Barry: Barkley can emulate England's best

by | 24/09/2015  54 Comments  [Jump to last]
Gareth Barry believes Ross Barkley can be as good as compatriots Frank Lampard and Steven Gerrard if he can maintain consistency in his game.

Having already surpassed his scoring tally of last season with three goals in all competitions, the 21-year-old is making headlines again after enduring a disappointing 2014-15. His veteran team-mate was asked how he feels Barkley compares to those two England stalwarts and whether he has the potential to match their achievements for club and country.

"Ross has got all the potential to become as good as them," the 34-year-old said. "He's got everything that they had, to match their ability, but the one thing he's going need is consistency: performing, scoring goals, assisting on a regular basis.

"Those two players you mentioned did that for 10, 12 years in the Premier League, so that's the target.

"Ross has got all the ability to go on and be a really top player. He's obviously still young so he's still learning certain parts of the game. He's got the manager here that's really trying to find the right position for him to flourish.

"He showed in his first season how good he is, and how consistent he can be; last season was a bit up and down, a massive learning curve for him, so I'm not surprised this year he's really kicked on again."

As Barkley struggled last term to match the form of his breakout year in 2013-14, the debate around him has often centred around his best role in the team. The Wavertree-born Toffee has looked more dangerous coming from a more withdrawn role than his erratic deployments last season so it's no surprise that Barry feels that is where he is more effective in Roberto Martinez's team.

"I think he's a lot better coming from deeper," Barry continued. "Probably not in 'the hole' at the moment, it's a tough position and he's probably still young to be going in there, so the role he's playing at the moment with James [McCarthy] and myself has certainly been suiting him this season.

"It'd have been a learning curve not just for Ross but the manager using him last season, he was stuck out wide sometimes, played in the hole, played deeper, so it's tough for a young player to settle down and play to your strengths when you're not getting a run in one position.

For Ross mainly, last year was a big learning curve, and I think we're reaping the rewards now."  


Reader Comments (54)

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Steven Jones
1 Posted 24/09/2015 at 06:48:43
Deeper role definitely as he can face the front rather than have his back to goal. Gives him the options to go left right for passing and his hallmark driving runs either way.

As for comparing him with Gerard and Lampard, it's that they were consistent in the league, especially Lampard, but for England they had limitations in tournament football when something brilliant to unlock defences and calmness on the ball are required.

Ross has the assets to go much further in the international arena and make a difference in tournaments. Interesting to watch him unfold.

I was at Reading this week and he stood out a mile along with Deulofeu.

Colin Glassar
2 Posted 24/09/2015 at 07:53:01
I've never doubted Ross. Last season with injuries, loss of confidence/form and being played all over the place he was murdered on here by some. I was really fearful for his future as it must be hard for a local kid to hear all those groans every time you make a mistake on the pitch.

This is a great piece by Barry and it shows that he knows what he's talking about. Managerial potential?

Paul Cherrington
3 Posted 24/09/2015 at 09:13:49
I agree that Ross is doing really well so far this season and looking the player we all knew he could be. I think he suits a deeper role too but, with the platform of people around him to do the defensive work, that lets him have the freedom to play.

Where I disagree is on the comparison to Fat Frank and Stevie Me – he has far more ability than those idiots and it's highly insulting to Ross to hold them up as examples of how far he can go. They were that good, they failed at every major tournament they went too?!

Mark Andersson
4 Posted 24/09/2015 at 11:01:58
Great article and Barry's form has been excellent this season. Hope Ross continues his form and progress.

I don't think Ross has the same arrogance as Stevi me. If managed right over the next few seasons he will become a top player.

Hope he has a blinder and scores the winner when we face the shite, he will then become a hero.

Tony Abrahams
5 Posted 24/09/2015 at 11:07:58
If Ross had Gerard's drive and determination he could become one of the best players in the world, quite easily.

He's still making mistakes, but he's getting on the ball, a lot more at the minute, which doesn't give him time to dwell on those mistakes as much.

Take Naismith's last goal against Chelsea, no way Barkley would have created that at the start of this season. He had just made a couple of bad decisions but it didn't stop him wanting the ball.

