Williams remarks on Barkley's growth and maturity

Monday 17 April 2017  43 Comments  [Jump to last]
Chris Brunskill/Getty Images

Ashley Williams says he has been impressed with the way Ross Barkley has dealt with what has been a difficult season for him at times, both on the pitch and, lately, off it.

The 23-year-old midfielder put the drama of last week, where he was punched in a bar and then attacked in disgraceful fashion by “journalist” Kelvin MacKenzie in a newspaper column, behind him with a good performance against Burnley on Saturday and provided the shot that deflected off Ben Mee and in off the post for the decisive second goal.

And his team-mate, Williams, who joined the Blues from Swansea City last weekend, has described how Barkley just gets on with things rather than being distracted by a campaign during which he has made plenty of headlines.

"It has been one of those seasons where it seems we have been talking about [Ross] all the time and I think he's done really well,” Williams said.

"It is my first season with him so I didn't know what he had done before in terms of how he works and stuff, but I've been really impressed.

"I've not heard him coming out and saying anything. He's just got his head down and his form has been brilliant for as long as I can remember.

"He is an important player for us and I think he understands that, and the way he has been playing in games he now understands we need him to win games and he steps up.

“He's had a bit of a week with his name being in the paper - which is never nice - and there was a really good reception for him and he handled his business well.

"He trained every day, there were no issues, and you wouldn't know anything was going on.”


Reader Comments (43)

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Anthony Jones
1 Posted 17/04/2017 at 07:40:25
Good lad.

Refreshing to not see him or his "people" issuing statements and providing these clowns with more attention.

Will Mabon
2 Posted 17/04/2017 at 07:43:03
Whoah! The return of the player-penned article. Is there some bad news coming? Did I miss a poor performance somewhere?

Edit: OK, not penned, quoted...

Will Mabon
3 Posted 17/04/2017 at 07:45:54
Lyndon - last season.
Gareth Clark
4 Posted 17/04/2017 at 09:07:48
I love what Koeman does!

Williams was the perfect signing at the time, exactly what we needed.

Over the next few years, Williams will take the roll that Jags has done this year – allowing Keane & Holgate & possibly Maguire to be starters.

I'd love to see us get those two in at centre-back.

Along with Sigurdsson, Heaton, Chilwell & Iheanacho.

John G Davies
5 Posted 17/04/2017 at 09:16:31
2) Lukaku and Barkley have much to thank Koeman for.

Whether it is the pursuit of Champions League football or more money that explains the reluctance of Romelu Lukaku and Ross Barkley to sign new contracts – both have told Ronald Koeman it is the former – there should be an acceptance on their part of the Everton manager's influence on their development this season.

Both have reaped the rewards of Koeman constructing a team around their respective strengths. Lukaku struck his 24th league goal of the season to secure Everton's eighth successive home win, against Burnley. Barkley has also improved since being given licence to roam across the front line.

“He will learn with each season” Koeman said of the midfielder. “He's a local boy and the local boy will have more critics than any other player in the team most of the time. That's sometimes difficult for him. He's even had criticism from his manager. That's football.”

Andy Hunter – Good article this morning. Pretty accurate, I would say.

Mark McParlan
6 Posted 17/04/2017 at 10:26:11
"Williams, who joined the Blues from Swansea City last weekend."


Brian Williams
7 Posted 17/04/2017 at 12:07:16
Mark (#6),

Seems like he's been here since last season doesn't it? *;-)*

Think Lyndon's been on the sauce!

Tony Sullivan
8 Posted 17/04/2017 at 13:16:29
Anthony Jones (1) – precise and too the point.

Ross has shown an element of class throughout this hiatus

Trevor Lynes
9 Posted 17/04/2017 at 13:36:14
Barkley has put himself 100% in the right due to his reluctance to acknowledge the slimy journalism from the Sun and not even comment so far.His job is playing for Everton and he answered any derisry, snide remarks in the best possible way.I just hope that he and Rom remain where they are appreciated and supported. I would just love to see each of them sign new contracts and put the noses out of joint of those media bully boys who dish it out but cannot take it back.I agree with Tony #8 that class has prevailed.
Kieran Kinsella
10 Posted 17/04/2017 at 14:07:23
Slightly off topic but Koeman has been getting a lot of praise. Overall, I concur he's done a good job. But I've heard more than one ToffeeWeber call him the best manager in 30 years. That is premature.

It's his first season and he will finish 7th maybe 5th. Martinez was 5th in his first season; Royle 6th in his first full season, having won the FA Cup at the end of his partial season. Moyes came 7th in his first full season. So Koeman's record isn't that remarkable.

