Koeman still demanding improvement from Barkley

Friday 23 December 2016  186 Comments  [Jump to last]
Ronald Koeman has again addressed the situation regarding Ross Barkley, saying that while the player is working hard, he needs to offer more, both in the final third and also in terms of his defensive responsibilities.

The 23-year-old and his struggles for form have become a significant topic of conversation among Evertonians and the media at large recently and the manager was asked about his opinion of Barkley's progress by the print media ahead of the Boxing Day clash at Leicester City.

“First of all I don't like to speak about Ross because every word I say about Ross is used in a negative or positive way,” Koeman said.

“Of course I think the player needs to improve. He needs to improve the tactical aspect of his football, out of his position. He needs to be more clinical and have more creativity in the offensive part of the team but he is working hard on that and trying to get the best out of himself.

“But he needs to improve to be the player that maybe everyone expected when he was 18 or 19.”

Koeman hasn't been reticent when it comes to his views on Barkley since taking the reins at Everton and has been forthright on his reasons for dropping him when the need has arisen. After sitting out back-to-back matches, the Finch Farm Academy graduate started the Blues' last two matches but while he performed well against Arsenal, he came in for significant criticism for his display in the Merseyside derby.

That erraticism has been an issue for Barkley and Koeman was asked if he thought the Wavertree-born midfielder will ever fulfil the huge potential he showed as a teenager and the promise he showed in Roberto Martinez's first season in charge at Goodison.

“I am not sure,” the Dutchman said. “I had the same stories in Holland with players who, when they were 16 or 17, they were too good in the academy. They didn't really have competition because they were stronger or they were a better player than the rest.

“But then they step up a level and everyone is strong, everybody is a good player, and still you need to make a difference. And that is more difficult.”

“What we want from him — whether we play four-against-four or five-against-five — is that he is shooting, scoring goals and giving assists.

“He can improve with experience, by studying clips, by talking all these things. He is on a good way but he is still not that player (raises hand) that maybe he can be in the future.

“He can play the ten position, the eight position, but it depends on the rest of the team organisation. Sometimes he is struggling with defending his man because he is more watching the ball than his man.

“Okay, we tried to explain and to show him. Even if you play deeper in midfield it is important to do your defensive work in the team.”


Reader Comments (186)

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Colin Williams
1 Posted 23/12/2016 at 23:19:55
Asking Ross to develop? There are so many other players to shite on before you come to one of our most talented, if not most talented, young players.

Also, what about you showing some positive leadership first? Stop talking, more doing! Good performances and results would be a start!
Mike Gaynes
2 Posted 23/12/2016 at 23:28:24
The physical skills are awesome.

The footballing brain, as Koeman has now discovered to his frustration, is simply not there. (“Okay, we tried to explain and to show him.")

Maybe if somebody had made him a striker years ago – no need for a strategic view of the pitch, just get the ball and score – he might have become the star his talents implied.

But now it is simply never going to happen.

Andy Meighan
3 Posted 23/12/2016 at 23:31:01
Talented beyond belief. But absolutely brain-dead when it comes to decision-making. We're still waiting after 5 years for him to become a superstar and it's just not going to happen.

Nothing from any coach or manager registers with him. Sorry, but get rid. And I never thought I'd ever type those words.
Andrew James
4 Posted 23/12/2016 at 23:35:18
“First of all I don't like to speak about Ross because every word I say about Ross is used in a negative or positive way” Koeman said. Then he goes on to talk about Ross for several sentences.

You just keep picking on him Ronald and ensure all the brilliance is strangled and we end up with a young lad who goes elsewhere and becomes average. It's getting embarrassing now.

If we'd had an awesome first half of a season under Koeman but Barkley was under-performing I could understand. But we have been mostly rubbish. There are so many players not doing it (interestingly some of his signings) but he always goes for Barkley.

If we don't collect 6 points from the next 3 matches, I really hope the pressure mounts on Koeman. The deflections and excuses are becoming tiresome.

Tony Hill
5 Posted 23/12/2016 at 23:37:06
This is a very tired debate. Either Ross produces pronto or he will have to leave, for his good as much as ours.

His performance in the derby was woeful and I would be the first to find an excuse if I could because I think he has exceptional gifts. I wish, though, that Ronald had avoided yet more comment of this type which, as he identifies himself, can only be damaging.

Action, Ross, please. Now.

Steavey Buckley
6 Posted 23/12/2016 at 23:37:47
If Ross can learn to be more relaxed when on the ball, he will cut out the many mistakes. If he can do that, he will be a very good player.
James Doran
7 Posted 23/12/2016 at 23:37:50
“First of all I don't like to speak about Ross because every word I say about Ross is used in a negative or positive way” Koeman said. But he then proceeded to speak about Ross's game in great detail.

Why didn't Koeman just say that he only discusses Ross's game with those that he needs to? Baffling.

Brian Williams
8 Posted 23/12/2016 at 23:46:55
Listen, don't take it out on Koeman. Read between the lines. He doesn't want to say what he knows. He knows what a lot (but not all) Evertonians know, and that's while Ross has undoubted talent he DOES NOT have the brain to take him to the proverbial "next level".

People that go on about him being our most skillful player blah blah... I love the lad but he's NOT gonna be the player we hope he can be.

Face facts, it'll hurt less (slightly).

John Malone
9 Posted 23/12/2016 at 23:55:39
I'm starting to feel sorry for Ross the pressure must be unbearable!!

Could you imagine going to work and your gaffer saying your not doing a good enough job, then you pull your finger out try a bit harder, na, still not good enough, so you keep trying... na, your off the job then he let's you back in then it's na still not good enough!!

His confidence must be shot to pieces!

You can't tell me to keep telling a 23-year-old man you're not good enough in front of the whole world is the best way to get him to improve!!

It's obvious he need's to improve but confidence is a major factor in anyone performing any task especially in sport! Barkley need's to be told behind closed door's where he need's to improve and supported and defended by his gaffer in public!

From where I'm sitting it look's like Barkley could be out the door and it's a real shame if that is the case!

Anthony Dwyer
10 Posted 23/12/2016 at 23:56:23
I've read a daft article saying a swap deal involving Ross and Sissoko of Spurs...

Just for the record, I'd rather see Koeman's head on a stick.

James Doran
11 Posted 23/12/2016 at 23:56:25
Brian @ 8,

I agree, as it appears Koeman does too, that Ross will never perform consistently well enough to be considered a top player. However, if Koeman is going to look to sell Ross shortly, the less said about Ross's game in the press that is negative, the better.

Tony Hill
12 Posted 24/12/2016 at 00:07:23
It does worry me, this sort of public comment about the players. How on earth can it be conducive to good morale?

I've posted on another thread that I foresee a resurgence and happy times with Ronald after the impassioned Arsenal game and all that it stood for. I'll shut up and see what happens on the pitch.

Aidy Dews
13 Posted 23/12/2016 at 00:10:40
What Koeman says is spot on with Barkley. He needs to do more going forward and he needs to work harder off the ball. And his decision making, still, is shocking! Like Koeman says, you can't do things in our half that you would attempt to do in the final third, like drag backs or take a man on etc,and risk losing the ball yet Barkley seems to try this sort of stuff, week-in & week-out.

These sort of things Moyes alluded to back in the day when Barkley was still a kid and picked up on it and wanted to improve that side of his game to make him a more complete player; clearly Barkley found it hard to grasp and didn't get picked yet Moyes got blasted for leaving him out – some said he held him back and hindered is progression.

Martinez came in and basically gave him a free reign; he seemed to do well, although he still made mistakes and things in that good season (our Leicester season) but things soon turned sour for Barkley as, for two-and-a-bit seasons now, he's still making the silly mistakes that he does.

Now I've seen people blaming managers for the way he's been coached and it's as good as their faults that he's like he is but every manager that as coached him can't be blamed for his slump! You can't blame managers for his decision-making, his pass selections, ball-hogging etc.

I've seen people say he ball hogs and turns into trouble due to a lack of movement in and around him and yeah, I can see that, but before he's even given the ball he should be aware of what's around him and have a picture of the game in his mind and know what pass he'll make next before he gets it. Yet, when he gets it and holds on to it, 1 touch, 2 touch, 3 touches later and he still hasn't passed it, then you know he's not seen the picture ahead of him and doesn't even know what pass to make! He just hasn't got a footballing brain.

You see all the top midfielders and they barely waste a pass. A lot of the time they pass the ball one touch or take 2 at most, and a lot of the time it's all simple passes, square, backwards, 3 yards, 5 yards, back and forth until they've past it to a point where the game as opened up and a killer ball is on, a pass to open up the opposition in the final third. The top players have that patience and know how and see the game unfold in their heads and use the ball correctly. They don't hold onto the ball longer than they need to and keep it ticking over, they don't hold on to it and slow the game down, they keep it boiling over till the right pass presents itself and they make it.

Barkley whenever he gets on the ball he holds onto it and looks for openings there and then. Before he even gets the ball, he should of had a look and got an idea of where he can go with his next pass before he even receives the ball but he doesn't and that's why he takes touch after touch whilst looking at his options and in turn slowing the game down and then it leads to either being tackled or a mistake! His thought process and speed of it is terrible.

I don't even know what position will suit him best anymore? He's not clever enough to play the No 10 role. And to play deeper you need that defensive discipline and tactical/positional awareness and he hasn't got any of that! So where do you put him?

I can honestly see Koeman ditching him, I really can. He doesn't sound convinced by him one bit, and the situation with his contract, where his doesn't seem a priority but others are, suggests to me, if he got any decent offers in next 2 windows, then he will definitely consider them!

Clive Mitchell
14 Posted 24/12/2016 at 00:20:40
I've considered this carefully. I've weighed Mr Koeman's observations and opinions, the performance this season of his squad – including both those who were here when he arrived and those who he brought to the club -– and the evidence from the tenure of our previous manager.

I've considered Mr Koeman's judgement, on the basis for example of his acquisition of Stekelenburg and his assessment that Aaron Lennon is a better bet in a starting position than Gerard Deulofeu.

I've concluded that there is, at this stage, no evidence that Mr Koeman is good enough to manage a player as talented as Ross Barkley, and that there is, again at this stage, no evidence that he will be a successful Everton manager.

I'll definitely come back on here the moment Koeman IS a successful Everton manager to acknowledge the fact. Not going to happen... is it?

Don Alexander
15 Posted 24/12/2016 at 00:21:59
Firstly, it ain't Koeman's fault that even now Barkley is still way short of the basics as a professional footballer.

Secondly, he is way short.

Thirdly, the press insist on questioning our current manager on Barkley's progress. They need to produce stories to preserve their employment and Barkley, who they praised to the echo based on what we all saw 5 years ago, is newsworthy.

Fourthly, and lastly thank God, only Barkley can do something to end the constant questioning. But, up to now, he never has done. And so it goes on...

James Byrne
16 Posted 24/12/2016 at 00:27:10
The failure of Ross Barkley has nothing to do with Koeman. Ross Barkley's career nose dived the day he met Roberto Martinez.
John Daley
18 Posted 24/12/2016 at 00:48:12
If he wants more creativity and goals to be forthcoming from midfield, but believes Barkley isn't cutting the mustard, surely Koeman should be looking to bring in someone to replace, alternate, or work in tandem, with him? Instead, if rumours are to be believed, he's set to spunk almost 㿞m on Schneiderlin and Sissoko? To add what exactly? A little bit of extra athleticism to the side?

Neither player can pick a pass, aren't particularly creative, don't score anywhere near enough goals and seem to possess the infuriating habit of going missing when the going gets tough.

Throw in Bolasie and Williams and that would bring the total to near 𧴜m for four bang average players who won't get within touching distance of double figures between them.

What exactly is the transfer policy? Put together the most expensive pub team ever assembled? How about adding some potency, or a playmaker, instead of plumping for mere huff and puff and paying heavily over the odds for it?