The play that created that goal was brilliant, as was Barkley's performance at Swansea on Saturday. They couldn't live with him at times, which can only do the part of his game which needs improving the most, the world of good.

CONFIDENCE AND BELIEF, ROSS, BECAUSE YOU HAVE GOT ALL THE ABILITY IN THE WORLD.

I often wonder if Ross, is Phil Walling's alias, because now he's playing well, we haven't got Martinez getting slaughtered every day on ToffeeWeb!!!

Ciaran Duff
6 Posted 24/09/2015 at 11:18:17
Just shows the value of patience and development of young players.

Also very impressed with comments made by Barry in general (not just here). Seems an intelligent guy and player.

Terence Leong
7 Posted 24/09/2015 at 12:11:52
Technique on the ball, Ross is superior to Gerrard and Lampard. What the other two guys have in abundance is belief and drive. Thus, when Barkley gets the same kind of confidence and drive, he will do better than those two guys.

Gerard's long range passing is better, and is able to take the game by the scruff of the neck. Lampard doesn't so much drive the team on in the same way as Gerrard. In fact, I think both guys do not really contribute as much assist. Rather they go for goals.

Ross has more in his locker. Ross is developing his guile to make the final pass, and that's good for him.

The other two strike the ball with very little backlift, while Lampard is also able to curl the ball a little. Ross is still raw in that (plenty of high balls), but the fundamentals are getting better. At the same time, Ross is also able to curl the ball like Beckham, which means that he is able to vary his shots with both power and finesse. Lampard's curlers are limited, and as such his shots are more than not arrowed into his targets.

Thus, I really believe that Ross can exceed the other two guys. I just hope that it's with us, ie, winning things.

Nick Entwistle
8 Posted 24/09/2015 at 13:19:24
The moment those other two footballers were mentioned I stopped reading. Anyway, completely different kind of player.
Anthony Lamb
9 Posted 24/09/2015 at 13:52:17
Barry was responding to a question that brought up the names of Gerard and Lampard. He is hardly likely to respond with "he will never be as good as either of those two" is he?

Naturally he talks about the need for Barkley to continue his learning curve and to apply himself with consistency. But this "comparison" fetish seems absurd. As Nick (6) mentions, already one can see that Barkley appears to be in a different mould to the other two.

Even though we are Evertonians and hope Barkley develops into a truly effective player, we do have to keep a sense of perspective. At club level at Everton he certainly has a lot to live up to if he is to be ranked alongside G and L.

He will be exceptional if he gets anywhere near Lampard's goal scoring record as I doubt he will be in such dominant teams as Lampard enjoyed for the majority of his career. Much as it may grieve me to admit it, if he wins as many games as Gerard did to drag mediocre teams to wins they would never have achieved without him, then of course we will all be delighted.

A local yardstick in this respect would be that when the whole of Anfield erupts with joy at the sight of Barkley having to go off injured in a Derby then we can rest assured that he has well and truly made it! Until then let the lad develop and let the yardstick be "Is this the best that ROSS BARKLEY can be?"

Terry Aylward
10 Posted 24/09/2015 at 13:57:16
Love him or hate him, Gerrard in his prime was a fantastic player. If Ross can emulate him, Everton could really go places... but then I suppose the Sky Four will move in.
Erik Dols
11 Posted 24/09/2015 at 14:20:52
Terry, I loved Gerrard when he slipped up...

To draw further on the comparison: Gerrard played for a team not in the Sky Four* and withstood heavy pressure to move to Chelsea. Never did it. I would be more than happy to see Barks emulate him both as a player and as club loyalty goes.

*OK, in all honesty, that lot probably was part of the Sky Four before Man City was taken over by Arabs.

Nick Entwistle
12 Posted 24/09/2015 at 14:25:44
Terry, I don't care how 'fantastic' he was, a fantastic player doesn't dive and get players sent off. It may be the norm now, but that doesn't change.

How has he got honoured? Why would someone the majority of football fans dislike get something for services to football? Maybe in Norway he can pick up a gong, but not here.

