Former reds defend Ross but berate Koeman and fans

Sunday 1 January 2017  69 Comments  [Jump to last]
The blame game
Steven Gerrard and Steve McManaman have waded into the Ross Barkley debate with Gerrard saying that "He's 23 and still has 10 quality years ahead of him. But he needs them fans behind him and he needs his manager behind him. They need to be putting confidence into him, not taking it away from him. and he added "I think he's been harshly criticised by Ronald Koeman in the media and that won't be helping him.

He also said that if Ross was to leave for Chelsea or Spurs the Everton fans would regret it as Barkley would likely excel in a new environment. Both former players said that Everton need to spend big and invest in players that can bring the best out of Ross. McManaman said "Their overall net spend, considering the new owner has come in and was supposed to be investing so much money that it was incredible, well we haven't seen it yet," he said. "Maybe it will come and hopefully it will come to help the likes of Ross.

» Read the full article at Liverpool Echo

Reader Comments (69)

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Bobby Mallon
1 Posted 01/01/2017 at 15:22:45
Well, I think the handling of Ross by Koeman has been spot on and his display against Hull City proved that much better.
Habib Erkan Jr
2 Posted 01/01/2017 at 15:40:14
Bobby (#1) I agree 100 percent. Martinez just about ruined the lad by letting him run a muck for three seasons. Discipline needs to be restored in his game so he can integrate effectively into the Koeman system.
Ed Fitzgerald
3 Posted 01/01/2017 at 17:28:05
Koeman has handled Barkley poorly making him a scapegoat in the media and with our fans.

Hate to say it but the RS pundits are right.

Steven Jones
5 Posted 01/01/2017 at 17:30:22
Ed - Maca is an Evertonian! He is spot on also ...

Gerrard is just saying the obvious.

Dave Ganley
6 Posted 01/01/2017 at 18:42:54
I am sick of this. Everton fans have not ruined Barkley or his confidence, Martinez managed to do that we'll enough on his own. Everton fans are a patient lot. We have put up with some shit football for 21 years without winning a trophy and still pack out Goodison Park. Wonder if the RS would do the same if the situation was reversed.

Barkley has been given more chances than anybody primarily because he is a local lad and everybody desperately wants him to succeed. The fact that he hasn't is entirely down to him and his less than impressive performances over the last 3 or 4 years. The odd good game has given him more breathing space than others would have. Before anybody starts quoting stats with assists etc, save your breath. He is the only player in position to create so he should lead the assists.

Maybe he would do better away from Goodison Park... maybe not but he needs to improve markedly to do so. He needs to be consistent week in week out allied to that he needs to be able to defend from the front like all good players do in his position. Personally I think he would be better served playing alongside Gana but that's another debate. When he is consistent, then he may fulfill potential; until then, he won't.

For Slippy G and that gobshite MacMannaman to blame the fans then they don't know what they're talking about and are probably enjoying mischief making like the gobshites they are. The atmosphere was toxic at Goodison Park because the football was dire under Martinez and the players coasted through games, Barkley chiefly among them.

Players need to look at themselves if they're not doing well and not blame the fans. We are starved of success and when players don't give 100% every game then they rightly get pilloried. It's not our fault they turn in shit performances. The RS scum should fuck off with their baseless opinions.

Chris Leyland
7 Posted 01/01/2017 at 18:48:46
Dave Ganley – thank you for your post. It sums up exactly what I wanted to say.

And as for those two gobshites, they are as clueless about football as any typical Liverpool fan. That said, unlike the typical Liverpool fan, the pair of them are actual from the city.

Harry Wallace
8 Posted 01/01/2017 at 19:03:50
I heard Macca was a Blue. Anyone else know for sure?
Paul Birmingham
9 Posted 01/01/2017 at 19:05:02
Second-rate no-mark pundits who were never world class players, and as whenever it suits, they wade in. Enough said, and no more to say than RS, and the dark side at their shit-stirring best.
Dermot Byrne
10 Posted 01/01/2017 at 19:06:18
How to sell the Echo and get people in a tiz. Who the hell cares what they say to sell a paper. I seem to recall we were discussing this matter without their wisdom!
Dave Ganley
11 Posted 01/01/2017 at 19:07:33
Once they cross over that divide, being a childhood blue means nothing, Harry.
Brian Harrison
12 Posted 01/01/2017 at 19:07:58
I wonder how many live 90 minutes of Barkley they have watched in the last 12 months? I bet the only time they have watched him live has been the derby at Anfield.

