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Barkley to return to full training

by | 03/10/2014  Comments (46)  jump
Pienaar could be back to face United

Ross Barkley is set to return to full training with the first team next Wednesday as he continues his recovery from the medial knee ligament injury he suffered on the eve of the season.

The 20 year-old will use the upcoming international break to build up his fitness and while the trip to Lille on 23rd October will likely come too soon for him, he could be ready to experience his first action when the Blues visit Burnley at the end of the month.

Barkley tore the ligament in training in mid-August but has progressed well during his rehabilitation, returning to light running drills and weights work over the last fortnight.

Steven Pienaar, meanwhile, could be back in the team this weekend when Everton take on Manchester United at Old Trafford. The South African has been dogged by injuries all year but Roberto Martinez has indicated that he stands the best chance out of James McCarthy and Seamus Coleman of being involved against Louis van Gaal's side.

Ross Barkley is developing well, Martinez told the media on Friday. I hope he can join the group as early as next Wednesday and start working with the full team.

I think he will be back training with the team after the international break and then we will have to see how long it'll take Ross to get back to match fitness from then.

We could get some players back this weekend, the manager continued. James McCarthy and Seamus Coleman will have late fitness tests, so it's too early to tell on those two.

But Steven Pienaar has been training really well and I think he probably has got the better chance of the four players looking ahead to the weekend.

Quotes sourced from

Reader Comments (46)

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Jim Bennings
1 Posted 03/10/2014 at 16:42:22
McCarthy added to the injury list?

Lets hope this late fitness test doesn't constitute as a month out.

Can somebody please tell me what is the delay with Arouna Kone??

If I remember right didn't we hear a promising updating that he may even have made an appearance at the end of last season?

What's happened to him?

Jim Bennings
2 Posted 03/10/2014 at 16:45:52
Ok so I'm taking on board now that Ross Barkley possibly expected back for the Burnley trip, as its almost whole month away there's no reason whatsoever why he shouldn't make this date, no other commitments other than hard training and rest in between.

Lets hope his comeback goes smoothly.

Joe O'Brien
3 Posted 03/10/2014 at 17:10:30
Great news. He's been sorely missed.
Les Fitzpatrick
4 Posted 03/10/2014 at 17:12:51
Knowing the well known spoofer, Martinez, add another 3 weeks to that, ha ha!
Sue Brown
5 Posted 03/10/2014 at 17:35:26
Great news regarding Ross; we've missed him.

I thought Seamus had a "slight concussion" weeks ago, I would have expected him to be fit by now... or have I missed something?

Ajay Gopal
6 Posted 03/10/2014 at 17:52:09
Jim, in his press conference, Martinez mentioned that Kone needs to get some minutes in games to be declared fully match fit. Personally, I think he should get a U21 game and then some cameo 5 minute substitutions before he is ready for a bigger role. A pity really, because we were expecting much from him last season.
Ajay Gopal
7 Posted 03/10/2014 at 17:56:29
Reading between the lines, I think Coleman and McCarthy will not be fit to play Man Utd on Sunday. Given that situation, I think Martinez will go with:

Hibbert Stones Jagielka Baines
Besic Barry
McGeady Naismith Pienaar

Subs: Robles, Distin, Oviedo, Gibson, Osman, Eto'o, Kone.

Dean Adams
8 Posted 03/10/2014 at 18:04:44
In which case, Ajay, I fancy 3 points, for United. Hibbo has been a great servant to the club, but is not good enough to play in a top 6 match. For me, McGeady is far too inconsistent and is as prone as Ossie to land us in trouble by losing the ball whilst most of our team are stranded in their box looking for a goal.
Ajay Gopal
9 Posted 03/10/2014 at 18:14:33
Dean, I think United have more problems than us especially defensively. Van Gaal mentioned 8 players injured and Rooney suspended, so 9 players unavailable. Having said that, their attack is likely to feature: Van Persie, Falcao, Di Maria, Mata, Janujz – so, defensively we will have to be at our best. That is where Hibbert with his ’know-how’ (in Martinez speak) will be valuable.

