The Barkley Dilemma

by   |   10/04/2017  67 Comments  [Jump to last]

The yob who punched Ross Barkley in the face on Sunday night, in what was a completely unprovoked attack, might have just been enough to tip the player into thinking about a move in the summer?

The goldfish bowl that can be living on Merseyside at times, for footballers in particular, is often an unforgiving place but it was a little stupid of Ross to be in a bar or a club (I presume in the city centre) on a Sunday night.

If he leaves Everton, it will be a real shame; he offers us something different, aside from the wonder pass for Lukaku's headed goal against Leicester.

Nearly all of Everton's prompting and probing on Sunday afternoon came from Barkley and he gives us an element of control when things are tight. I suppose I stand accused of wearing rose-tinted glasses, and I understand some of his play can be frustrating at times, but I can never agree with the pundits who want us to 'get rid' in the summer, particularly those who write on the pages of ToffeeWeb that he will never 'make a great player', and we should cash in now.

Like all players, he suffers dips in consistency, and it was interesting to see Vardy get subbed on Sunday afternoon for Leicester – this same player was scoring for fun last season, and was subject of a big bid from Arsenal, who clearly recognised his ability.

I'm not quite sure why Barkley raises so much vitriol in our fan base; it wasn't too long ago that we had some real journeymen playing in his position, yet I don't recall them getting a fraction of the criticism this player gets?

If he decides to pack his bags and go, watch the stampede of clubs willing to bid for him. So much for people saying he'll never make it as a top player.

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Reader Comments (67)

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Stan Schofield
1 Posted 10/04/2017 at 19:22:30
Steve, as far as I'm concerned, Ross has already made it as a top player. He just has dips in form, like all players do, and is currently in good form when Koeman sets up the tactics well. When the tactics aren't that good, in away games, the players tend to struggle, and Ross is no exception.

I hope he does sign a new contract, but if he doesn't and wants to leave, that wouldn't surprise me. I can imagine him getting a bit pissed off with Koeman's repeated public airings of his assessments of Ross's 'so-called 'improvement'. I'm not seeing improvement as such, I'm seeing the Ross we know who can perform, returning to form (dependent on how Koeman chooses the tactics).

I can't imagine the bar incident would have much influence on whether Ross decides to stay or leave.

Michael Kenrick
2 Posted 10/04/2017 at 19:32:00
Ross is the victim of an unprovoked attack in a public place and you play the nonsense victim card saying he was stupid to be there in a city centre bar on a Sunday night?!!?

Astounding garbage.

Dave Ganley
3 Posted 10/04/2017 at 19:38:48
You're quite right Steve that Ross was a bit stupid to be at city centre bars. I've said on the other thread that Robbie Fowler had this issue and was continually getting grief of people. Doesn't matter about the rights and wrongs of whether players should be able to go where they like, the fact remains that top pros on salaries way beyond people's imagination are always going to attract nutters wanting to have a go if they frequent city centre bars, no matter what city in England it is. To be fair, you go on the continent and the so called ultras hint players down to their home and vandalise property and threaten the players if they're not performing. Very sad state of affairs. It's not endemic to Liverpool.

As to the Ross conundrum, I think that supporters get so animated about Ross, and also Lukaku, because we know what he, they can do but at times do so too seldom. To be fair to Ross, he has responded to Koeman this season and is playing much better and consistently than in previous seasons. How much damage has been done by Martinez is anybody guess but imo if Koeman had hold of him 3 years ago then I would think he would be a different player.

You are correct in that it was a fabulous ball played into Lukaku yesterday. Any goalscorer worth his salt would kill to get that kind of ball played to him. However, as with Lukaku, he needs to start stepping up to the plate and start delivering those kinds of balls against the top teams. The derby highlighted that he is not top drawer yet. He struggled to get into the game and 1 chance aside that Holgate should have buried, he didn't make any kind of mark on the game. United game was similar in that when on the break he made wrong decisions, easily got chased down and struggled with fitness late in the game when Lukaku was breaking. This doesn't mean he won't develop into the player we all hope he can be but he isn't remotely there yet. Coutinho game him a lesson in the derby and he's only a year older.