Firstly as Dave says most of us match going fans are desperate for Barkley to succeed, but he fails to deliver so often, that he is so frustrating. He has talent but we only see it in fleeting glimpses. Now I expect that both these ex-reds will openly criticize Southgate if he isn't picked for the next England squad. Also, why weren't they saying this when both Hodgson and Allardyce left him out of their England squads.

I suggest they have a word with their ex teammates Carragher or Lawrenson and their ex England pal Gary Neville who all say its time for Barkley to deliver on a more consistent level. As someone commented yesterday, 18 months back Barkley was ahead of Dele Alli in the England pecking order. But he just doesn't stand comparison over the last 12 months with him.

Evertonians don't need any lectures from these two; we have had decades of mediocrity to put up with, and unlike this pair we actually pay to watch our club play.

Jim Murphy
13 Posted 01/01/2017 at 19:12:13
Gobshite Gerrard trying to get alongside Carrager on Sky. He would be better keeping his eyes on his bird than commenting on Everton. Gobshites.
David Barks
14 Posted 01/01/2017 at 19:14:09
Nothing they said was untrue. I swear, they could come out and say Kemwright has robbed the club and Everton supporters deserve to have an owner spending money on top players and competing to win the league, and people would come in here saying "They're red shite, they don't know what they're talking about".

Get over what club they played for. Carragher has been accurate in his analysis of our defense under Martinez and some of our failings this season.

And they are right that Koeman only choosing to publicly go after Barkley is not the best way to get a player to improve.

And they are right that this club should be spending money on players to help Barkley as opposed to having him in a midfield consisting of Lennon, Cleverly and Valencia.

Tony Abrahams
15 Posted 01/01/2017 at 19:16:03
Agree with playing Barkley deeper Dave, simply because he seems to get his head up and see the forward pass, so much quicker, when he has the play in front of him.

Ross is now 23, and as much as Gerard, might think he's got a point, because he's involved in football, the simple fact of the matter is that he doesn't watch Everton play very often? If he did he would understand why everyone is so frustrated in Ross, because as Dave also says, he just hasn't got any consistency in his game, and I would even go as far as to say, I've never seen Ross, have two good games on the spin.

Jim Bennings
16 Posted 01/01/2017 at 19:18:00

To be honest I actually thought Martinez has so far been the one manager who has got the best out of Barkley.

Moyes clearly didn't trust/rate Ross or thought he was just too young when he burst on the scene in 2011 but, upon Martinez's arrival, the Spaniard made it clear that he would be giving Barkley the major attacking midfield role that most fans had been beating the drum for.

Barkley prospered in Martinez's first season and looked all out for being a massive player at Everton or at least commanding a huge fee if sold on, especially after earning his place in Brazil in the 2014 World Cup.

I think a major part is down to Barkley as a player and there's parts you just can't coach, the spacial awareness / football brain has never been there even when he was fantastic three years ago running with the ball at his feet.

The reason his form seems to have dipped and fans are on his back more is because, unlike In his first year under Martinez, he doesn't run or carry the ball or look half as dangerous as a midfielder anymore (remember that goal at Newcastle?)

All we see from Ross and have seen for 12 months or so is tepid movement, there's no daring to run and shoot or make things happen, we know he's never really been an Arteta/Beardsley football brain but over the last year he's stopped running with the ball.

Only time will tell if he's ever going to learn but good players should NOT be affected completely by who manages them, Rooney played in a shocking Everton team but he carried the can and still shone.

Ross Barkley has a huge year ahead of him to truly prove his worth not just to the team and fans but himself.

Brian Harrison
17 Posted 01/01/2017 at 19:24:29
Instead of having a go at Koeman who has only been here 5 minutes, they should have commented on why we have let 2 players go who now play for top 4 sides.