For a manager to publicly and persistently keep putting the onus on one particular player to 'create', rather than looking closer to home for the reason why a side being sent out to 'hoof and hope' can barely hold onto the ball for close to a minute, never mind conjure more than a measly couple of shots on goal in a single game, seems pretty fucking shameful to me.

Anthony Dwyer
19 Posted 24/12/2016 at 00:48:26
Koeman is doing my head in with Ross, he's the only manager I've seen who seems to enjoy kicking one of his talented players while he's down.

It's not like Koeman is some super manager who has some second-to-none managerial record, so why does he take this approach.

Did Sir Alex Ferguson talk this way about Ronaldo when he was 23 and not playing to his top potential?

Did Mourinho do this with Lampard when Ballack, Cole, Veron and Deco were trying to take his place ?

Has Pep come to Man City and moaned about Sterling or Sane not scoring many goals ?

Has Klopp come to the shite and jumped all over Origi or Can for not being able to hold down regular starting positions?

Has Wenger come out and moaned about Wallcot or Ox never really being able to take a starting spot at Arsenal?

I think you will find the answer to the all the above questions is a resounding NO.

So why does Ronny feel its ok to come out weekly and tell the press how he doubts Ross Barkley.

Go to NewsNow, every other news paper is saying how Koeman is doubting weather Ross will ever reach his potential.

He's managing Ross all wrong... Geri too; he's going to end up leaving us with a gang of 33-year-old robots with no future.

Phil Sammon
20 Posted 24/12/2016 at 00:53:48
What Ross Barkley has never had is someone to learn from. He has always been the one who's had to make things happen. He desperately needs someone like Mata who will make something happen for him and take a weight off his shoulders.

Lukaku is not an easy player to play with. He's very unusual for a striker in that he will not attack the six-yard box and give attacking midfielders the options they like. The only option he gives Ross is a one-two at the edge of the box which is crowded out 9 times out of 10.

It's very easy to slate Barkley – but I think there's a more deep-rooted reason for his perceived under-performance. The team as a whole really struggles to create chances. You can't throw that burden on one player.

Charlie Lloyd
21 Posted 24/12/2016 at 00:54:51
Andy Dews @ 13.

You got it spot on.

I posted a while back that Ross was a guy with sublime individual footballing talent who just didn't understand the game as a team. I stand by it though it doesn't make me happy.

I also predicted back then, last summer, that he's played more times for England to date than he'll amass in the future. Also doesn't make me happy.

If we are to progress under the new regime, Barkley is not the answer. That's just the how it is. Ditch the "he's one of our own" sentiments and get someone in who can do what we want on a more regular basis.

Anthony Dwyer
22 Posted 24/12/2016 at 00:59:01
I agree, Phil, if not someone to learn from then we at the very least need to get someone to take the pressure off him.

Look at Alli at Spurs, he has Son, Eriksen and Lamela all creating and scoring goals, it allows him to go a few games being quiet.

We haven't got anyone like either of them players – all of our attacking options are much less consistent than the Spurs quartet... maybe Koeman should be looking at them instead of Ross for once.

Phil Sammon
23 Posted 24/12/2016 at 01:04:15
Ditch him? Is that what you do with players who show world class potential in their teens and haven't grasped it in their early twenties? How about we give it a go playing to his strengths before we cast him aside?

Under 12 months ago, Ross was telling the papers he thinks his best position is centre-forward. Are those the words of a player who's been managed properly? 23 years old and he's never played a minute in what he believes is his best position.

I'm not saying Ross is a centre-forward... but what a fucking muddle the lad's head is in if he honestly thinks he's been played out of position his entire senior career.

Play him up front or make him believe he's a centre midfielder. Either way, somebody get a fucking grip here. This isn't Royston Drenthe we're dealing with. Barkley is a level-headed lad with his head firmly screwed on. Can somebody throw him a bone.

Anthony Dwyer
24 Posted 24/12/2016 at 01:09:17
Spot on again, Phil.

I don't care what anyone says about the sentiment shout, Ross is one of our own and we should be proud of it.

We've not had a top local player in the team for many years; now we have were forever listening to our own fans and our manager ripping him a new arse.

Charlie Lloyd
25 Posted 24/12/2016 at 01:27:00
I'm proud every time someone like Barkley, Calvert-Lewin, Kenny, Holgate, Connolly, Davies, Dowell, Galloway, or Browning emerges from the Academy... but I have seen enough of Ross over many games to notice that the ability to produce consistently to the high standard we require is not there.

They are not easy words to type but if we revisit this in 5 years time you'll say to me you got it right. Trust my judgement on this and let's search for the player who can take us to the next level.

Charlie Lloyd
26 Posted 24/12/2016 at 01:32:47
Oh! By the way. Ditch Cleverley from the bench and introduce Davies more and see what he's about. Potential for a proper box-to-box all-action midfielder is all there. One we need to bring through.
Mike Dolan
27 Posted 24/12/2016 at 03:02:39
Koeman is playing Ross in the media because he gets a reaction from him. You all must have noticed Ross skipping out of tackles or dumping the ball when he is about to get tackled. He's been doing it as long as I've been watching him. The last few games, though, he has added aggression to his game... and it will make a huge difference in the long run.

Ross is so extraordinarily talented; with this new dimension, plus some serious midfield help on the way in January ,maybe we will finally begin to see the player that we were all hoping for. Koeman is not goading Ross because he wants to sell him; I think it's because he really wants to keep him.

Ernie Baywood
28 Posted 24/12/2016 at 03:10:01
I don't think Koeman knows why he says anything.

Moyes managed expectation. Martinez was insanely optimistic (I still kind of love him for that). This fella is just a loose cannon.

Mike Gaynes
29 Posted 24/12/2016 at 03:10:42
Phil #23, when did he say this and where?

Personally, I agree with him.

Paul Ward
30 Posted 24/12/2016 at 04:07:13
There is no hiding place for Ross anymore. From 100% of our fans wishing and hoping the lad's potential would blossom, to a strong majority who say it will not.

Barkley has divided supporters so much in the past 2 seasons resulting in many arguments between posters on TW. The "give him time" and the pathetic "Ross is the whipping boy" comments just don't have any credence today.

Allowing for the local boy sentiment, "he is not the worst player in the team" and "he is one of us". Do you just keep playing and paying him until Everton eventually buy a team of stars that can make Barkley look good? His total inconsistency makes him a luxury player at best.

Mike Green
32 Posted 24/12/2016 at 06:28:14
I've had my once-in-a-lifetime player and his name was Wayne Rooney.

They don't come along very often and to have just one is a blessing to any club. And once you've had one it probably makes it that little bit more difficult for any player to match that sort of standard. Can you remember what Goodison was like every time he got the ball?

Since Rooney, we've had Rodwell, Stones and Ross who have been hailed as the next big thing. With Rodwell and Stones, I could see it... but with Ross I never really have.

It's probably an unfair comparison but with Rooney I think you could play him in almost any position and it might look laughable but his skill, confidence, desire, enthusiasm, character and understanding of the game would pull him through. He made football look like an extremely simple game, which for me was the hallmark of his quality.

I'm sad to say it but I've never seen any of that with Ross. In his defence, I think he's been caught in the long shadow that Rooney's diminutive figure has cast on our attitude to youth coming through – but great players step out of the shadows and bring their own light to the game.

I wish Ross would turn it on, and I am certain he's desperate to, but if we've not seen it yet, convincingly; I'm sad to say I'm not sure we ever will.

Phil Sammon
33 Posted 24/12/2016 at 06:40:59
Mike 29

Here you go mate:


Jim Johnson
34 Posted 24/12/2016 at 06:44:17
Can anyone remember when & which game Ross scored a great goal (2013-14?) and was interviewed straight after the match along with Jags. Everyone was singing his praises.

Ross spoke reasonably well. Jagielka's only comment at the end of the interview was: "He has a lot to learn."

Armando Canaj
35 Posted 24/12/2016 at 07:42:35
Come on, Ross lad, prove most TW posters that you're on it. Change the second half of this season and deliver...

We need you to step it up and be a part of EFC winning!!

Colin Glassar
36 Posted 24/12/2016 at 07:47:35
I'd rather keep Ross than Koeman.
Ian McDowell
37 Posted 24/12/2016 at 07:59:52
I have never known a player to divide opinion like Ross Barkley. Football is a squad game now and – even if Koeman can't find a position for him at the moment – he has plenty of time on his side to improve.
Kenny Smith
38 Posted 24/12/2016 at 08:19:54
Ross is 23, just think what standard some of the truly great players had reached by that age.

He just hasn't got it. This could be down to Martinez, the pressure from Koeman... but I put his reluctance to put his foot in (the Henderson mistimed challenge aside) on his double leg break.

I can't blame him for that but, if you can't win the ball back, you're no use to anyone. I've been saying for a couple of seasons, we need to cash in before he's worthless

Geoff Williams
39 Posted 24/12/2016 at 08:23:19
Barkley or Koeman, it's no contest.
John G Davies
40 Posted 24/12/2016 at 08:23:22
" f course the player needs to improve."

Correct or incorrect?

"He needs to be more clinical and have more creativity."

Correct or incorrect?

"Sometimes he is struggling with defending his man because he is ball watching."

Correct or incorrect?

"Even if you play deeper in midfield it is important to do your defensive work."

Correct or incorrect?

Fair comments from Koeman.

Trevor Peers
41 Posted 24/12/2016 at 08:46:50
Colin (#36),

You would rather 'keep Barkley than Koeman' is like saying Barkley is bigger than the club.

What happens if the next manager can't unlock his great talents? That's 3 manager's who have failed up to now. Where does it end?

The reality is, the owner will back the manager – not Barkley.

Will Mabon
42 Posted 24/12/2016 at 08:48:32
Barkley is Koeman's whipping boy. Basically, all remaining players from the Martinez tenure suffered eventual loss of form/performance. That confirmed a problem with the manager, hence he is no longer here.

With the recent exception of Coleman, Barry almost, and a cameo from McCarthy, none of the remaining players has regained near their previous level under Koeman. Lukaku, despite his goals, is not the player we've seen before. He's received the opposite treatment to Barkley.

No-one else has been subjected to any of this specific personal and public bashing by Koeman. For Barkley, it's becoming a weekly soap opera. I can't recall any manager of any team doing this before to this degree, save for in cases of off-the-field lifestyle issues, and even then...

Our early improvement stopped dead after the Norwich game, like a switch being thrown. (Last time I saw that was when the Chelsea team decided they preferred the Physio to Mourinho.) No improvement since, save for the last two games, ironically against better opposition – and this improvement has been mostly of the blood & thunder battling variety, interwoven with boot-it-up-the-field "tactics".

Our whole attacking section is the least functioning. Deulofeu and Mirallas are as out of favour or moreso than Barkley. These and Lukaku are talented players that we've all seen perform to a much higher level. Age is not a factor relating to irrecoverable form in their cases. Koeman has not improved ONE of them. It's accepted that the previous manager was responsible for this; who's responsible now? ALL the players are lazy money-grabbers?

Even the form of Koeman's own signings, Williams and Bolasie, has worsened. Koeman is struggling. I don't remember any of this crap being spoken in public during his term at Southampton.

Maybe he'll get his "Time" (yet another public utterance at this rather early stage). Maybe he'll eventually turn the club around in some fashion, with financial assistance, and in his own way, with luck.

If that happens, it will probably be without most or all of the current attacking players – players that in Martinez's first year were often a match for any team in the league. Koeman has not shown one hint of an iota of the ability to turn the ship around, in terms of individuals or the team. Meanwhile, it's been suggested that public shaming could be Koeman's "way" of motivating Barkley...

Paul Smith
43 Posted 24/12/2016 at 08:51:38
There was a time when I wouldn't have a bad word said about Ross but, after the derby and his performances this season, I can only gleam from his performances that he is a broken player.

