The England manager has indicated that he will be selecting his strongest available XI in both games as he begins final preparations for Euro2016 but despite a man-of-the-match display against Estonia and a scoring outing in Lithuania, Hodgson says Barkley will have to keep playing his way into contention for a starting berth.
Citing the player's inexperience and decision-making, Hodgson ignored the clamour to play Barkley at the World Cup last year, leaving it until the dead rubber against Costa Rica to give him a start, and he has played the 21-year-old sparingly until this month.
Two impressive displays have finally moved the former Liverpool boss to praise Barkley more fulsomely but when asked if it was important to see how the Blues midfielder fares against two strong footballing teams in next month's friendlies, Hodgson said he didn't think so.
“No, he will play if I feel he is deserving of a place in what I consider to be our best team," he said, "because I will be picking teams to play against Spain and France that I consider to be the best 11 of the moment.
“There’s a lot of football between now and then and we follow all our players very closely. There will be lots of reports and lots of sightings. Ross will have to continue doing well for Everton and continue to show that this is a player that deserves to be one of the first names on the England team-sheet, like he has shown he is one of the first names on Everton team-sheet. So it’s entirely up to him.
“He has certainly not done his cause any harm. All you can do when you are given a chance to play for England is to go out against whoever that opponent may be and do it very well. And if you do that, you get yourself in the forefront of the manager’s mind."
Hodgson acknowledged that Barkley's increasing confidence, freedom and maturity at club level is helping his case at international level and given that there are no international games between now and the trip to Spain, it's his form at Goodison that will have the most bearing on whether he makes the next England team.
“He has taken on board all of the advice he is given from his manager and coaching staff and, when he comes to England, the work we try to do with him. Basically, he is aligning that coaching advice to his enormous talent and we are seeing the benefit of it.
"He is not always going to score spectacular goals and dribble past people as if they are not there, and against better opposition he will find that harder as well. But I think he is balancing his decision-making in a way that we think is very, very good and I am sure Roberto MartĂnez agrees with me.”
Quotes sourced from The Guardian
Reader Comments (51)
Note: the following content is not moderated or vetted by the site owners at the time of submission. Comments are the responsibility of the poster. Disclaimer
1 Posted 13/10/2015 at 23:55:50
2 Posted 14/10/2015 at 00:19:44
In my view, he comes across as a man who who has built up a "good egg", reputation, but, in reality, is a blustering oul bastard.
3 Posted 14/10/2015 at 02:15:22
To be honest, I would sooner have seen Sam Alladyce or 'Appy 'Arry in there – at least their teams have some blood and guts about them, even if they are not pretty to watch. The capitulation at the World Cup was no one else but Hodgson's fault and; he got to keep his job.
If we get a good manager after this twat has gone to the retirement home (promoted to the FA executive), then we have a half-decent crop of young players coming through, untainted by the dour performances of the Gerrard - Lampard era, but another early exit from a tournament will happen before he moves on... god, it's depressing.
4 Posted 14/10/2015 at 03:54:41
5 Posted 14/10/2015 at 05:05:39
These are very encouraging words for we Evertonians to hear, given that one of the main criticism of Ross' performances in the past has been his poor decision making as to when to pass and when to dribble etc.
The lad seems to be "coming of age", which is great for us.
6 Posted 14/10/2015 at 05:22:37
Not watching a dire England and seeing Hodgson bring him on with ten to go hoping he will change a game and slagging him off if he puts a foot wrong and me worrying he may get injured.
England are boring and I agree with David Hallwood... except Welbeck will be shoe-horned in on the left. USELESS.
7 Posted 14/10/2015 at 05:23:41
In an alternate universe ...
I think England need to get back to that feeling we had in '86, '90 and '96, when England – and the fans – believed we could win it and we went out to win and played with some real belief and purpose. We even got pretty close / did quite well in 86 and 90, and 96 was quite fun. And then the Premier League began to succeed in dominating everything.
If a change in attitude for England can come from key Everton players becoming supremely confident and playing with class, ease and a little swagger at club level, even better for us I think.
Aside: I watched some clips of Gascoigne in his pomp last night. He was good, but the game was very different; defences are much tighter now, and mistakes get highlighted on TV from 7 angles and in four different slow motion speeds, on 24/7 rotation. Gazza did some pretty stupid stuff even in his prime, if you remember.
I like what Phil McNulty at the BBC has been saying recently – it's time to stop focusing on what Barkley doesn't do, and to focus on what he does do and does very well (like Worthington, Bowles, McKenzie, Gazza, Hoddle, Le Tissier ....).
