Southgate insists Barkley will get his chance

Monday 27 March 2017  58 Comments  [Jump to last]
Mark Robinson/Getty Images
England boss Gareth Southgate has explained why he didn't bring Ross Barkley on against Lithuania and says the midfielder just needs to keep performing for Everton.

Much has been made by fans together with many in the local and national media about Barkley's exclusion from the national team despite receiving a call-up by Southgate following a period of exile following Euro2016.

Barkley is statistically the most creative Englishman in his position this season but didn't het a look-in in either the friendly against Germany or the World Cup qualifier on Sunday.

The changes [against Lithuania]... I felt we needed to stretch the opposition more and to create space for the likes of Dele (Alli) and Adam (Lallana) to play," the England manager explained.

"I was going to be bringing on another player that plays in front of the defence if I put Ross into it, so that's why I didn't put him into the game."

"But we like him, he's a talented player and he's just got to keep playing well. It's the first time I've actually had the chance to work with him.

"I never worked with him with the under-21s, so I think it was good for him to get a feel of how we work, how we want to work and he's just got to keep playing well for Everton."  

Reader Comments (58)

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James Welford
1 Posted 27/03/2017 at 23:15:25
"I never worked with him with the Under-21s." – I assume that's also the case for Defoe? Oh well.

"It's the first time I've actually had the chance to work with him." – As the ex-manager of Boro surely this happens a lot? Would it be wrong to say that Southgate sounds a bit U21 cliquey?

"I was going to be bringing on another player that plays in front of the defence if I put Ross into it, so that's why I didn't put him into the game."

Can anyone tell me what this sentence means? I'm at a loss...

John Audsley
2 Posted 27/03/2017 at 23:22:28
"I was going to be bringing on another player that plays in front of the defence if I put Ross into it, so that's why I didn't put him into the game"

Is this the actual quote?

Makes no sense whatsoever. Maybe Southgate is completely insane?

Tony Hill
3 Posted 27/03/2017 at 23:49:04
God spare us. A pure FA fuckwit.
Phil (Kelsall) Roberts
4 Posted 27/03/2017 at 00:02:19
"I was going to be bringing on another player that plays in front of the defence if I put Ross into it, so that's why I didn't put him into the game."

What that means is: "I wanted to bring on a player that plays behind the defence. I was worried about Joe Hart so I wanted to bring on a second goalkeeper to protect our lead.

Mark Andersson
5 Posted 28/03/2017 at 00:20:44
I thought Martinez was manager for Belgium... What utter rubbish coming from this man's mouth.

Gavin Johnson
6 Posted 28/03/2017 at 00:39:11
England managers don't usually like players who have that maverick quality of changing a game.

This story means nothing to me as long as Barkley's exclusion doesn't become a factor in his decision as to whether he signs or doesn't sign a new contract. Let's face it, if he played for one of the media darlings, he'd have probably played.

Brian Porter
7 Posted 28/03/2017 at 01:26:31
A poll in the Mirror asks "Should Ross Barkley start for England?"

72% say YES, which kind of shows how out of touch Southgate is with what and who the public want to see representing England.

Listen to the people, Southgate. It is THEIR team after all. You are simply another cog in the wheel who will be long gone after Russia if this is the best you can serve up for the nation to cheer on.

Kieran Kinsella
9 Posted 28/03/2017 at 01:28:47
In fairness, Dele Alli has been in great form for two years. Barkley has been in great form for about three months.

Moreover, if Lineker, Keown, Jeffers, Ball, Barmby & Rooney are anything to go by, then playing for England prompts players to leave Everton rather than vice versa.

Additionally, post Coleman, I'm in no rush to see any of our players play any games outside of the club.

Bill Watson
10 Posted 28/03/2017 at 01:49:27
Kieran (#9),

Totally agree. I never like our players playing in virtually meaningless international matches... so I was pleased Barkley wasn't selected.