I hope he builds on it but things can change quickly. A lot will depend on the owner getting quality signings in. Not to mention retaining the good players we have.

If Ross leaves, it will reflect poorly on Koeman's man-management. I'll give him a pass on Rom because he's not an Evertonian born and bred.

Danny O'Neill
11 Posted 17/04/2017 at 15:48:02
Hear what you're saying Kieran and absolutely credible observations.

I would too hold back on declaring him the best Everton manager in 30 years. I'm someone who has always (sometimes naively I'll admit) supported all of our managers for probably longer than they deserve. I think the difference here is that there's just a feeling we have someone who could deliver. So I think the statement best manager in 30 years should omit Everton (for now hopefully) and add the word potentially.

Those like many of us who remember Koeman the player know we have a truly world class winner and achiever. That's what is different and something we haven't had in previous recent managers. He knows the game at the highest levels and knows the mentality required to win; ability without the mentality is almost cancelled out-our proverbial downfall. Now I appreciate the evidence that top player doesn't always equal top manager but he seems to have something about him and his standing in the modern game is something we probably haven't had previously.

On Ross, he's doing what I wish a lot of players would do; let the football do the talking. I'm liking more and more of what I see from him. Even when it's not going well (eg, the derby), I don't think he goes hiding. Hope he stays.

Gordon Crawford
12 Posted 17/04/2017 at 16:00:41
Not even close to being the best manager in 30 years. He has to win stuff first. He has made some progress but I'm nowhere near convinced yet.

As for Ross, he has been brilliant and I hope he stays. The lad has so much pressure on his shoulder and yet he never goes hiding. I admire that in him a lot. He's a diamond.

Ben Howard
13 Posted 17/04/2017 at 16:36:18
There was a lot of talk of Ross leaving amid a feeling of not being fully appreciated by the fans. That's all conjecture but I was worried that the incident in the club could have further alienated him from the city.

I wonder whether that horrible 'journalist' with his deplorable words may have unintentionally actually had the opposite effect.

There is a mindset that says 'we can slag him off but don't you dare!'. I think we showed him how much we love him and want him to stay and his celebration, to me, showed that the feeling was mutual. A top player and person.

Charles Brewer
14 Posted 17/04/2017 at 18:43:18
I reckon Barkley's biggest issues are mental ones. He has been badly affected a couple of times when selected for England but not even played in what was possibly the worst team in the competition. He was also (unsurprisingly) clearly deeply damaged by the horrible injury early in his career.

Ross seems to be someone who takes criticism much to heart, and this will make it harder for him when he thinks the criticism is from someone whose judgement he respects. Equally, he will probably react in a very positive way to negative comments from people held in low regard by his friends and colleagues and those he holds in high regard.

I therefore conclude that Kelvin Mackenzie has probably just made Ross likely to be the best player in the Premier League for the next couple of years or so.

Nigel Johnson
15 Posted 17/04/2017 at 21:24:34
Just read Lukaku can go if a club pays 𧴜 million for him. If true hats off to the board for showing other clubs that we are not a selling club on the cheap.

Lukaku is a great player but not worth that much at the moment. Hope Barkley kissing the shirt means he is about to sign his contract. If both stay we can truly build a strong squad in the summer and break into the top 4 next season.

Oliver Molloy
16 Posted 17/04/2017 at 22:29:50
Nigel, in my opinion no player in football is worth £100 million pound , however in today's football world transfer fee's and wages are crazy and if Pogba is worth £89 million then our guy is worth the same amount.

Interestingly this is the same figure that Juventus were asking when Man Utd started making enquiries for him , eventually doing the deal at £89 million so, if he goes, I reckon it will be for a similar amount.

Crazy crazy money.

Kieran Kinsella
17 Posted 17/04/2017 at 23:00:47
𧴜 million doesn't cut it. The deal to buy Lukaku was spread over several years so a few years in let's assume we still owe 㾻 million. So net we are at 䀁 million if he goes back to Chelsea as seems likely.

We are supposedly buying this no name journeyman from Spain for 㿈 million. If we retain Valencia that's another $㾺 million. Valencia is here already so he doesn't improve the team per se. Journeyman Spaniard is a huge downgrade from Lukaku. So we are left with about 㿖 million to spend.

What does that get you? A Bolasie and a Lookman? eg, a luxury inconsistent player and a kid who is 90 percent potential. Realistically we'd need more like 𧶀 or 300 million to come out ahead. That would entail buying freaking Neymar. Since that's not going to happen then we should just keep him.

