“Could have been a god, chose to be a Devil.” So went the slogan aimed at Wayne Rooney following his gut-wrenching move from Everton to Manchester United 12 years ago.
Ross Barkley was the closest thing Evertonians have had since the prodigal son from Croxteth — a boyhood Blue who came through the Finch Farm Academy to live the dream of practically every fan. And while it’s unlikely he would ever have achieved deity at Goodison Park — there has always been a strong whiff of under-achievement about Ross — there is plenty of angst, not only at the manner in which the Toffee from Wavertree has dumped Everton with such apparent abandon but that he did it at all.
Few, if any, outside of the club and Barkley’s family and friends will know the real motivations behind the 24-year-old’s decision. His relationship with Ronald Koeman appeared to be strained, with rumours that the player couldn’t stand the Dutchman for his open criticism of his performances and his decision to bench Barkley as a result... but he is no longer manager.
He might also have been battling the pressures of playing under the microscope on Merseyside, having to bear the expectations of a fanbase desperate for a Royal Blue hero and a return to the successes of bygone eras. The incident last year when he was assaulted in a city bar won’t have helped in easing any desire he may have had to get away from Liverpool and make a fresh start.
Then there’s the simple fact that Everton have been under-achieving for years and, despite Farhad Moshiri’s significant investment and the prospect of a new stadium on the horizon, the turning of the corner still looks as far away as ever. Was it simply a case of Barkley growing impatient and the offer of joining the Champions was too good to turn down?
Or has he merely been spectacularly badly advised by his agent, at least in football terms? There’s no doubt that Ross will come out far rosier financially than had he left in August and so, too, will his new club. Chelsea saved £20m from his decision to call off the move to Stamford Bridge on deadline day last September and then change his mind again and sign for Antonio Conte’s side with just five active days of transfer window in between.
He will, no doubt, have been able to secure a much bigger signing bonus, may have negotiated a better salary and set himself up for life but, as Danny Drinkwater has discovered, there are no guarantees that he will get the game time or pivotal role that he had at Everton.
Or, come to that, the same adoration. Much has been made by some of the “boo boys” that supposedly dogged Barkley at Goodison Park but the fact is that he was never booed by any significant number of Evertonians. Were errant passes and poor decisions greeted with groans of frustration, especially during the crab-like meanderings of the whole team during the worst times of Roberto Martinez’s tenure? Absolutely, and the groans weren’t solely directed at Barkley.
Ross Barkley had his own terrace song, one sung more frequently than for any other player; he had his own logo — the 20 (for his previous shirt number) inside a diamond; he was supported by the club and fans during a disgusting episode of racism from Kelvin McKenzie; and he had the fervent hopes of hundreds of thousands of his fellow Evertonians that he would become the player he promised to be, playing in the Royal Blue jersey.
The feeling appeared to be mutual, at least until last season. Who could forget that moment when he was substituted with Everton losing 4-0 at Anfield in arguably the most humiliating defeat the club has experienced in the Premier League era; those desperate, almost tearful glances back to the away fans where you could see all he wanted was to stay on the pitch and try to rescue the situation somehow. That was the face of an Evertonian... but things have clearly changed.
He may never reach the same level as Rooney, or achieve as much, but Barkley’s departure has conjured up the same feelings of disappointment at the loss of a homegrown player to a (currently) higher-achieving club.
Regardless of what they stood to make four months ago, Everton have done well to get £15m from the sale of a player with less than 6 months left on his contract. The focus should be on reinvesting that to replace his craft, ability to unlock defences and conjure a goal from nowhere with a more consistent and reliable player.
It’s sad that Barkley didn’t ever become that player for Everton. Certainly, there was the hope that, with Koeman gone, Ross might look at things very differently but football can be a cold business. The flawed blue diamond has moved on and so shall we. No one is bigger than the club.
Reader Comments (141)
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 06/01/2018 at 19:41:21
3 Posted 06/01/2018 at 19:49:36
4 Posted 06/01/2018 at 19:56:55
I noted the Fleetwood lads at the end of their cup game today actually speaking with fans at the side of the pitch and having selfies taken with their children. That's how it should be and how it used to be.
7 Posted 06/01/2018 at 21:18:52
This has to be the biggest and most obvious con job ever and surly breeches fair play rules. Show that Everton FC cannot be tossed aside and treated like an amateur team being bossed by a bigger team.
8 Posted 06/01/2018 at 21:37:10
Personally, my mind was made up about Ross after watching him for the very first time, on his first start for the Blues.
After all the hype surrounding him as he rose through the youth ranks, I was particularly eager to see him in the flesh for the first time.
Now, I was informed that this kid was special, great balance, cocky, with a great shot on him. Unfortunately, what I witnessed, was a terrified little kid who spent all afternoon doing his utmost to avoid the ball and shirk any responsibility whatsoever.
The game was Man Utd at home, Ross played on the left wing and was up against a young Centre back in Phil Jones, who was playing at right back that day.
Now having played on the wing a bit myself in my playing days, if there's one type of full back I would relish playing against, it would be a rather immobile centre-back, playing out of position. At every opportunity, I'd be screaming for the ball and on receiving it, taking every opportunity to run straight at my full back, twisting him inside and out. I'd have an absolute field day.
So to see such a timid debut from Ross, it was clear to me already, that this kid didn't have that necessary confidence, arrogance if you like, to ever become a top player and I wasn't wrong.
As it transpired, years down the line, Ross unfortunately morphed into the epitome of a modern day English footballer. Incredible athletically, brilliant technically, great balance, (rather unusually) two good feet but was lacking that crucial ingredient, that seems to be innate in almost every single Mediterranean or Latin footballer, a footballing brain!
You put an 8-year-old's head on Gazza's body and what do you get? Ross Barkley.
Ross soon became the most frustrating player to watch in English football, ask Koeman, Southgate, Hodgson to name a few. I don't think I've ever witnessed a footballer constantly never do the right thing. Whether it be playing the right pass, releasing the ball at the right time, making the right run off the ball, Ross just wasn't capable of making the correct decision, ever. Therefore, it would forever seem like Ross was playing the game for the very first time, every single match.