Teddy Bertin
13 Posted 24/09/2015 at 15:10:25
What are you talking about Paul? How can comparisons to Lampard and Gerrard be "highly insulting"? They were top players.

I hate Stevie G but he won Liverpool the Champions League Fnal almost single handedly and was a fantastic player in his day. I hate Chelski but Frank is one of the most prolific goalscoring midfielders that has ever lived. If Ross goes on to achieve with us what they achieved then we're laughing. In fact, if Ross went on to score half the goals for us, that Lampard got for Chelsea, then he would be our all-time top scorer in the Premier League. If he scored half!

We all know they didn't do it for England but neither did Le Tissier or countless others, that doesn't mean that it's insulting to Ross to hold them up as examples of great players.

What's positive is that Ross already looks more confident and exciting on the ball for England than Frank and Stevie Me ever did.

Dave Abrahams
14 Posted 24/09/2015 at 15:17:39
Ross seems to be happier playing this season; the happier he gets and the more he is enjoying playing football, the better he will become. He's still making plenty of mistakes, but it is not bothering him, he's just getting on with his game; long may it continue.

The only sad side to that is, the more he improves, the less chance we have of keeping him.

Jimmy Salt
15 Posted 24/09/2015 at 16:17:52
It is odd that Mr Walling can never get to his keyboard when we are doing well.
I can accept people wanting to air their views when things go wrong but true blues always give credit when it's due.
Dave Ganley
17 Posted 24/09/2015 at 17:24:14
A sense of perspective is needed here. As some others have said, Gerrard and Lampard were top top players and I would be ecstatic if Ross got anywhere near them in terms of club football. England I couldn't really care less about, as the players for most part can't either.

Ross does seem to have much more belief in himself as opposed to last season where he couldn't seem to do much right. One thing that he does need to work on is his tunnel vision. As last season, when he starts driving at the opposition with the ball at his feet he doesn't seem to be aware of players either side of him and invariably makes the wrong decision. I hope that he picks this up as he grows into the season and progress as he is doing at the moment.

Ross has all the capabilities to also be a top top player but lets not get carried away and build him up only to slaughter him like last season when he makes mistakes. He is not the new Gerrard or Lampard, he is Ross who hopefully will do extraordinary things for Everton if we have patience in him.

Ged Simpson
18 Posted 24/09/2015 at 17:33:20
The best thing we could do is stop giving interviews that pile up pressure on the lad.

How good he will be? ...god knows. Still early days

Stephen Brown
19 Posted 24/09/2015 at 17:46:40
Ross is playing well. I hope he keeps it up but please no more fancy predictions as they are a stick to beat him with! The same with young Stones!

Best player England ever produced! Better than Ballack!! Stones is the best defender in the World! Better than Ferdinand!

Let them play and go easy on the OTT predictions!

Patrick Murphy
20 Posted 24/09/2015 at 18:08:09
We are a strange group us Evertonians, we dislike it when our players and team are ignored we also dislike it nearly as much when our players or team get plaudits from fellow professionals or team-mates.

I remember when crease-head and every other player with potential that played for our lovable friends across the park were being hyped up by their peers to such an extent that one or two of them began to believe the hype, more importantly their opponents started to believe it too and gave them far more respect than they possibly deserved at the time.

We really must get out of this doom-mongering habit that we have imbued ourselves with over the last 3 decades as the glass-half full way of thinking hasn't helped us for the most part. Isn't it about time we started to big our own players up and tell all and sundry that we have at least two young talents to be proud of? If we don't show how much we admire our young talents who else is going to bang the drum for them?

Dave Ganley
21 Posted 24/09/2015 at 19:09:14
To be honest, Patrick, we haven't had an awful lot to bang the drum about for at least the last 20 years. I would love to be able to shout from the rooftops and big-up our players if only they could back it up with consistent performances on the pitch. Martinez tried that last season and all he succeeded in doing was making a fool of himself as most of the players he tried to big-up flopped dismally.

Other clubs manage to get away with hyping their players up because they perform on the pitch week after week. Stevie Me being the perfect example. Old creasehead didn't get that reputation by playing okay in a couple of games. He did it over many years.

