/2016 at 15:57:15
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 â‚¬110m for Pogba.
63 Posted 23/09/2016 at 16:34:37
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.
64 Posted 23/09/2016 at 18:04:19
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.
65 Posted 23/09/2016 at 18:22:16
66 Posted 23/09/2016 at 19:01:42
"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.
67 Posted 23/09/2016 at 19:06:53
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.
68 Posted 23/09/2016 at 19:17:21
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.
69 Posted 23/09/2016 at 19:26:32
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!
70 Posted 23/09/2016 at 19:34:34
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!
71 Posted 23/09/2016 at 19:41:47
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.
72 Posted 23/09/2016 at 19:59:10
73 Posted 23/09/2016 at 20:05:43
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!!!!
74 Posted 23/09/2016 at 20:27:45
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?
75 Posted 23/09/2016 at 22:07:22
76 Posted 23/09/2016 at 22:12:44
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.
77 Posted 23/09/2016 at 22:19:03
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.
78 Posted 23/09/2016 at 22:31:17
79 Posted 23/09/2016 at 22:39:58
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!
80 Posted 23/09/2016 at 22:40:55
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.
81 Posted 23/09/2016 at 22:50:25
"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.
82 Posted 23/09/2016 at 22:59:06
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.
83 Posted 23/09/2016 at 23:17:13
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.
84 Posted 23/09/2016 at 23:20:05
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.
85 Posted 23/09/2016 at 23:40:48
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
86 Posted 24/09/2016 at 00:32:56
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.
87 Posted 23/09/2016 at 01:07:12
Get off his back and support him.
88 Posted 24/09/2016 at 01:34:00
89 Posted 24/09/2016 at 02:10:01
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.
90 Posted 24/09/2016 at 08:13:59
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?
91 Posted 24/09/2016 at 09:40:22
Support the players, support the team.
92 Posted 24/09/2016 at 10:21:38
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.
93 Posted 24/09/2016 at 10:31:23
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.
94 Posted 24/09/2016 at 11:03:21
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.
95 Posted 24/09/2016 at 11:26:27
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.
96 Posted 24/09/2016 at 11:30:52
97 Posted 24/09/2016 at 12:00:42
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.
98 Posted 24/09/2016 at 12:31:55
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.
99 Posted 24/09/2016 at 15:13:21
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.
100 Posted 24/09/2016 at 18:54:20
101 Posted 24/09/2016 at 22:34:06
102 Posted 25/09/2016 at 00:33:09
He is a good player and no more; he will never be a superstar.
104 Posted 25/09/2016 at 11:06:07
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.
105 Posted 25/09/2016 at 11:11:14
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.
106 Posted 25/09/2016 at 11:19:14
107 Posted 25/09/2016 at 15:13:18
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.
108 Posted 25/09/2016 at 21:30:27
109 Posted 25/09/2016 at 23:12:12
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.
111 Posted 26/09/2016 at 00:54:00
112 Posted 26/09/2016 at 02:42:04
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.
113 Posted 26/09/2016 at 10:13:34
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
114 Posted 26/09/2016 at 10:23:19
115 Posted 26/09/2016 at 11:24:13
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.
116 Posted 26/09/2016 at 12:20:04
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.
117 Posted 26/09/2016 at 12:40:27
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.
118 Posted 26/09/2016 at 15:11:12
As someone wrote on here last season, you can't coach gormless.
Sad but true, and would love to be proved wrong...
119 Posted 26/09/2016 at 16:38:21
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.Â At the moment, he's really still one of the boys who are progressing and he's finding his way.â€
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?
120 Posted 26/09/2016 at 16:52:03
He's a diamond for sure he just needs help to shine.
121 Posted 26/09/2016 at 17:10:11
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.
122 Posted 26/09/2016 at 18:54:28
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.
123 Posted 27/09/2016 at 07:50:38
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.
124 Posted 27/09/2016 at 12:04:41
On the downside, if he can't dominate U23s then we/he are in problem territory...
125 Posted 28/09/2016 at 05:50:15
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.
126 Posted 28/09/2016 at 09:34:29
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.
127 Posted 28/09/2016 at 20:38:53
"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!
128 Posted 29/09/2016 at 09:08:45
129 Posted 29/09/2016 at 09:48:06
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.
130 Posted 29/09/2016 at 09:52:02
131 Posted 29/09/2016 at 09:58:53
132 Posted 29/09/2016 at 10:01:02
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 ..?
133 Posted 29/09/2016 at 10:06:57
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.
134 Posted 29/09/2016 at 10:12:39
138 Posted 29/09/2016 at 10:59:25
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.
139 Posted 29/09/2016 at 13:27:23
140 Posted 29/09/2016 at 14:39:36
141 Posted 29/09/2016 at 22:17:03
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.
142 Posted 29/09/2016 at 22:32:09
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.
143 Posted 29/09/2016 at 22:57:37
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.
144 Posted 30/09/2016 at 23:59:59
145 Posted 03/10/2016 at 12:29:27
146 Posted 04/10/2016 at 20:02:55
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.
147 Posted 04/10/2016 at 20:22:04
Add Your Comments
In order to post a comment, you need to be logged in as a registered user of the site.
Or Sign up as a ToffeeWeb Member — it's free, takes just a few minutes and will allow you to post your comments on articles and Talking Points submissions across the site.