I'm not sure what holds Ross back at times. Whether it's a mental issue, if he doesn't have the belief or what but big games just bypasses him for most part. I hope he gets there. Maybe having Rooney alongside him will do wonders for him for belief and technical know how. I'm. Just not sure there would be a queue of top clubs banging on the door at the moment for his services given his displays on big games over the last few years. I hope he does step up and do it with us. We will have to wait and see.

Steve Hogan
4 Posted 10/04/2017 at 22:44:00
Wow Michael, so my thought's on the Barkley situation merit an 'astounding garbage' response? Clearly you are a little out of touch with certain city centre bars and clubs now,and the 'knobs'these places attract, that's for sure.

Whilst I don't expect Ross to stay at home playing cards or settling down with a good book for the night, I still maintain he was unwise to venture into venues of this sort.

Having been out in Liverpool recently, it was a Saturday night in fairness, it's not for the fainthearted, particularly down Slater St, you need to witness it yourself to get a good idea.

I stick to my guns, it was not a good idea to venture into these haunts, without some protection, or a bunch of good mates.

James Flynn
5 Posted 10/04/2017 at 23:30:53
Steve (4) - You went straight to victim-blaming. No denying that.

On the positive side, you can reference a phrase that may be repeated but never duplicated, "astounding garbage!"

Steve Hogan
6 Posted 11/04/2017 at 00:08:59
James (4)

I'm not sure about 'victim blaming', I'm in no way trying to condone the actions of a thug, I'm merely stating that it wasn't the brightest action by Ross frequenting a city centre bar on a Sunday night, however I've had worse things than 'astounding garbage' thrown at me before...

Stan Schofield
7 Posted 11/04/2017 at 09:52:59
Michael and James, I didn't see Steve's comment "it was a little stupid of Ross to be in a bar on a Sunday night' as victim-blaming. Steve hasn't said that the thug wasn't the one responsible, only that Ross's presence in the club was a little stupid.

Steve might be incorrect in saying that Ross was a little stupid, but he cannot be accused of blaming him for what happened. He's simply expressing an opinion on how sensible it was for Ross to go into that bar.

Clive Rogers
8 Posted 11/04/2017 at 10:07:36
If he moves on for a big fee to one of the top five, he will be even more under the microscope. He may find that his occasional dips in form will not be tolerated so easily. The grass is not always greener.
Terry Underwood
9 Posted 11/04/2017 at 10:09:22
Surely, there are some upmarket bars in Liverpool where the knobs and pissheads are priced out. Having said that, Ross should be free to go into any pub he wants to... But we all know where the twats congregate in our own town. I wouldn't say Ross was stupid, but, maybe ill-advised?
Chris Gould
10 Posted 11/04/2017 at 10:17:46
It would seem that Ross has upset a local gangster wannabe. Apparently, according to the media, it dates back to 2014 and involves – surprise – a girl.
As a local lad, the pressures weigh heavily on Ross. If he has made enemies in the city, and this incident is related to a long running feud, then it certainly could influence his decision on whether to stay or leave.

He may feel a fresh start in London will allow him to move on from these unsavoury elements. Yes, there's scum in all cities, but Ross has no baggage in London. As a local lad, he's always going to be more of a target, especially if he has grown up with some of these hoodlums.

We only see Ross on the pitch, and if he doesn't perform we often assume his confidence is low or that it's just one of those days.
We don't actually know what is going on in Ross's private life or how that may affect his performances.

Of course, this is all conjecture based on some media reports and tweets, but leaving Everton may have nothing to do with Koeman or our ambition, and all to do with escaping the environment he finds himself in.

Colin Glassar
11 Posted 11/04/2017 at 11:11:33
Doesn't Ross still live with his mum? And if he doesn't, don't most footballers live in Cheshire? Hardly a life-threatening place.

But that's all beside the point. Some people think Ross was wrong to be in a city centre bar, full stop. Personally I can't see a problem with anyone having a night out on his/her day off. Stevie me lar, Pienaar, Fowler, Gibson etc have all had problems in town but that shouldn't make it a no-go zone.

The last time I was there (during the week) was on Ladies Day two years ago. The place was full of 5ft-2in shaven headed, suited yobs with their orange faced birds wobbling on 12" heels in tight fitting dresses showing more spare tyres than a Formula 1 pit stop. I'm not sure who was more threatening, the wannabe gangsters or their gum chewing molls.

"Who the fucking hell are you looking at, twatface?" – was the most used expression.