Nicholas Ryan
11 Posted 28/03/2017 at 03:52:17
Surely, the key to Ross's re-emergence this season is that he has STOPPED playing 'just in front of the defence'.

But, maybe Gareth Southgate doesn't watch MotD, cos he can't see through the paper bag over his head.

* Remember the TV ads after his World Cup penalty miss!

Joe O'Brien
12 Posted 28/03/2017 at 06:58:02
At some point in that interview someone should have said...shhh Gareth..just stop talking, you're making it worse.
Jakob Herd
13 Posted 28/03/2017 at 07:03:19
Southgate is just another useless human being in a long line of them to take the England job. He, like Roy Hodgson, suits the FA because he's 'one of theirs' and doesn't make a fuss. They have learnt their lesson 'again' from taking on wide boys like Fat Sam and won't make that mistake for a while.

Southgate was an average player, a less--than-average manager and will be known as an even worse England Manager than Roy Hodgson, who incidentally managed the impossible by further disappointing England fans who had no expectations whatsoever.

Andy Sommer
14 Posted 28/03/2017 at 07:11:25
Not justifying it but I think Southgate means he would have needed to bring on a defensive midfielder along with Barkley if he'd bought him into the game.
Mike Allison
15 Posted 28/03/2017 at 07:42:04
Southgate was talking about the opposition's defence, not England's. Alli and Lallana (and Barkley) play in the space 'in front' of the defence, whereas someone like Vardy or Defoe try to run 'in behind' the defence.

It's a fairly straightforward and commonly used piece of terminology, I'm a bit flabbergasted as to how so many of you have misunderstood it so spectacularly. It's a perfectly reasonable thing to say, and I prefer when a manager does try to explain his choices. Reactions like those above provide evidence that they might as well keep quiet and keep us guessing.

Sam Hoare
16 Posted 28/03/2017 at 08:25:57
Yeah, I'm with Mike. Not the clearest statement but equally not THAT hard to decipher. Certainly undeserving of some of the comments here.

Happy for no Everton players to be playing internationally given what happenend to poor Seamus.

Liam Reilly
17 Posted 28/03/2017 at 08:31:11

I think the reason we don't understand it us, that he doesn't articulate it very well.

But hey, who said the England manager needs to have good grammar.

Mike Berry
18 Posted 28/03/2017 at 08:45:03
This makes no sense. Why employ two defensive midfielders in Oxlade-Chamberlain and Dier against a poor side like Lithuania? Nobody is going to tell me you could not accommodate Barkley in that team; they were poor and I nearly fell asleep.

Different Emperor... same clothes. I hope Ross tears Liverpool to shreds, I have a feeling he is boiling for one that may take his placid nature away forever.

Dan Egerton
19 Posted 28/03/2017 at 08:48:00
"I was going to be bringing on another player that plays in front of the defence if I put Ross into it, so that's why I didn't put him into the game."

He's basically saying that Barkley sucks at defence, his focus is on attack, so he'd need to make up for Barkley's sucky defence, by putting a CDM behind him and in front of the CBS, but then he'd lose a player elsewhere. He's being polite in trying to politely say Barkley sucks at defence, without saying it, despite meaning it anyway.

Dan Egerton
20 Posted 28/03/2017 at 08:48:53
"I hope Ross tears Liverpool to shreds, I have a feeling he is boiling for one that may take his placid nature away forever."

I feel the same way Mike Berry (#18).

Chris Gould
21 Posted 28/03/2017 at 08:52:29
Shouldn't make any difference that Ross hasn't played for him in the U21s. Most U21s will never make the senior team and most England managers will not have managed the U21s first.

As an England manager, you need to be able to assess them on their club form from the stands. I would assume that, before his first England game in charge, he'd never coached Hart, Cahill, Vardy and several others. Didn't stop him playing them.

There is no excuse for Ward-Prowse, Livermore, or Redmond getting on ahead of Ross. Shouldn't matter that Southgate knows them, they wouldn't get in any top 10 international side.

Sounds like another England manager that doesn't trust Ross.