My only concern would be his ability (at this stage of his career) to cope with 3 matches in 8 days including a 4,000 mile round-trip. The other option RM has is to either push Stones to RB and then pair Distin with Jagielka (not sure you would want that) or play Browning at RB, which is a bigger risk in such a high profile game than Hibbert in my opinion.

Paul Andrews
10 Posted 03/10/2014 at 18:27:04

I thought Tony Hibbert played well last night. Saying that, he could be exposed for pace on Sunday.

We canÂ’t expect him to play every blue moon and be at it straight away. YouÂ’re right mate, he has been a great one-club servant.

Chris Wilson
11 Posted 03/10/2014 at 18:39:15
If we let Di Maria run at Hibbert without giving him some wing support, we could be in trouble... Di Maria could skin him alive. Consequently, we might see Lukaku out there again hoping his offensive threat keeps their left flank more honest.
Steve Pugh
12 Posted 03/10/2014 at 18:43:03
Sue you missed a reoccurrence of an earlier hamstring injury
Geoff Evans
13 Posted 03/10/2014 at 18:52:21
Strange McCarthy might miss the United game, hope it's not a condition of something in January (what a cynic)!!!
Sam Hoare
14 Posted 03/10/2014 at 18:51:07
Di Maria vs Hibbert. What a terrifying prospect. Low expectations for Sunday.

We really need Ross back. Without him and Mirallas, we really look short of ideas and effective direct running. Added to a leaky defence and we have the makings of a troubled team.

I'm hoping that soon we can get everyone back and put out:

Coleman Stones Jagielka Baines
McCarthy Besic
Mirallas Barkley Naismith (or Oviedo)

That to me feels like a first team with pace and energy (qualities sorely lacking this season for us). Sadly with Mirallas's injury the earliest we might see it is probably December.

Linda Morrison
15 Posted 03/10/2014 at 19:12:05
Yes, Geoff, you are a cynic!

Everton will keep all their young players and move forward to a Premier League win within the next few years you'll see. This is from somebody who backed Ed Miliband for the Labour leadership so what do I know?

Dean Adams
16 Posted 03/10/2014 at 20:07:27
I just hope that Hibbo shows more awareness of his right back position than he showed last night. He was out of position almost all night and, bar one fantastic tackle, was a real liability that thankfully Stones covered. That one tackle was attached to a burst of pace that took me back 5 years watching Hibbo. Anyone who seriously thinks he will survive to half-time is an eternal optimist. Me, that has been beaten out of me and I no longer have faith in what I see ahead.
Phil Walling
17 Posted 03/10/2014 at 20:05:15
How right you are, Sam. That line-up would pose most sides a few problems. But it ain't going to take the field anytime soon as rarely, if ever, does any club have the luxury of fielding its best side.

So on Sunday, we can expect the likes of Hibbo, Ossie and McGeady to be making a start. But then, we are only playing the Manure and everyone tells me they really are crap.

Darren Hind
18 Posted 03/10/2014 at 19:49:00
So... just to recap:

Howard has looked like a Parks keeper for most of the season.
Seamus and Baines have been doing the hokey cokey trying to catch forwards offside.
Distin and Jagielka have been the laughing stock of the Premier League... and Stones has stunk the place out when he's played right back.

Yet, in a thread supposedly about Barkley, Hibbo is singled out as the weak link... Did you guys see any of our games this season? We all know Tony isn't a "footballer" but, if he starts on Sunday, he'll be the very least of my worries. He's negated the threat of far better players than Di Maria in his time.

He knows as soon as Seamus is fit, he will be sidelined again. but unlike the "internationals" in our defence, the guaranteed starters, he won't be making a show of himself and he won't let us down

I used to think those "It's Hibbert's fault" comments were posted in jest.

Dave Abrahams
19 Posted 03/10/2014 at 20:19:51
Jagielka worries me. He had a very good game at Anfield apart from a great goal but, watching him last night he is constantly an accident waiting to happen.