Patrick Murphy
13 Posted 11/04/2017 at 11:27:15
Terry (#9),

I'm not sure that access to wealth and the use of violence are mutually exclusive, therefore, I don't think that any of the 'hoodlums' would be 'priced out' of any city centre venue. After all, those sort of people tend to make their money from illicit means and have lots of it, which is not the way most of us earn our meagre livings.

I'm pretty sure that those with money are just as capable of being knobs and pissheads, as the rest of society.


John Daley
14 Posted 11/04/2017 at 11:28:08
Old news, Chris (@10),

Widely covered at the time and nothing more than an insecure ex of Barkley's dating a dealer not canny enough to avoid conviction (or spell 'what' judging by the tweets from a few years back).

If Barkley leaves Everton this summer it will have nothing to do with a sensationalised "feud" with some Toynails Mefftenner 'gangster', a girl or getting bashed in a bar.

The blame will lie squarely on the shoulders of the club for the sloppy way they've handled his contract situation; taking the lads loyalty as a given, publicly proclaiming tying him down to a new deal to be "not a priority" (whilst dishing out deals to others behind Barkley in the queue), before further compounding matters by permitting a manager with the feather touch of fucking Emu, after it threw itself on Rod Hull's casket mid cremation, to crank up the heat by firing off unnecessary ultimatums in front of the camera.

People might look upon Liverpool as some stifling, hostile, environment Barkley must Virgil Hilts his way out off in order to veer away from harm always likely to come his way, but they're conveniently forgetting the massive majority of decent people in the city who, with no ulterior motive whatsoever, would welcome him wherever he may show his face, will always have his back and watch out for him if they can, simply because they want nothing but the best for both him and the club.

Moving to London may mean there are less people who give a fuck about him, but the flipside is exactly the same: there are less people who give a fuck about him.

John Daley
15 Posted 11/04/2017 at 11:41:47
Don't know why I slipped the word "insecure" in there. I know nothing about the girl in question. She could be a hell of a nice lass and more confident than the really sweary kid out of 'Role Models' for all I know.
Chris Gould
16 Posted 11/04/2017 at 11:47:29
John, your comments are valid and certainly reasonable, but we have no idea how the assault will affect Ross. If he wasn't decided either way, then the KO and following headlines may be enough to be a deciding factor.

I've always felt that as a true blue, Ross is one player that may actually read this website. How would you feel reading some of the comments on here about yourself?

I would imagine there is more to this contract impasse (if that's what this is) than Koeman's handling of the situation. He won't be the one involved in the negotiations, and he has made it clear that he wants Ross to stay. He may not pander to him, but that's not his style. The fact that he gives him a free role and plays him every week should go someway to making him feel appreciated.

Michael Lynch
17 Posted 11/04/2017 at 12:10:59
I'm much too old to go out without my nurse these days, but does anyone on here know what this bar is like? Is it Scal Central or is it an upmarket wine bar?
Philip Yensen
18 Posted 11/04/2017 at 12:44:25
Not the first player to get a smack and not the last. Gerrard had a run-in in Southport. Do some people think that it won't happen elsewhere?

In the video of the incident, the big guy standing to one side knew something was brewing he kept watching and jumped in as soon as Barkley was struck. It happens, envy, jealousy, hatred, rivalry or dare I say it a disillusioned blue.

Jim Bennings
19 Posted 11/04/2017 at 14:13:12
Barkley should choose his establishments more carefully in future, by all accounts it's a bit of a shithole place and whether your a footballer or not (obviously if you are a Premier League star more attention you will get) there's always a risk of aggro.

Barkley was chinned by a mutant, it happens every weekend in a bar of sorts in every town or city, it's par for the course if you go out to these places where there are already mutant knuckleheads but when you have got doped/boozed up knuckleheads it's a recipe for shit.

I doubt it will influence Barkley's future plans, he's been a good player but still not a consistently great player in the games that matter when it means us moving to the next level.

Be great to see him stay even one more year, see if he can improve the areas needed and flourish but, if he goes, he'll be easier to replace than Lukaku.

Replacing someone who scores 20 plus goals a season is much more a dilemma.

Brian Harrison
20 Posted 11/04/2017 at 14:33:25
I don't think he will be our problem in the next few months, obviously he hasn't signed a new contract yet and rightly Koeman has told him failure to sign will see him sold. I guess his agent will have had discussions not only with Everton but also clubs who may be interested in signing Barkley.

