Ross Barkley is a victim of England's obsession with youth

Tuesday 1 November 2016  13 Comments  [Jump to last]

A Telegraph journalist believes that the most intriguing plotline arising ahead of next week's England match against Scotland concerns Everton's Ross Barkley, who stormed back into contention with a goal against West Ham on Sunday.

One of the biggest myths about the England team is that it fails to give young players a chance. In fact, English football is unsettlingly beguiled with youth, to the extent where it is deemed a virtue in its own right: the magical condiment that will instantly season English football's septic broth into a spicy and delicious potage.

» Read the full article at The Telegraph

Reader Comments (13)

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Danny O'Neill
1 Posted 01/11/2016 at 23:35:25
Good article in the Telegraph regarding the Ross Barkley conundrum and English football's attitude towards young players. Or our obsession with the latest greatest thing; the next this, the next that so to speak. Do we expect too much too soon?

Do we burn them out too quickly? Statistically it appears Germany, Italy, France and Spain allow players more breathing space to develop. England have taken over 50% more teenagers to major tournaments since 1990 than those countries combined; who has been more successful is clearly evident.

Now I have my own opinions on the state of grass roots football here and subsequent quality it pulls through, however, a valid point of view from the author. Ross is a midfielder and (scratched record time), we shouldn't be seeing the best from him on a consistent basis until his mid-late 20s. I hope we persevere and at least he has a coach who has been there and done it to guide him for the time being.

Zahid Ibrahim
2 Posted 02/11/2016 at 03:41:45
Good article. It's true, sometimes our sky-high expectations for a "prodigy"-potential could be a big big distraction to his developments. He is human after-all, full of ups and downs, hence he needs all the support and protection he can get. Koeman should be the right mentor for Ross Barkley.
Stan Schofield
3 Posted 02/11/2016 at 09:07:23
Barkley is a victim of England's consistent mediocrity, which might result from consistent mismanagement of young players.
Dave Abrahams
4 Posted 02/11/2016 at 09:25:25
I don't think, in Ross's case, it is about ability – it is the lack of effort. Martinez allowed Barkley the freedom to do what he wanted, never bothered to address his defensive job. Now Koeman is insisting that everyone has a job to do. If Ross continues the way he played on Saturday, he will improve further, he will even begin to enjoy the game.

No player, no matter where they play, here or abroad, will improve their game without effort and a responsibility to the rest of the team; that is what Ross has been getting away with. Carry on like he did in the last game and he will be a better player for it; go back to the way he has played the last two seasons and he will make a living out of the game – but not in the Premier League.

Dave Abrahams
5 Posted 02/11/2016 at 09:35:22
Obviously that should be Sunday not Saturday, lack of effort and concentration by me there.
Alan J Thompson
6 Posted 02/11/2016 at 12:07:15
Might have helped if he had named the older players he thinks should be given preference.
Mike Keating
7 Posted 02/11/2016 at 13:31:55
Interesting take on the impact of England selection on young players. Although I think Barkley's confidence is much affected by expectations at Goodison Park.
Don Alexander
8 Posted 02/11/2016 at 22:48:30
Sound words that speak for me too, Dave Abrahams. Thanks. Ronald Koeman has all but three years left on his current contract and Ross has two more years on his.

If he hasn't added to his all-round game by 2018, in the manner Dave describes, under the guidance of our manager who hit the top despite not having everything in his locker (pace, dribbling ability, outstanding heading for example) then it'll be sad for him, us and England.

Peter Roberts
9 Posted 03/11/2016 at 10:23:33
Play him against Scotland – he will destroy them.
Brian Furey
10 Posted 03/11/2016 at 15:10:11
A few facts: Ross is 22 years old and has got 22 senior England caps and scored twice for them. Gerard Deulofeu is 22 years old and is still playing for Spain U21s with 30 caps and 15 goals. Who do you think is making better progress in his career?

In my opinion, Ross is a talented young inexperienced lad who is finding his way but the amount of media attention the lad gets is unfair. BBS talked him up far too much last season – a bit like Stones – and you can see both still have a lot to learn about playing at the top level.

If we can just let Ronald work with the lad and be patient with him and not expect too much. I always get the feeling the lad thinks he has to do something amazing to get the fans and media to respect him.

Tony Abrahams
11 Posted 03/11/2016 at 16:04:25
Was it Stuart Pearce or Southgate himself that wanted England to pick all their best and available players for major Under-21 tournaments?

Let them come through and then develop together, should always be the mantra, and only the really special ones should be allowed to miss out on this stage of their international development. Michael Owen in 1998, and Wayne Rooney in 2004, being the obvious ones.

In saying that, I honestly don't think England have had a proper plan in place for a very long time, because who wouldn't want to see their best young players developing as a team together?

It might actually be giving us a clue as to why so many academies are also not getting the results that maybe their efforts deserve?

I can maybe understand it at club level, where it's a results business built on all about now, but surely international football should have a much better structure to it because it's not as if another country can go and sign your better players?

Geoff Evans
12 Posted 14/11/2016 at 16:24:44
Barkley is good enough to play regularly for England. Unfortunately that's not a compliment for either.

Peter Murray
13 Posted 16/11/2016 at 13:52:06
He just doesn't offer anything that is already being proferred in the existing squad. Purely lazy & without the ball,, he''s a non-entity. A luxury that any national team will forget about – hence the current situation!!!


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