I believe we have real talent in the club and Barkley, Stones, Galloway, Coleman, Deulofeu et al, all have the potential to ultimately take us to another level but at the moment; potential is the operative word. Let them develop without all the hype and when they start getting us in the position of reaching finals, winning trophies and qualifying for Europe every season then I shall start shouting and hyping them up till the cows come home. Until then, let them reach potential without putting undue pressure on them and not give them the opportunity to believe their own hype before they are ready, as appeared to have happened last season.

Andrew Laird
22 Posted 24/09/2015 at 19:15:27
Scholes is the benchmark for an English midfielder; Lampard was a less mobile Gerrard with much better technique. Barkley is like none of them but could be in the mould of a surging Paul Gascoigne.

Teddy (#12), Matt Le Tissier had far more technique and footballing ability than Gerrard and Lampard but because he was deemed "lazy" he didn't get anywhere near the amount of caps (8) that a "finger-pointing, Mr dead average, runs around a lot, utility player" like Phil Neville (59) did.

This, for me, is a major reason the English national team is absolute bobbins; it has never known what to do with players who have flair and brilliance but don't look busy. Glenn Hoddle has 6 caps less than Neville, for god's sake!!

Colin Glassar
23 Posted 24/09/2015 at 19:20:01
Ross just needs a bit of the devil in him to reach the next level. He's got everything else bar experience.
Patrick Murphy
24 Posted 24/09/2015 at 19:20:43
Dave (#19),

I agree with you to an extent... but, even having Stevie Me in their side couldn't prevent Everton finishing above his team on a couple of occasions. Nor did it lead to a cascade of trophies heading their way in the last eight or nine years.

I just wish we'd stop playing second-fiddle to our neighbours because it seems to have become our rightful place; it isn't and we have to start believing we have good players and a good team. Whether that results in a higher finishing position or a trip to Wembley, we won't know until the season's end but we must stop undermining our own because our neighbours and the media say it must be so.

Nigel Gregson
25 Posted 24/09/2015 at 19:22:04
The only thing Barkley needs to learn from any of them (especially Gerrard) is the influence, determination and fight required to win games when not playing well, or when behind. Otherwise, he is as good as the rest.
Andrew Laird
26 Posted 24/09/2015 at 19:35:30
Patrick#22 Absolutely spot on regarding the ridiculous lauding of players who really were nowhere near as good as they were portrayed. Some Liverpool fans think creasehead was the best player Liverpool have ever had, better than Dalglish, which is laughable. Raheem Sterling is the new darling, he looks to me like another one footed Walcott, who if he lost his pace he would offer very little. The media will tell you he is good enough for Barcelona.

Stevie Me has spent most of his career diving and smashing long diagonal "Hollywood" balls straight out for a throw in, I have never heard one commentator ever highlight it. He was THE reason why England were once again knocked out in Brazil yet got a free ride from his bumchums in the media. Use your own eyes people, we have a potentially fantastic player on our books and he is already two-footed. I am excited at just how good he can become in Everton blue.

Jay Harris
27 Posted 24/09/2015 at 19:56:35
Why people feel the need to say he is another Joe Bloggs is beyond me.

I remember Martin Murray coming over from Ireland being lauded as the next George Best. That soon blew over.

Ross is a special player, unique in his own way and we should not be heaping expectations on his shoulders for now.

Let's just be happy that he is a special talent and an Evertonian to boot.

David Greenwood
28 Posted 24/09/2015 at 20:20:17
Great posts Patrick. We need to stand up and and be counted, show people who we are.
Ian Bennett
29 Posted 24/09/2015 at 20:21:54
Colin 21 - a bit of devilment? He's guilty of bottling challenges at times, and has long way to go in putting his body on the like Gerrard.
Oliver Molloy
31 Posted 24/09/2015 at 21:09:45
Colin @ 21 and Ian @ 27.

I agree with both of you, but would have to side with Ian as I don't believe we will ever see Ross getting stuck in like Gerrard did.

He's just not that type of player and his injury from a few years back looks like it may have had a psychological effect on him.