He was so bad against the old enemy the other night, it was embarrassing and humiliating. Of course, he wasn't alone in his shitness – they all stunk the gaff out – but it's beginning to dawn on me that Ross might have to leave Everton to relieve some of the pressure on himself and free himself up to play semi relaxed without the weight of expectation that is crippling him.

Maybe we no longer have a diamond.

Christy Ring
44 Posted 24/12/2016 at 08:56:16
Barkley for Sissoko, is Koeman having a laugh?!?!

He's having a nightmare at Spurs, left on the bench at Newcastle, and told lies and treated us like shite in the last transfer window. You couldn't even compare him to Barkley.

If it's true, Koeman has lost the plot.

John McGimpsey
45 Posted 24/12/2016 at 08:59:02
Divided opinions on here; for me he is a diamond...

Football is a team game – not one player, so Koeman, keep off his back! He is surrounded by shite; now bang average Bolasie is out the picture, he will improve but, as others have written, he needs help. All the top teams have more than one creative player on the pitch. We play with defensive midfielders and he is the one to inspire.

He suffers from those around him who don't move; he has vision and I believe the brain but, if no-one moves for him, what can he do? Take the whole opposition on! Maybe he is a striker, Gareth Bale was a right back!

Let's get behind him or Blue Bill will be rubbing his hands. If he is sold down the river he will become one if the best and I will never go in that ground again.

Paul Tran
47 Posted 24/12/2016 at 09:15:09
The manager is asked a question and explains how he would like an under-performing player to improve. And he's being criticised for it. And people are using back-of-a-fag-packet tabloid transfer speculation as a stick to beat him with.

Imagine if Koeman spent 㿀m on a young England international who played like Barkley does. He'd get pelters.

The one of us argument is sentimental nonsense that clouds the issue. He's either good enough or he isn't. I suspect that's now three managers leaning towards the latter.

I keep waiting for Barkley to prove me wrong. He's like a tripless racehorse. Not quite this, not quite that, not quite the other.

Stephen Brown
48 Posted 24/12/2016 at 09:26:02
I've never actively been against any player representing Everton but this Sissoko fella would be a different story! He sums up everything bad about modern football and frankly isn't very good!

Please let this be paper nonsense!

Schneiderlin, Depay, Van Dijk and a couple of good Walsh spots (goalkeeper and attacking midfielder) coming in; Gibson, Cleverley, Kone and Niasse out – would represent a very good window IMO.

Stan Schofield
49 Posted 24/12/2016 at 09:28:56
It might help the situation if there was less talking. If cups were handed out for talking, Everton would be one of the elite clubs, and Koeman would be one of the elite managers.

Barkley strikes me as quite shy, certainly not prone to chit-chat, and perhaps there's too much spotlight on him. If he's not playing well, and Koeman wants to drop him, fine, but at the same time there could be a tad more minimalism in dealing with the media. It's not supposed to be a soap opera.

Tony Abrahams
50 Posted 24/12/2016 at 09:52:20
Like most people, I think I know my football, but if that's true I haven't got a fucking clue about football managers.

Leave it to people like Darren Hind, who called out Martinez before most, and was also definitely onto Koeman, and his ridiculous 'honesty'.

I have to agree with John Daley, and question the type of money Koeman, is getting to spend on players who are "nothing out of the ordinary ?"

We might not be privy to what is going on at Finch Farm but, if you want to harness any kind of team spirit (which should be any managers first aim), then this type of thing just shouldn't be turning up in the press.

Will Mabon
51 Posted 24/12/2016 at 09:56:17
John (#40):

Barkley was seen as one of the brightest young talents in recent times.

Lauded by many pundits.

Played for England.

He has an excellent shot.

He has two good feet.

Has scored many quality goals.

Has carried excellent stats (see the oft-cited Gerrard/Lampard comparisons).

Has shown top level dribbling skills.

Is very strong with his back to goal/ holding the ball.

Has made many technically incisive passes.

Has shown excellent reading of the game.

Is a stable character privately, by all accounts.

All true comments.

Any praise or support from Koeman? It's ALL negative. He'll be saying Barkley's crap in goal next.

Barkley's struggling now, in poor form. Almost all the previous Martinez charges are. They have been for the same duration as Barkley. That's why the team was crap for nearly two seasons. Name me one that's left Barkley (or anyone else) trailing in their wake of improvement under Koeman.

None of them are improving. It's because the manager can't do it. All we've ever heard is "Pressing". He is deflecting attention from his own failings with his wayward chunnerings. He is a PR clown. The player he once was will not prevent him from being found out.

Rob Dolby
52 Posted 24/12/2016 at 09:59:21
I would be shipping out a lot of the deadwood at the club before starting on Barkley. We all know there is a player in there somewhere – it's up to the manager and the player to find the role or formation.

Watching from the stands, we don't seem to deviate from 1 up top with 1 behind and 4 midfielders. With very little movement from anyone to get beyond the striker. Which means that if the striker doesn't score we don't score.

Ross is the easy target as he is expected to thread the final ball through to Lukaku who is usually marked by at least 2 defenders. Put Fabregas in the same position and he will have the same problems: we don't have enough movement off the ball in the final third.

Bill Watson
53 Posted 24/12/2016 at 10:02:49
Koeman was asked the question and gave the answer.

Great players can read the game but, unfortunately, it appears Barkley cannot, thus he's never going to become a pivotal player for Everton.

He hasn't warranted a regular starting place for around 12 months.

Ray Roche
54 Posted 24/12/2016 at 10:21:53
Tony Abrahams (#50),

Tony, the only thing wrong with "calling out" managers is that, if we had adopted that agenda with Kendall,i.e., "calling him out" after a dreadful run of performances, we'd have missed out on the glorious 1980s.

Kendall's team were absolute crap at one time – remember the 13,000 fans at the Coventry game calling for his head? And that was in his third season... just sayin'!

Stan Schofield
55 Posted 24/12/2016 at 10:32:43
Putting 'calling out' to one side, and continuing with the present incumbent, I would have thought that when a manager makes comments about a particular player's form, any review or update of those comments might reasonably be in line with review or update of significantly changing performance of the team on the pitch.

However, what we're seeing here is not that, but rather an incessant reiteration of comments that have already been made, against a background of continuing mediocrity from the team as a whole and a lack of evidence of adequate performance by the manager himself.

Koeman carries a higher responsibility than Barkley does. That's a basic principle of management. I would suggest to Koeman that if he is insistent on continuing these chitchats with the media, his focus should perhaps shift from individual players, to the overall performance of the team, the tactics, organisation, and his responsibility and accountability for these.

Roy Steel
56 Posted 24/12/2016 at 10:38:28
Ross is a victim of being overhyped, and unrealistic expectations of a good youngster – he never has been a great player.

Football greatness is a gift from the gods – not something you can teach a boy; you either have it or you don't. If not, then you have to work really hard trying to improve your skills and fitness.

If Ross had the gifts of real skill, and a football brain, then he would be sticking out like a shining beacon, head and shoulders above all the rest every week; great players always perform – even in a crap team.

It pains me to say that Ross is just one of the thousands of young kids who never quite got there, and all this shite about being one of ours has probably worked against him and has given him a bigger burden to carry.

I really hope for all our sakes – especially Everton's – that the lad comes good. I would be delighted if that's the case; he is a terrific player on his day... but a great one? Sorry, but No – and you can't blame any manager for this.

Gordon Crawford
57 Posted 24/12/2016 at 10:38:39
I believe Unsy could bring out the best in Ross. I really don't want Ronald as manager. Sadly though, we're stuck with him.

It's also being reported that we are going to be after three players just. If so, that's ridiculous.

I also totally agree with what Barry Horne had to say about the January transfer window. Steve Walsh needs to get his finger out.

Barry Horne: Everton targets Schneiderlin and Depay are good – but rather 'obvious' signings

Jay Woods
58 Posted 24/12/2016 at 10:51:15
I've given up on him and so should the rest of us. His derby performance, in which we needed a commanding display, was hideous and pretty much underlined the point that he is never going to be the player we thought he was going to be. Koeman is perhaps priming us for selling him, which I would be all for.
Robert Keys
59 Posted 24/12/2016 at 11:13:38
Gordon Crawford (#@57), Me and you together mate.

Koeman needs to stop criticising Ross in public and start earning his £6 mil by coaching the most naturally talented player we have.

Peter Roberts
60 Posted 24/12/2016 at 11:14:47
For decades now there has been a belief that some players need an arm round their shoulder and some need a kick up the arse... the best managers know when and how to apply this.

Barkley is the clearest case of any footballer I've known who needs an arm round his shoulder, protecting from criticism and pressure. Instead, he's probably become the most picked on player I've ever seen.

I look at ex players who understand his role: Scholes, Redknapp, Merson, Carragher. Every single one of them euphoric in their belief that he is a truly talented player who needs support.

Managers who didn't like him? Moyes, Warnock and Hodgson... whilst the likes of Harry Redknapp and Hoddle scratch their heads as to why he gets such a raw deal.

Cast your mind back to half time at the FA Cup Semi-Final and a visible shaken Ross Barkley questioning whether the fans were booing him? Absolutely heartbreaking that he believes that his own fans could do that. Now he has a manager who is putting more negatives on him... genius!

If he was related to me, I'd be telling him to move on. Enough is enough. This kid has been pelted more than any young player I've ever known and the sad thing is – he clearly loves the club.

He nearly took Henderson's ankle out the other night. Never seen that before and it wasn't Ross... we don't need to see that player. We don't need to see a frustrated angry talent do that. We need to see him want the ball, get it and pretend he's in the local park take on players and play the game he knows – not fears.

Funny most Liverpool fans I know would have the lad in a heartbeat. They even say he would flourish in their team. You know of what? He would. Players moving, being able to return the ball to him in one touch. Yeah... but us, we look at Barkley as the problem, not the player in front who makes the game so difficult for him.

Alex Hardman
61 Posted 24/12/2016 at 11:22:32
When Steven Gerrard, Frank Lampard and Paul Scholes turned 23, each had played 136, 148 and 80 Premier League games respectively, scoring 16, 24 and 21 goals.

Ross Barkley, by his birthday on December 5, had played 126 times and scored 18 goals. That's 10 less games than Gerrard and 2 more goals.

So come on, support the lad and get off his back – it's a special thing when you get a local lad coming good; don't lose sight of what's in front of you and boo him out of the club.

Terry Downes
62 Posted 24/12/2016 at 11:28:17
If Barkley is to go, then fair enough... but to use him in a swop for Sissoko is crazy – he made us look mugs pre-season... fuck that idea off big time!!!
Gordon Crawford
63 Posted 24/12/2016 at 11:30:58
Robert and Peter – you're both right.

Ross should only have one job to do and that is support the main striker. He shouldn't have to track back and make tackles, well unless it's absolutely necessary. He should be played as a second striker or forward who sits just behind the front man.

It's as clear as daylight that Everton are not playing to his strengths. And all this public criticism by the manager is only going to destroy his confidence even further. It's a sad state of affairs.

Jimmy Hogg
64 Posted 24/12/2016 at 11:37:48
Being a homegrown player, people just expect too much of Barkley. Has he been any worse than any other player?

He just needs a good run in his bet position and all the critics need to get off his back.

Everyone is calling for Davies, but if he got a run of 6 games, people would start to get on his back and the pressure would affect him. We need to get behind players to get them through the tough times.

A swap for that other Spurs maggot... is someone having a laugh???

Jason Bowen
65 Posted 24/12/2016 at 11:49:35
If Koeman even contemplates a swap deal involving Barkley and Sissoko then he should be removed from the Manager's Office asap.

No matter what you think of Barkley – that would just be outright stupidness and blatant idiocy – and the man would not be fit to lead our club.