Now I don't care what anyone says, it doesn't matter how good the players around you are, how talented your coaching staff is, you cannot teach someone footballing intelligence, positional sense, vision etc, and it has absolutely nothing to do with your intelligence off the field; you simply have it, or you don't. Unfortunately for Ross and his chosen career, he quite simply falls into the latter category.
10 Posted 06/01/2018 at 21:45:14
11 Posted 06/01/2018 at 21:51:48
Not much of a footballing brain either, seemed to make the wrong choice almost every time he had a decision to make on the pitch, picked the wrong pass, didn't look up, took too long, got rid of it too quickly, went the wrong way etc...
12 Posted 06/01/2018 at 22:00:28
The moment he signed his Chelsea contract, he became an irrelevance. A disappointing irrelevance.
13 Posted 06/01/2018 at 22:01:54
Once he got to Premier League level, he was found out as soft, physically and mentally. Suddenly, he was the little guy playing among the bigger guys. And he couldn't cut it.
I don't see him getting much game time at Stamford Bridge. Conte couldn't even bother to show up for his introduction, which tells you everything you need to know about his future there. Another Rodwell.
14 Posted 06/01/2018 at 22:10:03
I suspect he was going regardless. When his mate Lukaku made it known we were only a stepping stone to a Champions League team, I reckon his agent started the wheels in motion.
Koeman didn't help but I think he'd made his mind up even before he arrived.
15 Posted 06/01/2018 at 22:10:55
Personally, I wish Ross all the best. The true story about his move will come out one day.
16 Posted 06/01/2018 at 22:27:32
Are you Ross? If not, how the hell do you know? Guesswork?!
17 Posted 07/01/2018 at 00:27:01
For whatever reason, ONLY known to himself, he has left the club, he did not cost the club a penny, he did not say a bad word about anyone at the club when frankly he could have.
His contract and exit were dreadfully managed by the club leaving it to the final year under the divisive Koeman to publicly ridicule without a single comment from the board / management / Director of Football. Disgusting.
Then there is the case of the summer transfer and the last minute phone call to change his mind, there was a post on ToffeeWeb saying it was from Kenwright begging him to stay; if so, who cost the club??
He is gone... sadly. And like John Stones he has gone to the Champions of the Premier League... the same John Stones ridiculed by some on these pages is now considered the best centre back in the country. And yet still people compare and condemn Barkley to the fate of Rodwell, Jeffers.
I know many are not unhappy with him going, but some of the comments are vile. Simply uncalled for. All you do is confirm his reasons for leaving, whatever they were. Tonight the knives are out for Mirallas too; who is next on your list?
We need to pull together guys, we are better than this... let them go, no need to abuse.. we are better than that.
To me its just another brick in the wall of crap management at Everton FC.
18 Posted 07/01/2018 at 00:44:05
I'm gutted that, one way or another, we collectively (clubs, fans, the city of Liverpool) couldn't create the ideal conditions for Ross's career to thrive at EFC.
Now he leaves us, I wish him well and hope he has a good (but not great yes I am a bit bitter) career.
19 Posted 07/01/2018 at 01:02:18
20 Posted 07/01/2018 at 01:03:09
The match you are thinking of was played in October that season and was his sixth appearance. You are right that he failed to perform in that game and was involved in only six matches in the subsequent 16 months. In mitigation he was only 18 and had lost development time with a bad injury.
I completely agree that Ross was a frustrating player to watch and lacked a footballing brain. His decision-making was poor as a teenager and never seemed to improve. He was however capable of delivering some great goals and, despite the flaws in his game, he would have walked into our mediocre team this season. We have paid a fortune for less naturally talented players to replace him and so far none have come close to doing so.
21 Posted 07/01/2018 at 01:21:09
It's not his leaving, it's the manner of his leaving. Put bluntly, he has been deceitful, greedy, and unthankful in his actions.
Deceitful in that he had clearly arranged back in August with Chelsea a deal that would not commence until January, and a deal that would as a result provide him and his agent with greater reward than he'd have received in the summer. It would also save Chelsea £20m on the transfer fee less the extra money paid to Team Barkley. All the time his team was putting out through the media hints that he failed to sign in the summer window either because he wasn't sure whether Conte wanted him or else that he really wanted to join Spurs. Cobblers! The deal was already done with Chelsea.
Greedy, in that all the extra he was going to get and Chelsea were to save was inevitably going to be at the expense of Everton and its supporters, and, when added to the loss on the transfer fee, is tantamount to all the money we as supporters have given to the Club through the turnstiles over the last year.
Unthankful, because of the great support he has always received from the Club in difficult times in his career and from the supporters (please don't give me that nonsense about him being targetted by boo-boys either).
No one would deny the right of him or any other player to try and better himself either financially or career-wise. But to have engineered a move at a colossal direct cost to our Club deserves all the vehement criticism he is getting.
22 Posted 07/01/2018 at 03:21:09
It's quite telling I think that Everton's woes this season are always put down to Lukaku leaving. Ross missing every game is almost never mentioned as a cause of our wickedly bad season. He was, sadly in the end, a timid presence for all his talent never had that the swagger to lead a team or to direct a game.
It's all water under now but there were moments in a game when he looked like a great player but they were too few and far between for a player who never really developed enough to have a natural position. He was never a forward and much too timid and indecisive to be anything but an above-average midfielder. I hope it works out well for him at Chelsea; it will be all up to him.
23 Posted 07/01/2018 at 04:43:06
The club did not fail to renew his contract.
He consistently refused to sign for the last 18 months.
None of us know the real reason he wanted away but there is no question he has royally screwed the club that took care of him during 2 serious injuries and subsequent treatment.
He could quite easily have agreed a contract extension with a release clause for £30m but, as all modern players and agents are greedy and self-centred, he failed to do the honourable thing.
I'm sad to see him go – especially for such a ludicrously low fee – but the club is and always will be bigger than any individual... So now let's concentrate on getting behind the boys that want to play for Everton, and consign Barkley to the archives.
24 Posted 07/01/2018 at 05:16:39
Conveniently forgetting he was injured while working for his employer, Everton. He rehabbed and came back to work and performed quite well. Had he not, he would not have been retained and given his previous contract. He could have again refused to leave this transfer window but agreed to the sale.