We allowed Eric Dier to leave, ironic that we are now looking to spend a fortune on a replacement for Barry and he was ready made.

Then we let Mustafi go who is now the main central defender at Arsenal. And again we are considering having to spend in excess of 㿏 million to buy Van Dijk.

Jay Woods
19 Posted 01/01/2017 at 19:39:52
Harry Wallace - years ago Sky or some other channel did a short feature / documentary on McManaman / the Mersey Derby and in it, if memory serves, they showed a 5-a-side game of Everton fans v LFC fans and McManaman donned an Everton kit and played for the Everton fans.
Eddie Dunn
20 Posted 01/01/2017 at 19:39:57
Once Rooney went to Man Utd, he was surrounded by better players. His achievements have been helped by his teammates.

Barkley has played with a good many average players and this doesn't help his cause. If he were at, say, Chelsea, defenders would be so busy worrying about Hazard, Willian and Costa that Ross would have more space as well as good interplay with his team.

At Everton, he is often the only one worth marking, as Cleverly, Barry and Gueye are not going to scare the hell out of anyone in terms of goal threat.

Lampard looked great at Chelsea, he had Makelele doing his graft and the likes of Essien along side. He had Drogba or Zola up front. However, when he played for England with Barry or Gerrard , he looked ordinary.

I think that if Barkley went to Man Utd, Spurs, Arsenal or Man City, he would blossom into the best English midfielder in the land. Koeman has to get some more quality into the squad, and selling Ross will not help to do it.

Patrick Murphy
22 Posted 01/01/2017 at 20:17:16
Dermot (#10) Of course you are correct that the Echo wants to attract more clicks or sell more papers, but the utterances of the red pair came in a broadcast by BT and therefore it is only right and proper that the local paper should cover it and allow those who don't subscribe to BT to know what high profile pundits think about certain players.

I happen to think that Gerrard is totally out of order slamming Evertonians as if we are a special case in the footballing fraternity; every club has a certain section of their fan-base who are hyper-criticical but few fan-bases have shown as much patience as have Evertonians. Perhaps Ross is unfortunate that the patience has worn a little thin in the last few years.

On the other hand, many many blues have seen every minute of every game that Barkley has played and the fact that his abilities and general play are still open to debate tells us more about Ross than the fans who pay to watch him. If a player is so easily crushed by sections of the support at any club then that player is unlikely to reach the top of his profession.

I still retain hope that Barkley will show the world and Evertonians in particular that he is a top player and will remain one in a royal blue jersey.

Pete Edwards
23 Posted 01/01/2017 at 20:52:18
When has a "pundit" ever said anything earth-shattering, no matter who they used to play for! They are all like sheep.

I for one thought Barkley played pretty well on Friday. Criticise when waranted but not just for the sake of it.

Gavin Johnson
25 Posted 01/01/2017 at 21:14:49
I agree with everything they both say.

It's not good admitting Crease Head is right, but I don't actually mind McManaman, he's a Blue, who became a Red, who doesn't talk shite about us, unlike ex-Blues like Jamie Carragher.

Harry Wallace
26 Posted 01/01/2017 at 21:16:16
Cheers Jay!
Paul Burns
27 Posted 01/01/2017 at 21:30:23
About time they got rid of all the ex-Red gobshites as pundits and got some Blues on when we play.

I don't give a fuck what any of them say, it's meaningless drivel to me.

Paul Hay
28 Posted 01/01/2017 at 21:46:20
First a very Happy New Year to all Blues fans, their families and lets hope for a good one.

I think Eddie at #20 makes the most telling point in that we have to look at who Ross has with him. Put him in any of the top 5 sides with the quality available then of course Ross would shine. The gulf between them and the chasers is enormous – and I think that if we manage 8th by the end of Mr Koeman's first campaign we should not be really so surprised.
Let's see what happens by February 2nd.

Keep the faith.

Raymond Fox
30 Posted 01/01/2017 at 22:22:26
Why people get in a strop because two ex-Liverpool players give an opinion beats me, especially if in the main their right.

Paul (#28), you should say blind faith, because that's all it is if the club carries on like it has for at least 20 years. I mean we are going nowhere fast unless we can match money wise the Premier League's richest clubs, you can dress it up any way you want but that's the bitter reality.