Steve Moe
66 Posted 24/12/2016 at 11:49:54
Stop sticking up for Ross – he is not good enough to be a No 10. Roberto wanted a new No 10 but did not get one; Koeman will get a quality No 10 player.

This is the most important position on the pitch and we have a talent when it comes to skill but no vision. This is all on Ross: if he can't learn, he can't play. England dropped him for the same reasons and he sits on their bench – he does not have a football mind unless he is running with the ball and is going to shoot or play one-on-one.

He is not a midfield general so get rid of him; it won't click until he is 27. If it does not click, let's not wait – go spend some cash!!!

John G Davies
67 Posted 24/12/2016 at 11:57:19
What is all this "Don't shout at him – you will upset him" about?

Fuck's sake... he is a 23-year-old 6'-2" lad from the inner city.

Stan Schofield
68 Posted 24/12/2016 at 11:57:26
I had hoped the future might be orange. I'm now hoping the future isn't the colour of the stuff Koeman keeps spouting to the media.
Bobby Thomas
69 Posted 24/12/2016 at 11:59:35
Koeman needs to knock the public comments on the head. Keep it dressing room and training ground. And all he needs to say at a press conference is that's exactly what he is doing.

Once or twice I can understand it. Publicly challenge a player, see how he responds. But it's reached the point where it serves no purpose, as it is repetitive and is becoming a little self-defeating. I don't see how it can benefit the player at this point, and wonder how Barkley and other players view this persistent digging out in press conferences.

He was woeful in the derby, but I don't see how another public dig helps at this stage. His confidence can't exactly be high. You know when you've played well, and you know when you haven't.

And I don't particularly rate him either!!

Peter Roberts
70 Posted 24/12/2016 at 12:01:57
I await people saying to me "You want Lukaku to work for the team but Barkley doesn't have to?"

What I expect from both Lukaku and Barkley is that they put the defence under pressure when they have the ball. I expect them to both make themselves available to receive a pass. I don't expect either of them back with the DMs that simple.

I expect them to both be able to interchange, one -ouch football, hold it up where possible, and pass accurately.

Everton Wint
71 Posted 24/12/2016 at 12:02:15
Hi all, and Merry Crimbo. I've read all 52 comments/opinions on the matter and here's mine.

After 11 years of Moyes, we all saw what was possible under Martinez with a bit of flare added to what we had. The problem he had was he got carried away with his success after we stuffed Arsenal. Since throwing 4th place away, we've gone backwards due to him trying to turn us into Barcelona with crap players.

Koeman has come into a really bad situation. All put yourselves in his position. Great sleeping giant, with new billionaire owner, got a great squad of players just being miss managed. OK You come in and identify that the squad is a bit old fringe players are crap, and all the other problems we all moan about every day, plus all the other problems we are not privy to.

On top of that you have an enormous fan base who quite frankly expect all these problems to be sorted in six months because we've had enough. We are so angry, no manager we get is gonna every get a chance unless he gets at least a 75% win rate.

Ross Barkley, I love him to bits and hope he reaches his full potential at Everton. I would play him as a striker along side a real centre forward (Costa, Rondon type) I'd also do the same with Lukaku. Every manager has a style; OPM is like Morinho solid compact aggressive and they rely heavily on their forward players to steal the game with creativity, we have almost none of these ingredients so a lot of players needed in next the two windows. I've stated before any player can leave my love is the club.

I will be able to properly judge Koeman this time next year if we let him stay and work. Come on, fans, let's be real we have been poor for ages. We all now know deep down our players are not good enough – we've seen it for 4½ seasons now under three managers..

Peace and Goodwill to all COYBs

Damian Wilde
72 Posted 24/12/2016 at 12:06:44
Not good enough and has to go. Sentiment keeping him here... "He's one of us.. blah blah." Plus many others need to be shipped out.
Dave Williams
73 Posted 24/12/2016 at 12:12:14
I have expressed serious doubts about Koeman in various recent postings and this continued public criticism of Ross Barkley is unlikely to be helpful. A lot of what he says I agree with but it is surely better to remain between Koeman and Ross.

I recall the photo of Ross when he was playing in Under-14 football and a lad about a third of his size was vainly trying to tackle him but Ross looked the size he is now and looked like he could swat the lad away with ease.

He was 16 or 17 when he suffered the triple break in his leg and when he came back was playing against seasoned first team players and I would bet that a number of them would have been aware of his history and threaten to break his leg again should he go near them.

A year out of the game at that age would hinder his mental development and certainly explain his reluctance to get involved in a serious tackle when the other player is facing him (Henderson couldn't see him on Monday). As a kid, he could rely on his power to brush away opponents like that tiny lad in the photo so perhaps he wasn't using his brain back in those days because he didn't need to?

It really is a crying shame because the raw ability is there but so is the uncertainty in his mind when he has the ball. Alan Ball would have screamed himself hoarse if he had played with Ross because Alan could see a pass quicker than any player I have seen anywhere; if Ross had his ability in that area, he would truly be world class.

I haven't a clue what to do with him- I think I would keep him and get the rest of the team sorted- give him a proper structure with decent defensive midfielders and wingers and then see if he blossoms as we are a shambles at present; Ross isn't the sort to take a grip and lead us out of the mediocrity on his own. Certainly any notion that we should swap him for a player who only recently turned us down and has been largely crap at Newcastle and Spurs should be dismissed... please!!

As for Ron, this transfer window is crucial. Depay is a huge risk and could very easily crash and burn but has the ability to be a great source of supply to Rom and a great outlet for Ross. Ron has hidden behind poorly performing players bequeathed to him by Roberto – he has the chance now to make this team his own; if he buys poorly, then his neck will be on the block.

I see nothing yet in either his CV or his performance as our manager to suggest that he is anything like a top class manager – I do hope that he is going to prove me wrong!

Peter Roberts
74 Posted 24/12/2016 at 12:19:58
Ah John G Davies... is Ross not fitting in with the stereotypical scouser footballer?

I understand that you (like many) want him to be our Stevie G Laaaa, our next Rooney, Barton, Carragher... brought up playing footy on cobbled streets, cock of the year, skin like a rhino...

Maybe that's why fans pick on him; maybe they want to see him turn round mid match and kick off... front up to a fan and knock seven bells out of him... make him prove that he's a proper scouser. Maybe they will leave him alone then and stop bullying him.

After all he's 6ft-2in and built like a super-middleweight boxer; how can he be sensitive to criticism? Maybe he's a nice kid who had a good upbringing off his single mum who devoted so much time to him and his footballing education. Maybe he's a respectful lad who is universally liked – doesn't forget where he came from as seen with his moving tribute to Sid Benson.

The whole nonsense that he should be able to stomach criticism because he's scouse and 6ft-2in is pretty typical of laddite behaviour. Being sensitive is for players like Graeme le Saux and little Leighton Baines.

No, it's not actually a persons emotions has nothing to do with their physique

Proof? Watch Mike Tyson footage of how he used to get before a fight. Insecurities, fear, tears instead his coach harnessed that and made him approach with confidence, arm round shoulder... not "Get a grip, you big wuss!"

James Thornhill
75 Posted 24/12/2016 at 12:21:03
Poor lad.... I feel for him a bit. It's not like he doesn't show any effort. When I watch him play, he frustrates me so much, yet there is no other player I would like to see succeed at Everton than him.

The Lad is one of us, a True Blue; he doesn't go away on international duty spouting his mouth off, like some others.

So come on, Ross lad, make us proud!!!

Michael Lynch
76 Posted 24/12/2016 at 12:29:10
It's not personal – or it shouldn't be. Objectively, Ross has disappointed over the past couple of seasons after a fantastic start as a young pro. And, subjectively, I for one haven't seen anything to suggest he is going to become the player everyone hoped and wished he would become, while Koeman seems to be suggesting that he's not seeing it in training either.

It could be that he needs a clean break, to start again at another Premier League club. Ross has always played fair with us so, as a club, we should be prepared to listen to offers. We need a number 10 or 8 who can contribute more; he needs other options to develop.

Ray Roche
77 Posted 24/12/2016 at 12:37:47
Peter (#74) – very good, thought-provoking post.
John G Davies
78 Posted 24/12/2016 at 12:40:41
Peter Roberts.

I take it your not familiar with inner city Liverpool?

Or inner city anywhere?

Gordon Crawford
79 Posted 24/12/2016 at 12:46:01
Good post, Peter (#74). Selling Ross would be a big mistake. The lad isn't being used in the right way.
Don Alexander
80 Posted 24/12/2016 at 12:53:09
Ross just doesn't bring enough to the current Everton table to justify a place. He's not solely responsible for the state of that table but, like any other player at the club, it's the only one there is so he'll have bring more to it.

It's called being professional. If he hasn't yet worked that out after three Everton managers, five years and 22 caps, I regretfully come to the conclusion that he never will.

Dave Abrahams
81 Posted 24/12/2016 at 12:53:50
Like most on here, I haven't a clue how to get the best out of Ross. I do agree though that he needs an arm around him, rather than being told in public all his faults,. This can be done at Finch Farm. I believe that, if Ross goes on to improve, it will just come to him how easy the game of football is and how good he is at it.

Not going off the subject, but in the late fifties Everton had a winger, Brian Harris, who was an in-and-out sort of player who never impressed many people that he was going to make the grade, he was switched to wing half, even played full back. He never looked back, just enjoyed the game more, realised how easy the game was. He would have played a lot more for the blues but we signed Tony Kay and he lost his place.

I think it will one day click for Ross, I hope the day comes. I wouldn't say for certain it will happen; if it does, we will have a very good player. He really needs helping, rather than being constantly criticised all the time.

Rob Halligan
82 Posted 24/12/2016 at 12:57:00
Ross has been at Everton since he was about 8 or 9 years old, so I guess he never played Sunday league football.Trust me, if he had, he would be one hell of a hard knock player.

I'm with John G Davies on this one. Tackles like that on Henderson would be the norm, rather than the exception.

Ross needs to toughen himself up, although I do think his triple leg break plays permanently on his mind. I think it doesn't matter which club he played for, tackling would never be part of his game.

John G Davies
83 Posted 24/12/2016 at 13:13:35
Picked up from junior club Ash Celtic, Rob.

Run from a refined hostelry at the top of the street where he was brought up. Ash Celtic and the pub in a rough area both run by good people.

Stan Schofield
84 Posted 24/12/2016 at 13:16:25
If Everton were playing well, and Ross was an exceptionally bad performer, then I would accept the focus on him as a particular problem to be solved. However, this is not the case.

Everton are not playing well, and indeed the system being played to is unclear, and there are many sub-par performances within an apparently sub-par set-up.

As such, I would prefer to see the manager focus on underlying problems of organisation and tactics, and effective use of player skills, rather than singling out individual performers. The latter strikes me as a diversion from more fundamental problems for which management have responsibility.

Whether Ross Barkley is a hard case from a rough part of Liverpool, or not, is irrelevant, a diversion.

Alan McGuffog
85 Posted 24/12/2016 at 13:16:58
We have a very mediocre squad. We have one or two very good players: Coleman, Lukaku and, yes, Barkley. Each of these players would improve tremendously if they played for decent, footballing teams. Selling any of them will improve their careers but will weaken our painfully thin squad.

This state of affairs will continue until the whole management structure of the club is stripped down and rebuilt and we move to our new home. Hopefully on the waterfront!

Rob Halligan
86 Posted 24/12/2016 at 13:20:47
Is that the Ash Grove, just off Picton Road, John?
Alan J Thompson
87 Posted 24/12/2016 at 13:24:25
He thinks Lukaku needs to move to fulfill his potential; similar with Barkley, and Deulofeu should be moved on.

Under this manager, I've not seen any particular improvement on the pitch, nobody strikingly creative linked in the transfer market, and he puts his foot in it at every press conference!