So, as always in the modern game ,the player has all the power. I know he complained some months back about Koeman having a go at him publicly. So maybe that made his mind up that it was time to leave. Obviously Barkley is in a different place to Lukaku who has still more than 2 years of his contract to go. But I don't think Koeman would want both to leave.

Winston Williamson
21 Posted 11/04/2017 at 15:09:53
I'll never understand the term victim-blaming, when used in relation to highlighting a lack of commonsense.

It's commonsense for a 'celebrity' to expect attention when out and about anywhere. Especially out and about in a place where copious amounts of alcohol are drank by meatheads.

No one should ever question anyone's desire for recreation, but commonsense should be used.

IMO I don't think this will have made up Ross Barkley's mind on his contract. I'd imagine there are an extra few thousand things which may help him to stay at EFC.

Stan Schofield
22 Posted 11/04/2017 at 18:09:50
Bit of an aside, but when I've been out in the city centre on a Saturday night in winter, I'm amazed by the number of young couples where the bloke is all togged up nice and toasty, whilst the girl is adorned with what looks like a summer-weight party dress. Those girls must be as hard as nails.
Brian Williams
23 Posted 11/04/2017 at 18:12:46
Stan. Like me yer gettin'old mate lol.
Damian Wilde
24 Posted 11/04/2017 at 23:08:59
'If he decides to pack his bags and go, watch the stampede of clubs willing to bid for him. So much for people saying he'll never make it as a top player."

Really? Like who? West Brom? He wouldn't get in any side in the top six.

Any how is he already a 'top player'????? Top players don't lose it a lot or dilly dally with the ball not knowing what to do with it. Top players don't have poor decision making skills. Hazard is a top player, are they in the same bracket?

Good player, but top player my arse.

Rob Hooton
25 Posted 12/04/2017 at 01:51:13
I'm of the opinion that Ross will peak at the age of 26-30 and that we are yet to see the best of him yet, I love watching him pull on the Royal Blue Jersey and want to see him do so for the rest of his career.

I love him and know the majority of Evertonians do too, stay and bring us back to greatness lad, in fact lead us there!

Charles Barrow
26 Posted 12/04/2017 at 12:30:36
Those fans who want him to leave are very short sighted. He is a very good player and he could become a great player. I'm dismayed that he hasn't signed for another 3 to 5 years.

I wonder if the club are taking his loyalty for granted and are not offering him anything like the Lukaku package. I know everyone in football earns ridiculous amounts of money but there is a hierarchy in every club.

The new players probably come in on top money while the long term established players don't always benefit. What ever the story – I definitely want him to stay.

Keith Monaghan
27 Posted 12/04/2017 at 17:37:50
It isn't right, but the harsh reality is that Ross being in a city centre bar late at night is not a sensible thing to do – just as equally nit wrong, but just as unwise, to leave your decent car unlocked on the road.

I'd like Ross to stay, but he clearly has other ideas – and he won't be difficult to replace – we need a better more effective player in that position to seriously challenge for the title. And there won't be a stampede of top clubs to sign him – he wouldn't get a regular place in any of the top 6.

I hope whoever clumped Ross gets his just deserts.

Paul Ferry
28 Posted 12/04/2017 at 18:20:16
Damian Wilde (24) Please change the record, mate. Listening to you on Barkley is like listening to Terry Wogan's 'floral dance' time after time after time after time after time after time after time

We all know what you think of Barkley! You bounce on threads that had nothing too do with Ross to wind up the barrel-organ. You climb all over the Live Forum to slam Ross and then disappear when (as he often does) he does something wonderful.

Always the same. The tone and tenor never changes... We know!!!!!! It is so unremittingly boring!

I respect your opinion although it is wrong and is now less an opinion than an ideology. But could you please for say a day leave it alone.

Thank Sheeds you are in a tiny minority.