I do think he will grow even stronger and learn how to look after himself even more but not to the extent as you say putting his body on the line.

Not so long ago, I was saying on here I just couldn't see what other fans and football people were raving about; although it's early days into the season, I am starting to believe the hype!

Tom Bowers
32 Posted 24/09/2015 at 21:28:08
The undoubted talent we all know about but alas last season he was so inconsistent and somewhat lacking in confidence.

I was surprised that there was no transfer interest from other clubs during the Summer as there was for Sterling who quite honestly is no better than Ross as a player.

However, this season, he seems to be finding that maturity and with it the confidence to do the things that will benefit himself, the team and the fans for years to come.

Colin Glassar
33 Posted 24/09/2015 at 21:43:39
Just what I was thinking Oliver. I think Ross does indeed pull out of tackles with his career threatening injury in mind. I don't blame the lad as another similar injury could mean the end of his career.

We will have to accept that the full-blooded tackling just won't be part of his armoury.

Tony Abrahams
34 Posted 24/09/2015 at 21:54:13
Patrick (#22),

I totally agree with you regarding us and them. It's got to change, especially considering how shite they are at the minute.

I remember coming out of the Stadium of Light after we beat Sunderland, to claim a semi-final place against Liverpool at Wembley. I was amazed at our support that night, and felt it was so special, because we all wanted to play those bastards, and beat them in a really big game.

IF ONLY DAVID MOYES AND THE PLAYERS HAD FELT THE SAME.

you will only become the best if you truly believe. Talent alone will never be good enough, Ross Barkley!

Oliver Molloy
35 Posted 24/09/2015 at 22:04:46
Tony @ 31.

One of the biggest disappointments in recent games against them for me. We had the beating of their team but through the manager showed a complete lack of courage and belief on the day.

As soon as they equalised, there was only ever going to be one winner. Even thinking about it now makes me angry. That was the day that I really turned on Moyes.

Ernie Baywood
36 Posted 24/09/2015 at 23:44:46
Gerrard and Lampard were very different players. Ross is a different player again. The comparison made by Barry is more to do with their years at the top, influence, and goal record... if Ross can go close to that then he will have done very well.

I think it's natural for us to want more urgency and drive from Ross but we shouldn't get sucked into thinking he should be an all-action midfielder just because of his size, look and background. You don't need to throw yourself into challenges to be a top player; you have your influence where it is most valuable.

Comparison with Lampard might be more appropriate than Gerrard but he might be better compared with a Le Tiss, Scholes or Sheringham in time?

Can't wait to see his development. Needs to really find his true position soon.

David Donnellan
37 Posted 24/09/2015 at 00:02:32
As some have said, Barkley will never be a Gerrard sliding tackle kind of player, but Gerrard couldn't glide past players with such grace and little effort.

I guess they're totally different players beyond comparison, Ross is certainly better technically than Gerrard. If he realises his potential, what a player he could be!

Talking about them, I hope they keep Brenda on a little longer, if they do, surely we should beat them in the derby and comfortably. They are shite at the moment and they haven't got Stevie Me or Rat boy to bail them out anymore. There is nobody on their side to fear, Coutinho is a decent player but he is far from a Suarez!

Can't wait for the derby, hopefully Ross will continue in the same vein he has started this season & really turn it on against them in front of the Goodison faithful! COYB!
Dave Ganley
38 Posted 25/09/2015 at 09:13:43
Patrick (#23), I'm not trying to play second fiddle to the RS. Certainly in recent years we have had a side that, on paper at least, has been much better than them. I understand that we shouldn't be in their shadow and I certainly don't consider that we are and I'm also not trying to undermine our players.

If you look at our recent past when we have bigged-up the players and expected to win the big games (for example the semi-final against the RS, derby games at the khazi across the park etc), we have failed miserably. All I was saying is that we should have a sense of perspective about the current players who, whilst they have a bundle of talent, have only delivered for a few games, so give them a bit of breathing space to deliver on a regular basis before making them out to be the next big thing.