Given the choice as to who should be moved on, my money would be on the failing manager rather than one of our best players – after all, with whom does the responsibility lie?

Alan McGuffog
88 Posted 24/12/2016 at 13:26:22

Brian Harris was an unsung hero in the mid-sixties. An excellent left half who took his chance after Tony Kay was hung out to dry. I recall Harris being a great partner for Ramon Wilson down that left side.

Eddie Dunn
89 Posted 24/12/2016 at 13:28:34
Well said, Peter Roberts.
Rick Tarleton
90 Posted 24/12/2016 at 13:31:52
One of the great problems Barkley faces and in fact the whole midfield faces is the total lack of movement by our front players. Of the 503 players who have appeared in the Premier League this season, Romalu Lukaku was 503rd for movement.

So often Barkley and Gueye are looking to pass and they check and go sideways, because there is no one making the runs, either through the middle or on the flanks, until Coleman and Baines arrive from the back.

Colin Harvey and Bobby Collins would have looked pedestrian with our front players. Hence this season we have resorted to the Howard Wilkinson and Charles Hughes tactics of lumping it long.

Koeman, don't blame Barkley (incidentally still sixth most successful midfielder on pass completion); blame your tactics and the leaden lack of movement of the players up front.

John G Davies
91 Posted 24/12/2016 at 13:33:29
That's the one, Rob.
Ernie Baywood
92 Posted 24/12/2016 at 14:06:27
I remember Ross bossing a derby. I remember him having the ball on a string running at pace. I remember him controlling balls into him and dropping it anywhere within 360 degrees. He's an exceptional talent. I'm sure that's still in him.

He can shoulder a lot of responsibility for his current form, but who has played well over the last 2 years? Has anyone shown that you can actually look good under the last two thirds of Martinez's reign and the first few months under Koeman?

I'll give Ross one thing: he's never agitated for a move when we know full well he could get one. He may not thunder around the park like we all think we would if we got a chance to wear the shirt, but the fact he's still here must say a lot about how he feels about this club.

Colin Malone
93 Posted 24/12/2016 at 14:12:52
Ronald Koeman is spot on in his analysis of not only Ross but the way we play; he's spot on. I cannot believe anyone criticising Koeman. It's a fact – Ross does ball watch. I've seen it many, many times but that's easily remedied by the likes of Jags, Williams and Co, shouting to go right or left.

Regarding Ross's assists, this is a contentious point. Ross had one of his best games against Arsenal, when Valencia played ahead of him – a player who is willing to move for a pass.

A Defoe-type player would suit Ross Barkley. Ross needs movement ahead of him. Until such time, we won't see the best of Ross Barkley.

Tony Hill
94 Posted 24/12/2016 at 14:21:27
Well said, Ernie.
Peter Cummings
95 Posted 24/12/2016 at 14:36:44
Barkley is not the only member of the current squad who needs a kick up the backside to improve his game. IMO, it's Lukaku who needs to get his act together big time, no ball control, constantly caught offside, outmuscled and outheaded, losing possession, etc,etc, yet given his height and strength he should be a defenders nightmare.

One of our major problems, apart from the bleeding obvious, is the lack of service from the wings. I lost count of the number of times Liverpool got the ball into our area from wing play causing panic situations with most clearances going to the opposition and now we hear one of our best wingers, Deulofeu, wanting out for lack of playing time.

All-in-all, not a lot to look out for next year. In spite of all the gloom and doom, I wish all our long suffering Evertonians, at home and here in north America , a very Happy Crimbo and lost of luck in 2017!!! COYB

Don Alexander
96 Posted 24/12/2016 at 15:09:15
Nice little Brian Harris story:

In 1963, me and my cousin, both 7, were taken to Goodison by our dads. At full-time, cousin got lost. Two dads and I looked all over the fast emptying ground, then the streets around Goodison Road, back to the car, then back to the deserted ground until about two hours later ending up at a police station where full particulars were taken.

Dreading arriving home to explain to distraught mums, we got in and saw my cousin watching telly, asking where we'd been. Turns out he'd wandered about in the ground as it emptied and, when he'd been more or less the only one left "went down this tunnel and into this room where loads of men were". That room turned out to be the Everton dressing room and having said where he lived Brian Harris agreed to give him a lift home!

Dads still got mega bollockings though!

Dave Abrahams
97 Posted 24/12/2016 at 15:43:31
Alan (#88), you are correct – Brian Harris regained his place at Everton after Tony Kay was banned from football and played in the 1966 FA Cup Final win over Sheffield Wed.

However, Brian made his debut for Everton in 1955 or 1956 as a winger before he was converted to wing-half by either Ian Buchan or Johnny Carey later in the fifties.

He left Everton for Cardiff City under a cloud, claiming Everton should have given him a free transfer after years of service, which I agree with, but Everton demanded and got 㾶,000 for him.

The point of my story was to point out that Brian was not really going anywhere until he was converted to wing-half and it all suddenly clicked into place for him.

Tahir Abdullah
98 Posted 24/12/2016 at 16:28:32
Sometimes exciting showman but a poor footballer... a pity that in waiting for Ross to "grow up or be played in his best position", the team as a whole is invariably unbalanced. He's unlikely to mature in the pressure cooker that is the EPL anyhow.
Jay Harris
99 Posted 24/12/2016 at 16:31:18
I have a lot of sympathy for both sides of the argument.

I believe Ross is the most naturally talented lad we have had since Rooney.

I think the public criticism of him is totally unhelpful.

I also think the lack of movement within the team doesn't help.

However, Ross and Lukaku are both what I call 'luxury' players. They will always look good when the game is going our way but, when the chips are down, they fail to impose themselves.

Now if Ross, as most of us believe, needs an arm round the shoulder consistently, can we really afford to play him in the cut and thrust of the Premier League where self motivation and a winning mentality are the key to success.

I would love Ross to prosper with us but we have to trust a manager with Koeman's pedigree to judge how to handle him.

Soren Moyer
100 Posted 24/12/2016 at 16:31:43
I agree with all of what he says about Barkley, but can he please give an explanation about this ongoing project, about the reasons behind his decision to sign Williams and Stekelenburg?

Oh, and why are we so crap since day one under his management??

And why are we getting worse week after week???

Paul Holmes
101 Posted 24/12/2016 at 16:43:45
Ross Barkley needs moving on – he is not good enough to move Everton to where we want to be in 3 years time. We signed a lad from Villa called Gueye who has only been here a couple of months and he is THE FUTURE of Everton (if we can keep him).

Open your eyes and don't let sentiment blind you as I'm sure Ross will still be a multi-millionaire, whoever he plays for... but hopefully not us.

John Pierce
102 Posted 24/12/2016 at 16:54:04
Opinion is divided clearly and both sides of the arguement don't focus on the player. Ross has gifts that are seen when he plays instinctively.

However, what has Ross ever done about his situation? I cannot say he is a Lampard or a Gerrard or Rooney because HE hasn't made the drive for improvement. Regardless of manager, if HE wanted to be the business we would have seen it by now. Very unlikely he will blossom at this age and go on.

Sadly his avenues are limited, again HE needs to decide a move is necessary to improve himself, ever see Ross putting in a transfer request? Nah. That's the point. He lets things happen to him – not the other way around... Time to move on, lad.

Now for Koeman, this to me is an exercise in trying to sell the lad by heaping pressure on him and telling anyone who will listen how good he could be.

Why just Ross? and not other underperforming players, well simply he is the most marketable and other teams will think they can get more put of him.

Do I like this approach, not really, Koeman continues to show me nothing that gives me any hope he can manage our once great club.

Peter Roberts
103 Posted 24/12/2016 at 17:29:10
John G Davies,

I played West Cheshire Premier League football, Birkenhead Saturday league, Birkenhead Sunday League, Ellesmere Port Premier League... had my eyes gouged in a game of football.

Yeah, I do understand.

Jimmy Hogg
104 Posted 24/12/2016 at 18:20:46
If Ross Barkley is not up to it, why are Spurs after him? He could have done a runner like Rooney, but stayed loyal to his boyhood club.

He is not Messi, but is a top class player that most top clubs will go for if he was for sale. Koeman should be trying to take the pressure off him, not giving the press hints about his future.

Koeman was a world class player, but not sure he knows how to work with players who are not up to his status.

Come on, Ross, make him eat his words.

Gary Reeves
105 Posted 24/12/2016 at 18:23:17
Anyone who knows me, or has read my previous comments about Ross Barkley, knows that I don't rate the lad. I'm just amazed that we're three seasons into this debate - the evidence is overwhelming.

I've just read through this thread and it's obvious now that the doubters are in the ascendance, and rightly so. I've kept calling out Barkley's limitations because I'm an Evertonian, and I want the best for our team – it's been obvious that he does not improve us... simple as!

I've commented previously on his tactical indiscipline,lack of defensive abilities etc etc (we've all kicked it around) but I've noticed that some of his defender's on here are now reduced to saying that it's a personality thing - and the problem is he's "a nice lad", "he's shy", "quiet".

So whilst we're debating from a psychological view,could I add my own perspective? . . Isn't it obvious that he's a bit "dozy"?.. I mean c'mon, it's the elephant in the room!

Do we/you want to move this team on, or not?

Colin Glassar
106 Posted 24/12/2016 at 18:47:13
Some great posts on here. I'm glad Ross still has the support of many Evertonians.

Koeman – do your job and get the best out of our players. That's what you're paid to do. Just look at Williams. He was as solid as a rock at Swansea but plays like a big fairy for us but he doesn't get publicly bollicked every week by Koeman.

John G Davies
107 Posted 24/12/2016 at 19:05:46
Peter Roberts (#74),

That was just before Tyson's first fight only. Read his book, The Undisputed Truth.

The penny dropped immediately. He thoroughly demolished all subsequent opponents until the booze got him (without need for the arm around him).

Peter Roberts
108 Posted 24/12/2016 at 19:45:32
John... I've read everything there is to know about Tyson.

He has lived with low self-esteem all his life – he deems himself worthless. Psychologically he is screwed.

My point remains being a strapping lad does not alleviate the burden of criticism.

Stan Schofield
109 Posted 24/12/2016 at 19:45:35
On a matter of football detail, so many posts on TW say that Lukaku couldn't trap a bag of cement, he's a fucking ping-pong machine.

Well, let me say this. I've watched football since I was 7, and seen George Best, Pele, Zidane, Alex Young, Alan Ball, Cruyff, Duncan MacKenzie, Colin Harvey, Messi, et al. Regarding the ability to trap a ball, one of the most important skills in football, none of these great players exceeds Ross Barkley.

Not only trapping, but turning at the same time, and wrong footing opponents. A very rare skill. If Koeman cannot concentrate on Barkley's positive attributes like this ability, and get him to utilise them for the benefit of Everton, instead of repeatedly pointing to things he can't do well, then I know who of the two of them I would want to leave Everton, and it isn't Barkley.

Dick Fearon
110 Posted 24/12/2016 at 19:49:47
The lad is part of a team in which every player is treading water or gone backwards. Name a single one of them that has improved in any way under Koeman.

I am not criticising big Ron for having a go at Ross but, fair's fair, he could also point the bone at a dozen others.

Joe Edwards
111 Posted 24/12/2016 at 19:52:33
If Klueless Koeman sells Barkley, he should be sacked, the lads fucking confidence is down by his ankles and the Dutch tosspot's method of improving it is by criticising him constantly in public.

He's a fucking Dutch fraud – I say it now and say it loud – he's a shit manager.

John Pierce
112 Posted 24/12/2016 at 19:55:04
Stan, this ain't American football, Ross isn't a kicker who can do one thing exceptionally well and not need to contribute in other areas.

If (and a big 'if') Ross is to be rehabilitated, he should be dropped to the U23s – a team with high morale and winning mentality, and be allowed to remember what it is like to run a game again.