Graham Mockford
18 Posted 17/04/2017 at 23:20:00

Where is your source that we owe £15m to Chelsea? We bought him nearly three years ago.

There is no way we are paying for him over seven years!

Ciarán McGlone
19 Posted 17/04/2017 at 23:22:48
We're probably still paying for Coleman.
Kieran Kinsella
20 Posted 17/04/2017 at 23:26:08


Gordon Crawford
21 Posted 17/04/2017 at 23:34:18
Everton have done the right thing by slapping a 𧴜 million on him. :)
Colin Glassar
22 Posted 17/04/2017 at 23:43:47
I heard we're still paying for Arteta.
Graham Mockford
23 Posted 17/04/2017 at 23:46:50

Again where does it say we owe £15m.

Certainly I could see a deal structured over three years but seven I seriously doubt.

Kieran Kinsella
24 Posted 17/04/2017 at 23:47:03

I'm not American but live over here and the phones don't have pound signs.


I heard we still owe a bag of balls, six cones and a sandwich on the Preki deal,

Colin Glassar
25 Posted 17/04/2017 at 23:52:25
Ham or corned beef sarnie, Kieran?

I think the £100m price tag is a brilliant move by the club. It calls everyone's bluff and will have the mercenary journos in their pay trying to figure a way around this.

Expect rumours about Rom going on strike (to get his dream move) to start soon. I bet that fat get of an agent is going ballistic right now.

Gavin Johnson
26 Posted 17/04/2017 at 23:53:49
Great to hear the club's stance with Lukaku. If we bring in Sigurdsson, Keane & Rooney/Jose, who knows, he might even sign a new contract. Stranger things have happened in football. The idea of challenging for a top 4 finish isn't a pipe dream under Moshiri and Koeman.

The worst that could happened is that we sell Rom. At least now, if he goes we won't have the Daily Mail and Daily Express hacks hawking him for derisory money all summer. Everton have put a marker down and it's up to other clubs to come and meet that. The likes of Chelsea are going to have to meet the fee, or offer us something close to that, say 㿲m and a player in exchange.

I still think that we'll probably sell but it will definitely be on our terms and we'll bring in some quality players.

As for Ross Barkley, I have no doubts that he will sign a new contract. The way he celebrated on Saturday is a player who doesn't want to go anywhere.

Kieran Kinsella
27 Posted 17/04/2017 at 23:54:03

I'm just speculating on £15 million based on various reports I read last summer. They ranged from we still owe £8 million to £21 million in installments. Some said the fee was split over the five year contract. Some said there were add-ons for trophies and goals. I don't know the specifics which is why I said "let's assume". Maybe it's less but with that said if you throw in taxes, agent fees etc you're going to diminish our returns.

Joe O'Brien
28 Posted 17/04/2017 at 23:57:45
At least Chelsea were stupid enough not to insert a sell-on clause. Big mistake on their part.
Brian Williams
29 Posted 18/04/2017 at 00:04:34
Not at all surprised about the price tag and suggested it several weeks ago. It's the most sensible thing to do in my opinion.

It lets so called interested clubs we won't be fucked about. It puts to bed the ridiculous price of 㿨m being bandied about by the media and it also lets Lukaku know that the likelihood is that he'll be here next season unless he scores another 15 goals before the end of the season and makes himself the most wanted player in the Premiership, Europe, whatever.

𧴜m isn't an unreasonable pricetag for the best goal scorer in the Premiership and that's who we have.

Forget our plucky little Everton tag and remind yourselves we have the top goalscorer in the Premier League!

Colin Glassar
30 Posted 18/04/2017 at 00:08:20
Pay up or shut up. That's the new motto.
Kieran Kinsella
31 Posted 18/04/2017 at 00:11:58
If Lukaku stays obviously, his transfer fee whittles to zero in 24 months. But the upside is potential income. From what I've read – which I can't verify but seems reasonable – each Premier League place is worth £2 million.

So if we keep him and finish fourth we get £14 million more than if he leaves and we are mid table. You get €13 million – according to UEFA – for making the group stages of the Champions League. Additionally you get money for wins and progressing.

Throw in additional TV money for being on TV more domestically since wed in my scenario be a top four team, and increased revenue from commercial activities with a higher profile. Two good years and we'd recoup the "lost" £100 million if he walks off on a Bosman. But if we do enjoy that success he may stay anyway.