He is not and never will be able to play as a footballing centre half, it’s just not in him. I would take Distin over him and I know I will be in the minority but that’s the way I see it.

Dean Adams
20 Posted 03/10/2014 at 20:30:25
That is what opinion is all about, Darren. If you don’t like it, well, there ain’t much you can do about it. When Barks is back in our team it will bring back a bit of the missing balance. Without Mirallas, I fear we have little threat to go forward with. Poor Rom must be crying at the total lack of service he receives breaking the line, which is his strength.
David Flanagan
21 Posted 03/10/2014 at 20:31:26
Hibbert played well the other night with little help from our wide players or centre midfield. He defended well which will be his job on Sunday if selected. He always gets singled out when there's always others letting us down.
Sam Hoare
22 Posted 03/10/2014 at 20:40:29
Darren, when in the last 3 years has Hibbert negated a better player than Di Maria? I used to back him defensively at least but I haven't seen him do it against a fast winger for a while now....
Tony J Williams
23 Posted 03/10/2014 at 20:37:22
I'm with Darren on this one. It's an absolute piss take that a thread about Barkley turns into a "it's Hibbert's fault we lost to Man Utd" days before the actual kick off.

I know, let's have Browning take the lead against these Man Utd "stars" because he played several minutes against a shite Liverpool side and didn't concede.

Tony J Williams
24 Posted 03/10/2014 at 20:50:32
Probably because he hasn't really played for the last two seasons, Sam.
Darren Hind
25 Posted 03/10/2014 at 20:40:09
And my opinion, Dean, is you're spouting ill-informed nonsense.

We have been wide open all season (5 goals conceded against the world class strike forces of Palace and Leicester) and all you can do is single out a player who wasn't even on the pitch for all those these shameful defensive performances.

If you only saw Hibbert make one good tackle last night then I suggest you go back and watch the other 89 minutes.

Sam Hoare
26 Posted 03/10/2014 at 21:09:23
True Tony and that has an effect. He was the quickest before but he looks a yard off to me. He's still got some nous of course but he'll struggle against pace especially given our current brand of football that seems to leave the defense constantly exposed.
Harold Matthews
27 Posted 03/10/2014 at 20:42:55
Nice to hear positive news re Barkley. We've certainly missed him. In fact, these injuries make me feel as though we haven't had a proper team out all this season. Very strange. Why don't the guys with the least talent ever get injured?

Got to hand it to Martinez. Unlike many managers, he never uses injuries as an excuse, because it undermines their replacements. He will shuffle the pack, pick lads who are in a good moment, hammer home the tactics, and we all cross our fingers.

Without Barkley, Coleman and Mirallas we're not likely to scare people yet we still managed to muller the RS in the last 10 minutes the other day. McCarthy will be a big miss but Besic can drop in behind Pienaar and Naismith. Eto'o will probably come in for Pienaar on the 70-minute mark with Ossie and Browning limbering up. There again, with Di Maria on the wing we might trump him with Browning. Indeed we might do a lot of things. Over to you, Roberto – and the best of luck.

David Hallwood
28 Posted 03/10/2014 at 21:45:06
Sam (#14), Mirallas is out for a least 4 weeks. Personally IÂ’d go for:

Coleman/Hibbert, Stones, Jagielka, Baines
Gibson/McCarthy, Barry
Besic Naismith Oviedo

WonÂ’t happen of course but it would give us defensive solidarity to counteract their obvious attacking talents.

John Voigt
29 Posted 03/10/2014 at 21:47:14
If I was putting out the team tomorrow I'd start Browning at right back. Anybody you have out at right back will struggle with Di Maria. The player in my opinion who would give Di Maria the hardest time would be Browing. Hibbert would give Di Maria way to much room to operate. Hibbert's positional awareness would be trumped by Di Maria's pace and tricks with the ball.

The international break is coming and Eto'o doesn't player for the national team. I'd start Eto'o and Lukaku. I'd play Eto'o on the left side, Lukaku on the right side with Naismith playing behind the 2 of them in the center.