I think his race is run. He hasn't got the mental strength to overcome both his own and the teams issues.

I've already moved on.

Stan Schofield
114 Posted 24/12/2016 at 20:09:41
John @112: Yes, we all know it's not American football. No information content there mate. And we know it's a team game, the team being Everton.

Well, Koeman is a manager, supposedly making maximum use of the talents of players, talents we know about because we've seen them in action, and have no reason not to believe those talents can't be manifested again, through organisation, marshalling of skills, tactical expertise, leadership, motivation, and all those other little attributes that are associated with effective management, particular management that has a salary of ٤M/year.

Everton Wint
115 Posted 24/12/2016 at 20:21:57
I'm sure I remember Koeman getting angry with the press, about the constant Barkley questions and saying what about the other players. So what should he do, refuse to answer questions about Barkley?

Then we'd all say Koeman's now even refusing to talk about him. Only Ross can change what the media are doing to him, not Koeman. By being the player most think he can be.
Stan Schofield
116 Posted 24/12/2016 at 20:34:45
Everton, no, that's not the case. There's an old saying (I think Hungarian, obviously not Dutch), 'Think 9 times, and speak on the 10th'.

Either Koeman is not thinking 9 times, or he's diverting attention from taking the responsibility and accountability appropriate to his position.

Jay Wood
117 Posted 24/12/2016 at 20:45:02
As many did on the recent Deulofeu thread, a number of posters are echoing the same error in this thread about Barkley's 'poor form' – extending it beyond when his form truly did drop away.

Both Geri and Ross were playing really well into January and February of this year, 2016. Geri was showing a devastating passing range and, hugging the flank, was drawing 2-3 opposition players to him who he would still skin and which consequently created space and scoring chances for others.

Similarly, as Stan alludes to, Ross was time and again showing sublime skill in tight situations, receiving and instantly controlling the ball, using his upper body strength and turning away at speed from his close markers which put the opposition on the back foot.

After the 3-3 draw at Chelsea in the league and the League Cup semi defeat at Shitteh, Geri barely featured again under Martinez and Ross's form – along with pretty much the whole team – also nose-dived, apart from our FA cup run to the semi.

Everyone who has worked closely with Ross and we, the fans, have seen all the natural talent that resides in him (and Geri, for that matter).

To borrow a line from Paul Simon, "The problem's all inside your head..." Ross. On the pitch, he is not a shouter and pointer. In interview, he clearly isn't brash, a little timid even, and yet he potentially has so much going for him.

I should think, or hope, the club works with sports psychologists. If so, I should think, or hope, they (and the management) consult with and talk to Ross about this apparent crisis of confidence and lack of belief in his own abilities in an attempt to instill some swagger into the lad.

As for Koeman's public comments on Ross and dropping him, I think the first couple of airings were legitimate and justified; Ross needed to be made aware of the level of expectancy he carries.

Koeman's latest public utterances, all the more so after he prefaced them with "I don't like to speak about Ross because every word I say about Ross is used in a negative or positive way" ... and then does just that, in a very explicit way, I am less doubtful about the efficacy or necessity to do so.

I think Ross is confused as to what is expected of him at Everton and his performance in the derby reflected this to a degree. Many a poster on here, not just the manager, wanted more effort, more pressing, more tackling from Ross. Against t'other lot, you saw a non-typical game from Ross as he tried to do just that... only, he's not very good at that aspect of the game and it climaxed with the really bad foul on wotsisface.

Ross Barkley is yet one more to add to the list of the many enigmas associated with Everton, its playing staff and management at the moment.

I continue to repeat: neither the players we possess, nor the manager occupying the hot seat are as 'crap' as many wish to make out. There is very recent history which supports my view.

But clearly, something is systemically awry at the club. Unless and until this is identified and corrected, Everton, the manager, the players, the team, will continue to frustrate as they currently do.

Tony Abrahams
118 Posted 24/12/2016 at 21:10:13
Ray Roche, how can you say that Peter's post was very good, but I'm wrong for "calling out Koeman"?

Even if Ross Barkley was one of those Scousers that Peter was alluding to, it surely wouldn't have made it any easier for the kid when he picked up today's papers?

Don't have to like your manager, Ray, but you should be able to trust him though. I heard man-management was one of Howard Kendall's great strengths and you only had to look at his great Everton team to understand it.

Anyway Merry Christmas to Evertonians everywhere... it might not always be easy, but We Shall Not Be Moved!

Jimmy Hogg
119 Posted 24/12/2016 at 21:22:04
Whether Barkley stays or goes, why are we chasing a player that humiliated us at the last window? Sissoko was rubbish at Newcastle, had a good euro's that earned a big move to Spurs. Now Spurs are trying to offload him.

Why would Koeman want to embarrass himself by being linked with a cocky serial flop. I would give Niasse a chance, at least he's a trier.

Trevor Peers
120 Posted 24/12/2016 at 21:25:13
Stan (#116),

You can't be serious, Koeman is entitled to answer direct questions about Barkley, who strangely has had more column inches devoted to him than Lady Diana. No fault of Ross, he's an unassuming lad and must be baffled with all the attention.

Koeman apparently rolled his eyes in disbelief, presumably sick to the back teeth of such questions, then dived in, with an honest appraisal – where's the problem? He can't worry about Barkley's feelings and nor should he. They're all multimillionaires and are there to be shot at.

Colin Glassar
121 Posted 24/12/2016 at 21:45:30
Keith (#113),

FYI, my head is firmly in the clouds.

Tony Abrahams
122 Posted 24/12/2016 at 21:52:36
It might be a bit hypocritical of me (I'm not really one for stats) but, after reading Rick's post @90, if this is true, then it's truely staggering, and also very hypocritical of our current manager, with regards to wanting his team to press from the front.

I said after the Liverpool game that playing Barry was a contradiction, but if this is true about Lukaku, and his lack of movement, then I really hope someone comes in for him quick.

Paul Holmes
123 Posted 24/12/2016 at 22:26:13
How can posters on here blame Koeman for Ross Barkley's rubbish performances? Koeman is sitting on the bench, Ross is on the field ffs, he does not tell him to mis-place passes, head the ball like a 50p piece ,shoot wide from 10 yards out, etc etc.

The sooner Koeman gets his OWN players in, the better. Koeman has played for Barcelona and Holland – do you really think he can't see the rubbish squad he has inherited from Martinez? Give the man a break; keep him – change the playing staff!!

Stan Schofield
124 Posted 24/12/2016 at 22:33:18
Trevor @120: That's one of the problems, he dived in.
Ray Roche
125 Posted 24/12/2016 at 22:33:44
Tony Abrahams (#118),

Tony, I mentioned the calling out business to illustrate that if we, as a club, had given Kendall as little time as some are suggesting we give Koeman, then we would have missed his great 1980s sides.

I also thought Peter's post was somewhat ironic, again, suggesting that because Ross is a big strapping lad that he won't have any sort of sensitive side which would allow criticism to affect him.

Anyway, enough of this, a Very Happy Christmas to you and Blue Boys everywhere.

Rick Tarleton
126 Posted 24/12/2016 at 22:46:54
Tony, the figures come from "The Guardian".

Lukaku wants to play a counter-attacking game where he runs on to a ball, think Man City, but he isn't either a back to goal player or a holder-up of play. He really needs to have a partner alongside of him.

My real beef is that Koeman is supposed to get the best out of the resources at his disposal, not constantly moan that they don't do what he wants. His Southampton team were younger and more athletic, our players aren't.

Maybe in three transfer windows he'll persuade the players he wants to come to Goodison, maybe not. However, in the meantime he has to work with what he's got and he seems unwilling to do that. Barkley playing as a headless chicken as he did against Liverpool, is no answer.

Stan Schofield, like me obviously an older fan, makes the point about Barkley's intrinsic skill and control and like him I go back, me to 53-54, and I echo his sentiments about Barkley.

Brian Furey
127 Posted 24/12/2016 at 22:52:07
I wonder do the media enjoy playing Koeman as they know he is far too open and honest? He often seems to say the wrong thing, even if it's true and so he must be a journalist's dream to ask him awkward questions.

Yes, Ross and several players are going through poor form but Koeman doesn't help their confidence much by publicly criticizing them as it's his personality – rather than deflecting the question, like other managers do.

It's fine speaking your mind when the team are winning and doing well but it requires other managerial skills when players are struggling.

Tony Abrahams
128 Posted 24/12/2016 at 22:58:37
Fair enough, Ray, but I don't think any manager should be talking about any of his players like this to the press.

Agree with everything you say, Rick, can't believe no-one had picked up on your first post regarding Rom's movement.

What does 'intrinsic' mean, Rick? I think Ross, is a Catch-22 for me, because he see's the game much better from a deeper position, but the defensive side of his game is almost non-existent.

Everton Wint
129 Posted 24/12/2016 at 23:28:31
Cheers, Trevor (#120), saved me the writing.

Merry Christmas all. COYBs

Michael McCarthy
130 Posted 24/12/2016 at 23:33:09
Ross is a rare talent, the manager should be encouraging, coaching and nurturing him. Lambasting him to the press does no one any good. Ross will leave EFC and flourish. Koeman may have had a trophy-laden career but as a manager he is similar to Ross... has Potential!
Paul Hewitt
131 Posted 24/12/2016 at 23:35:54
I really fear for Ross; If he hasn't got it now, he might never will.
Clive Mitchell
132 Posted 24/12/2016 at 23:46:42
Koeman still demanding improvement from Barkley? Here's one Everton supporter still demanding any kind of a sign that Koeman is a competent manager for a great club. He makes Martinez look like a genius.
Tony Hill
133 Posted 24/12/2016 at 23:48:01
Tony, that last paragraph is spot on. He played his best 3 years ago running from deeper positions or, at least, playing somehow with more awareness of space.

As Ernie Baywood says, where is the player who dominated Arsenal at the Emirates end of 2013, erasing the darling Wilshere, in the best performance I have seen from an Everton side in many years? Indeed, where has that Everton gone?

John G Davies
134 Posted 24/12/2016 at 23:56:43
Peter (#108).

I have had the pleasure to watch Tyson live in his prime three times. An animal, a wrecking ball with the quickest feet of any heavyweight including my all time hero, Ali.

Please don't use him as an analogy. Nothing at all to liken his situation to Ross's.

Joe Foster
135 Posted 25/12/2016 at 00:01:17
Merry Xmas to you all.
Tony Abrahams
136 Posted 24/12/2016 at 00:34:41
It was a great day that, Tony, especially coming off the back of a win at Man Utd just 4 days earlier. It looked like we were on our way back at the time, and I remember being genuinely excited, both home and away, when going to watch Everton, for much of that season.

It had been the same the season before, up until January 2nd when Moyes won his last league away match as an Everton manager, but in many ways the first part of that season, was equally as good for me.

Back to Barkley, and he disappointed me three times against Liverpool, the other night. In the first half he waited for Lukaku with his back to goal to come and get the ball, and only when Rom turned and ran away did Ross burst on to it. (I thought "Go and take the initiative, Ross Barkley, or you will never improve.")

Second time was when he shit out of the tackle with Klavan. He might well be a sensitive kid, but he was playing for Everton against Liverpool, and he should have flown right in to that challenge,

The last time was for his reckless challenge on Henderson, which would have been a lot more acceptable if he would have flown right into the challenge he shit out of.

But I left Goodiso, at least feeling that the kid had tried really hard, which is why Koeman saying what he did to the press today really disappoints me because I feel that Ross Barkley, will be feeling that he can't really win now, after reading what his manager has just said in the public domain...

Brian Porter
137 Posted 25/12/2016 at 01:19:43
Ronald Koeman had time, before accepting the post of Everton manager, to think about what he was getting into. He should have known the players were at a low ebb after the Martinez era, and that many of them were not exactly in the first flush of youth.