Nothing us fans can do to change that; what we need is another billionaire to buy the other 50% of the club, then we may achieve something.

Anthony Dwyer
31 Posted 02/01/2017 at 01:11:32
Fuck the fact the two pundits are Red Shites, the simple truth is Gerrard has nailed the Barkley situation.

Koeman has handled Ross all wrong, he should have come to his defence when fat Sam dropped him from the England set up. Instead he kicked Ross when he was down.

People who talk about Ross are forever comparing him to Gerrard, Lampard, Alli and so on, but I've said it before, and I will say it again, fact is all the above players have much better players around them.

Ross has equally good stats as Gerrard, but by the time Gerrard had reached 23 (Ross's current age), he had been shown the ropes by Gary McAlister and Didi Hamman, then he was played with Mascarano and Alonso to compliment his style of play. Same for Alli at the minute, his creative burden is shared with Son, Erickson, Lamela, and Sissoko.

Ross is at us, he is (as Gerrard rightly puts it) our bright spark, he has got 10 good years in front of him, and he deserves the backing of his manager and fans.

His tally in 2015-16 was only matched by Alli, Payet and Mahrez, looking at them players, one won a league, one won player of the year and the other is now England's newest bright spark; how has our manager allowed Barkley to fall so low.

It's certainly not too late for Ross at us, but times ticking, I agree with Gerrad again when he says if Ross is sold, he will go to a bigger team than us (bigger in terms of form over the past decade), and fly.

We need to stop talking down about Ross, we also need to be able to take advice from Kopite clowns, because although we don't like the lad, he is talking sense.

Again IMO Gerrard nailed Ross's current situation, Ronny has to adapt to find a quick fix to get Ross back to his best then buy players who compliment him, before building our team around him.

Anto Byrne
32 Posted 02/01/2017 at 02:08:22
Well, that pass to Lukaku against Hull was pure brilliance and he took his goal well.

If Gana can add goals to his game, he would be a hellova player. Unfortunately, I can't see it...yet no-one is berating this 27-year-old?

Jay Griffiths
33 Posted 02/01/2017 at 08:55:36
Amazing to read from any pundit that Ross will blossom at Chelsea or Man City.

The sky is blue, the grass is green, water is wet. Any player would look better playing for either of these teams. Getting paid to state the obvious. There's no story here.

Andrew Brookfield
34 Posted 02/01/2017 at 09:16:23
A few years ago, I was fortunate enough to have a season ticket in the Directors Box. I was meant to be using it for corporate hospitality but just ended up going with my mates.

Anyway, McManaman owned the seats in front of us, even though he was playing at Real Madrid at the time. If he was injured, or they were on winter break, he'd always be at the game cheering the Blues on. I didn't rate him as a player, but as a guy, and a blue, he is top draw.

Barkley. I think Koeman actually really rates him, he can see inside there is a player, but is trying to take him not to the next level but one that is three levels higher. Pressing, tackling, creativity, fast switching of play, dictating the pace of games – all things missing from his locker.

When you look at the gulf to the top six, not many of our players would get in their teams. Barkley certainly wouldn't, but he is perhaps one of a few players who have the potential too in the future. The majority wouldn't get in there now, and our only going to get worse (Lennon, Baines, etc.)

Trevor Peers
35 Posted 02/01/2017 at 09:34:21
Can't help thinking the two RS punters have a hidden agenda here. Keeping Barkley and surrounding him with more and more expensive buys, something that never looks like happening by the way, will guarantee we will never climb out of mediocrity.
Of course that suits them just fine, they have nothing but contempt for our club. Since when have we took advice off them, it's madness.

Selling Ross to a top 6 club is now the only way forward and of proving if he really is a top class player, most of his performance's in midfield, this season, especially in the derby, he has been like an elephant with lead boots on.

Cash him in and buy a real goal scoring, combatative playmaker with guile, and class, Sigurdsson would be perfect. Somehow I can't see it happening, and we'll still be talking about Barkley's potential this time next season.