Michael Penley
29 Posted 12/04/2017 at 19:08:36
Ross might not be all that difficult to replace (personally I think it will be harder than it looks) but he's a blue and a scouser and that is hard to replace. I don't like the idea of trading in "one of us" for a mercenary, but if he chooses to leave then we have no choice.
Andy Meighan
30 Posted 12/04/2017 at 19:24:13
Micheal (#17),

There's nothing upmarket about Slater Street, believe me. The word among the younger fraternity is Barkley was two-footing this lad's girlfriend Two-footing [no me neither]... and this chap is a boxer, hence the knockout blow

Then again, these sort of rumours have been doing the rounds since I was a kid. Gary Jones owed gangsters from the south end thousands... Souness was banging one of the Fitzy's wives [who?] and they are going to break his legs... Dalglish was knobbing Beardsley's missus...

The list is endless. All shite, of course... but some people believe anything. As me old grandmother used to say, "Today's news is tomorrow's chip paper!"

Martin Mason
31 Posted 12/04/2017 at 19:31:48
Michael, he has improved this year hand over fist and is possibly the best English midfielder in the Premier League. He has the potential to be one of the best in the world and the risk of us offloading him at such a tender age is massive because his value could double if he continues to improve. He's annoying in his habit of stopping and looking for safe options but don't forget that he was criticised for running into trouble and losing the ball. Don't forget that some of his runs at defences have been great and what can we say about that cross for Rom's goal on Saturday?

Ross came back from a terrible injury that could have finished him, he came back with an aversion to the tackle and he was then fucked about mercilessly by successive managers.

In terms of seeing the big picture on the pitch like Scholes and Lampard (macro players) he isn't the best but on the other hand his skills (micro player) are amongst the best and he's beginning to use these skills for the overall good. He is what he is by virtue of his genes and will be limited in how good he can become despite his massive skills; he hasn't reached his potential yet.

It's interesting that some are calling for us to get rid of Ross. The likelihood is that Ross may get rid of us and I don't blame him one little bit. We can replace him but it will be at a much higher price; it'd be managerial idiocy to let this happen.

Clive Mitchell
32 Posted 13/04/2017 at 00:28:27
John Daley (#14) – perfectly put.

Damian (#24) – I'd let your bottom do the talking in future because it's hit the nail on the head.

Derek Thomas
33 Posted 13/04/2017 at 11:32:26
If, as John Daley postulates, the Club are handling his contract in a sloppy manner...potentially nearly Gosling-esque even. Then much as I despise agents, maybe Ross should sign up with Rom's.

Ross has 1 year left, Rom 2, yet which squeaky wheel is getting all the grease?

Or has Koeman internally hinted that as he's got the main man to sort out, plus all the other gaps he has to fill / improve, etc. he's not arsed either way... there's the deal, sign it or not, if you do, you do, if you don't, we'll cash in and sell you on – that's the way I read Koeman's recent statement.

Chris Gould
34 Posted 13/04/2017 at 11:57:57
Damian Wilde, do you have an alibi for approx 0100hrs Monday 10th April?

I am, of course, only joking.

Steve Brown
35 Posted 13/04/2017 at 12:00:16
The club should start showing Ross some love pretty damn quick. It is obvious he was taken for granted because he's a local lad and all the focus put on Lukaku's contract.

It's not too late to turn it around but shut Koeman up and start working behind the scenes.

Dan Davies
36 Posted 13/04/2017 at 12:04:26
Chris, it did cross my mind... hahaha! No offence meant though, just joking.
Colin Glassar
37 Posted 13/04/2017 at 12:25:57
Steve, totally agree. Ross seems to be taken granted by club and (some) fans alike. Because he's a local lad, and mad Evertonian (like Rooney), it's just accepted that he'll accept whatever's offered. It doesn't work like that.

Good to see you back, Mr Ferry. We need some of your common sense on here.

Phil Bellis
38 Posted 13/04/2017 at 12:34:53
Steve (#4)

Suppose it depends where you choose to go in Slater Street, although I presume you mean the whole outside area can be dodgy.

Nowt wrong with the Shipping Forecast, Jacaranda or Marlborough (aka O'Briens) all on the same block. Mind you, the Marlborough still has the smallest, narrowest gent's bog in the world; if you squeeze past the urinal users to get to the WC, you'll probably have to get engaged to one of them

Dave Abrahams
39 Posted 13/04/2017 at 15:30:28
Phil. (38) your right about The Marlborough, cracking pub but the toilet is a nightmare; I think they got it from a dolls house. Like you say, some good pubs around that area.
Jim Harrison
40 Posted 13/04/2017 at 15:59:34
Interesting what Koeman said in today's press conference. He says Ross told him he wants Chamoions League football. Question is, who of the likely top four would have him in the starting 11?