Any truly great (or aspiring to be great) manager, would therefore have planned accordingly, with the onus of motivating and getting the best out of a squad that needed nurturing and building up, mentally and physically, while he quietly went about the job of gradually bringing in the necessary replacements and reinforcements he felt we needed.

Instead, we have a manager who seems very high on his own self-esteem, but who appears to think that public castigation of his players is acceptable as he seeks to deflect any blame for our poor performances away from himself.

One of the chief areas of criticism we consistently levelled at Roberto Martinez was his apparent lack of a workable Plan B. So far, I think many of us find it difficult to work out what Koeman's Plan A is, never mind a Plan B. He has no idea of his best XI, and has only recently virtually stumbled upon the fact that a 4-4-2 line-up actually seems to work for us, but will he run with it? I doubt it.

Instead of publicly criticising Ross Barkley or any member of our squad, Koeman should first look at himself and decide exactly what his playing strategy for Everton FC is going to be and then work hard WITH the players in putting it into practice.

Sadly, for me, I feel his detachment from the players is monumentally self-destructive and counter-productive. I already feel that our players have little respect for the man and his methods, and where Martinez went over the top in 'bigging up' his players, Koeman has swung totally in the opposite direction by belittling players like Barkley and undermining already low levels of self-esteem and confidence within the squad. He seems obsessed with Lukaku who has shown so little of late and his constant talk of how important he is to the team simply isn't backed up by irrefutable facts that show Rom to be one of the laziest players in the Premier League.

Koeman is not the right man for Everton. There, I've said it, and if I'm proved wrong, I'll be happy to admit it and apologise; but, if I'm right, just how far below the standards (and league position) of the Martinez years will we have fallen before Moshiri realises his mistake in appointing the man?

James Flynn
138 Posted 24/12/2016 at 01:40:15
Ross will toughen up or he won't.

When asked about Ross, Koeman speaks plainly and true. I don't think he wants to get rid of Ross at all. He wants him to take responsibility equal to his talent.

Moyes, Hodgson, and now Koeman have talked about Barkley's need to improve his game. All three are wrong? No, they aren't. Under Moyes, he has to get a pass as a teenager used to dominating other teens, suddenly placed into a disciplined, first-rate EPL side. So fair enough there.

Now, 5 seasons later, 3 months shy of his 24th birthday, Koeman's talking about the same need for improvements? It's on Ross.

He should be able to get there. With all our talk, it's not as if he's been a complete bust so far. Anyway, he will or he won't and we'll see.

Oh, and I'm in the "Keep him" camp. A genuine talent.

Bobby Thomas
139 Posted 25/12/2016 at 01:53:27
Jimmy Hogg (#104),

Why were Man City after Rodwell?

James Flynn
140 Posted 25/12/2016 at 01:56:47
In fairness, 3 years under OFM did him no favours. "Needs an arm around his shoulder" approach does he? Martinez did everything but blow him on camera.

Stones too. Praised to the heavens. Other than a huge salary increase, how's that working out?

Pep is discovering what Koeman has. For playing regularly for 3 seasons, these kids have a lot of learn.

Jimmy Hogg
141 Posted 25/12/2016 at 02:55:41
Bobby @ 139

Like all businesses, they had some spare cash that would have gone to the taxman if not spent. Guess Rodwell was a tax write-off.

Maybe Rooney was right to get out before fan pressure destroyed him. In Barkley's defence he seems to be getting blamed for a team that is collectively playing badly.

Paul Ward
142 Posted 25/12/2016 at 03:34:14
Stan Schofield (#109) rightly describes some of the sparkling skills Ross possesses at such high level. Stan believes these skills are greater than the great players he has mentioned.

The difference is, all these greats showed the skills on a regular basis and didn't just rely on a manager or team mates or an arm around the shoulder to display the skills.

I think Ross would be much better coming on at half-time and doing his super skilled juggling act with the ball, then he would get the applause and adulation posters think he deserves.

Chris Williams
143 Posted 25/12/2016 at 04:55:08
I think we might still be arguing about Ross or waiting for him to reach his potential at his Testimonial match.
Stan Schofield
144 Posted 25/12/2016 at 09:06:50
Paul@142: Don't be silly mate. Merry Christmas.
Eddie Dunn
145 Posted 25/12/2016 at 09:28:20
Chris Williams, there is still hope for Barkley. You never stop learning and lots of players at 23 lack consistency.

I remember Osman was much the same. A couple of loans seemed to help him and he developed into a steady player.

Perhaps Barkley would benefit from a loan to Bournemouth, which has helped Wilshere this season!

John G Davies
146 Posted 25/12/2016 at 09:38:28
Brian (#137),

Koeman hasn't played 4-4-2. The last two games have been 4-1-4-1. Before that, 4-2-3-1.

John Crawley
147 Posted 25/12/2016 at 09:48:29
James (#140),

I agree with that; I think neither Barkley or Stones was coached properly and as a result they've missed out on a lot the last 3 years.

Colin Glassar
148 Posted 25/12/2016 at 09:52:07
"I really fear for Ross; If he hasn't got it now, he might never will."

Paul (#131), possibly the worstest piece of English I have read in a long tame mate. Were you pissed when you written it like?

Merry Christmas mate and to everyone else.

James Macdonald
149 Posted 25/12/2016 at 10:55:08
I really hope that Koeman's approach is one of tough love but I fear much of the evidence points to him wanting to get rid of Ross. As I see it, the more direct football and pressing game we are playing now is not in keeping with the type of midfield player Ross is.

This in reality is the reason for his stats being down allied to a loss of confidence by being dropped by Allardyce, Southgate and Koeman. The fact is that last season he got I think 22 goals and assists which is bloody good for a 21/22-year-old.

It would be madness to sell him and this talk of his contract not being a priority (while 3 others sign and Lukaku is about to sign) is deeply worrying especially as Koeman says it may not be until February (conveniently after the transfer window ends).

If Koeman really wants to keep Ross he really needs to say so but so far he has been stopping well short of that.

Chris Williams
150 Posted 25/12/2016 at 11:10:25
I'm hoping Eddie, not holding my breath but hoping.

In 60 odd years of watching Everton I don't think I've ever known a player who has so polarised opinion. That in itself tells you something. A bit like Thatcher.

Stan Schofield
151 Posted 25/12/2016 at 11:39:42
I believe that this thread may have more to do with the management than with individual players like Ross.

I supported Koeman's appointment from the outset, thinking there must be substance behind a ٤M/year appointment, especially given that he was head-hunted by Everton. However, having observed his actions and words since June, and seen our performances on the pitch, I am now uncertain about my support.

I wouldn't necessarily support getting rid of him, but I am concerned by his words and actions, his general style, and would hope that he reviews and changes these. None of us are perfect, and every senior manager in any industry has room to improve on their performance.

What really concerns me is his repeated focus on individual players. I realise it's often in reply to a question, but there are many ways to skin a cat when replying to the media.

His comments about Niasse (saying he's effectively shite) and Lukaku (implying he could be better off leaving Everton) are in my opinion unprofessional. By that, I mean he has a duty to act and speak in the best interests of Everton, and these examples are contrary to that requirement. This is not negotiable, he has this duty, and is not free to make any comments he wants to make (in response to questions or otherwise) without this constraint of professionalism.

Similarly, I am concerned by his comments about Barkley. Koeman's job is to make the best use of the players available, utilising what players can do rather than focusing on what they cannot do. This is the basic professional skill of a manager, a necessary condition for showing competence in your job.

The situation with Koeman, and the comments we make on TW about him, is not a polarised one, where we're for or against him, but one of commenting realistically as time wears on and we see his words and actions.

He probably doesn't read TW, but if he does, I would say to him, reduce your public criticism of your players (your staff), measure more carefully how you respond to the media, and focus more on your responsibilities as a manager, ie, ensuring an effective system on the pitch for using the skills you have at your disposal.

Jay Woods
152 Posted 25/12/2016 at 11:52:07
Paul Hewitt (131), do you write the English blurbs on cheap and nasty products from China?
Brian Williams
153 Posted 25/12/2016 at 12:09:47
Will he, won't he? Can he, can't he? It is without doubt that Ross has skills which, very infrequently, are sublime. The run away goal against Newcastle is one of those times, one of those goals you'll remember forever.

Some people seem unable, or unwilling though, to recognize that the lad, in a footballing sense, is not very intelligent. I admire how fellow Blues stick by him. Some won't have a word said against him, but the fact remains he's just not clever enough to make the most of his skills.

The set of skills he has will get you so far, and no further, because if your brains not ticking away and thinking of the next move before you've even completed the one your involved in at the time, then you're going to reach a ceiling that you'll never break through.

Ross is in the unfortunate position of being the next "big" homegrown, proper Scouser we can all love and be proud of since Rooney. He carries the weight of our hopes and dreams for Everton. If any one of us wanted a player to score a screamer to win us the derby, the cup, or the goal that won us the Premier League, it would be Ross.

I stopped him In Liverpool One the week before the season started and after apologising profusely for encroaching on his time had my photo taken with him, wished him all the best for the opening game against Spurs, and said "You'll score for us next week mate."

I tell you that to show that I love him to bits as well as the next Evertonian, BUT I accept that he's not going to develop the smarts, the guile, the intelligence to be as good as we all hope and pray that he will be.

It's nothing to do with training, it's nothing to do with good or bad managers, nothing to do with formations or positions. It's to do with his innate make up. What he needs, to be who we really want him to be, can't be taught or trained into him.

You can't make someone clever. You're either born with it, or you're not. He wasn't. Personally I try to enjoy the lads play and accept that what he is, is what we have.

I'll love him and support him when he wears that shirt, but I won't be expecting in a season or two, or three that he'll magically develop into something he's not. I've never hoped to be totally and completely wrong about something so much, but I'm almost sure I won't be.


Trevor Peers
154 Posted 25/12/2016 at 12:21:46
Sending Ross out on loan for the rest of the season, as others have suggested, would be the best solution. That way, he could prove to the rest of the football world if he really does possess great talent or not.

Surely then the ridiculous speculation about his future would be sorted out; remember though, his last loan period at Leeds, it wasn't good, was it.

Bobby Thomas
155 Posted 25/12/2016 at 12:28:33
Jimmy (#141),

Oh, I see.

Some would have thought it was to do with signing a young English player with "potential" that they rated and that, by the time he left, most Blues thought wasn't going to do it, due to a few factors, and were glad to take the 㾶 million on. The similarities with the Barkley situation are numerous.

That clearly wasn't the case. Thank God you've solved that.

Tom Bowers
156 Posted 25/12/2016 at 13:13:41
Koeman is dead wrong to go public with his demands of the team by naming individuals. This should be done on a one-on-one basis only.

We all know Ross has not lived up to his potential but he isn't the first and he may never be any better than he is except sporadically. Other players have been underachieving this season but Koeman is not naming them, why?

Something is wrong and I suspect Koeman does not quite have the qualities we all hoped he had to offer Everton.

Jimmy Hogg
157 Posted 25/12/2016 at 13:24:20
Bobby@ 155

3 seasons ago Ross was the hottest kid on the block. His form was outstanding and the whole team was playing well.

Since then the stay-aways have returned to their seats and the stadium has turned negative again. The bad vibes have poured down on to the pitch and destroyed the confidence in the players. Being a homegrown player Ross has got the brunt of it. When the grey skies turn blue again, we will see the best of Barkley.

Happy Xmas and a happy new year to all blues.

Jimmy Hogg
158 Posted 25/12/2016 at 13:36:34
Tom @ 156

Good point regarding Koeman, as I said earlier, he was a world class player. History is littered with world class players that have been poor managers. They often feel players should reach the standards they did themselves, but it rarely happens. The best managers build a team to suite the players they have, then improve the team over time.