Jon Withey
22 Posted 28/03/2017 at 09:01:12
He wanted to stretch their defence, ie, get people behind it like Vardy.

Agree with the U21 clique – it was very clear from the friendly selection.

And if he didn't know much about Barkley, then why not play him in the friendlies?

U21 manager still.

I couldn't give a crap as long as Barkley signs up – England will struggle again.

Derek Knox
23 Posted 28/03/2017 at 09:04:04
What is it with these England managers?

They appoint a new one, to presumably improve the results, and they play the same faces, as the the one they have replaced!

The likes of Lallana, Smalling, Henderson (when fit), to name but a few, all shoe-ins seemingly, who play the same boring game with no inventiveness or intuition, or off-script manoeuvres.

Ross is well out of it, as far as being picked, but at least he can't be blamed, when the brown stuff hits the whirly thing!

Richard Lyons
24 Posted 28/03/2017 at 09:25:50
Jakob (#13): love the description of Hodgson's achievement:

"Managed the impossible by further disappointing England fans who had no expectations whatsoever."

Too true!

Stan Schofield
25 Posted 28/03/2017 at 09:36:15
Looks like bullshit, and I hope it is. Playing for England has been an inconvenience, a waste of time, and an embarrassment for many years. Ross is better off not being involved in this mediocrity of the worst of British hoofball that's been stuck in the last century. The quality of the football has mirrored the quality of the England set-up.
Eddie Dunn
26 Posted 28/03/2017 at 09:41:12
Southgate is a bland, nice guy lucky to be in the job, and therefore easy for the FA to control. England will flatter to deceive, qualify comfortably and fail miserably once they have to play tournament football. Southgate is out of his depth.

I can remember when the England manager's job was coveted and if you hadn't won things as a manager (not the League Cup!), then you didn't need to apply.

Was he suggesting that, to accommodate Barkley, he would need to shore up the defence? Surely Dele Alli is no more defensive than Ross?

Anyway... at least he didn't get crocked.

Barry Pearce
27 Posted 28/03/2017 at 09:41:46
I agree with Gavin (#6).

If Ross was playing for one of the Sky darlings, he would have played. Stones is a prime example. He hasn't pulled up any trees at Man City, but gets picked.

Also whether Southgate as a grudge, as I remember, Martinez didn't want Ross to be picked for the Under-23s as Ross at the time was already a regular pick for the full England side. It was for some tournament, Harry Kane as I remember did go and play.

Michael Lynch
28 Posted 28/03/2017 at 09:48:41
Who gives a flying one what Southgate said or meant or didn't mean? I'm sure Ross would love to play for England about as much as I'd love him NOT to play for England, bearing in mind the consequences can only be an injury or tapping up.

Thanks Gareth, keep up the good work. I'd rather you didn't pick our lads for your squad but, if you must, please keep them on the bench wrapped in a duvet.

Charles Barrow
29 Posted 28/03/2017 at 09:55:14
I think there is a bit of a grudge there; to do with Ross playing for the senior team rather than his U23 team that he was in charge of.

Interesting that there is media pressure for Ross to play. That could go either way – play him because the journalists say so or refuse to play Ross to make a point that 'I'm in charge'! More likely the latter as easier to get away with it if it's someone who doesn't play for the Sky 6!

Like many people, I'm more concerned about how he plays on Saturday. I just hope the England debacle hasn't knocked his confidence.

Benny Snow
30 Posted 28/03/2017 at 10:18:44
Sorry but playing for your country this day and age is pointless. Teams are picked on names and not form. England struggled to a 2-0 win, but kept Ross on the bench? Doesn't he have best stats in the Premier League for an English midfielder?

England are only good enough to qualify against lesser teams; they struggle to get out of groups in tourneys and if they can manage that, it's a first round knock-out in the last 16. Why risk another Coleman incident?

All it does is allow other clubs to use their players to shit talk to transfer targets. Stones got it from Joe Hart and Sterling; no doubt Alli, Dier and Kane are sweet talking Spurs to Ross.