I'd start Besic too... If Everton play to many of their plodding methodical players they could get overrun.

The score against Man United is not likely to be 0-0, 1-0 or 2-1...

Everton have a chance to get something from this game, but they are going to have to score 2, 3, or 4 goals to come home with anything.

Chris Wilson
30 Posted 03/10/2014 at 22:10:13
OK, Daren, fair enough about hijacking threads.

Barkley coming back is a game changer. We get him back healthy and ready to play, then we start rocketing up the table. His presence and ability will improve our offensive output by giving us a prominent creative player to run at and attack defenses; creating opportunities through the middle for Lukaku, Naismith, etc.

The team will be able to probe defenses much more efficiently and be able to move and switch the ball quickly to catch teams out of position. He will also help us defensively with his energy in closing down opposing players-freeing up McCarthy and Barry to focus on shielding our backline, like they did last season. With Barkley, we certainly beat Leicester, Arsenal, Crystal Palace, and I think he eats the Liverpool midfield for breakfast.

Of course, that would just ramp up the tabloid "Guarantees" that Ross will be on his way to Man City... or Chelsea... or Man Utd... or (fill in the blank) in the summer or even January.

What will be interesting to watch is how long it will take Roberto to throw him back into the fray. I wonder if he is too cautious sometimes, but I'm not at practice or the training room, so I should trust their judgement. Plus you don't want Ross to suffer a setback by coming back too soon.

Mark Frere
31 Posted 03/10/2014 at 22:01:20
I would also start with Browning. He looked a real threat going forward against Redshite and very capable when defending. We must reward good performances from our young players with more playing time; it's the only way they're going to develop.

I would play Eto behind Lukaku. Eto'o is our best player at linking up play and can score plenty as well. If fit, I would welcome Pienaar back to the starting 11.

I would play:

Browning Stones Jagielka Baines
McGeady Barry Besic Pienaar

Dean Adams
32 Posted 03/10/2014 at 23:03:07

You have an opinion. I have an opinion. We don’t agree. Fair enough. But you then suggest that my opinion is ill-informed nonsense. Not only that but you then group in other games that had not been mentioned by me. Your attitude and behaviour is reminiscent of a spoilt little child. Do not make suggestions that are untrue. It just shows you up as a very unimportant little boy.

I watched the whole match, Darren, and I am positive that Stones spent much of the game covering the vacant right back birth. Hibbert was miles out of position, almost playing left back. In fact he was all over the place and not doing a good job. Eto’o was dragged back into the left back slot for their goal. That Darren is my opinion as I said, I am entitled to it. If you do not agree say so and give me a reason to question my opinion instead of making shit up.

Alan Corken
33 Posted 03/10/2014 at 23:21:41
The problem we have this year is a lack of creativity in midfield, so it is great news Barkley is nearing fitness. It means we can sell him to some mugs for 㿞m and buy some good players
Clive Lewis
34 Posted 03/10/2014 at 23:54:56
We could do with Barkley back; however, I'm not sure he will be a saviour. We have been awful so far this season and could go 3rd from bottom by tea-time tomorrow.
John Voigt
35 Posted 04/10/2014 at 00:04:18
My starting 11 would be the same as Mark (#31).

Pienaar back into the starting 11 would perk up the left side. Baines has missed him on his side of the field.

Harold Matthews
38 Posted 04/10/2014 at 00:20:56
We're beginning to look short of real pace. There again, apart from Di Maria and Valencia, United are not too swift.
Mark Andersson
39 Posted 04/10/2014 at 04:28:08
Allan 33. You are joking, sell Barkley for 㿞 million but who would replace him for 㿀 million as that’s all the manager would see of that sale if it ever happens.
Darren Hind
41 Posted 04/10/2014 at 06:51:23
Dean, I didn't make anything up. I simply pointed to the gaping holes in our defence before Hibbert stepped in for the injured Coleman. I wanted to point out the absurdity of singling out Hibbert when our other defenders had been embarrassing themselves before he even made a comeback.