At Everton, we seem to have this horrible habit of shooting ourselves in the foot after expectations levels have soared and we end up with what happened last season to poor Barkley. If we give the lad a chance to prosper without all the expectation heaped on his shoulders then he may relax a bit and fulfil his potential. Then we may be able to cheer him to the rafters and he will be mature enough to cope with all the accolades that he was seemingly unable to cope with last season.

Paul Cherrington
39 Posted 25/09/2015 at 09:47:08
Teddy @13,

I respect your opinion but I have to disagree sorry. Lampard and Creasehead were not top players; they looked good in the Premier League as it is a poor league in terms of technique and they had lots of better players around them to make them look good.

Top players go to World Cups and make a mark, like Gascoigne or Maradona, not fall on their ares like those two did repeatedly. The only reason they got their hyped up reputation was cos of who they played for and being media darlings.

I think it's sad if the ambition for Ross is to grow up into a cheating, diving twat, like Gerrard, or a inflated weeble, wobbling round the pitch, like Lampard.

Peter Roberts
40 Posted 25/09/2015 at 11:27:17
Barkley is for some reason always going to attract boos and groans from some fans who couldn't even begin to understand the talent this lad has.

If Ross controls a simple pass, looks up and plays it 10 feet to McCarthy, you hear fans groan. The same fans may applaud Lukaku for doing the same thing – instead of shinning the control and passing to one of their players. I really do not understand that.

I have always seen talent as the key component in football – when combined with application and decision-making, you are talking business. Application and decision-making can be taught – talent can't.

Barkley would never be the player we are seeing today if Moyes had a hold of him, or fans continued to get on his back. Or Hodgson for that matter continued with his victimisation of the player. Barkley was at risk of becoming the Goodison version of Old Trafford's Cleverley.

Personally I'm made up that both players have shut the mouths up of people who have some innate jealousy.

Let's hope the fans who were giving Barkley a hard time can use their "vocal" disapproval to reach the ears of the club record signing who seems to think he is above criticism and working hard for the team. Maybe then we will see this team really achieve something.

Tony J Williams
42 Posted 25/09/2015 at 13:12:14
Peter, Moyes left over two seasons ago so we have no idea at all what he would have done with Barkley. Not too sure why so many things lead back to a manager that has nothing to do with us and hasn't for years and ultimately it's simply pie in the sky opinionating.

The problem with me about Barkley is his very poor decision-making, it hasn't really improved that much over the last season and a bit.

I was groaning at his performance against Watford but if he ends up as good as or better than Stevie Me Laaaa (No forehead) I will be more than happy. As much as I hated him, he was one hell of a player.

Bring on the derby, they have no-one who knows what it's really about, I just hope we don't shit ourselves as usual.

Ged Simpson
43 Posted 25/09/2015 at 13:51:26
I think you are right, Tony J, that the lad's decision-making needs to improve and I think it will.

As for Peter's point re moaning fans getting on his back. Well name one current player who hasn't had that. Even St Stones has!

We can watch the same run of games and come away with completely different heroes and villains.

And it will always be so!

Peter Roberts
44 Posted 25/09/2015 at 16:02:28
Seriously lads – decision-making?! He has more permutations to process than any other player on the pitch. That is why players in his role take some years to mature - decision-making isn't necessary a gift, its a process of experiencing various outcomes under different scenarios

He isn't going to to become good at this till he has been through the process of understanding percentages.

He is (as we are reminded about Rom) only 22. Thing is we aren't waiting for him to learn how to do a fundamental technique like control a ball that he should have learned by 16, we are watching him go through the "learning" process that Ronaldo, Bale, Gascoigne, Zidane, all had to go through. Nothing to do with ability – just merely learning when and what to do.

David Pearl
45 Posted 25/09/2015 at 21:42:56
The jury is still out on Barkley. Last season he was atrocious (though not alone) when he constantly choose the wrong option. However, he has really started to shine the last few games.

It's still too early but he is looking a lot better, his confidence is growing and he seems more aware of what and who is around him prior to receiving the ball. His form will dip again though, he is that kind of player. It's still another year or two before we will know his level.

Actually you could say the same thing about Lukaku and Deulofeu. The player currently impressing me the most is Brendan Galloway. Who, surprisingly has a song already. Poor Leighton Baines (I always sung his name to The Ace of Spades).