I would also take issue with that old cliche of "no player is bigger than the club". People love to trot that out. But it's the players everyone goes to see, cheer when goals are scored, and scream at when they are judged to be underperforming. Players make the club successful. Without quality players, as we've seen this season without both Lukaku and Barkley, the club can go downhill extremely quickly.
I personally look forward to seeing how he gets on. Sadly that's becoming a common theme. Rooney, Lescott, Fellaini, Arteta, Stones, Lukaku, Barkley. Trophy after trophy for those players.
25 Posted 07/01/2018 at 05:16:40
26 Posted 07/01/2018 at 05:35:04
I think you nailed it, John (#20), and what I find really sad is that he has just gone, without a word. I think that's why the leaving of a local player for whom we had such high hopes, hurts.
The cricket was so bad the other day, I was reduced to watching Man Utd v Southampton in 2015 on the odious MUTV channel. Seeing the players and managers representing those two clubs only a short time ago was almost comical. So many of them are now playing for other teams... it really brought it home to me We are Everton. Not Rooney, not Barkley.
We are all the Club has and we are all that we have too. Despite our differences, we are the only ones who can be relied upon because, for some crazy reason that none of us can really explain, we keep coming back for more.
27 Posted 07/01/2018 at 05:51:12
And that was my point; no-one knows what has been said, how much was offered, what was promised, if personal threats were made etc etc... All not known.
We do know he pulled the plug on the deal in summer, allegedly after a last-minute plea from Kenwright to stay; if that was true, then it would not be Barkley who cost us, would it?
It's all slanted views based on assumptions even my last comment above. The only thing we know is we don't know and the missing bits are manufactured to fit what we know. Which is nothing other than the club and player failed to reach agreement.
28 Posted 07/01/2018 at 06:03:36
We are where we are because of the management of this football club. Some of the above are world class internationals but you wouldn't know that given the abuse.
But it's the "type" of abuse and the personalised attacks that some on here make that's the issue for me. Like I said, I thought we are better than that.
29 Posted 07/01/2018 at 06:50:23
Utterly cynical, even by today's standards. He has not even had the grace to the fans who backed him to the hilt, including on this thread.
Personally, I regarded him as talented but wasteful and unable to adapt effectively to a team system. He will not be missed and won't receive a warm welcome when he returns.
30 Posted 07/01/2018 at 07:26:32
I remember in the fifties when I used to read "Football Monthly" and one of the journalists, John McAdam, said then that Everton fans were the most critical and difficult to please. I think in the case of Barkley they have proved his point some 60 years later.
31 Posted 07/01/2018 at 08:07:52
My guess is, the best of Barkley is yet to come.
32 Posted 07/01/2018 at 08:40:58
I would like to pick up on a point made by John Keating @14. Whilst Koeman's attempt at tough love following Martinez's kid-glove approach clearly didn't help, it seems to go deeper than that and something behind the scenes appears to have gone seriously wrong between club and player.
I'm looking at the reaction from both player and club. It has become quite normal in the modern era for a player to thank the fans of the club they are leaving, regardless of whether they want to hear it or not. Nothing from Ross that I've seen even more odd given he's a lifelong Evertonian himself.
Likewise, the club's announcement was muted and matter of fact at best. No blubbing from Bill or anything!
More to this than we'll probably ever know but clearly the relationship had gone very sour.
33 Posted 07/01/2018 at 09:45:42
It would be alright if we replaced them with top quality, but we don't.
That is the real problem of Everton FC no ambition.
34 Posted 07/01/2018 at 09:59:15
35 Posted 07/01/2018 at 10:01:04
Money still talks and the £250k per week for Lukaku, and I guess £125k plus per week and huge signing on fees for Ross is way higher than anything we offered. The next contract for John Stones is probably knocking on £150 to £200k a week. These clubs are just in a different league to us.
36 Posted 07/01/2018 at 10:06:14
37 Posted 07/01/2018 at 10:08:17
38 Posted 07/01/2018 at 10:12:29
At least Allardyce is keeping Niasse in the loop, who will improve with the necessary change in tactics to accommodate Tosun. I hope Allardyce gets a good young centre-half, which we have needed for these past five years.
39 Posted 07/01/2018 at 11:18:24
The club looked after him but I sense he needed a mentor, and whether he did or didn't have one appointed by the club (not talking about the 1st team-managers) I cant help feeling some things massive changed his sway.
Being injured and at the same time off the radar in terms of press etc suggests more than we'll ever know.
I sense now is the time many youngsters of promise will hedge their bets, like Liam Walsh, Gethin Jones, and more likely, I sense.
Hopefully the club installs life coaching into its education for the young professionals and up-and-coming associate players at EFC.
40 Posted 07/01/2018 at 11:52:20
If young players, irrespective of playing level, have training in looking after their careers, then it can only benefit our club and help prevent such situations. This is a life coach role and if we have one already, that's great; if not, then it's something we should look at. (Protecting an investment...)
41 Posted 07/01/2018 at 12:02:43
42 Posted 07/01/2018 at 12:06:29
I dare say, when Ross retires, he will lift the lid on what caused him to leave... Recall the past, Billy Kenny seems like a life time ago... Let's hope the club picks up the ante and does more to protect its up-and-coming players and provides life coaching.
This is Everton, and rightfully we all have our inklings and beliefs in the club, but the club needs to heed its experiences on and off the pitch. Consistently the best charitable team in the UK, based on awards won, which is great but almost a quarter of a century without a trophy and winning a derby is becoming a "once or twice in a decade" phenomenon... This counts massively, and the best humour can't disguise this fact.
Will the new ground development kick the club on, will it happen?
Here's for a good week ahead for all Evertonians.
43 Posted 07/01/2018 at 12:25:35
44 Posted 07/01/2018 at 12:30:55
45 Posted 07/01/2018 at 12:33:10
Ross had a number of high profile social media spats a high profile undesirable linked to previous a relationship he had. The public side is known; however, this is only the tip of the iceberg.
Ross made his decision after he was assaulted in a city centre bar, this assault was loosely linked to his previous issues and was the straw that broke the camel's back.
