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Martinez's big prediction on Barkley

16/11/2014  Comments (75)  jump
Boss says midfielder will be England's best ever

"There is no doubt in my mind that he will be the best player England has ever had."
Roberto Martinez firmly believes that Ross Barkley is destined to go down as England's best-ever player and insists that Everton are in a strong enough financial position that they will be able to resist any big-money offer for the 20 year-old midfielder.

Speaking at 'An Audience with Roberto Martinez', an event staged at the Titanic Hotel this past week, the Catalan said that he is convinced that Barkley will be the "biggest asset" the Blues have had in their history, eclipsing Wayne Rooney who left for Manchester United in 2004 for a deal that was eventually worth 27m to the club.

His comments come in the wake of fresh speculation over Barkley's future and assertions in the local Manchester press that Manchester City could land the young star, who was an unused substitute in England's Euro2016 qualifier against Slovenia yesterday, for 60m in the next transfer window.

"There is no doubt in my mind that he will be the best player England has ever had," Martinez boldly proclaimed. "Ross has everything. Normally a player has the pace and power to get around the pitch or they have the vision to pick a pass. Ross can do both of those things — not only that he is in love with the game.

"All he wants to do is play football and he will also be the biggest asset Everton have ever had. Players are big assets and I think you have to be able to cope with that."

The 41 year-old brushed off the latest media talk concerning his protege and the potential interest in him from rival clubs in the Premier League.

"We have got a lot of interest in our players because that's a sign that we're playing well and we have attracted a lot of attention.

"The trick is, and the key to this situation, is that we don't have to sell. As a club, it's not at the end of a window that we have to sell a player to balance the books."

Quotes sourced from The Star on Sunday


Reader Comments (75)

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Matthew Williams
2 Posted 16/11/2014 at 14:04:40
No he wonÂ’t, but Stones could be a legend!
David Harrison
3 Posted 16/11/2014 at 14:27:27
I have my doubts. Hope this isnÂ’t more over-optimistic hype...
Jim Bennings
4 Posted 16/11/2014 at 14:28:46
We arenÂ’t under any financial pressure to sell?

No but we will be if and when Barkley realises that he wonÂ’t fulfil his Champions League dream at Everton.

Let’s not kid ourselves – the only reason Steven Gerrard stayed st Liverpool throughout his best years is because they had Champions League football year-in & year-out.

If Barkley does become a great great player, and I say Â’ifÂ’ because he is not there yet, then itÂ’s a natural thing that he will want a big move to a top club

Dick Brady
5 Posted 16/11/2014 at 14:31:49
At the moment IÂ’d settle for a few good performances for Everton. Ross needs a few good games to establish himself in a blue shirt before worrying about being EnglandÂ’s best ever player. At the moment, IÂ’d pick Naismith and even Osman over Ross.
Patrick Murphy
6 Posted 16/11/2014 at 14:35:50
IÂ’m not sure the other lot had CL football year-in and year-out, Jim, but I understand what you mean. Perhaps, Ross might just like to see if he can become a star at Goodison first and then if need be move on.

If Everton are to move into a new stadium, it will be important that the team performs well on the pitch between now and whenever that might be... Selling our better players wonÂ’t help and if, for argumentÂ’s sake, Barkley did leave, then the other youngsters (McCarthy, Coleman, Stones et al) might get itchy feet and follow suit.

I get the feeling that the next 3 or so years could shape Everton FC for the next couple of decades so itÂ’s important that Roberto gets as much support as possible to at least keep us near the upper echelons of the table, and that the board must allow him to build a younger team and hopefully a successful one.

David Harrison
7 Posted 16/11/2014 at 14:45:30
Agreed Dick
Phil Walling
8 Posted 16/11/2014 at 14:39:57
Why does this man always have to limit his praise of his players? Everybody knows Jack will eventually put the legend of Dixie in the shade... and Rooney will be consigned to have been Â’just another boy prodigyÂ’.

I have read some crap from the bloke since he came here but this takes the fecking biscuit! For crissake, just let the lad establish himself in the Everton side before lumbering him with this sort of pressure. The world is laughing at us in mockery of such senseless drivel!

Sam Hoare
10 Posted 16/11/2014 at 15:10:13
As alluded to above, Barkley does not necessarily merit a starting place for us on current form, let alone England. I think there is some doubt about which position best suits him and what his strengths and weaknesses are.