David Pearl
46 Posted 25/09/2015 at 21:57:11
Seriously, Peter, decision-making! It's not something you can necessarily teach. It's to do with instinct and confidence.
Peter Roberts
47 Posted 26/09/2015 at 09:38:31
Sounds like the cliched description for a young prolific "fearless striker" there David. Decision-making = hit target.

The thing is, Barkley is doing the Zidane role. The player rejected by Blackburn and Newcastle.

Wonder how Zidane managed to become such a wonderful player without the decision-making required to do such a role. Because clearly he didn't have it when he was sold by Bordeaux for a few million. After all, if it's instinct and confidence, then he should have always been great.

Funny isn't it, it's acceptable for Stones to learn from making bad decisions. Unlucky Barkley, seems he is inheriting Osman's homegrown boo-boy tag.

David Pearl
48 Posted 26/09/2015 at 18:20:50
I think Barkley has deserved some of the groans. I'm certainly not one of those that wanted Osman to get injured just so that he didn't play. Hibbert too improved a lot later in his career with his passing and was somewhat underrated. Barkley was very wasteful against Spurs...

Anyway, the point is it's just a wait and see really isn't it. Not get carried away by a couple displays, good or bad. We have a young team – keep them together and we never know. I think the new Sky money will allow clubs to keep their best players a lot easier that a season or two ago.

Andy Meighan
49 Posted 26/09/2015 at 19:04:16
Tony (#39), that's the thing though, isn't it; we will shit ourselves against them. We always do because we are shit-scared of them... Why? One only knows... They're a very average side but their record in derbies is second to none whereas ours is atrocious: 6 years nearly since we last beat them.

I'm ashamed of that stat, and I see they've got Sturridge back; he's got history against us. He's only played one and a half league games and is already on the same league goal tally as the vastly overrated Lukaku. I think a lot of people are expecting us to roll them over; I'm sorry but I'm not one of them. They just seem to love playing at Goodison.

Obviously I'd be over the moon if we done them but I'm never confident against them. Having said all that, let's get WBA out of the way and concentrate on them. I just hope they play a strong side on Thursday.

Harold Matthews
50 Posted 26/09/2015 at 21:48:43
Terrific talent but he'll never be allowed to run the show for England.
Peter Roberts
51 Posted 27/09/2015 at 09:32:10
Depends whether a footballing Victorian like Roy Hodgson is manager.

If we had a Robson, Venables or Hoddle he would alongside stones be considered first names on the sheet.

Dennis Stevens
52 Posted 27/09/2015 at 11:01:24
If Robson was manager, Ross would get occasional appearances, mainly out of position wide right. Exactly as he did with Hoddle, when he should have built the team around him as France did with Platini. Brian Glanville was spot on when he described Robson as The Somnambulist.
Nick Entwistle
53 Posted 27/09/2015 at 12:01:48
What the hell is a somnambulist?

Colin Glassar
54 Posted 27/09/2015 at 12:17:44
Dennis, Robson was our best manager since Sir Alf.
Peter Gorman
55 Posted 27/09/2015 at 12:29:58
Nick, a sleepwalker.

How did the blonde know she was a somnambulist?....
She kept waking up in her own bed (waka waka waka)

Ernie Baywood
56 Posted 27/09/2015 at 21:46:27
Given Hoddle has had a couple of mentions, maybe his thoughts are appropriate for this thread.

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sport/football/article-3250479/Everton-star-Ross-Barkley-course-perfect-10-England.html

I think he echoes what many of us are saying.

Mike Dolan
57 Posted 28/09/2015 at 17:25:47
It does not get the coverage it deserves but Everton have quietly put together potentially three world class players in Barkley, Stones and Deulofeu.

Plus, I still hold out great hope for Lukaku. Plus the phalanx of impressive young pros like Galloway, Browning, Garbutt and the likes of Holgate, Jones, Rodriguez, Ledson who all seem sure to make the first team sooner rather than later.

The future looks great. I can't remember the future looking better. Exciting times.

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