Koeman needs to get the best out of what he has, then build on from that. Putting players down publicly is not the way to achieve this. Hope he gets the players to improve us before he moves on to bigger things.

Chris Williams
159 Posted 25/12/2016 at 13:49:19
To be honest folks, any great or very good player or even good player, by the time he was 23, you weren't in any doubt as to the fact he was good or very good or possibly potentially great.

So in my time, Harvey, Ball, Kendall, Royle, Hurst, Labone, Wright, through to Rooney were all established and accepted as either good, very good or potentially great by the age of 23.

So, unless he is a very late developer, I'm not holding my breath about Ross, sadly.

James Marshall
160 Posted 25/12/2016 at 14:20:42
I think Koeman has it bang on – Ross was bigger, stronger and more talented his whole early career as a kid, then suddenly everyone was the same size, or bigger and stronger than him and he's struggled.

Talented but no footballing brain at all. Never going to be a great player.

Soren Moyer
161 Posted 25/12/2016 at 14:52:43
All Ross needs is brain surgery!
Chris Williams
162 Posted 25/12/2016 at 14:57:29
The surgeon might charge a search fee!
Colin Malone
163 Posted 25/12/2016 at 15:08:10
Yes, send Ross out on loan to Wigan Warriors or Leeds Rhinos.
Colin Malone
164 Posted 25/12/2016 at 15:57:29
Happy Christmas to you guys at ToffeeWeb. Thank you for letting me air my views and frustrations. May it long continue. Merry Xmas and a Happy new year to all Evertonians. COYBB
Laynald Hansen
165 Posted 25/12/2016 at 16:17:08
Koeman ruined Barkley by making him a punchbag for everything wrong with this team. I saw his head down after that match almost crying after that one public smackdown.

I feel he needs Unsworth and that kind of backing for a while; put him in the U-23 with Deulofeu.

Andy Bonner
166 Posted 25/12/2016 at 16:32:10
Hi posters. First post for me.

We gave David Moyes 11 years Why only give Koeman 11 weeks?

Remember, the backbone of a team is a goalkeeper and central defender. Koeman lost both (Howard & Stones). We also had the disappointment of the Euros where our players were undermined by Hodgson (ex Liverpool) with Barkley & Stones not playing any part and Jags a bit-part palyer.

Barkley has been further undermined by both Allardyce and Southgate not selecting him. Critisicm of Koeman is uncalled for. Give him time.

Jim Hardin
167 Posted 25/12/2016 at 17:19:53
John Pierce,

The kicker in American football? Really? Notice you didn't choose the quarterback for one skill, throwing. Why not? Could it be that quarterbacks need to be able to read the defence and the game and anticipate when a receiver is breaking off a route or is sealed off the route and has to alter it? Isn't a quarterback closer to the creative player Ross is supposed to be? Guess it is that Ross has no footballing brain that you chose the kicker then?

As a foreign fan, the "home-grown" tag means little to me other than being a little more patient with a player. The fact is, Ross isn't good enough. However, since he is English, 23, and has, to some, an upside, then Everton should sell him before he is 26 and has no value and no potential.


I read your lengthy post and have concluded you are saying Ross should not be criticised as it doesn't help him. Ironic post coming from you. So a local boy is sensitive but a foreign player to a new country and city isn't? I guess, your next post will be warm and fuzzy regarding Lukaku instead of the usual then?

John Pierce
168 Posted 25/12/2016 at 18:12:00

Happy Xmas to one and all, even the nutters... and we all know who we are!!

Jim, perhaps cross purposes? A kicker was chosen because, apart from the obvious physical talent, a kicker needs and has no requirement for mental adroitness required to do his role.

Ross is that player – physically gifted but nil mental acuity. Get rid, sell and move on.

Nicholas Ryan
169 Posted 25/12/2016 at 18:51:31
Ross Barkley is the Graeme Hick of football!
David Tennant
170 Posted 25/12/2016 at 19:31:17
He is a talented player and can be awesome. He is also a rarity. One of our own.

Get off his back and support him. We'll reap the rewards. he manager has to protect him.

Brian Williams
171 Posted 25/12/2016 at 19:37:18
When was he last awesome, David?
Trevor Peers
172 Posted 25/12/2016 at 20:04:52
David @170, I refer you to Paul @142; he also likes Ross, but has worked out a solution that suits everyone.
Rob Lloyd
173 Posted 25/12/2016 at 20:13:54
Colin (#148),

Having read most of the comments and the various conflicting views, I'm inclined to think "he might never will" is a very apt turn of phrase.

Ian Horan
175 Posted 25/12/2016 at 20:16:46
I think Ross would benefit from a loan spell in France, Italy or Spain for 6 months. Less pressure and a chance to free himself of EFC's big hope.

Seasons greetings one and all.

Colin Glassar
180 Posted 25/12/2016 at 22:41:48
Ross will come good, you'll see.
Terry Underwood
181 Posted 25/12/2016 at 23:05:15
Ross me old son, the clock is ticking, not long ago there was talk of 㿞M moves to Citteh or Chelski... not gonna happen now, is it?

It's Everton or bust mate. Let's see some of that natural talent coupled with a bit of better decision-making.

Chris Williams
182 Posted 25/12/2016 at 23:07:20

I wish you could be right.

Not convinced sadly but would be delighted to be proved wrong.

I'd sell him and let this debate pass elsewhere. Find another coach or group of supporters to blame.

Arm around his shoulder my arse! Grow up!

Colin Glassar
183 Posted 25/12/2016 at 23:21:22
The talent is there Chris, it just needs the right manager and players to bring it back out. It might not happen at Everton though.
Anto Byrne
185 Posted 26/12/2016 at 03:24:51
Having Ross Barkley in this team is like having 10 donkeys and a thoroughbred. How many players have pace, can beat players and are two-footed? Koeman realises he needs better players around him and unfortunately we have donkeys.

Baines was a class act as was Barry even Howard was a top class keeper however their days are well passed. We have some useful young players and when Geri plays in the middle he is a revelation, am I the only one who sees this? I don't rate Bolasie, McCarthy, Lukaku is a big strong player and is reminiscent of Big Bob Latchford. As for the rest of the players non of them excite me.

Ashley Roberts
186 Posted 26/12/2016 at 03:40:10
I agree with everybody who believes that Koeman's public comments about Barkley are not helping with his confidence and therefore his performances. These types of comments should be between the coach and the player only and left on the training field. They should not be for general release to the press.

I am a fan of Ross but I am not sure he fits in to the Koeman style of play which is to close down play all over the park. There does not seem to be too many places for creative players in Koeman's team, he just wants work horses and I do not think Ross fits this mould.

While Koeman publicly criticises Ross, I never here him say anything negative about Lukaku and he has to be the laziest player I have ever seen. This just does not make sense. There seems to be a different law for the striker.

Also I just cannot get inspired about Depay and Schneiderlin as they only have 11 minutes of first team football between them this season. if they are not good enough for the Man Utd team why should they be good enough for us? And on top of that they will cost £40M. My preference would be to spend that money on a single quality player that will make a real difference to the team and then introduce the youngsters.

Koeman has still got a long way to go to convince me he is the right man for the job and slagging Barkley off, week-in & week-out, does nothing to inspire me he knows what he is doing. It is his job to get the best out of each of the players and he has not shown he has the capability to do that yet.

Peter Barry
187 Posted 26/12/2016 at 05:13:44
How long can you keep on 'demanding improvement' before you give it up as a bad job and realize that the guy has peaked and will never get any better?

He's 23 going on 24 and 'good' players show their skill long before reaching that age.

Chris Williams
188 Posted 26/12/2016 at 08:33:44
Colin, I think I've deliberated more about this player than any other I've watched playing for Everton. He's been talked up from a young age and carried great expectations for sure. But he has delivered only sporadically and mostly this happened earlier on in his first team career. You can argue that his confidence has been dented, or that he has been poorly coached (now by 3 different managers at Everton, and also with England), or that other teams are paying him more attention,or that he needs an arm round his shoulder. Or he lacks intelligence, either completely or in a football sense. Or he has poor players around him who don't play to his strengths. All of these things may be part of the issue. Or none of them. Take your pick.

And I cannot recall one player that such a number of reasons have been put forward to explain his performances or lack of them.

But we cannot know this. We speculate. We become frustrated, we fall out, we argue. We stick to our opinions come what may. Like being in a family I suppose.

But there remain a couple of things that are unarguable. He is not delivering for the team. He is making the same errors of judgement he was making several years ago. And he is 23.

When can you recall,in all your time watching Everton having this level of debate about the potential of a 23 year old with a lot more than 100 first team games behind him?

No, me neither.

That is why, for the sake of my emotional and physical Heath I have come to the conclusion that we are flogging a dead horse here. Let him go elsewhere and let others have the debate, and if he finds the perfect coach, the perfect team set up, his confidence and game intelligence bloom and he delivers, I for one will be delighted for him.

We've probably both seen better players than Ross leave Everton over the years.

Stan Schofield
189 Posted 26/12/2016 at 09:50:34
Chris, you're right, there's been a heck of a lot of discussion about Barkley. But a lot of this is in response to people like Koeman discussing him in public. If they were more professional about it, we wouldn't be having this this thread now.

As I said previously, I suspect this whole thing is more an issue of management than of any individual player.

Chris Williams
190 Posted 26/12/2016 at 10:00:05
Fair comment Stan.
Laynald Hansen
191 Posted 26/12/2016 at 13:20:16
Koeman needs to stop publicly putting Barkley down in the media, the boy needs building up!!!!

I dare Koeman slag Lukaku in public the same way, in fact I double dare him!, then we can talk again.

Christine Foster
192 Posted 26/12/2016 at 13:21:45
I cannot help but think that Ronald has been brought in on a short term basis to get the club into Europe within 3 years and then he is gone. He has no passion for the club, nor the players, a journeyman of a manager looking to be well paid and use the club as a springboard. In fact probably no better than some of the players we have too.
This is by no means an attempt to rally a campaign for his removal, its a dose of reality. He is looking for immediate results with what he has and has no time to waste on developing out of form players such as Ross.
I doubt he cares a fig about Ross Barkley or any other player in the team for that matter. Which would question his man management. If memory serves me right wasn't his contract a three year term with options? I doubt he, or we, will be taking them up.
Andy Abbott
193 Posted 27/12/2016 at 14:45:50
This kid is the future of Everton.

Ronnie, if you want to see the best from young Ross, give him the armband and build your team around him and big Rom; you will not be disappointed.

I would even consider bringing Wayne back to play alongside our Ross.

Oliver Molloy
194 Posted 27/12/2016 at 15:05:24

Bring back Wayne Rooney? Barkley as captain?

Please explain Barkley's captain credentials to lead Everton.... You are having a laugh – right?

Ray Roche
195 Posted 27/12/2016 at 15:17:31
Peter Barry #187

Barkley was 23 on December the 5th. Stop adding years to his age to suit your argument. In addition, his development was stopped for 18 months following his leg break – something that should be taken into account.

Frank Bortoli
196 Posted 28/12/2016 at 13:30:07
I have mixed views about the whole Barkley thing.

We and Koeman need to give him some slack, especially Koeman, who should be talking to him behind closed doors and not continually berating him in the press. He needs encouraging, which he may well have had, but to date we have not seen much of an improvement.

He is a terrifically gifted player but, having had quite a few seasons to make his case, he has failed for want of that footballing brain. He runs into too many cul-de-sacs because he cant see a pass and eventually is dispossessed or gives the ball away. It does not help that Lukaku does not run into space thus giving him more of an option or that our midfielders don't support him more.

In many ways he is as technically gifted as Gazza, but without that tactical brain Gazza had.

I think we should give him to the end of the season to see if he does make the grade in some position, but if not, it would be best in out interest and his for him to move on and to find another club. If he can't make the grade, we need to move him on before his value takes a major hit.

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