Clearly his technique is fantastic and his athleticism but I think his mental skills, vision and decision making are where he lacks the most currently. These abilities are crucial for an AMC who is expected to be the fulcrum of all the teamÂ’s attacking moves and are why it may be interesting to try him in the deeper role if Barry and McCarthy are missing against West Ham.

I for one would love to see the pace and power of Barkley and Besic in the middle with the more precise EtoÂ’o playing behind the striker.

Tom Bowers
11 Posted 16/11/2014 at 15:11:55
Definitely not a good time to make this statement. Ross isnÂ’t even good enough to be the regular starter according to RM. Sure, the lad has talent and we all know that, but so did Rooney and Everton couldnÂ’t keep him long. Bale is another example.

These talented youngsterÂ’s know whatÂ’s out there and the lure of big money is sometimes too much to ignore, especially with the top European teams.

Ross has to prove himself a consistent performer if he is to achieve greatness. Just doing it in flashes doesnÂ’t cut it. Obviously we fans want him to start that process now so that he can help the Blues climb the table.

Jay Harris
12 Posted 16/11/2014 at 15:21:45
If a crazy comment like that invites ridicule from our own supporters, imagine what a field day others will have.

Ross is obviously a very talented footballer with others believing in him far more than he appears to himself but to suggest he will become EnglandÂ’s best ever is stretching the imagination.

Rooney was playing for England at 17 and winning things at 18. Alan Ball was Man of the Match in a World Cup Final at 21 years of age.

Please give up on the BS, Roberto, and let the football do the talking.

Trevor Lynes
13 Posted 16/11/2014 at 15:54:46
If fans on here do not want Roberto to praise the clubÂ’s assets, then they have never tried to get the best possible price for something they are selling. Every manager praises his players and they are always suggesting members of their team as sure fire internationals and worth vast sums.
Roger Helm
14 Posted 16/11/2014 at 16:16:58
It is ridiculous to compare Ross with Rooney. He obviously has great potential, but fulfilling it is another matter. For an attacking midfielder, he doesnÂ’t come up with enough assists and goals.
Jon Withey
15 Posted 16/11/2014 at 16:30:03
Just sounds like he wants to put the price up to me!

He does look like one of the better players of his generation for England – so I guess supply and demand makes him valuable.

They said Rooney was going to be as good as Pele. In fact I think even Pele said that.

It's a shame there is a need to write a players history before they have a chance to do it themselves. Leave it out, Roberto!

Alfonso Orlando
16 Posted 16/11/2014 at 16:40:46
Martinez has Everton playing quite simply the best football we have seen at Goodison since the mid 80s... actually credit where credit is due, the Europa campaigns Moyes ran were not too shabby, the Fiorentina game springs to mind (although we lost on penalties).

The season has been started in fits and starts – agreed, but that has a lot to do with pre-season/World Cup hangovers and injuries... Even so, we are not far off the pace for a top 5, even a top 4 place – we are going very strong in the Europa and have the FA Cup to aim at.

We signed a player for 㿈million.

WE SIGNED A PLAYER FOR 㿈MILLION...

WE... SIGNED... A... PLAYER... FOR... 㿈... MILLION

That player was a monster for us last season, and even though heÂ’s (according to this website) been playing a shocker, heÂ’s scored... with Naismith playing exceptionally well, and Barkley back on the fitness trail - and Mirallas coming back also...

Not to mention Coleman returning to full fitness, Oviedo back, Besic yet to be seen in full flow and McCarthy/Barry working it....

Let alone Stones...

Give Martinez a break. This team has been his for just over a season. Throw off the shackles of the negative mentality that Evertonians have adopted to make up for decades of under-achievement.

Barkley has been let loose, he is still learning, he is still growing... Rooney reached a peak extremely fast, then arguably plateaued... admittedly at a very high level.

Barkley is getting better, he will get better. And heÂ’s a Blue, on a long term contract.

I back Martinez the whole way. I donÂ’t subscribe to the negative, trash talking boo boys that hold their imaginations and dreams hostage to failure and a self defeating attitude in preparation for the pain you think Everton will feed you.

I support the club for moments like these. However fleeting they are, I support the manager for getting us to play the right way. The way we did against Arsenal last year, or Wolfsburg at home.

COYB...