Chelsea? Nope. City? Nope. Liverpool? Possibly... but he would have to be crazy. Spurs? Nope.

From the press reports (which count for nowt) Spurs are interested, but I can't see him getting in their first 11. He would get game time but not be the main man.

And here's what I think That would suit him. Being part of a team rather than the focus. Right now, he is under the spotlight every game, at Spurs he would be just one of a number of high profile players. With Champions League football they will need a bigger squad, and a player of Barkley's quality wont often come on the market with only a year left on his contract.

I think he will go, along with Rom. And whilst I would rather they both stayed it doesn't fill me with despair if they went. Barkley is a good player who may just turn out to be a great, but we look to him too often to be the one who grabs the game and does something special. He's the local lad we all want to succeed, but that probably blinds us to what else is available elsewhere. Josh King has banged in goals this season in an average team, for an example.

Rom's a different animal altogether. Losing him will suck, as he really is a class striker. But if he gets injured we have no real back up. If he leaves, his fee would finance 2 decent players. Liverpool play with 3 good attacking forwards, we play with one outstanding striker. They have scored 11 more goals this season so far...

Stan Schofield
41 Posted 13/04/2017 at 16:19:14
Not sure what Liverpool and their squad of reasonably good players have to do with it. We're not aiming for the standards of Liverpool, imo we're already there. We're aiming for the top surely.
Paul Holmes
42 Posted 13/04/2017 at 16:30:08
Barkley would be hard to replace? He has played well in most of the games since January, but let's not go too overboard.If we signed Rooney (short term) or Sigurdsson for next season the name "Ross Barkley" would be forgotten after a couple of games.

Ross does not score enough goals plus his footballing brain has not improved, so at 24, if Ronald and his brother Erwin seem relaxed about him moving on, then all Evertonians should be confident that they have a top class replacement (and team-improving) player coming in.

Kieran Kinsella
43 Posted 13/04/2017 at 16:36:49
I guarantee if Ross leaves then within a couple of years he will be an occasional starter at Stoke battling with the likes of Adams or Arnautovic for game time.
Rob Halligan
44 Posted 13/04/2017 at 16:56:08
SSN reporting that Barkley's agent has now started contract negotiations with the board.

During talks with Koeman, Ross apparently said he'd like Champions League. Koeman's reply was "So would I!"

I believe Ross can fulfil his ambitions with us. Get him and Lukaku signed up ASAP. In the summer, a new goalkeeper, right back, 2 centre halves and a forward should be the priority.

We should be well off for midfielders, and Brendan Galloway as cover for left back, should see us mount a serious challenge for the top four next season.

Shane Corcoran
45 Posted 13/04/2017 at 16:57:59
Thanks for that Kieran. Nothing like someone saying they guarantee something, especially when it appears as ridiculous as that.

Battling it out with Adam? Seriously?

Jim Harrison
46 Posted 13/04/2017 at 17:04:58
Stan (#41), currently at the same level? Theres being partisan and theres being biased. Currently they are 9 points ahead in the league and have beaten us in both matches this season. Not liking/hating them doesnt alter the truth.

I didnt talk about the whole squad, but highlighted their forwards. Even discounting Sturridge they have a fluid attacking set up that shares the scoring burden. We have an exceptional striker, but once isolated tends to be ineffective.

Your opinion is as valid as anyones. Fair enough. But can you really say that currently Everton are really up there? Comfortably beaten by both Spurs and Liverpool. Defended well at Old Trafford but got the same result as many teams below us in the Premier League there.

It's obvious the improvement from the past two seasons, but to really challenge we need more than a good striker. Imagine if he got seriously injured? Who fills the void?

Liverpool lost Mane, they still have 3 players who would get into our first team up front.

Stan Schofield
47 Posted 13/04/2017 at 17:40:05
Jim, I believe it's fine margins. The reason for the manner of the defeat at Anfield is more to do with wrong tactics than quality of player. Player for player we are surely on a par or marginally better. If only Koeman took a more attacking approach away from home, then there's at least a possibility that our away form would approach our home form, which could have made a big difference to our points tally.