You don't build a solely team to compensate for a key player's weaknesses, you build a team to leverage that player's strengths. (cf. Argentina 1986 – I think they did quite well that year...)
8 Posted 14/10/2015 at 06:26:43
9 Posted 14/10/2015 at 07:20:32
10 Posted 14/10/2015 at 07:49:09
11 Posted 14/10/2015 at 07:53:41
Once a RedShite, always a RedShite.
12 Posted 14/10/2015 at 08:10:17
13 Posted 14/10/2015 at 08:25:14
However we will only know if Ross can cut it against the best if he plays him; not to is idiotic and a wasted opportunity surely. The tried and trusted have been played before – test your newer players.
You will notice how easily we lost possession and became disjointed for the last 15 minutes against Lithuania when Ross came off; he kept the ball and kept us playing.
It would be very foolhardy if Roy does not take Ross to France and they come unstuck, he is the type of player to turn tight games..
14 Posted 14/10/2015 at 08:41:15
The midfield is devoid of quality and the defence will be exposed by better sides. The Euros will be a damp squib for all of the "home" teams.
Here in Wales, you would think that the national side had won the World Cup by the celebrations of qualifying. France, Spain, Belgium, Italy, Germany, and Portugal will not lose any sleep over the participation of our boys.
15 Posted 14/10/2015 at 08:53:12
I mean, Clyne, Milner, Lallana, Sturridge, Sterling (I know...) etc.... Any English born RS player is almost guaranteed a pass into the England squad under Woy. Was this part of his redundancy package with them?
16 Posted 14/10/2015 at 08:55:33
They also look like some part of ongoing vendetta against Ross – why can't he just say he played very well in both games and we're really pleased with him?
At the end of the day, he'll pick dross like Phil Jones, Delph or Milner at the drop of a hat, yet seems reluctant to put Ross in still, no matter how well he plays. And despite Ross obviously being a better player than them.
17 Posted 14/10/2015 at 08:55:46
The only criticism that Barkley gets from Evertonians is he isn't consistent enough; we all know he has the talent. So I can't understand the criticism of Hodgson for saying what a lot of us fans have been saying.
I think Ross is now of a time that his performances should get more consistent. Let's hope he produces another good performance on Saturday, as we will need him at his best if we are to take 3 points.
18 Posted 14/10/2015 at 09:09:25
Also, no matter how well he plays, he can never bring himself to just praise him – he always has to have a little dig somehow. Again, if he did this with everyone, that would be okay but some players he never criticises or is always bigging up – however rubbish they played.
20 Posted 14/10/2015 at 09:33:54
It's because of this 'safety first' policy that England never makes an impact in these competitions. On the other hand, who will the manager have to blame if he excludes Barkley and it goes tits up? As it will.
21 Posted 14/10/2015 at 09:59:56
But if he really believes and means what he is saying then why are Milner, Sterling and Cahill seemingly his first names on the fucking team sheet for 'important' games? None of those three have done a tap for their clubs or for England in the last few months?
Hodgson is another one of those managers who believe that an England side is best made up of players from the 'top clubs' (+ Spurs) and while players from 'lesser clubs' may get a look-in in squad terms, when it comes to it, it will be the 'top club' players who invariably get the nod.
The best two centre backs in the Premier League at the moment play for Everton and should be an automatic choice... but will they be when Stones is fit? No, I don't think so.
Delli Alli (or whatever his name is) gets a game just after being born yet, when the left-back position is very weak at the moment due to injuries, Galloway doesn't even get a look in. That game on Monday night would have been an ideal opportunity to try out this young lad who is filling the boots of the best left-back in the country to great effect at the moment.
22 Posted 14/10/2015 at 10:00:30
These guys will crucify him if he turns in a bad game or misplaces a pass leading to a goal for the opposition, and I suspect he is being used at the moment in a game to beat Hodgson up for the generally dull performances of the England team.
Like most on here, I don't give a fuck about England, but would be very concerned if Ross Barkley's head got scrambled by him being chewed up and spat out by our scumbag national media pundits in the interest of a 'good story'.
23 Posted 14/10/2015 at 11:32:31
I'm the complete opposite of you. I want all Everton players playing for their countries in every game, and of course at all major tournaments. It's great to hear our boys' names on the telly, especially when they do something great on the pitch for the world to see.