Brent Stephens
17 Posted 16/11/2014 at 16:53:22
What a stupid thing to say.
Tim Greeley
18 Posted 16/11/2014 at 16:54:00
No pressure there, Ross!

How about he scores one single goal this season for us first...

Martin Mason
19 Posted 16/11/2014 at 17:07:51
We should bask in the satisfaction that as a club weÂ’ve developed this very talented young man into a very sought after International at such a young age. Even more that he only really wants to play for Everton, he really is a nice lad and a great asset for the club.
Anthony Lamb
20 Posted 16/11/2014 at 16:48:25
I am all for the power of positive thinking but when it becomes detached from reality it becomes unreal and in some cases patronising to those to whom it is addressed. I would suggest that Mr Martinez should be seeking some advice in this matter as this kind of statement – if true – does seem a little "over the top" to say the least.

I wonder if anyone there asked him what the evidence would be for making such a statement? So far, to the best of my knowledge Barkley has no experience whatsoever, of facing the best players on the European and World stages nor has he so far shown his capacity to dominate key areas of play on a consistent basis at club level. Of course the lad has potential and has shown glimpses of very great ability but to say that is the evidence for making statements about being "the greatest English player" etc is a little difficult to take seriously.

Charlton, Ball, Duncan Edwards, Moore, Finney and dozens more would have to be taken into the equation and at the moment, as others have already stated, Barkley still has a lot to prove at EvertonÂ’s level never mind anything beyond that. It is surprising to say the least that a man as intelligent as Mr Martinez can indulge in this kind of "greatest ever" nonsense.

Les Fitzpatrick
21 Posted 16/11/2014 at 17:16:34
I like Martinez but the statements he comes out with are an embarrassment for the club and the fans.

He sounds like a hyped-up double glazing salesman at times.

Not doing young players any favours by hyping them up like this Roberto... just chill, dude.

Pablo Connelly
22 Posted 16/11/2014 at 17:39:11
I think this is the clearest sign yet that Roberto fully expects a bid in the near future. He is basically telling them we don't want to sell publicly to not waste their time with anything less than a British record. That's my reading of it anyway.
Steve Guy
23 Posted 16/11/2014 at 17:58:15
What's RM supposed to say? "Nah, he's crap that lad can't wait for January so we can get rid."

I totally agree with RM. We have some amazing talent on our hands which if properly harnessed can bring regular European competition and a few trophies.

Far too many moaners on TW ready to seize on any positive comment from RM or his squad and tear him or them to pieces for it.

Dave Abrahams
24 Posted 16/11/2014 at 17:53:22
I agree with a lot of the views on here; on the other hand... maybe Martinez realises that Ross needs to believe how good he can become.

I know after his two spells at Sheffield Wednesday and Leeds Utd, he was really down and it took Alan Stubbs to give him a good talking to and Stubbs made Ross realise he had plenty to look forward to as a player.

Notice it was Stubbs and not Moyes who took the time to buck Barkley up.

Tony Dove
25 Posted 16/11/2014 at 18:22:57
I totally agree with what Roberto says about Ross but he probably should not have said it in public. If people prefer to watch the likes of Osman and Naismith instead of Ross that is up to them but someone of his ability does not come along very often. He will only improve and I for one will enjoy every minute he is in a blue shirt because it won't be for long.

Colin Glassar
26 Posted 16/11/2014 at 18:24:22
Spot on Steve. Ross was on the brink of breaking into the first team when he was 16/17 until he had that TRIPLE FRACTURE. After he recovered and got a few games in the first team OFM dropped him. So last season was his breakthrough season and I think he deserves a bit more time.
Joseph Clarke
27 Posted 16/11/2014 at 18:28:49
As John Lennon said when asked was Ringo the best drummer in the world, he said "He is not even the best drummer in the band."

Ross needs to become a good player for us before he can be thought of as great. If that ever happens...

Lenny Kingman
28 Posted 16/11/2014 at 18:36:21
Martinez is a zen master of superlatives – of that there is no doubt.

As a master of reality... not so good.