I wish him well on a personal level as these issues where extremely unsettling for the player. It's just such a shame that a tiny minority in a city can wield such influence over a Premier League player's career choices.
46 Posted 07/01/2018 at 12:39:35
47 Posted 07/01/2018 at 12:48:47
Alternatively, just stay away from Liverpool city centre.
48 Posted 07/01/2018 at 12:54:06
As for Ross, he was probably advised to fuck the club over and he probably believed when he was told that nobody would guess the reason. I reckon Ross would believe a lot of anything he's told.
I won't miss him. Him and Drinkwater (who I'd much prefer to have) can battle it out for the central seat on the bench and the standby list for the World Cup.
49 Posted 07/01/2018 at 13:16:35
50 Posted 07/01/2018 at 13:25:52
It's about money, dollars and cents, or pounds and pence. It's just the way football has now gone.
51 Posted 07/01/2018 at 13:29:30
52 Posted 07/01/2018 at 13:32:23
As for the debate about how much he was liked / hated, supported / vilified and how good / bad Evertonians are about 'their' own compared to other clubs' supporters, just spend a few hours reading other clubs' forums, ie., Man Utd, Spurs, Arsenal etc and you will find exactly the same comments, arguments and vitriol.
We are no better or worse; we all love our clubs.
53 Posted 07/01/2018 at 13:32:53
One day, the full story will come out no doubt but at present, well who knows? apart from Barkley.
As regards to the deceitful part of your post. Surely he and his agent would have been far better off waiting until the end of the season? Surely Chelsea would have been better off by a further £15 million by getting him for free.
Chelsea are not stupid; they know Barkley's arrival wouldn't be the impetus to challenge Man City for the title. Similarly his arrival would not have ensured they finished in the top 4.
There may be a lot of dynamics at play here but, as of this time, no outsider really knows.
54 Posted 07/01/2018 at 13:39:11
Of course, none of this happened in the 60s and 80s when we could buy rather than sell top players in their prime. It happens now because of our status as a mid table club. We can't keep our best young players for long, because ultimately they want to win things, and Everton can't really provide that. So they go to the top clubs, clubs like we used to be, and like we are currently trying to be again.
The plethora of negative commentary is no doubt a reflection of all this, of our current status and frustration arising from it. People are venting their spleens out of this frustration, and it won't cease until something big happens to the club.
55 Posted 07/01/2018 at 13:41:30
On your post at 28 about abuse to players, it is not at all new. The worst abuse I have ever heard towards Everton players was in the 70s, directed at very poor purchases like Hamilton, Nulty and Henry Newton. In comparison, the so-called abuse Barkley received has been mild indeed (well, at least until Friday afternoon).
A poster in this thread refers to one journo describing Everton supporters as the most critical in the country. Similar criticism has been aimed in recent years at a number of clubs, including Newcastle and Spurs.
I can recall a piece written a long time ago by ex-commentator and journalist Kenneth Wolstenholme. He called it somewhat differently and in my mind accurately in labelling Everton supporters as the most hostile anywhere in the country. I could not deny that this hostility has always been directed only at the opposition.
56 Posted 07/01/2018 at 13:42:11
Phil, he's already done that (thanked Everton etc) mate as part of his "statement" on joining Chelsea. Read it earlier.
57 Posted 07/01/2018 at 14:01:25
Ross made his first start on the opening day of the 2011-12 season at home to QPR. He was 17. I believe he was the Everton man of the match in a dismal performance. This debut came less than 12 months after he suffered an horrendous leg break at the age of 16 that threatened to ruin his career.
I think your memory is poor, biased and selective. Ross had 12 months after this where his development stalled somewhat and he had a lot of learning to do.
Moyes then gave him more of a chance within the second half of the 2012-13 season. I recall one game away to Arsenal at the Emirates where he was absolutely superb. The kind of performance not seen from a youth team graduate since Wayne Rooney.
The following season was his breakthrough. He set himself a very high standard that season and produced some breathtaking pieces of brilliance. The Newcastle goal at St James's Park truly was one of the best recent moments as a blue.
The following season he was injured prior to the opening game and missed the first 3 months or so of the season. If you ask me, I think he was rushed back and his form suffered as a result.
2015-16 was a poor season from the club but Ross performed consistently throughout without the brilliance of his 2013-14 season. A highlight that season being an outstanding opening goal against city in the League Cup Semi Final at the Etihad.
Following that season, he was hung out to dry by manager that didn't want him and a board that supported that manager. That manager and that board decided that they would replace homegrown, Everton supporting Ross who had not cost the club a penny in transfer fees with an older, less talented £45 million replacement who was coveted by absolutely nobody else. Not only that, they would be offering him a bigger wage than what was on the table.
It has been atrocious mismanagement of a valuable asset. A valuable human asset who was consistently booed by his own fans. Everton fans' attitude to some of our players is nothing short of disgraceful and if they think it doesn't affect the thinking of these players, then here is your most regrettable example. When Jagielka walked into the tunnel with his arm around Ross saying "Don't listen to them, Ross, it wasn't you they were booing," I truly thought our club had hit an all time low.
I know we have all looked upon Steven Gerrard with envy and wanted Ross to be that all encompassing Roy of the Rovers type that Gerrard was for them. But it was quickly apparent he wasn't that type of player or personality. He doesn't have that natural aggression. But he is still a fine player and should have received nothing but support from his fans.
58 Posted 07/01/2018 at 14:04:45
I'm not that bothered once a player leaves; I wanted Stones to stay but knew he wouldn't. Rooney, was different, he was the kid who had absolutely everything, and even a little bit more.
But with Barkley, I'm with Mike @ 49, and am also interested to see if he really improves. I just never saw him doing it on a consistent enough basis, for Everton, although Koeman's tough love was definitely starting to improve this side of his game.
59 Posted 07/01/2018 at 14:05:52
Call me sceptical but if Chelsea saw he wouldn't be fit enough to play for a few months, would it be too much for them to say “we'll cancel the deal and give you £5M to sign for us in January.”
Either way, he is no longer one of us, hardly worth wasting time on him! At least it's one less person for our youngsters to be behind in the pecking order!