COYB and COE (Come on England)
24 Posted 14/10/2015 at 11:54:17
25 Posted 14/10/2015 at 12:39:53
Look at the trophy cabinets of all the aforementioned players. Hate to say it but Phil Neville, just by doing the basics and putting a shift in, probably won more than that lot combined.
Barkley isn't Messi and we can't to let him not do any of the basics. He's scored a few this season, but he has also cost us a couple. He needs to tighten up big time because playing the way he does for us against the likes of Spain would see England on the end of an absolute hiding.
Personally I couldn't give a toss how England play, but I think Roy is correct in highlighting these issues, because they are valid concerns and if he did tighten up he would be untouchable.
26 Posted 14/10/2015 at 14:11:09
27 Posted 14/10/2015 at 14:23:40
In short, of course Barkley needs to do the basics. There were times last season when he looked like a lost 12-year-old not knowing what to do with or without the ball. I haven't seen that this year, except for when he allowed that goal in the 6-yard box from a header. He needs to defend with more intelligence and commitment, and he needs to learn how to jump (he's a big athletic lad), but the rest of the game has come along very well in the last 3 months.
We'll see how he does with defensive duties in the next 6 months; perhaps he needs to play in a more traditional center midfield paring with two wide / flair players and two forwards to progress to the next level. It's not clear, however, whether Martinez is willing to do that but it would be very interesting to watch. (Although we might lose more – and perhaps win more as well...)
To be fair to Milner (and his ilk), he is a fine footballer, always committed, and he defends very well, and really can be quite good in attacking positions. I thought he was excellent all over the pitch when City won the title two seasons ago and I was disappointed we couldn't have got him ourselves. He rarely lets you down, but then he doesn't really excite as much as Barkley promises to either.
I think he suffers in the same way Jags, Joe Hart and even Barry all do – he's essentially a decent, quiet man doing a lot of his work at the defensive end of the pitch, and therefore doesn't grab media attention most of the time. We'd be better off if England had more professionals like that tbh, with the WAGS culture taking a back seat.
And fair comment on how much those players won collectively (barring Gascoigne in Scotland), but you can't have your cake and eat it – how much would Rooney have won had he stayed at Everton like Le Tissier stayed at Southampton?
28 Posted 14/10/2015 at 14:58:51
You could see his joy when being applauded at getting knocked out of the World Cup by running over to the supporters and returning the complement; he must of thought "Fuck me, this is gonna be easy".
Saying that, I can't see there being a long list of top managers wanting to take over; most would want the club jobs so I would think the FA will be looking at failed managers or old farts.
29 Posted 14/10/2015 at 15:26:29
Come those games, Barkley will be benched and likes of Henderson will come straight back in!
30 Posted 14/10/2015 at 16:05:11
With Rooney, Carrick, Wilshere, Sturridge and Welbeck out of action, he has been forced to pick him and the subsequent eye-catching performances have left Mr Hodgson scrambling for words.
With the vast majority of England fans calling for his inclusion and the likes of Harry Redknapp saying he would build the team around him, Ross has given Hodgson a problem he could do without. The lad is not part of his preferred starting eleven and never will be. He doesn't do enough without the ball. He is seen as a useful late impact player when chasing a goal.
So woe betide Ross if he is less than perfect against France and Spain... Unlike his less talented team-mates, every single mistake will be highlighted.
31 Posted 14/10/2015 at 16:33:07
Jags has got half a chance of making the cut although he's not really proved his true value by not playing for a Sky Four team (or Liverpool). It all makes me sick!
32 Posted 14/10/2015 at 16:34:56
My facts are fine, thanks, Malcolm. I said that Hodgson didn't give him his first start until the Costa Rica game.
33 Posted 14/10/2015 at 16:45:38
"Barkley at this point has several weaknesses" Name Barkley's weak points at present? Also... "Milner is a fine footballer"... Are you sure about that?... What the feck..." ever" has this fine footballer ever done, other than play second fiddle at clubs and never secured a starting position for club or country (lucky to play at the highest level of game).
Also, I agree with Harold about the England manager... He definitely doesn't deserve Ross... The guy is clueless, he doesn't know the first thing about developing and playing players of Barkley's ability...
He's not got the all round coaching skills to develop the lad! That's why he comes in with all this bollocks about Ross... better carry on performing or....! "Fuck off, you clown" and start saying those stimulating words to players who deserve them.... Sterling, Rooney; Milner, Cahill; Henderson... etc. All the red shite players deserve a fecking bollocking... They have done feck-all for ages!