Peter Z Jones
30 Posted 16/11/2014 at 18:56:28
We can help him begin to justify these claims by fielding him behind the striker where he belongs. Let's start with that, Roberto.
Harold Matthews
31 Posted 16/11/2014 at 18:48:24
Sounds like he could be on his way. Definitely got a lot of Ya Ya Toure about him.
Eddie Dunn
32 Posted 16/11/2014 at 19:10:39
How can anyone take RM's superlatives seriously? I wish he would shut up and let the players show us what they can do on the pitch. Playing a few more games would do for starters!
Christopher Kelly
33 Posted 16/11/2014 at 19:33:04
Yet again, always more talk than action from Roberto. Stop talking and start delivering, please.

He's such a hype maestro, it's unbelievable. Barkley is nowhere near good enough yet to even be mentioned about "best of all time" please, Bobby. Get a grip!

Steve Chesters
34 Posted 16/11/2014 at 20:13:48
Bob, please just keep it zipped!!! What on earth is the point of making such inane statements? Quite frankly it’s an embarrassment.

Instead of putting unwanted pressure on Ross’s shoulders, you’d be better off trying to unload Alcaraz, Robles, Kone and McGeady. All rubbish, but hey you probably think they are all "amazing".

Jay Woods
35 Posted 16/11/2014 at 20:20:38
That's right, Martinez, embarrass us yet again in the media. Or is this part of the strategic plan to cash in on Barkley?
Brent Stephens
36 Posted 16/11/2014 at 20:35:01
Steve #23 "What's RM supposed to say? 'Nah, he's crap that lad can't wait for January so we can get rid.'"

No, the polar opposite isn't the only alternative. How about "one day he might become a very good England player"?

Colin Glassar
37 Posted 16/11/2014 at 20:40:35
Once again, a total over-the-top reaction by some on here. It was a stupid thing to say but everything he says the usual suspects come out and rip him apart anyway. Win, lose or draw, Martinez will have his haters who won't miss a chance to pull him down whatever he does or says.

I'd love Bobby to stay quiet during an interview or press conf to see what this lot would say. I imagine there would be outrage as he wouldn't give them anything to be outraged about.

Peter Gorman
38 Posted 16/11/2014 at 20:40:34
Exactly, Brent, it is weird how quick some people forget about the happy medium.
Kev Johnson
39 Posted 16/11/2014 at 20:56:13
"Best ever?" Roberto, mate, I love you to bits – but you need to lay off the bevvy.
Peter Gorman
40 Posted 16/11/2014 at 21:17:42
Bobby is high on brown boot polish.
Steve Guy
41 Posted 16/11/2014 at 21:55:45
Or Brent, you could just enjoy the fact that we have an enthusiastic manager who has a positive attitude. I swear... let's get one of the upteen dour managers there are out there who never crack a smile and downplay everything. No doubt you'd be happy then.....
Paul Burns
42 Posted 16/11/2014 at 22:13:28
Martinez talks some right shite but itÂ’s still not as bad as some of the whoppers on here talking about "big clubs" coming in for Barkley.

Too many of you fools have swallowed the Sky bullshit – hook, line and sinker and I bet you’re not even kids.

Chris Jones [Burton]
43 Posted 16/11/2014 at 22:43:40
Talking the lad-up in readiness for the January Sales, which are now just over 6 weeks away!
Kev Johnson
44 Posted 16/11/2014 at 23:02:46
I wonder to what extent players share "inside information" on their club team-mates who they are up against at international level? Presumably they do. So, Naisy will be telling his fellow Scots all about Ross (who looks set to start on Tuesday) and Jags (who doesn't); I'm talking strengths and weaknesses.

The net result is that when, for example, we play Man Utd Fletcher is going to be able to tell his club team mates how best to combat Ross. Of course, we had the same situation when Scotland met Ireland the other night.
It's a little bit of a problem if you ask me.

Although, a more obvious problem is that Tuesday's England v Scotland game is going to be a kickfest. Let's hope Ross doesn't get crocked or sent off.

Tom Bowers
45 Posted 16/11/2014 at 23:09:40
RM still has a lot to learn but is showing the right signs with the football Everton are trying to play. Ross is a great talent but also has a lot to learn and probably a lot of it is just the mental approach. I think he hasnÂ’t yet convinced himself how good he can become.

Everton have a few youngsters maturing at present and one has to believe that, in time, they will compliment the existing backbone of the team under the guidance of RM and his staff.

Personally, I think he was brought into the England set-up too soon and probably wouldnÂ’t have been under anyone but Hodgson who has made a lot of odd decisions since he took over.

