Barkley: Koeman has instilled a hunger to win

Friday 3 March 2017  18 Comments  [Jump to last]

Ross Barkley says that Everton are reaping the benefits of the appointment of Ronald Koeman now that he has been in the job for a while and has had the chance to bed in his methods.

Speaking to Sky Sports, the 23-year-old says that the Dutchman's fierce desire to win and demand for improvement from his players is translating into better results on the field after a poor run between September and December last year.

The imminent managerial vacancy at Koeman's old club Barcelona has led to inevitable talk of him returning to the Nou Camp as Luis Enrique's successor but Barkley says that no one is being distracted by the reports.

“None of us are thinking about [the speculation] really. We're just focusing on doing a job now. The manager's here and he wants us all to improve which we're doing and we're all wanting to improve as players so we're not focusing on anything except one game at a time and nothing else that we see in the papers or whatever.

“I heard through some of the staff at the training ground about what kind of player he was and that he had an aggressive side in him to win games.

“And you can see that after games when we've won — there's no better feeling than winning games. You could see earlier on in the season how disappointed he was that we weren't winning games and how angry he gets.

“You can see the change. We've been changing slowly but now you see all the results going our way because the manager's got the hunger in all the players now to keep winning.

“We're going in the right direction now but we've got to stay on the right track.”


Reader Comments (18)

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Brian Williams
1 Posted 03/03/2017 at 22:37:05
Is right!
Mark Andersson
2 Posted 03/03/2017 at 22:49:13
Makes a change from reading about Lukaku and a Rooney return.

The Barca job can wait while we become successful.

Next game will see if indeed the team is improving.

Don Alexander
3 Posted 03/03/2017 at 23:00:58
Moyes and Martinez gushing shite as they perennially praised the players regardless of performance and, fairly often, disappointing results, made me puke. I've long wanted a manager who doesn't shirk the truth and Koeman fits the bill so far.

I'm glad Ross has spoken in this way. To me, he and other players now need to always step up to the plate when they're criticised instead of bleating to their agent or going awol in matches. We've seen too much of that for many, many years.

Tony Hill
4 Posted 03/03/2017 at 23:24:36
"None of us are thinking about [the speculation] really". Amid the carnival of cliche from Ross, that "really" says: "we're all thinking about the speculation". This Barcelona thing could become a nuisance.
Don Alexander
5 Posted 04/03/2017 at 00:48:36
Okay, I might be wrong, but just why would Barca want a manager with a history, as yet, of such modest achievement as Koeman's? They've just got shut of one of those.

And that's not a criticism of him because I really appreciate his qualities as a manager. I'd expect Barca to come calling after we qualify for the Champions League or actually win something, not before.

Mike Gaynes
6 Posted 04/03/2017 at 01:16:22
Don #5...

"They've just got shut of one of those."

Got shut??!!!

Enrique won eight trophies in his first two seasons, including the treble and the double. Could win the double again this year. Best manager on the planet since 2014.

And hardly "getting shut"... he's not being sacked, he's leaving on his own.

Also, Barca hasn't hired a manager based on "winning something" since van Haal. Pep hadn't done diddly squat. Rijkaard had just been relegated from the Eredivisie. Antic had just been relegated too, although he had a lot of previous success at Atletico. To Barca, family is far more important than previous record.

Clive Mitchell
7 Posted 04/03/2017 at 01:54:14
Whatever; I've not been a Koeman fan but I'd now prefer him to stay; and, whatever Ross says is by definition correct. What's the point of being an Evertonian if you don't love Ross in the way we all loved Alex Young?
Jim Bennings
8 Posted 04/03/2017 at 08:22:35
Koeman is a natural winner from his playing career; you would guess as a manager he's desperate to be a winner too.

We have a far stronger mentality this season than I have seen at Everton Football Club in a while but I'll start to fully believe we have a winning mentality if we can go to the likes of Tottenham tomorrow fearless and pick up a win, or maybe if we finally end our record at Anfield next month.

We saw a strong runs under David Moyes but there was always a glass ceiling for games like tomorrow's, a limitation in what we were allowed to achieve in them.

Maybe this team is cut from a different cloth; we shall find out.

Alexander Murphy
9 Posted 04/03/2017 at 08:30:59
"The 23-year-old says that the Dutchman's fierce desire to win and demand for improvement from his players".

So just what on earth were his predecessors preaching? Love and peace to the world?

Honestly, as encouraging as results have been, since the derby defeat (and that STILL gets up my nose) I read this and just wonder how simple is the world of professional football? They have to be coached to attain the desire to win?

Good heavens, I was crap (had all the pace of continental drift), but never, ever did I once go onto the pitch without my heart and soul dedicated to winning. Winning! For heavens sake that's WHY I played !