Jim Bennings
36 Posted 02/01/2017 at 09:35:23
Funny thing is that very few of the English young players have prospered at Man City.

If Barkley went there, I could just see him going down the Jack Rodwell, Scott Sinclair route of substitute appearances before being flogged off to Sunderland or back to us.

I also don't think Barkley is a Chelsea type player, they are all intelligent quick fleet-footed like Hazard, William, and Kante.

Mark Hughes
37 Posted 02/01/2017 at 09:55:54
Barkley needs to run at the opposition team and pass from deep, stay out of the weights room... Simple!

Run, Forrest, Run!

Ste Traverse
38 Posted 02/01/2017 at 11:47:01
Having never been like some (ie, paranoid about so-called RS pundits), I have to say I agree with both Gerrard's and McManaman's views on these issues.

Ross definitely comes across as a confidence player, so the level of stick he gets off fans and his manager certainly undermines him.

Although it's still early days, the level of spending under Moshiri so far could be questioned. Do we really have the money we hoped?

Maybe the two pundits have stated the obvious but I certainly don't believe there's 'hidden agendas' in what they've said when I believe they are spot-on.

David Hallwood
39 Posted 02/01/2017 at 12:01:01
I post this at every opportunity but IMO Barkley is a centre mid all day long. If 4-4-2 hadn't gone out of fashion what position would Barkley have by now claimed as his own? It's a no-brainer.

Either that or in a midfield 3 with Davies and Gana, and add quality up top.

Sam Barrett
40 Posted 02/01/2017 at 12:26:15
This is a bit weird this one. On one hand, what the fuck has it got to do with 2 x ex kopites and also why would the red echo go to them to discuss Barkley? Sounds to me, like someone else posted previously, reds and red media trying to disrupt or destabilise EFC. Could it be something to do with our proposed new Stadium?

The jealousy is out already, and these bitter bastards will do their utmost to stop it happening. Get used to it, there will be much much more of this in the coming months/years from media and ex kopites alike.

Ian Bennett
41 Posted 02/01/2017 at 12:40:26
Sam – think it was comments from a BT show. Obviously with Liverpool shown.
Geoff Evans
42 Posted 02/01/2017 at 12:43:47
Can't believe why the editor(s) of this web site are bothered with what Gerrard and McMannaman have to say about any topic.

If I wanted to know their opinions I shout shite and they could come running. Until then they can fuck off with their red-based comments. Like the team they both played for, to me, they're fucking irrelevant.

This site is for Evertonians.

Sam Barrett
43 Posted 02/01/2017 at 13:01:21
Ian, yes RS media!
Jim Harrison
44 Posted 02/01/2017 at 13:02:43
Eddie Dunn (#20). Spot on. To add to your point, too much emphasis/expectation is put on him to be the big player when he isn't the part yet.

Who does he learn from? For the most part of his career there hasn't been a top rate player in his position at the club for him to learn from and to really push him.

I think BBS put too much faith in him too early, elevated him to top dog and didn't look to reinforce that position. That issue still hasn't been addressed. As such, he faces no real competition for his place with regards like for like players. He is the only centre mid with goals in him, or that creative spark.

There is no real competition for his place, he gets dropped and Koeman has to bring in one of his 27 different defensive mids or Cleverley (Who a Guardian writer summed up by asking what he actually does as a footballer?)

As a footnote, both Gerrard and MacMamanmanmanan make pretty reasonable points. Koeman has been too vocal in the press and I think even he has realised that. The fans do get on his back too easily, but again I think this is partially to do with his rapid elevation under Martinez.

Now he is perceived to be the finished article and above mistakes and loss of form, when really he probably should still be fighting to get on the pitch. If he really had some stern competition, he would probably be more focussed

Steavey Buckley
45 Posted 02/01/2017 at 13:15:38
Barkley has been often playing without confidence. That's why he often delays executing the right decision accurately and without haste. He probably would be better off with better players around him, because what is around him does not give me much confidence.
Eddie Dunn
47 Posted 02/01/2017 at 13:29:34
Regarding Barkley, I heard Gary Neville the other day joining in the chorus that, at 23, he is no longer a young player with potential, and now is the time to deliver.