I know it's only a 'could have', but at least what I'm saying is plausible, which is why some of the away results have been so frustrating. During most of the past couple of decades there's no way I would have been saying we're on a par, but it's different now, and I'm trying to be as objective as I can about it. Yes, their front 3 are good, but not as good as many make out.

Kieran Kinsella
48 Posted 13/04/2017 at 18:01:58
Shane,

You're welcome!

Jim Harrison
49 Posted 13/04/2017 at 18:06:02
Stan,I admire your positivity, not common on ToffeeWeb, but to be honest they had two first choice midfielders absent against our one and still had more in the tank

The gap is narrowing, not just on Liverpool, but on the top 6. Still, there is a way to go yet, and I believe that the way to narrow it further is to have a better squad overall. Look at the fees for Mane, Gabbiadini, Sane. All cost less than Rom.

James Stewart
50 Posted 13/04/2017 at 18:15:35
Barkley doesn't have any realistic options at a top 6 club beyond warming the bench at Man City and filling up the homegrown quota, so I would be surprised if he left.

I actually think Everton would be better off without Barkley. As cruel as that sounds, the direction the club is heading in we can now afford to buy a proper playmaker. This should be a priority because Barkley does not have the intelligence to play that role.

In an ideal world we would keep Barkley and bring in someone like Tielemans or Sigurdsson. We will be fighting on 4 fronts next season and need 2 quality players for each position.

Jason Bowen
51 Posted 13/04/2017 at 18:20:15
Oh, so now Barkley wants Champions League football as well?

Goodbye then, Ross, hope you enjoy being Rooney Mk 2... unbelievable.

Winston Williamson
52 Posted 13/04/2017 at 18:27:21
This "I want champions league football" stance is really wearing fucking thin!

Sorry, but if Lukaku and Barkley wanted Champions League football so bad, why'd they continuously bottle it wherever we get close to achieving something!

Champions League – my arse! It's like most spoilt children nowadays! A sense of entitlement without putting the fucking graft in!

Silly me! I, like all Evertonians, have been very happy with continued failures over the last 3¾ seasons! Obviously, we want to win fuck all...so these two players bow to our desires and win fuck all

Grow a pair and fight to be a success at EFC!!!

Shane Corcoran
53 Posted 13/04/2017 at 18:29:21
Winston, if they want Champions League football, Olympiakos and Celtic are good enough bets each year if that's all they want.
Tony Marsh
54 Posted 13/04/2017 at 18:36:59
Did Ross Barkley ask to be attacked in Town last Sunday night? No, of course, not but what the Hell is Barkley doing in a well known after hours sticky carpet shit hole like Santa Chputos?

Does the name of this bar translate in to bar to go "If you want to get filled in by drunken coked up Bellends ? If not it should be avoided by anyone wishing not to get punched. Santa's is a dodgey moody gaff and most people do avoid it. So It has to be a question of Barkley not engaging the brain as per usual.

I say sell Ross to highest bidder and have done with it. To be honest the only thing I see Barkley doing on a consistent basis is massive huge gobs of spit when ever he losses the ball... Not a pretty sight. Sell, Sell, Sell.

Winston Williamson
55 Posted 13/04/2017 at 18:41:43
Too true, Shane. At least have the balls to say they want the money, or to live in a new city, or to conform and play for a media darling team!

This Champions League malarkey just sounds hollow and insults the intelligence.

Dave Ganley
56 Posted 13/04/2017 at 19:12:48
Totally agree, Winston, I'm totally sick and tired of the Champions League dialogue. Good just go and get yourselves a Champions League club and we will find a couple of new players who don't freeze on the big occasion.

Billy big bollocks can fuck off to Chelsea if he wants for vast sums of money and if Ross wants to go then same applies. If they don't want to be here then so be it. No one is irreplaceable.

Regardless of what some think on here they just don't do it on a consistent basis against the bigger clubs. Potential maybe, but definitely not the superstars some would have us believe yet.

Brian Harrison
57 Posted 13/04/2017 at 19:27:37
We have known for weeks that Lukaku wanted away and now it seems like Barkley is making the same noises. We have lost far better players than these two; yes Lukaku is a very good finisher but Lineker scored 30 goals in his 1 season. He went off to Barcelona having won nothing with us despite the 30 goals, and we won the league without him.