Jason Heng
46 Posted 16/11/2014 at 23:47:23
What would Moyes have said if heÂ’s still in-charge? "The ladÂ’s defensive aspect of the game needs to be worked on..."
Harold Matthews
47 Posted 17/11/2014 at 00:14:11
Freak injuries have caused him to lose more than two years of competitive football. Can't see him being England's best ever but the lad is very special and has a great future ahead of him.
Terry Riley
48 Posted 17/11/2014 at 05:50:50
Sounds to me like a sales pitch.... Hope not though!
Pablo Connelly
49 Posted 17/11/2014 at 11:28:46
Considering England have been pretty poor since 1990, he would have been better served saying he has the potential to be best of the last 20 years. I don't think its too outrageous to say he'll do better than the likes of Gerrard and Lampard who are proven failures at national level. However to say he'll be the best ever kind of loses him credibility.

I think he's been at it today as well, I was walking through a supermarket this morning and I spotted the headline on the back of the Echo 'Martinez: McGeady can be up their with the greatest'. I couldnt bring myself to buy the paper as the headline made me feel too sick. Someone needs to have a word and get Roberto to tone it down

Ernie Baywood
50 Posted 17/11/2014 at 11:54:01
I hope the same for Ross but I can't say I "firmly believe it".

I love Bob's positive outlook but it might be starting to get to be too much.

Brent Stephens
51 Posted 17/11/2014 at 11:57:58
Steve #41 "Or Brent, you could just enjoy the fact that we have an enthusiastic manager who has a positive attitude."

You see, you're doing it again, Steve. Setting polar opposites as the only choice. The implication in what you say is that we can't enjoy an enthusiastic manager and criticise his comment about Barks. I enjoy his enthusiasm / positivity (love it) and don't like his comment about Barks. It's not difficult (therefore it must be easy!).

Nick Wall
52 Posted 17/11/2014 at 12:08:04
Just a thought: is it not possible that Martinez made the comment with one purpose only – to bolster Ross's self-belief at a time when he's struggling to make the starting line-up.

I get the impression that he's a firm believer in good player psychology.

Phil Walling
53 Posted 17/11/2014 at 12:24:37
Compare and contrast how many of the 50 Premier appearances Ross has made with those of Wayne Rooney in terms of impact and sheer quality.

Until Ross's decision-making reaches the level Rooney's was at five years younger, he can never be hailed as 'great' – even as an Everton player, let alone International.

But we all can hope he lives up to his manager's predictions.

Tony J Williams
54 Posted 17/11/2014 at 12:46:10
I'm all for bigging up our players but this is a tad too far.

Reminds my of that tool, O'Neill, bigging up "World Class" Ashley Young.

I know English isn't your first language, Bobby, but try and meet us in the middle, that would be phenomenal.

Brian Harrison
55 Posted 17/11/2014 at 13:09:16
I have no complaints about managers hyping their players ability to bolster their confidence. But going way over the top as RM has done in this case does nobody any favours.

We have already produced arguably England's best ever although many will put forward other alternatives. Rooney will in the next 12 months hold the record for England goals scored and probably most number of England caps won – now that sort of record allows you to be spoken of as best ever.

Ross for me is a long long way short of what Rooney was at a younger age, Rooney was a far more complete footballer at 16 than Ross is now, and far more consistent.

Colin Glassar
56 Posted 17/11/2014 at 13:32:09
Brian, I know what you're saying but if Rooney (on stats alone) becomes considered to be England's greatest ever player, then I think the likes of Sir Stanley Matthews, Nat Lofthouse, Bobby's Charlton and Moore, Gazza etc....will be spinning in their graves.

I'd even consider Hoddle and Waddle to be better players than Rooney. Rooney, IMO, reached his peak at 21 and then dipped and flat-lined after that, becoming a very able footballer but nowt special.

James Stewart
57 Posted 17/11/2014 at 13:53:27
Stones has the greater potential. He could be truly world class. Barkley needs to put a full solid season in to access how far he could go. Far too stop/start and inconsistent at the moment.
Brian Harrison
58 Posted 17/11/2014 at 14:33:59
Colin, I was lucky enough to see all the players you mentioned, and as I said, there will be many names that people claim as England's best. Mind, I don't think you helped your argument when you mentioned Waddle. What I said was that his record allows him to be classed as one of the best ever.