Well lots of players lack real consistency at 23. Remember Osman having to go out on loan to Derby. I remember Baines taking ages to cement his place after coming from Wigan.

Look at our best performer of the season so far, Gueye. He apparently did well last year at Villa, but he is 27, and has a great engine, but other aspects of his game need improvement (passing, shooting).

Ross Barkley may never become the next Rooney, but it doesn't mean he is the new Rodwell! He simply has to concentrate on being the best that he can be... as Ross Barkley.
He hasn't been swanning around shooting his mouth off to the press about playing in the Champion's League. He is a modest young man who loves our club, so let's hope Koeman finds the right blend to get the best out of him.

I would be sick if we lost him, and I then had to watch as he picked-up trophies for some Cockneys or Mancs to celebrate.

Geoff Evans
48 Posted 02/01/2017 at 13:38:51
Top players make team mates look better than they are. They don't need others to make them look better.

Barkley's gone as far as he's going, an average Premier League player at best, no more.

Jim Harrison
49 Posted 02/01/2017 at 13:43:48
Wow! Geoff, thats a pretty damning statement? 23-years-old and not going to get any better?
Mike Allen
50 Posted 02/01/2017 at 14:14:47
I don't want to run the lad down but do his performances over the past year or so warrant all this attention?

If he is falling by the wayside, it's a shame but plenty of players in the past and in the future will go the same way. Why is it always someone else's fault?

Stop making excuses for these players, feeling sorry for himself because of the attention is not and will not help him.

Ross has had plenty of opportunity to put things right. Now it's time for the likes of Davies and Holgate to be given same opportunities and patience that he has had and still getting.

Did Macca the guru live up to his potential to warrant him passing on advice and or opinion to anyone else? Nahhh... don't think so.

Steve Ferns
51 Posted 02/01/2017 at 14:57:20
He's the best player at the club, and the fans always get on his back. They are entirely right. Goodison is a great ground when things go well, but it has destroyed many a promising career. Not all are ready for the lion's den.

Barkley is clearly a fragile confidence player, and maybe that's why Moyes was reluctant, and why Martinez could never see any wrong. If Barkley leaves, we will regret it; handled well, he will be the best English player. He had a terrible season last year, yet only Alli scored more (from midfield) or assisted more.

Name a great Number 10 under 25? Most don't mature until 27 – just ask the great Zidane.

Si, what if he makes bad decisions? He's the only one getting in those positions, and I'd rather he makes 8 mistakes, if he creates 2 chances that lead to goals. No-one else we have is capable.

Tom Hutton
52 Posted 02/01/2017 at 15:39:18
For me, Ross needs players that run for him, giving an option to pass to, creating space for him to run in too. An experienced player alongside him who has the legs where they can both get up and down.

2 forwards which will give him options along with the ability to move centre halves out of the way.

4-4-2 or a 3-5-2.

Let's get a team built around him; this 'energy' that is spoken of as some mythical elixir to be found in some far off land. If he's not there already, get a decent fitness coach in.


Stan Schofield
53 Posted 02/01/2017 at 17:46:07
I'm not really bothered what Gerrard, or any other 'pundit' thinks or says. But the thread prompts me to dispel a myth. The myth is that those of us on TW who give supportive comments about Barkley do so because he's a local lad.

I don't give a shit where he comes from. I'm supportive of him because I believe he's a cracking player, full stop.

Colin Glassar
54 Posted 02/01/2017 at 17:53:24
Stan, same here. There's a tiny group on here who can't stand Ross, or Lukaku, which I find quite sad tbh. These two lads have more talent in their big toes than most fully formed pros have.

Don't ask for names, just look at the live forum and 5 minutes into each and every game the poisoned darts start flying from the same people.

Without these two, we would be up Shit Creek as our team has become very ordinary in recent seasons. These are the only two who can produce a bit of magic so get behind them, ffs.

Andy Codling
55 Posted 02/01/2017 at 18:04:26
Did anyone hear some knobhead screaming at Ross when he took a corner? "You're shite, lad... you're shite!"
John G Davies
56 Posted 02/01/2017 at 18:13:47
Ross was outstanding in the second half. Good in the first. He does all his best work picking the ball up from a deeper position. In my opinion, he is never a 10.