For reasons known only to yourself, you came onto a thread about Barkley in order to criticise Hibbert.

Firstly you say Hibert "isn't good enough to in a top six match". Well it may have escaped your notice, but thanks to the appalling performances of the other defenders this season, we're nowhere near top six... Oh and you might want to get your history books and and see which Everton player has played in the most "top six" EPL matches.

Hibbert's well past his best (he wasn't that good to begin with) but when, after two years out, he was asked to step in as cover at Anfield and in Russia, he stood up like a man and has been roundly applauded for it.

Your revelation that he spent most of the game playing near left back will come as a huge surprise to anybody who actually watched that game, but not as much of a surprise as him being responsible for Eto'o being dragged back to left back.

As you say, we are all entitled to an opinion, and in mine, your claim that Hibbert only made one tackle in the whole game is ill-informed nonsense.
You're not reporting back on a game nobody else saw, We were all watching.

Lee Courtliff
42 Posted 04/10/2014 at 08:15:58
Harold , fair point about Martinez.

A couple of times lately I’ve read interviews with him and expected to hear something about ’’it’s difficult with all the injuries’’.

But I, personally, haven’t heard him use that as an excuse. And that is a rarity these days.

With regard to Barkley, of course we miss him but I believe Mirallas is the bigger loss.

Obviously, I wish both were fit as they make us quite a formidable team (offensively).

Dean Adams
43 Posted 04/10/2014 at 09:52:04

You have your opinion, but have not convinced me that it is valid or correct. I watched the match and everyone that I watched it with was of the same opinion. Hibbo has been a great servant to our club, but he is not good enough anymore. If we want to progress we have to improve the quality of the players. I believe that Browning looks so much more composed and aware. Yes, he needs time to improve his overall performance, but he won’t get that sat on the bench behind Hibbo.

Life is all about different perspectives. Why don’t you show some consideration for other people’s perspectives and just agree to disagree if something is not to your liking instead of throwing wild insults!!

Tony Abrahams
44 Posted 04/10/2014 at 10:03:58
Darren 18, I don't always agree with you, but I think your 100% right about Tony Hibbert.

As Phil says on another thread, it could be a lot of bluff, and Coleman might be fit tomorrow; but, if not, Hibbert will do for me. If he plays, I expect him to hold his own again, and it's for that reason I hope he wasn't left back in Russia!?

Never saw it myself, but back to the news about Barkley being back in training, Fantastic.

Steve Jenkins
45 Posted 04/10/2014 at 11:42:19
Great news and can’t come soon enough, with Mirallas also missing we badly need his pace and dynamism back in the midfield.
James Stewart
46 Posted 04/10/2014 at 12:13:43
Great news; he's been missed.

@31, Mine would be the same team as Mark's pretty much. Spot on. I thought it was poor management not to give Browning more action on Thursday after the way he played in the derby.

Brian Waring
47 Posted 04/10/2014 at 18:19:47
Funny thing is, Dean, if Martinez did start Browning and he had a 'mare, you would probably be one of the first on here slating Martinez for playing him.
Dean Adams
48 Posted 04/10/2014 at 18:28:17
If you can search ToffeeWeb and find once that I have slated our youth players, you will be looking forever. I have always believed that the only way our young players can learn is by playing and by making mistakes from which they learn.

Why would the same ethos apply to Hibbo? He is past his best and I am sure would be honest enough to admit that he does not posses the same level of talent as Coleman. Comments like yours, Brian, just make you look like an knobhead. I would think that you feel that you are not, so why do you insist on doing it!!!

Tom Magill
49 Posted 04/10/2014 at 19:59:34
I just canÂ’t understand how other Toffees can slate our own players like Hibbert, Osman and Lukaku. These guys are trying their best giving 100%, itÂ’s plain to see. We need to get behind guys like these instead of slagging them off.

Our problem is we canÂ’t spend 𧶀 million in a transfer window but we have the heart of a lion because of players like those mentioned above. Individually each player will have faults but together, with our support, weÂ’re strong. NSNO

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