Fucking guts full...

Tim Sharpe
31 Posted 28/03/2017 at 10:30:16
"I was going to be bringing on another player that plays in front of the defence if I put Ross into it, so that's why I didn't put him into the game."

Makes as much sense as not buying a fish, because it cannot dance the tango

Paul Thompson
32 Posted 28/03/2017 at 10:53:13
Looking beyond his rationale – England play a predictable style that is never going to beat the top teams. Barkley offers a creative option, but recent managers have preferred the predictable and the safe.

Dele Alli, though a bit of a twat, is a very good player, but Barkley should be in ahead of other options such as Oxlade-Chamberlain and certainly should get a chance from the bench.

Tony McNulty
33 Posted 28/03/2017 at 11:06:55
At the human level – never mind at the basic management level – you really wouldn't want to treat a player as Southgate has treated Barkley. There was absolutely an opportunity to bring him on at some point in the second half on Sunday. And he did not do it.

I am reminded of Groucho Marx. Pointing to Harpo, he tells someone that, "he's the brains of our organisation." He then adds, "and that tells you everything you need to know about our organisation."

For those still in doubt, we've just learned everything we need to know about the managerial capabilities of Gareth Southgate.

Eddy Grundy
34 Posted 28/03/2017 at 11:13:59
Half the England team wouldn't get in to Everton right now! Personally I don't have a feeling for the national side whenever they play meaningless games.
Shane Corcoran
35 Posted 28/03/2017 at 11:30:31
Any chance people could stop referring to international games, especially qualifiers as meaningless?

How could they be meaningless?

Stan Schofield
36 Posted 28/03/2017 at 11:36:27
Shane, of course they're not meaningless, but they are, for a large number of people, an inconvenience and tedious. I've found England games a waste of time for a very long time, and would prefer it if Everton players weren't involved.
Shane Corcoran
37 Posted 28/03/2017 at 11:40:21
Stan, that's fine. I have no problem with people not being interested.

On one of the many "Coleman" threads, I read that they were trying to qualify for a tournament that nobody wanted to play in anyway.

Peter Roberts
38 Posted 28/03/2017 at 11:48:36
What a buffoon. I'd love Ross to retire from international duty.
Stan Schofield
39 Posted 28/03/2017 at 11:51:17
Shane, yes, what a complete waste of time. I can understand players wanting to play for their country (although it does seem a tad outdated), but there are surely limits as to the hassle that clubs should be prepared to tolerate.

Seamus's main career is with Everton, and frustratingly it's now being hampered by what seem ridiculous international fixtures.

Shane Corcoran
41 Posted 28/03/2017 at 12:23:21
Stan, that's another debate and it is a strange enough set-up, the whole club v country thing.

I don't think the likes of Coleman would be too impressed if his club were to hinder his international aspirations, relative to any other club.

Tony Hill
42 Posted 28/03/2017 at 12:35:11
The problem with Southgate's comments is not the "terminology", which is obvious, but whether it makes sense in the context of what Barkley offers. He seems simply to assume that Alli (who had another poor game for England) and Lallana were not to be replaced.

Nor does his banal manager-speak explain the preferred selection of an out-of-form Oxlade-Chamberlain who was appalling. Finally, why were Ward-Prowse and Livermore used ahead of him against Germany?

It's all nonsense, of course. I don't particularly care from an Everton point of view either, but this sort of crap should be called out when uttered by someone who is in charge of the national team. If he didn't trust Ross then he should say so, and should not have selected him in the first place.

Kim Vivian
43 Posted 28/03/2017 at 12:38:31
As far as internationals go – Ditch the meaningless friendlies. I would love to see a return to the Home Championship. Include The Republic of Ireland, allow one other European country in, say France or Italy ,and call it the Six Nations. Now were have I heard that before?
Shane Corcoran
44 Posted 28/03/2017 at 12:42:22
Kim, when is a friendly meaningless? When are managers supposed to see untried players play? You wouldn't ditch pre-season friendlies for clubs would you?