So just make sure you get the going rate for these 2 which should be well over £100 million. Then let Walsh and Koeman find their replacements. Also, there will be money from the sale of Niasse and possibly Deulofeu as well as the Cleverley money. So I am quite excited to see who we sign.

Mike Gaynes
58 Posted 13/04/2017 at 20:55:18
Brian (#57), if you've heard any "noise" from Barkley about wanting away, you're the only one.

Koeman merely quoted him as saying he wants Champions League footy... just like Koeman himself and everyone else at the club. That and not yet signing his contract do not add up to "noise" about looking elsewhere, IMO.

Jim Hardin
59 Posted 13/04/2017 at 23:56:55
There is no "Barkley Dilemma" except in the minds of those who cannot see him for what he is, a B player.

He is like the B student in school who occasionally can produce a B+ or even, A level, assignment. Nice but it doesn't make him anything other than a B level performer. He is not under-performing, he is pretty much playing to the back of his baseball card.

His "occasional dips in form" are not that at all. In order for there to be a dip in form, the player must respond with a prolonged period of good form. That excludes Ross.

I just do not see him ever being world class. His exclusion from the PFA lists shows that he is not even regarded as Premier League class. He is not one whom I would build a team around unless it is in the Championship or a team wanting to remain in the lower level of the Premier League. Sell him to the next team that is willing to pay for his "potential".

Mike Dolan
61 Posted 14/04/2017 at 20:37:42
Barkley would be missed far more than Lukaku. Both are really good players but at this moment just under the very top class.

Ross is improving month to month, he is just beginning to assert himself on every game, his confidence is building and I think we will start to see more a few more goals from him as he rounds into a complete player.

Lukaku is improving also but he will not get the minutes in any squad that is more competitive than Everton's and he won't have the luxury of the whole team tailoring it's play to accommodate his 'not over exerting himself' style of play.

Everton would surely be changing that style anyway if they are to continue to improve they need two fast mobile strikers plus back ups who can hold the ball up and pass it, who will pressure the opposing defenders when they lose it.

It's great to have Rom don't get me wrong but ideally with more fluidity we would be less vulnerable to periods when our ability to score dips if the goals were being generated by four or five players rather than one.

£70M for Rom – I'd take it. £30M for Ross – never.

Paul Ferry
62 Posted 15/04/2017 at 17:38:51
Eds can we have a translation into proper English please: Hardin (#59) 'He is not under-performing, he is pretty much playing to the back of his baseball card'.
Michael Kenrick
Editorial Team
63 Posted 15/04/2017 at 17:48:12
Methinks it's some Yankiedoodle shit, Paul. Them baseball cards wot kids in The States collect are filled with career stats on the back thereof...

So he is playing to form perhaps? Sorry, that's all I've got.

Paul Burns
64 Posted 15/04/2017 at 18:43:24
Got a smack in the gob the other day so I think I'll pack me job in and move somewhere else.

No, really.

Paul Ferry
65 Posted 15/04/2017 at 19:04:31
Cheers MK
Peter Thistle
66 Posted 16/04/2017 at 03:13:32
He's got it all except confidence and self-belief. You can see it in his face. He needs to be arrogant like the best players out there. You are good enough Barkley, now believe it!
Paul A Smith
68 Posted 16/04/2017 at 12:43:15
This is madness. How can it be silly for Ross Barkley to be in a place where he's attacked un-provoked?

It's not the job of any fan to suggest where footballers should be in their free time. Plus the fact Koeman said he was behaving properly. It amazes me how often a fan thinks they can judge a players private life.

The fact it is being called un-provoked suggests it could have happened anywhere. Ross Barkley and every other human should be able to walk down any street or step into any building without being punched for no good reason.

Ian Riley
69 Posted 16/04/2017 at 22:28:09
Barkley a top player? No and no again. An improved player, yes.

Funny after his best season under the development of a former world class player and good manager, he refuses a new contract. If Barkley is entering his last season of a contract, then £30-35 million is about right. It's not about potential but final year dictates the fee.

I would love him to sign just for the loyalty shown by the club in giving him a bumper contract a few years ago.

I am an old romantic at heart but the modern day footballer wants more. Rooney did it and we survived. Those who go should never return.

Pat Waine
70 Posted 23/04/2017 at 16:04:21
What is Ross Barkley? Not a playmaker, not a box-to-box player, not a defensive midfielder... What is he?

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