Fairs fair, I have givenhim stick this season (only on TW, never ever at the game); he kept possession brilliantly today and kept the ball moving when it was right. Decision-making was spot on. Very good today all round. He was MotM by a mile.

Could it be Ross is responding to the way Koeman has handled his situation? Good man-management by Koeman to take him off to receive the standing ovation. If he could play like this consistently, he would be one of the first on the teamsheet. Consistency is the key.

Colin Glassar
57 Posted 02/01/2017 at 18:22:35
Hopefully, the Charlton lad will sign tomorrow and he will be the first of a few. We need real talented players who can add to the quality players we already have.

Dermot Byrne
58 Posted 02/01/2017 at 18:25:16
Colin, they have talent but have significant weaknesses too. Ross in decisions and Rom holding a ball and his workdays. That frustrates but hopefully they can sort these.
Don Alexander
59 Posted 02/01/2017 at 19:51:31
When Moshiri is looking for his next Director of Football I hope he moves for Dave Ganley @ 6!

Spot on analysis re Ross. Just about all of us, me very much included, want to see the lad perform well consistently but he really needs to address his glaringly obvious shortcomings in defending. He's far from the only one admittedly but if he'd put a shift in in that way he'd win selection regularly.

Whatever the reason for his ineptitude in this area it places so much pressure on himself to be bloody brilliant every time he's in possession of the ball for the 2 minutes per game he and every player gets. The fact is he rarely is, but unless he is, he's a luxury we can't carry, even if we do now add three or four quality players this month. In fact, especially so if that happens.

I don't know if he needs a coach, a psychologist, a hypnotist, a kiss, or a kick up the arse but at the end of the day it's between his ears.

Over to you, Ross.

Damian Wilde
60 Posted 02/01/2017 at 23:25:30
I'm bored with this 'Martinez ruined Barkley'. Or it's Kieman's fault. Or the shit players that surround him. Or the mean fans. Never Ross' fault, eh?

Every time, he gives the ball away – 'Bobby's fault'. Every time he puts a shit corner in – 'Ron's fault that'. Every time he can't decide what to do with the ball and farts about – 'the fans fault that'. Every time he skies a shot – 'the cleaner's fault that one'.

Rodwell Mark II. But if you want to keep kidding yourself, carry on.

Jim Harrison
61 Posted 03/01/2017 at 00:30:00
Andy (#55), I thought that too, but wondered where the microphone was? Maybe up near the gantry? Either way it's shocking. Why turn up to a match and act in such a way to a player on your team?

The lad had a decent game. A few slack passes but overall he did better than most.

Stan Schofield
62 Posted 03/01/2017 at 11:10:11
Damien @60: We don't all ascribe such reasons for a player's drop in form. Some of us just recognise that every good player suffers a drop in form, more often than not for no discernible reason.

And not all of us attempt to predict the future. Telling us how a player will turn out is much like telling us what the weather will do next month, largely bullshit.

Geoff Evans
63 Posted 03/01/2017 at 13:07:28
Jim 49,

Look at the fuss people made of Rodwell.

I see he's progressed to be a Sunderland bench warmer.

Damian Wilde
64 Posted 03/01/2017 at 13:20:16
Geoff (48) - agree.
Ian Jones
65 Posted 03/01/2017 at 13:54:43
I only saw the MotD highlights so am not in the best position to comment on Ross's performance, but the pundits seemed to think he had a better game yesterday.

Any chance this 'better' performance could be down to Barry not starting the game so Ross, and the midfield in general, have to take more responsibility rather than perhaps deferring to the senior pro... Hope that makes sense...

Brent Stephens
66 Posted 03/01/2017 at 14:10:41
Ian, interesting thought. That sound performance could well be done to having to take more responsibility rather than deferring to the senior pro.

Ross is a confidence player, I think, so taking responsibility might not rest easy with that lack of confidence. I also felt Ross, Tom and Gana (though not Gana's best game!) was a good mix.

Clive Mitchell
67 Posted 03/01/2017 at 14:14:58
Geoff, 48 – "an average Premier League player at best". You don't really mean that, do you?