60 Posted 07/01/2018 at 14:12:01
"Has he, Brian? I must've missed that!"
All I could find was Chelsea fans up in arms about his being given Lampard's number and a "see you all at The Bridge" video from our ex.
61 Posted 07/01/2018 at 14:17:34
Everton are no different, for some reason, we've always had to have someone to give stick too for whatever reason.
Alex Scott and Derek Temple seemed to always get more than their fair share. I remember one game at Goodison Park, Temple ducked out of a 50/50 early doors and got pelters for the whole game.
62 Posted 07/01/2018 at 14:44:55
You look at the midfield players they currently have: Hazard, Fabregas, N'Kante, Willian, Musonda, Drinkwater, Ampadu, Bakayoko, Pedro... He'll have considerably more and better competition for his place than he had with us, and with his lack of consistency and aggression, I just can't see him shifting anyone to get regular games.
It looks to me suspiciously like one of those "We need more English players in our squad" transfers. In a couple of seasons, he will have done a Rodwell / Jeffers and sunk without trace and we'll all have forgotten he ever existed.
But don't feel too bad. He'll be getting his £100+ grand a week so I don't suppose he's arsed one way or the other.
63 Posted 07/01/2018 at 14:54:30
Mirallas 151 apps (29G, 20A)
Barkley 150 apps (21G, 18A)
Both under-performing players, both wildly inconsistent. Yet the Belgian has our Ross beat. I believe too that Mirallas's figures were achieved in less minutes on the pitch.
The myth that is Ross or the under-appreciated Kevin?
64 Posted 07/01/2018 at 15:21:47
Mirallas was a striker, albeit played out of position as a winger, Barkley a central midfielder, albeit also played out of position on the wing.
Now we have Sigurdsson, a central midfielder, playing where?? Why do we buy players and play them out of position? Better question...
65 Posted 07/01/2018 at 16:07:06
Mirallas was often accused of getting the hump about being dropped or not included in a squad. Maybe he had a point when his statistical contribution was as good as and better than the feted lad from Wavertree?
I'm not suggesting for one minute stats are the deciding factor but maybe the tantum filled lad from Belgian somewhat surprisingly had a point?
As to the question of being played out of position, well numerous Everton managers, aided & abetted by a poor recruitment policy, has sought to jam their best XI players in a team, rather than finding a balance.
I still think both under-performed, even though as you say they were often moved around, Ross especially but if Ross had someone to compliment him, perhaps his weaknesses wouldn't have been as obviously exposed?
I believe most teams operate well with 4 or 5 excellent players and have lesser players to balance the weaker parts of the better players out.
The last manager to do this was Moyes, forced into perhaps by a restrictive financial policy. But we had a very strong 4 or 5 players, complimented well with astute purchases.
I look at that Everton side for 4 or 5 years now and see very few link-ups / partnerships and just hoping the best players will deliver, regardless of where they are played.
66 Posted 07/01/2018 at 16:38:25
Well, as someone who attended the overwhelming majority of the matches Barkley has ever played, I can honestly say I have never witnessed it. In fact I can't recall any Everton player being booed singly; groans and verbal criticism, yes; boos, no.
And let's face it, Barkley gave more reason for incurring the groans and voiced exasperation of supporters given the many failings in his game and, it has to be said in his favour, his willingness to stay involved and keep seeking the ball even when he wasn't playing well.
67 Posted 07/01/2018 at 16:47:35
There were boos. I was there too. The atmosphere generally stinks around Goodison and has done for a number of years. But the tension felt when Barkley was in possession was a very negative tension. I could feel it in the stands so no doubt he could too. If there was a pound for every time 'Fuck off Ross' was shouted, the £20m so called 'loss' we have experienced would be more than covered.
It takes a lot of guts to keep demanding the ball and to keep trying to make things happen, especially when sometimes you can't pull it off and especially when your own crowd are on your back. I'll always commend him for that.
As for his 'many failings', I'm not quite sure what these are? Weaknesses maybe, but a weakness isn't a failing. They are simply parts of the game which he is not as strong at. A good manager has the ability to work on creating an environment in which a player can maximise his strengths, not expose his weaknesses.
68 Posted 07/01/2018 at 17:24:40
The club offered him a contract, he refused to sign it. You appear to have forgotten that key detail!
69 Posted 07/01/2018 at 18:02:27
So 2013-14 was by far the best. Of course we were 5th, but Moyes got us 4th. The 4th was great, but we got there by a succession of 1-0s and great rear guard displays. We didn't smash anyone and we didn't lay a glove on the bigger sides. 2013-14 by contrast was swashbuckling football were we were afraid of no one and gave every side in the league (except the RS away) a game.
The relevance of this is that, from this great side, who was the player that did it? I'm not going to say that it was all down to Barkley, but he was such a big part of it. So, when people talk about unrealised potential, I point to actual ability. The actual ability that Barkley had that season was enough to make him one of the best players in the Premier League and one of our best players.
You could argue that Barkley never lived up to that season again. That the ones that followed only showed flashes, and that he didn't develop mentally to make more of his physical talents.
People talk about players reaching their peak at 26 or so. I think this is an outdated notion. Some players peak around 23. Particularly explosive players. Think about our own Rooney, Michael Owen and people like that. Both of them could be said to have been at their very best at 21.
Barkley had a man's body at 19. The physical aspect could not get better. His peak is the mental side developing before the physical side declines, which in the case of Owen was due to injuries. If Barkley didn't develop the mental side, and he still can, then perhaps his peak would be 2014, when he was 21.
Whether he reaches his peak or not, and whether he finds consistency or not, his best that season was superb and should not be dismissed so lightly.
70 Posted 07/01/2018 at 18:48:06
71 Posted 07/01/2018 at 19:41:44
As I said, and as you seem to be agreeing, those who are on the ball more are going to be losing it more too. That in no way means Barkley was targetted for criticism.
72 Posted 07/01/2018 at 20:18:32
We have had a squad whose heads go down and lack self belief for years now and Martinez's love-in and Koeman s tough love wasn't the answer.
Ross has undoubted ability in both feet but regrettably it is not matched by his brain. Whether that will change as he matures is anyone's guess but for right now we are still talking about potential and have been for the last five years.