When would you play the Home Championship? Every second summer?

Kim Vivian
45 Posted 28/03/2017 at 12:55:06
Something like that.
Peter Morris
46 Posted 28/03/2017 at 12:58:56
In all honesty, I guess like most people on this site, I couldn't really give a fuck about England, which is a real shame in itself.

As a child, I remember being just as passionate about the England team as I was about Everton, but no more. Why? The team is massively over represented by London club players – take Oxlade-Chamberlain on Sunday. I've no issue with the player personally, but he is woefully out of form in an out-of-form team, but because it's Arsenal, who the England manager must watch half a dozen times a season, mostly at home, then he's in the team.

It is a rarity that the England manager visits Goodison, and I was encouraged that Southgate was there for the Hull game. Most England managers seem to rotate between Highbury, Stamford Bridge, White Hart Lane, Anfield, Old Trafford and now the Etihad. Players of the so called 'lesser teams' get watched when their club is playing away at one of the grounds above, so more often than not have less possession.

For me, England are an irrelevance. My main concern is what this fucking about does with Barkley's head. He is a fragile and unconfident individual at the best of times, and if this messing about creeps through into affecting his form adversely for us, then I for one will hold that prick Southgate responsible.

Tony Marsh
47 Posted 28/03/2017 at 13:08:13
It's good Barkley didn't play; no-one here in Liverpool gives a rat's arse about the national team and the Gobshites that follow it around the world insulting people. Scousers aren't English, so let the prick Southgate pick a shit squad... they will be useless once proper teams get a crack at them.

If Ross signed for Man City, Man Utd or Spurs tomorrow, he would start next game for England. That's how it works and it's bollocks. Yes-man in charge once again – good luck to him.

Too be honest, Barkley has been useless for us until late recently so let him do his thing here and let England stumble on like they always do. Who cares?? Keep our lads away from playing dentists and plumbers.

Adam Carey
48 Posted 28/03/2017 at 13:27:52
Okay, I'm sure I'll get blasted for this but Ross plays in or around the same positions as Alli and Lallana. They are first choice at the moment and have been for the last year or two (in Lallana's case).

Lallana, whilst he is quite impotent in front of goal, keeps the ball, links play and runs around a lot 'closing down' players. He has also been very consistant over the last few seasons doing this. If he wasn't a Liverpool player I think a lot of us would like him in our team, as he is a lot like Leon Osman.

Alli is the current wonderkid as far as all of the media are concerned. I don't quite get it. Yes a good player, but no world beater; however he plays for Spurs who are up in the limelight at the moment playing good football and trying to breakup the Sky 5.

That is why Ross didn't get a look in over the weekend. He needs to dislodge one of those two and it is unlikely to see him in the team alongside them both.

As for playing Livermore, he is average but defensive and that is what Southgate wanted. The fact we played 2 defensive midfielders says everything you need to know about the frailties of our defence. Ross can't defend...

Regarding International teams, I agree with many here that I don't really get too worked up watching England any more. I don't think I have since the 2002 World Cup! However, I like seeing our players represent the home nations. It means they are talented. What happened with Seamus is terrible, but I bet walking out with the captain's armband on for Ireland meant the world to him.

Stan Schofield
49 Posted 28/03/2017 at 14:08:25
Adam, there's a lot sense in what you say there. Lallana is a neat, reasonably skillful, fairly consistent and generally reliable player. But I think that's one of England's big problems. The team is generally filled with fairly useful, but too often fairly mediocre, players. Apart from Rooney, who's well past his best, there's been nobody truly world class, who can turn a game unexpectedly, with flair and excitement.

Now, I believe Ross can show those attributes, but he's been too inconsistent, and perhaps too fragile mentally. If Koeman is toughening him up mentally, and he's getting more consistency, then he could become an England regular, even still playing for Everton. Trouble is, like Rooney, he'd be surrounded by 'useful' (often mediocre) players, which probably wouldn't do much to help him sparkle given England's generally dull style.