I had three serious injuries (serious to someone playing as a hobby, bad enough to put me off work for three months in one case) two of them happened playing for a mate's team who were short, 'cos I was determined not to let them down.

Sometimes, the insight into elite football just makes me think. Which seems a bloody sight more than most of our cherished heroes ever bother to do.

“I heard through some of the staff at the training ground about what kind of player he was."
Thank heavens that you overheard this revelation! I'm stunned.

Perhaps a few of our first team squad might take a sly peep at some Everton memorabilia. I'd recommended stuff from the eighties. You might discover why us fans sing "It's a grand old team play for" and "If you know your history"!

Don Alexander
10 Posted 04/03/2017 at 11:13:58
Enrique inherited a fabulous team and has been unable to maintain standards and results. That's why he's gone.
Paul Birmingham
11 Posted 04/03/2017 at 12:11:32
Here's hoping Ross has at last come of age and can smell bullshit before it appears as the last manager had a masters degree in bullshit.

Ronald was a proven player and his charisma is now starting to show in his team.

The fella whom EFC gave severance pay of £10m, should be sued by the club for professional misconduct , during his tenure.

We move on and here's to a good result tomorrow and safe travel to the match.

Joe Clitherow
12 Posted 04/03/2017 at 12:19:08
A desire to win, as opposed to a desire to pass, pass, pass.

The difference of how success was measured between two individuals, as many of us suspected; there you go right there.

Kevin McCartney
13 Posted 04/03/2017 at 12:53:09
Alexander Murphy, well put and exactly my sentiments too. Why put on a pair of boots and take to the field if you don't have the desire to win, FFS!
Dave Abrahams
14 Posted 04/03/2017 at 13:15:21
Alexander (#9) absolutely correct about wanting to win, it should be second nature to go onto the pitch and want to win; it comes automatically, or should do.

Even as a kid, along time ago, you went onto the holler or street and played your heart out, with nothing at stake, felt gutted when you lost. I'm afraid with a lot of today's players money talks and they don't half fuckin' listen.

Paul Mackie
16 Posted 04/03/2017 at 19:26:14
All players want to win.

I think that what Koeman has, which both his predecessors lacked, is the experience of actually winning things. Moyes obviously never expected us to beat the big teams because he never did as a player. Obviously he'd have made the right noises to the squad, but deep down he thought we wouldn't have a chance (knife to a gunfight, etc) and that's bound to rub off on the players.

Koeman on the other hand is used to winning. He doesn't just want to win, he expects the team to win. For too long our club have been 'plucky little Everton' who are just happy accept not getting beat. From Ross's comments it's clear that Koeman is trying to change the players mentalities and turn them into players who believe they can win.

Alexander Murphy
17 Posted 04/03/2017 at 22:15:38
I'm afraid with a lot of today's players money talks and they don't half fuckin' listen.

Impossible to add even a single syllable. Job done.

Mike Dolan
18 Posted 04/03/2017 at 23:49:02
Alexander Murphy,

It's fantastic IMHO to hear Ross express himself just the way he did. Most players less distinguished than your self are really helped by having a role model to focus them...

The penny really seems to have dropped with Ross and I think its kind of obvious that he really looks up to Koeman who was the embodiment of a great player and a brilliant manager and coach.

Sometimes it is the most obvious simple things that need to be reinforced continuously. Ever wonder why a Drill Sergeant spends most of his life telling grown men Left, Right, Left, Right? That's so no-one gets lost.

Stan Schofield
19 Posted 05/03/2017 at 09:56:43
There's a difference between desiring something and being hungry for it. I might desire a cake because I'm a greedy bastard, but I might feel a NEED for the cake if I'm actually hungry. From this article, it looks like Ross used the term 'hunger' rather than 'desire'. I don't think the distinction is pedantry.

We talk about Everton needing to develop a 'winning mentality', not simply a desire to win. As other posts have said, it should be a given that there is a desire to win, it's the bleeding obvious. In contrast, a 'winning mentality' is a different kettle of fish.

I believe a 'winning mentality' is a mental attitude that separates champions from also-fans, the mentality of playing the same methodical way regardless of the score. Like in tennis, where a champion plays the same way whether he's three match points up or three match points down. An attitude where it becomes 'second nature', never to give in. This attitude can be developed through coaching and mental conditioning, as it has for Andy Murray in tennis.

I think maybe it's this 'winning mentality' that Ross is talking about. That's surely part of the reason for Koeman being here, to develop this approach in the players, through discipline and mental conditioning, aided by the increased fitness regime.

We can all talk about a desire to win, but at the top of professional sport, like at the top of any profession involving high talent and skill, developing a mentality to succeed, rather than just a desire, is a task in itself.

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