For me, three players you didn't mention could have been classed as possibly England's best. They would be Finney – a far better all round player than Mathews; Duncan Edwards – who would probably have gone on to be the best ever; and finally Jimmy Greaves – the best natural striker England ever had. His record for club and country can't be bettered by any other England International in goals per games played. His record was phenomenal:

Chelsea – 157 games; 124 goals
Spurs – 379 games; 266 goals
England – 57 games; 44 goals.

Colin Glassar
59 Posted 17/11/2014 at 14:47:11
Brian,I thought Waddle (on his day) was a brilliant player but that's beside the point.

My dad always used to go on about the great players of HIS youth, eg, Lawton, Milburn, Lofthouse, Matthews, Finney, Sagar etc... For some reason, he didn't rate Dixie too much (just a goalscorer in his opinion) and he didn't rate anyone who played after 1955 apart from Billy Liddell.

It must be a generation thing when so many 20-30 somethings think Maradonna is the greatest player of all time when we over 40's know quite well it was Pele closely followed by Cruyff and Alan Ball.

I expect in 20 years time the likes of Messi and Ronaldo will be mentioned and, hopefully for us, Ross Barkley as the greatest footballers of all time.

Phil Walling
60 Posted 17/11/2014 at 15:16:40
I never saw Matthews but most who did say Finney was the better, more consistent player. As for the others mentioned, none of them stand out as superior to Rooney although like with him they had good and bad days but not too many of the latter.

My old man always swore that the greatest England player ever was Duncan Edwards without any doubt. Apparently, he had a similar build to Ross but absolutely stood out whenever and for which ever team he played.

But we can never agree about 'greatness'. It depends on who we see and when. Nobody unassociated with Everton would put Ross in their Top 250 Ever. Yet.

Graham Mockford
61 Posted 17/11/2014 at 19:14:03
Colin,

I agree with Phil Walling (there, I've finally said it). Rooney is not the greatest England player ever but let's be honest, that is a pretty big accolade.

What is true, though: he has already had an outstanding career. He has always been burdened with unrealistic expectations that mean, because he hasn't become the best player in the world, he is somehow a failure.

His record speaks for itself and having seen them all, he is a much more effective player than Hoddle or Waddle ever were. And I know Gazza has been doing his best but neither he or Bobby Charlton have yet been laid to rest.

Colin Glassar
62 Posted 17/11/2014 at 19:26:59
I'm not saying Rooney is a bad player. I think Fergie damaged him by playing him all over the place and not giving him a settled role.
What I will say is that he's nowhere near the best English player I've ever seen. Charlton, Ball, Hoddle, Scholes, Robson are all better than Rooney IMO.
Andy Walker
63 Posted 17/11/2014 at 19:54:20
This is when having a spin doctor as a manager could pay off and we get an extra 㿀 mil for Barkley. Let's face it, based on this year's form, he's only worth a tenth of that.
Alfonso Orlando
66 Posted 18/11/2014 at 01:54:04
Astounding comments.

For 11 years we had a manager that beat us into believing that we should be happy with a top 10 finish... that our lot in life was to buy low and sell high, that we were a selling club. In ONE season, Martinez has us qualifying for Europe, and playing some of the best football our team has played in 25 years...

Memory serves, Rooney was a solo act for Everton. Good player, for sure, but Moyes had no team around him, and in fact we were a better team when we sold him – a more rounded team, a team that qualified for the Champions League via a 4th finish.

All those comments up here that deride Martinez for talking up our players, our home grown players, the blue bloods through and through – whether it’s to raise his confidence, or raise his price... good on you, Martinez, more so for playing positive, playing possession, and playing the passing game that The School of Science was all about.

Some of the comments on this thread are the real embarrassments to the club, not Martinez...

"I know English is not your first language Roberto..."

Seriously?Is that the best coherent argument you can put together? In English?

When Skies Are Grey... I guess...

Scott Jones
67 Posted 18/11/2014 at 18:35:29
Ross had a serious leg break at a time when he should have been learning the game... Of course he is far behind Rooney at a similar age!

RM is simply pushing Ross to fullfil his potential: If Ross buckles under that pressure we will all know one way or another (and very soon) if Ross has the minerals to be a top player. The best players in the world donÂ’t feel pressure, they respond to it, see it as a challenge!