As regards his brain, or lack of, as the case may be. If the issue was a personal one I am sure the club would give him plenty of advice including staying out of town to benefit his career.
Nevertheless, he has snubbed the club that has nurtured him since he was a boy and while acknowledging the club and staff never even mentioned the fans. He deserves everything he gets, and I'm not being unkind saying that.
73 Posted 07/01/2018 at 20:30:40
Anyway, not our problem anymore, just an annoyance if he does indeed turn out to be a great player in the future.
Plenty more fish in the sea...
74 Posted 07/01/2018 at 20:39:04
I don't blame Barkley for wanting out of this club after the diabolical way he has been treated here but going to London and getting splinters in his arse is not the answer. Barkley hasn't yet got the mentality to play and live in London it's a huge leap. Franny Jeffers Mk 2 is what I see happening to Ross.
Under no circumstances should Ross Benchwarmer ever be re-signed by EFC. Enough is enough. No more charity cases. We've done it for decades now and it needs to stop.
Good luck with counting your money, Ross Barkley; you certainly won't be counting appearance's for Chelsea. Truth is you're not good enough to play at the very top level.
75 Posted 07/01/2018 at 20:45:33
We are going to have to disagree on this one. Barkley took the brunt of the stick over the last couple of years from the Everton crowd. That is honestly how I perceived it to be. And I think he did too.
Since his return, Rooney constantly gives the ball away. Including against Man Utd the other day, from which they broke and scored.
I monitor Live Forums on this site, I listen in the stands with my own ears and there is nothing like the criticism for anyone else that Barkley received. As an illustration, most supporters who've contributed comments to this article think he is garbage.
76 Posted 07/01/2018 at 20:47:21
We will (surely) buy a new left back – hope it's Luke Shaw, and we might even get a dominant midfield player like Nzonzi.
Ross has gone. I wish him well but we, as a club, continue for better or for worse.
77 Posted 07/01/2018 at 20:53:28
That means he simply has to deliver on a regular basis when he has the ball but, despite not having much going for him in terms of options from team-mates, he has never got close to the marauding runs and goals typified by one such as Stevie G. Gerard has the same sort of stature (a bit less in truth) but never left any team he faced, from Real to Scunthorpe United, in doubt of what they were facing when playing Liverpool and it pains me to say it.
It may be too much criticism because "Ross ain't Stevie" but the brutal truth we've always seen is that "Ross ain't even Charlie Adam", and I mean that, honestly.
78 Posted 07/01/2018 at 21:12:45
When Jagielka said this to Barkley, how couldn't he have been aware of who the crowd were really booing? He either carried the weight of the fans expectations in his own head, or Jagielka was building up a head of steam, to go and have a proper go at the man who was in charge, surely?
The captain of our team, was shouting in the tunnel because we were getting beat, and he knew who it was down to, and the club had sank to an all-time low? It depends how we read things I know, but to come out with a statement like that is really hard to comprehend.
79 Posted 07/01/2018 at 21:26:42
I was sat in The Upper Bullens Road stand for the game against Swansea a couple of weeks ago. Rooney was having a very poor game, IMO, and in the second half he tried a back heel and gave the ball away to a Swansea player for the umpteen time in the match.
The moans and groans were louder than I ever heard Barkley getting at any time during his career. I stress, I always sit in there so Barkley might have been booed in other parts of Goodison, but I never heard him booed from where I sit.
80 Posted 07/01/2018 at 21:35:09
I hope I'm wrong, because Joey Barton equally spoke a lot of sense, but Steven Gerard is a proper football man, unfortunately. It came through in his interviews, and this worries me because he might be a perfect manager for them in the future. If Barkley can find this one thing to make him a much better player, it would be to have the attitude of all the other Scousers who have done very well in football.
Colin's right though, he's gone now, I just hope he's right again with regards to us signing Dembele!
81 Posted 07/01/2018 at 21:45:51
I think Joe Anderson should be investigating this and not the Barkley transfer.
82 Posted 07/01/2018 at 22:34:36
Booing our own manager in an FA Cup semi-final. Says it all really.
Maybe I am wrong, maybe I misinterpreted the amount frustration aimed at Ross when we weren't performing.
83 Posted 07/01/2018 at 23:16:08
When the Australian cricket coach, John Buchanan, was asked why the supremely talented Mark Ramprakash wasn't 'cutting it' at international level, he described him as: "A young man, afflicted with talent." Quite.
84 Posted 07/01/2018 at 23:30:47
Poor old Chelsea knew they'd never be able to prise away Schneiderlin, Sigurdsson, Rooney or Gueye, so they had to settle for Ross Barkley... Give me strength.
85 Posted 07/01/2018 at 23:51:09
Tell me that again, please.
Probably me, but no comprende...
86 Posted 07/01/2018 at 00:05:30
For the record I'm a Lower Gwladys Street man. Maybe those who claim to the contrary ought to just move seats next season to ease their suffering over how our multimillion pound players are being hurt by a few shouts and groans from the crowd.
87 Posted 08/01/2018 at 00:06:11
88 Posted 07/01/2018 at 00:07:00
I think the lack of options for him when he had possession blunted his creativity and I'm interested to see how he goes at Chelsea with several pacy players making runs around him and plenty of options. West Ham away last season was a perfect example yet Ross didn't hide.
The transfer sounds dodgy as hell though.
89 Posted 08/01/2018 at 01:20:26
90 Posted 08/01/2018 at 01:40:39
Last season he played 36 of 38 league games. The season before he played all 38. He only dipped below 30 of 38 league games once, and that was due to injury.
What a ridiculous comment. Sure, say you don't rate him, but don't make stuff up. The statistics show that not only was he a first team regular, but he was one of the most played players over the last five years. So, is that not a key first team player?
91 Posted 08/01/2018 at 02:54:52
I'm not sure he can be blamed (by some) for losing the club £20 million though. If he was injured, then you can understand Chelsea wishing to postpone the deal and unfortunately they appear to have had all the power. Why else would we reward their obvious machinations by not inciting a bidding war in this transfer window?