So, overall, that's why I think England is a waste of time these days for someone 'mercurial' like Ross. That said, if England changed their approach to a more creative and flair-based one (obviously unlikely), then players with Ross' talents might prosper. But it's never going to happen unfortunately.

Ian Hollingworth
50 Posted 28/03/2017 at 14:10:55
England will not progress much from the Hodgson era under the utter clown that is Gareth Southgate.

We need the equivalent of an Eddie Jones as manager as the 'winning is all that matters above everything else' approach is the only thing that would shake up the current England set-up.

Picking favourites, out of form, square pegs in round holes and even injured players, top 4 bias etc is what has put me off England. Southgate being an FA man will just follow the shambolic approach and the disappointment will go on.

Ian Linn
51 Posted 28/03/2017 at 15:08:01
Based on what just happened to Coleman, I'm happy Barkley didn't get a game.
Clive Mitchell
52 Posted 28/03/2017 at 15:12:33
Sorry, I'm not having Southgate as an utter clown. He had the good sense to ditch the most overrated player since Sky invented football, Theo 'roadrunner' Walcott.
Tony Draper
53 Posted 28/03/2017 at 15:38:36
Everton are my prime concern in football. England just flatter to deflate. They don't even get bloody close to winning tournaments beyond the development levels.

Everton have won silver a number of times since England's one and only. Belo Horizonte?

Get some trophies for us to carry to Bramley-Moore. Christen the new Royal Blue Home with silver.

Get well, Shay. Come back and captain us, then lead us out when we all begin our new epoch at Bramley-Moore!

Sixty thousand capacity, has to be. Tribute to William Ralph and our lad from Donegal... Sixty, our lucky number!

Mark Morrissey
54 Posted 28/03/2017 at 15:45:40
"I was going to be bringing on another player that plays in front of the defence if I put Ross into it, so that's why I didn't put him into the game."

What this actually means is, "I'm so staggered to be offered the England job after making such a hash of my penalty duties for England against the Huns back in Euro 96, that I can't actually remember what question you asked me."

Once a fuckwit, always a fuckwit!

Tony Draper
55 Posted 28/03/2017 at 16:03:40
"I never worked with him with the Under-21s, so I think it was good for him to get a feel of how we work, how we want to work and he's just got to keep playing well for Everton."

Everything else is "la la la la la". Play well for Everton Ross. Just do that. You will make a world of difference for lads and girls like me with bugger all talent, but an adoration for our club and a never-ending hope that "One Of Us" will see his boyhood dream come true.

Do that for people like me!
Do that for William Ralph!
Do that for "The Royal Blue Jersey"!
But above all, Ross, do it for Ross Barkley, Evertonian.

Kim Vivian
56 Posted 28/03/2017 at 18:15:37
Hey - back to club footy. Off topic I know but no suitable threads running just now.

Good news: I see Lallana is out of the derby. He's a key man for the RedShite.

David Pearl
57 Posted 28/03/2017 at 18:57:36
Funny thread. I read his comments as he didn't rate Barkley tracking back, so if he played him, he would also need to bring on another player next to Dier... as in to sit in front of the defence.

Now, I'm not normally wrong. I'm mostly found sitting on top of Billinge Lump. If you cycle to the top without getting off, you get your first question free.

Trevor Powell
58 Posted 29/03/2017 at 09:33:16
Read Zaha's comments about why he would rather play for Nigeria:

"Wilfried Zaha turned his back on England because the Football Association is failing to nurture young talents who emerge from outside the country's biggest clubs", according to his chairman at Crystal Palace.

Kim Vivian
59 Posted 29/03/2017 at 10:49:56

Klopp furious Lallana used in both England matches. Evertonians made up Barkley wasn't.

Karl Meighan
60 Posted 29/03/2017 at 21:10:21
Who is arsed what Southgate's comment meant? He could have brought one of the crowd on and Lithuania still wouldn't have threatened.

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