RM has been clever. The bar has been set. Time for Ross to deliver; if not, we can unload him to the highest bidder. WhatÂ’s wrong with that?

Peter Gorman
68 Posted 18/11/2014 at 21:46:27
Ha! Ross can't even get a game for England so how can he become the greatest ever.

And why would Hodgson play him when he has the effervescent James Milner to terrorise the opposition?

Kieran Riding
69 Posted 18/11/2014 at 21:48:39
Lol.
He's just come on Peter.

That Rooney lad looks a player by the way.

Sam Hoare
70 Posted 18/11/2014 at 21:52:37
Terrible first few touches for Ross. It's like he's wearing an Everton shirt...
Patrick Murphy
71 Posted 18/11/2014 at 21:56:19
It's not good for a manager to have a go at an inexperienced player at International level. A bit of a quiet word away from the cameras would be a better way of getting your message across...

I mean how much can a player impress when he only gets five minutes of action? Roy is such an odd character, I think he must have had a few bob on tonight's match, rarely have I seen him so animated.

Colin Glassar
72 Posted 18/11/2014 at 22:02:37
Spot on Alfonso. Pathetic some of the stuff on here.

Patrick, Roy was bang out of order there. He puts the lad on with minutes to spare and then trashes him in front of the world after one mistake. Did he do the same to Sterling when the Scottish lad walked past him? Did he fuck!!

Geoff Evans
73 Posted 18/11/2014 at 21:59:55
He'd better start waking up soon then.
Peter Gorman
74 Posted 18/11/2014 at 22:25:50
Did he really play him? I switched off after I saw Lambert warming up.

If Roy slated him too then old flabby chest has sunk even further in my estimation and I can't stand the wizened old crone.

Brent Stephens
75 Posted 18/11/2014 at 22:30:32
Andy (#63) "This is when having a spin doctor as a manager could pay off and we get an extra 㿀 mil for Barkley."

Just play that one differently - Mourinho or whoever "bigs up" Lukaku (or whoever) so Roberto / Bill fall for it and we stump up 㿈m (or whatever). Are managers / chairmen that gullible? OK, they are at other clubs but not at EFC?!

Tony Hill
76 Posted 18/11/2014 at 23:25:36
Hodgson has a problem with Barkley for some reason. Ross is erratic, as we know, but this manager of proven mediocrity slapped him down immediately after the Ecuador game in the Summer where he had been excellent and he shows no feel for what the player can contribute.

Anyway, I hope this fires the young man up for West Ham which is all I care about.

Max Wilson
77 Posted 19/11/2014 at 09:55:49
Take the money and run.
Graham Mockford
78 Posted 19/11/2014 at 10:59:43
Anyone else got this nagging doubt he might not end up as good as we all hope.

He undoubtedly has ability to do things on a football pitch beyond the the reach of most players and therein lies the problem. When something goes right, it is inevitably eye-catching and gives the media column inches or post match discussion on MotD. That's the nature of what they do, hyping young players.

But can we honestly say he has dominated games on a consistent basis? I thought he had three very good games last year: Liverpool home, Swansea away and Arsenal away. Interspersed with these we're some magical moments but also some dross.

Yes, he's just about to turn 21 and you would hope that consistency comes with age but at the moment 㿞m would represent value for what is still only potential.

Ultimately it's a punt. The sensible route would be take the money now and reinvest. That's comes with some risk that he develops and in two years he might be worth twice that.

However, if he does mature into even the best midfield player in England, the lure of a top European club will be irresistible for both club and player.

Tony Hill
79 Posted 19/11/2014 at 12:59:34
I don't disagree, Graham, though I would add the Man City game to your list. I am also worried that he is vulnerable to injury and if we got a silly offer then I suspect it will be taken. That said, he sometimes does look wonderful and I would like to see how he goes this season if he stays free of injury.
Peter Gorman
80 Posted 19/11/2014 at 17:15:57
Tony has nailed it really, we have to see how he is this season once he is fully match fit and injury free. He could have many ups and downs or he could kick on to be something better than last season; impossible to judge just yet.

I would add games against Newcastle to Graham's list. It is certainly true that he is not dictating games with the same consistency of the truly great but I am reminded of many far more hyped players also being inconsistent at his young age.

I am certain of one thing; the better he gets, the more media attention he will get, and the harder it will be to explain away that weird puffing thing he does with his cheeks.


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