If the player has forced the club's hand by insisting he will only sign for Chelsea (and presumably was prepared to wait until the end of his contract rather than consider other offers), then I would expect the club to make this public knowledge.
92 Posted 08/01/2018 at 09:07:23
93 Posted 08/01/2018 at 11:40:39
We've spent over £100 mil for what? None of the present midfield have anything like his ability.
Yes he was inconsistent, but I'd prefer an inconsistent Barkley to a consistently poor midfield. I think we're the losers here and not just financially,
94 Posted 08/01/2018 at 13:27:54
Two men breaking, one either side of him and he gives it the wrong one. A chance to play someone in and he shoots. When he should shoot, he over elaborates. When he shoots low, he hits the keeper. When he shoots high, he balloons it over. He gets into a good position and then tries for a free kick. One of the most frustrating players to wear the blue shirt because he clearly has ability.
Like his on-the-field decisions, I don't think he is capable of making a good decision. I think he'll look back on this one day with regret, especially the manner in which he's treated his boyhood club.
95 Posted 08/01/2018 at 13:39:29
Would we really be struggling for chances if Barkley had been playing? I think not. He got too much stick for what he did not do, and not enough praise for what he did do. And without him, we've floundered and had our worst run of games for a decade. Fortunately, it looks like we should recover to have a top-half finish, but we are still badly missing Barkley.
Sigurdsson is his replacement, and he certainly is better at a lot of things. Namely, shooting inside and outside the box, his range of passing is better, his incisive passing in and around crowded penalty areas is better, but his close control, dribbling, and pace is far inferior. As a result of Sigurdsson's faults, compared to Ross, he is not making as much happen as Ross did, but when he does, he is executing it better.
So the question is quantity over quality. If we can get more pace into the team, which would result in Sigurdsson being more central, then I think there would be more quantity from Sigurdsson. Also, Tosun might add another dimension, and on that we will have to wait and see.
96 Posted 08/01/2018 at 14:05:26
It was always someone else's fault with Ross why he wasn't delivering on his promise: Martinez, Koeman.
97 Posted 08/01/2018 at 14:13:06
The lad has no football brain and little maturity. Sure, he's got talent in his feet, which he's able to demonstrate from time-to-time but, ultimately, not the mental strength.
His determination to leave Everton seemed to start around the time he got smacked in town. I don't know what happened there, but it certainly seems to have expedited his move.
In any case, I won't miss him.
98 Posted 08/01/2018 at 17:52:56
Martinez seemed to understand the attacking side of football far better than any Everton manager of the last 20 years (obviously we won't talk about the defence) but the Spaniard certainly did divide players with a perfect platform to express themselves going forward in that first season and also in the first half of his final doomed campaign in 2015-16.
These spells seemed to coincide with the best football of the otherwise inconsistent Barkley's career and the curtain calling for Martinez was always going to signal the end of Barkley.
Koeman clearly wanted far greater responsibility from him and Ross wasn't the type of character that could really give it, this is why I'm not sure he'll deal at all well with the constant spotlight of the London media, Chelsea of course being a media darling and Barkley being a English player, to me it's a complete recipe for disaster.
99 Posted 08/01/2018 at 18:33:46
In Chelsea's star-studded team, the percentages could easily be reversed.
100 Posted 08/01/2018 at 19:54:08
101 Posted 08/01/2018 at 20:25:49
We are not creating chances I agree, but maybe it's because our new manager felt a need to go back to basics and work on his defence first, considering how many goals we had conceded prior to his arrival?
He did the same at both Sunderland and Palace, never won a game in his first six matches for either club. Drills the players to defend properly first, then coaches them second hopefully. He actually says he leaves it up to the players, how they attack in the final third, but I'm not sure if that's just at the beginning or if this is how he constantly manages?
102 Posted 08/01/2018 at 23:13:48
104 Posted 09/01/2018 at 16:35:46
Then refusing at the eleventh hour, for the deal to be dead and buried; or so we thought. Roll on the January Window; and he joins the same club for £15M?
I think most people thought he was holding out for Spurs; this doesn't seem to be the case.
I have noticed that the Police have been brought in to investigate the deal; initiated by Liverpool's Joe Anderson; an ardent Blue himself. Hmm interesting?
105 Posted 09/01/2018 at 17:03:06
I know it's morally very wrong but it will be interesting to see if any rules were broken. I suspect there's nothing that could be proved as none of it would be written down for sure.
106 Posted 09/01/2018 at 17:04:56
He declined to go in the summer, opting instead to leave in January for a significantly reduced fee but with a massively enhanced signing-on fee from Chelsea!
107 Posted 09/01/2018 at 17:41:58
108 Posted 09/01/2018 at 17:51:45
Presumably you're simply denying that anything untoward has occurred. That seems to me to be all Anderson is asking to be put to the test. It might be possible that this deal was actually concluded last August, and that this would be against the rules.
109 Posted 09/01/2018 at 19:19:10
Let's all move on, there will be far better players to pull on the blue jersey!
110 Posted 09/01/2018 at 22:14:09
It is clear that Barkley has shafted Everton, treated the Supporters with disdain, and as far as I am concerned is no diamond more like a snake.
The excuse used by Barkley was that he decided that he wanted to leave when Stones left.
111 Posted 10/01/2018 at 12:38:11
Wishing him all the best for a fantastic career at Chelsea. Hopefully he notches a few goals at Anfield. My biggest hope now is that he gets a good reception if / when he comes back to Goodison to play.
112 Posted 10/01/2018 at 13:06:13
113 Posted 10/01/2018 at 13:12:38
114 Posted 10/01/2018 at 13:57:19
115 Posted 10/01/2018 at 00:31:30
Nah, we haven't lost anything...
116 Posted 11/01/2018 at 00:45:01
117 Posted 11/01/2018 at 13:42:10
PM: "Ross, I hear Kenwright has managed to get an offer of £35M from Chelsea for you. I think the better thing is you recover first and keep your options open."
PM to Chelsea FC: "I have a better deal for you, Ross is injured – let him recover and get back to fitness and we will manage to get you a better deal than £35M. I think the club will accept much less rather than lose him, you wont be able to play him in next few months so let's make an agreement now – If you can guarantee a suitable payment, I will make sure Ross will go to your club, fully fit and at much discounted price."