I assume you mean Ross won't be the totally stand out player that his talent makes possible; that he has the talent to be as big a Premier League player as Silva or Toure or Scholes but that you don't expect him to reach those heights.

Ian Jones
68 Posted 03/01/2017 at 15:29:53
Brent. I think football is all about confidence. Doesn't matter where you play. If you feel it, anything is possible... I feel sympathy for players who are played seemingly out of position... or get a run of games together which builds their own momentum, then dropped for whatever reasons, probably tactical, and then they are back to square one.

Appreciate football is a different game to how it was a few years ago, but I am all for playing the strongest team available and if you get on a winning streak, then keep going with the same team. I doubt too many players are too tired if they are winning...

Geoff Evans
69 Posted 03/01/2017 at 15:35:54
Clive (#67) and all Ross Barkley fans, seems we'll have to disagree, but I honestly do hope you're right. It would be great to have a gem on our hands and not a player who flatters to deceive.

Damian Wilde
70 Posted 03/01/2017 at 19:23:05
"...that he has the talent to be as big a Premier League player as Silva or Toure or Scholes..."


Gary Mortimer
72 Posted 03/01/2017 at 22:31:58
Some interesting comments here and it just shows how people see the game differently. I particularly disagree with Damien's and Geoff's opinion that he's average at best.

I think Ross could be a very good player, but at the moment he is being put under pressure to create a chance every time he gets the ball. There was a perfect example of this yesterday when he played a couple of short passes to Davies and then ran the ball backwards, keeping possession but not going anywhere in particular. He was then involved a couple of more times and Valencia was fouled and we got the penalty. This was highlighted by the pundits on MotD last night – who said he controlled that bit of the game.

Strangely at the time – when he was running the ball backwards some person behind me in the Top Balcony shouted out "Move it forward, you cunt!" – how the fuck is that going to help? Had he just scored an own goal? Given away a penalty? Got himself stupidly sent off? No – he had committed the crime of keeping possession and not hoofing it blindly forward to Lukaku who was probably in an offside position.

I am afraid there is a section of our "fans" who clearly hate Barkley and even if he scored a hat-trick, it would not be enough. I am not sure why this is – he is clearly not the worst player at the club and yet he gets more abuse than anyone I can remember playing for us. Even our mega expensive flop Niasse did not get the level of abuse when he made his few appearances last season and don't start me on Cleverley or Lennon (who seems immune to criticism presumably as he runs around a lot).

Yesterday, Ross had a good game - he played both Mirallas and Lukaku in on goal with lovely weighted balls, he had a good effort palmed away by Forster and was involved in most of our better moves. But for some this is seen as "flattering to deceive".

I worry that this section of fans won't be happy until he is out of the club.... he is the only fit player (Bolasie can be unpredictable too) we have who can do the unexpected and not just play a nice easy backwards pass to the centre-backs for them to slice into touch.

Gary Radley
73 Posted 04/01/2017 at 06:45:03
Well, I definitely think Ross Barkley gets unnecessary stick. How can it possibly help a player when he gets thousands of fans on his back just for making a mistake?

At least he tries to do something that will win the game and doesn't always go for the easy way out. If he plays, we need to get behind him.

Liam Reilly
74 Posted 04/01/2017 at 09:54:11
If Gerrard, McMannaman, Carragher and Co ignore Everton and say nothing about the club; the same people on here would be claiming that as disrespectful!

Here's the harsh truth; Liverpool and ex-Liverpool players don't see Everton as a peer as we haven't challenged for anything significant in years. The derby means a lot more to us than them and will remain so unless we start competing again.

I didn't like Carragher or McMannaman as players but, as pundits go, they talk a lot of sense.

Stuart Gray
75 Posted 09/01/2017 at 06:35:44
Personally I think Hodgson ruined him. Barkley was Man of the Match for England then Hodgson never praised him, he just criticised him.
Tony Hill
76 Posted 09/01/2017 at 06:41:37
Stuart, I think there's a great deal in that. He was on the crest of a wave and the stupid old bastard knocked him down. Equally, he took him to the Euros and then ignored him.

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