34 Posted 14/10/2015 at 16:45:51
35 Posted 14/10/2015 at 17:10:35
The Barkley discussion will be swept under the carpet when Woy's stalwarts return to fitness and his place in the side will be taken by Rooney playing behind Sturridge or Kane.
Remember, Carlton Palmer got more caps than Le Tissier... That tells you all you need to know.
36 Posted 14/10/2015 at 17:24:09
Our Ross is a breath of fresh air... long may it continue. He is improving all the time.
37 Posted 14/10/2015 at 17:26:21
We will never play like the top National teams because we cannot accommodate these players. The likes of Beckenbauer, Netzer, Zidane etc would never have made it to the international stage in this country. England will just continue to pick hard grafters from London clubs maybe with odd exception here and there.
Is Sterling really worth 㿝 million?
39 Posted 14/10/2015 at 18:32:45
Some of us will remember Howard Kendall who was criminally ignored by England managers despite being one of the best midfielders of his era. Quite honestly I don't give a monkey's if Ross plays well for England as long as he does the business for Everton.
Also which unmentionable arsehole slights Ross because he cannot defend? Can Sterling defend or Walcott? Ross's qualities are evident enough in going forward.
Hodgson's ''successful'' England team will struggle in the Euros just like the World Cup.
40 Posted 14/10/2015 at 19:06:30
41 Posted 14/10/2015 at 19:15:27
I really like that " blue rinsed daft old lady". Just the sort of turn of phrase that makes this site a pleasure. Good stuff.
42 Posted 14/10/2015 at 20:39:55
Five minutes of my life I'll never get back.
43 Posted 14/10/2015 at 21:50:19
I was reading Carragher's book (I got to about 50 pages), and he happened to mention that he went to this national school. He said Joe Cole done a Cruyff turn in the middle of the pitch, and the coach stopped the session, to shout "We will have none of that here son".
That sums it up for me, and the fact that some of the lads went on to have good careers shows it wasn't a complete failure, but I don't think it changed the way we play the game one iota.
I often used to think of this coach's shout, when every time I watched Fabregas play for Arsenal, he used to do about ten Cruyff turns in the middle of the pitch, every game.
VERY FEW COACHES IN ENGLAND, KNOW HOW TO LET THE PLAYERS EXPRESS THEMSELVES. I know it's a team game, but top-level football is usually won by a great piece of individual skill, and not the rigid formation, which will always be Roy Hodgson's trademark.
45 Posted 14/10/2015 at 22:50:08
Would he have won anything at all though without at least a few gifted flair players around him capable of producing a moment of brilliance to turn a tight game his teams way? Whilst you might want players to emulate his attitude, you'd better pray to God his ability on the ball isn't bloody contagious.
(A team comprised solely of Phil Neville's would be my worst nightmare, by the way. I'm getting a shiver down my spine just thinking about it now. It'd be a bit like the end of 'Invasion Of The Body Snatchers'...but worse...because it wouldn't be Donald Sutherland producing an ear-piercing, other-worldly screech and pointing wildly at you; it'd be Phill Neville...and he'd probably follow up the screechy finger-point by floating a hopeless high cross miles into the fucking air like someone's swapped the match ball for one of those crappy, cheap, plastic bastards you used to boot around the backstreet when you were a kid...until they inevitably burst on a bit of glass or got blown over the local psychopaths back wall....the one with something like 'Mad Martin is a massive Joey and wears his mother's clothes while he murders people' scrawled all over it. Take it from me, 'Pip People' totally piss all over 'Pod People' in the terror inducing stakes).
Anyway, it's all well and good extolling the virtues of your ferocious trier and your well drilled spoiler, but if that's all you've got you're inevitably going to come up short sooner or later.
Of course it works both ways. If you've got a squad comprised solely of sublimely gifted flair players, you're not going to win jack shit if the thought of mopping a bit of sweat from their brow is as repugnant to them as being asked to sit in a life art class where the subject to be realised in brush strokes is Joe Brand's minge and the only empty chair left in the room is the one right up close to the messy unkempt mound that looks like it's about to shout 'CAPTAAAAAAIIIIINN CAAAAAAAVVVEEE MAAAAN' any minute, right about now.
It's about recognising that players possess their own individual strengths and weaknesses and assembling those who compliment each other into a cohesive unit. Expecting a player picked for his attacking attributes to also double up as some sort of faultless defensive reinforcement is like expecting a Phil Neville to push up and start unlocking the opposition defence with disguised through balls. It's just unrealistic to expect players to excel at every part of the game.