CFC: "Sounds like a plan, but what assurances can you give, EFC wont try to sell to another club, eg, Spurs?"
PM: If we can agree our fee, I will make sure Ross will be with CFC in 2018." [Discussions follow to agree a fee much less than £35M.]
PM to Ross: "Let's get this deal to CFC sorted, they really want you and you have a chance to play for the Champions and in the Champions League.
Whilst hypothetical, something is perversely wrong when an agent gets a fee which is 50% of the player's fee. The FA, Fifa and Uefa should impose a fixed fee for agents.
How much of that £7m fee will go back to football? None! Agents are the scourge of football; more should be done to regulate and control their power.
118 Posted 11/01/2018 at 13:52:40
I've said as much myself earlier in this thread, I think.
Quite possible in my opinion, especially as the agent would want to make up for his "loss" when Stones went to Man City and not Chelsea like the agent requested.
119 Posted 11/01/2018 at 16:23:11
Following his £15m move Barkley was brought out at half-time, and after briefly waving towards the end of the stadium where the visiting Arsenal fans were housed, had to be pointed in the direction of the home fans by a helpful Stamford Bridge steward.
120 Posted 11/01/2018 at 16:38:17
Perhaps Abramovich threatened to have his tear ducts sewn up if he said otherwise. Or could Boys Pen Bill be manouvering for the Luvvie vacancy on the Chelsea board since Daaarling Dickie Attenborough passed away.
121 Posted 11/01/2018 at 16:56:31
Surely the FA need to investigate this despite our Luvvie's pleas that all was above board.
122 Posted 11/01/2018 at 17:12:37
Will (#115), is there a link out there showing all the times that Ross has fucked up during games?
Nah, thought not...
123 Posted 11/01/2018 at 19:21:43
One link is a lot longer than the other; I'll let you guess which one... your memories might have them in reverse to mine just opinions, Stephen.
124 Posted 11/01/2018 at 19:33:29
Although Ross was gifted technically in both feet and was built like the proverbial, he never imposed himself on a game, never tackled and rarely headed a ball which, for a midfield player, is unacceptable.
From all accounts, he struggled to take on tactical advice from coaches too.
4 top level coaches can't be that wrong. They all saw the skill he had but it didn't translate on the pitch... such that, 5 years later, we're still talking about 'potential'.
"Flawed diamond" is the perfect description.
125 Posted 11/01/2018 at 20:12:44
126 Posted 11/01/2018 at 20:36:37
I abhor Evertonians doing down other Evertonians but Barkley is in a league of his own on that score. As I've said before, I hope you and others in his frame of mind never in future bemoan the fact that we're £20M light in signing a player to take us to the next level.
Lawd only knows why Anderson has referred it to the police, and Lawd only knows why Kenwright's chopped Anderson off at the knees with his fabulous endorsement of Chelsea's, erm, integrity, but of the two I think the latter has got more to lose from the truth emerging about the machinations endemic to top-level football when it comes to the, erm, accountable movement of money. And that's money that's paid by supporters in particular.
127 Posted 11/01/2018 at 21:28:36
Over-priced even at £15 million.
128 Posted 11/01/2018 at 21:44:52
129 Posted 11/01/2018 at 22:16:02
130 Posted 11/01/2018 at 22:20:27
I won't repeat hearsay but it'll maybe all come out... Good luck on your new stamping grounds.
I hope you replace Willian when you play us.
131 Posted 11/01/2018 at 22:27:36
He'll do okay at Chelsea, I reckon.
I also think he left Liverpool the city as much as he left Everton.
132 Posted 11/01/2018 at 22:42:58
133 Posted 11/01/2018 at 22:47:35
What a load of bollocks. Ross Barkley and his agent engineered this move in order to make as much money as they possibly could for themselves.
134 Posted 11/01/2018 at 22:50:46
135 Posted 12/01/2018 at 08:52:38
There were the occasional glimpses, though much fewer than you'd expect from an Premier League attacking midfielder. He can't head the ball, tackle, beat a man with pace or reliably pick out an important pass. He is not a leader on the field and seems a bit lazy, rarely sprinting into the box or back to cover.
Like Rodwell and Jeffers, he looks like a man with a great future behind him.
136 Posted 12/01/2018 at 09:22:48
I thought Michael Ball, was a very good player when he came through at Everton, but his career never went forward under Walter Smith, but after Rooney, Franny definitely had the most talent, and he was also very, very clever, out on the pitch.
Maybe his wasted talent, might not be so wasted, if he can pass on where he went wrong, to anyone coming through at Everton right now?
137 Posted 12/01/2018 at 09:56:18
Onwards and upwards COYB
138 Posted 13/01/2018 at 14:00:05
I noted also with absolutely no surprise the passive Kenwright in response to the Mayor's actions as saying Chelsea were "immaculate" in their dealings.
Shocking I am amazed the Goodison faithful are not hammering on the doors of Goodison on a weekly basis demanding this clown's head on a plate. It has a direct correlation with our once-great club's standing in today's game
Kenwright Out banners needed more now than ever as he is now hiding behind Moshiri.
139 Posted 13/01/2018 at 15:02:45
Can't lose really, can he?
Kenwright out and quick!
140 Posted 16/01/2018 at 14:25:28
141 Posted 16/01/2018 at 14:43:19
142 Posted 16/01/2018 at 22:46:04
A fresh start? Getting splinters in your Arsenal on the Chelsea bench won't get you to the World Cup.
No longer potential at 24 no awareness and frightened to tackle after the bad leg break it was time to offload and move on.
143 Posted 17/01/2018 at 11:48:10
144 Posted 19/01/2018 at 19:17:21
What a seriously deluded individual he is, the only thing he is world class at, like his mate Rodwell, now at Sunderland, is somehow making 100's of £millions without actually earning any of it on the field.
In that respect, he has truly achieved his goal in life, with a little help from his world class agent. Thankfully we won't have to suffer his lack of form and general disinterest again. Good riddance, Ross, lad.
145 Posted 20/01/2018 at 09:15:15
146 Posted 20/01/2018 at 17:07:36
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.