For pundits, press pricks and, in particular, his international manager, to continue taking little digs and voicing doubts about Barkley's defensive ability on the big stage, in a week when he's been doing exactly what he's in the side to do and making decisive contributions at the other end, suggests that there are other players in the England squad currently bringing fucking perfection to the party. Which is strange, as all I saw was a team of average, uninspired, drones, almost totally devoid of ideas. All except that one lad who plays for Everton and possesses the innate ability to do something a little bit different now and again. Better drill that willingness to take a chance out of him quick, sharp. Don't want to deviate too far from England's tried and tested formula for achieving success on the international stage, do we?
I've always got the impression with Hodgson that he see's himself as this studious, intellectual, innovator, set apart from his contempories by virtue of his 'all conquering' managerial stints abroad. In reality, I reckon he ties himself in knots trying to get a simple point across to his players.
I imagine his one on one sessions with Barkley would probably go something like this:
46 Posted 15/10/2015 at 00:07:49
47 Posted 15/10/2015 at 00:08:00
The sooner the FA pick players on form, and not for the club they play for, the better. Then, just maybe, England will fair better.
I just find it another dig at one of our players; instead of saying Rooney and Co will have to perform to get back in the team, he singles Barkley out.
48 Posted 14/10/2015 at 00:32:09
Let's hope Ross gets fired up after the comments made by Roy. We need Ross more than a boring as shite England team.
49 Posted 15/10/2015 at 06:06:25
Flair players are criticized and overlooked, 'honest' hard working players are praised and promoted. Does anyone have confidence that a system that turns to Neville, Southgate, Pearce and Hodgson, to name a few, will change much?
50 Posted 15/10/2015 at 10:30:04
It is funny that it's only the flair players who get hit with this stick; as noted, people like Milner never get criticised for failing to go past three players and play a perfect through ball, do they?
The comments re old Woy are spot-on too; until he starts applying this logic to all the players and not just certain ones, his musings are vindictive and hypocritical.
Also, the points made re England's coaching in general are right. Any flair or skill is coached out of players as soon as they can – look at Rooney when he first broke into the team, against once he'd become a regular. He used to run and go past people and they turned him into a back-to-goal lay-it-off merchant.
51 Posted 15/10/2015 at 12:47:53
Here was me thinking that it was a team of 11 men on the pitch and all of them should contribute to the game and play as a team for each other.
Apparently that's a load of bollocks, whether we win or lose games depends on whether Ross can defend at corners... who would have thought it?
Old dippy Woy fucked himself over by being a prick to Ross in that friendly game where he shouted at him... in the last minute of a game we were easily winning.
He then proceeded to leave him on the bench... until we were losing and then sent him on to further destroy the lads confidence.
I have no doubt that if he plays against France or Spain and makes a mistake that leads to a goal, he will be slated by the press and Old dippy Woy. The issue is that he will eventually make a mistake that will lead to a goal, as that is the type of player he is. He tries things that are dangerous in dangerous areas.
My main issue is that so do other players but they don't get the shite Ross is getting from Old dippy Woy of the blue rinse brigade.
I think Harold is right, the fuckwit doesn't deserve him. (Even though we all know that Ross's consistency has always been his biggest problem.)
Last point, all the above is pointless babble, as he won't get picked to play because, even though Woy said he would pick players on their form, he forgot to add the thought caveat of, "the in-form players will get the friendlies but I will retain the usual tripe that has been there for many moons.... Ohhhhh Stevie, why did you have to retire?" etc etc.
52 Posted 15/10/2015 at 13:02:38
And yet our lad gets every little misplaced pass highlighted and threatened with being dropped however well he's just played.
53 Posted 15/10/2015 at 14:43:32
I bet Cleverley will end up with more caps than the big man.
54 Posted 18/10/2015 at 08:49:32
Roy Hodgson is a football dinosaur.
I'm uninterested in the pitiful ramblings of this clueless old fool.
The sooner he buggers off from the England setup the better.
My advice to Ross Barkley is no matter what Woy says, you play your game lad. He wouldn't recognise true football talent if it was right before his eyes. It is. He doesn't.
Add Your Comments
In order to post a comment, you need to be logged in as a registered user of the site.
Or Sign up as a ToffeeWeb Member — it's free, takes just a few minutes and will allow you to post your comments on articles and Talking Points submissions across the site.