Dave Abrahams
32 Posted 18/04/2017 at 00:18:44
Charles (14),

Jesus couldn't make Ross the best player in the Premier league in the next couple of years.

Kieran Kinsella
33 Posted 18/04/2017 at 00:24:26

Jesus wasn't schooled at Ajax. I don't Nazarenes are known for football,

Gordon Crawford
34 Posted 18/04/2017 at 00:27:34
I was just wondering Kieran. I used to live in the USA, so I can relate.
Oliver Molloy
35 Posted 18/04/2017 at 00:46:05

I wouldn't be at all surprised if Raiola and Moshiri were, let's say, keeping in touch.... if you get me. The more we get, the more he gets and of course Raiola would already have a decent insight into what clubs have the money.

If he goes, I believe it will be to Man Utd as they are absolutely desperate to challenge for the title and they will pay the money.

Kieran Kinsella
36 Posted 18/04/2017 at 01:20:40

So you can relate to the frustration of the time difference causing me to only catch the tail end of the daily ToffeeWeb debates... lol.

Kieran Kinsella
37 Posted 18/04/2017 at 01:26:18

I think you're spot on with Raiola. I wonder if the 99 percent signed contract was his attempt at driving up the fee. The argument against Man Utd is Lukaku's prior with Mourinho. But as Mourinho has shown with Mata its horses for courses. There's no Costa at Man Utd to block Lukaku's path.

The other possible issue is Champions League or lack thereof. I get the impression Mourinho feels they have the Europa League spot in the bag. On paper it looks easy but these Belgian teams have caused a few surprises this year. Would Rom favor Man Utd over Everton if they're both in the Europa League?

Chris Green
38 Posted 18/04/2017 at 02:02:54
I love that the club have come out and said 𧴜m for him. Put up or shut up, and let the media hacks try and whittle it down.

I still think, if he goes to Chelsea, we should ask for Batshuayi and 㿞-70m. That would value Rom at 㿼-100. Then say, when Batshuayi is banging them in for us and getting PotM awards, that Rom can collect his "I play for a Champions League club" medal and enjoy the bench.

Batshuayi was hailed as one of the best in Europe last year, and has played about 5 games. If he wants to swap places, let's see what we can get from him.

I want Rom to stay, and Barkley , but No one is bigger than my club!!!!

Paul Ferry
39 Posted 18/04/2017 at 02:45:59
Kieran Kinsella (8 and everywhere) thanks for coming on here and - why? - in your words 'off topic' and using this Ross thread to have a pop at Koeman.

You posted eight posts on this Ross thread - 8/38 (21.05%) - and you have mentioned Ross once by name in #8 in your 'off topic' pop at Koeman - 'If Ross leaves, it will reflect poorly on Koeman's man-management'. 

Nothing you have said after #8 is of any relevance to the original post. You squeeze in Lukaku, Chelsea, Neymar, Preki, Ajax, Bosman, Raiola, Costa, Mourinho, Nazarenes etc. in your 8/21 posts since #17 (38.1%)

Threads change needless to say but you have taken this thread into outer limits.

In response to a question about a credible source for us owing Chelsea 15 million for Lukaku you hilariously quote rumours. And just to cement your credible source you throw in a monster: 'I'm just speculating on 15 million based on various reports I read last summer'.

In fairness you're by no means the only one. Far from it. But I always hold my hands up in the air in despair when posters pop on a thread with another agenda and take it elsewhere.

Seven posts on a Ross thread that between them don't mention the Wavertree star once!

John Daley
40 Posted 18/04/2017 at 03:14:53
"I love that the club have come out and said 𧴜m for him"

West Ham fans will be waiting on tenterhooks to see if it's third time lucky.

Karen Brady: "Will you take....䀏m for him?"

Moshiri: "Yes"

Karen Brady: "Oh! You will? Err...scrrrshhhrrrrr... sorry Farhad... scrrrshhhrrrrr...you're...scksssh... you're breaking up"


Moshiri: "Hello? Hello? Karen?"

Graham Mockford
41 Posted 18/04/2017 at 10:26:24
Kieran (#31), I don't really know where to start.

You are genuinely suggesting you can let a 𧴜m player leave for free.

Let's start with a few facts

Each place in the Premier League is worth approx ٟ.24m
Each extra televised game above 10 is 𧾦k

Let's know examine your assumptions, which is not easy.

You claim 㿈m (over two years) on the basis of finishing 4th vs 11th.

Firstly we would reinvest the money (although stunningly in another post you claimed 𧴜m doesn't buy you much!!). So it's hard to predict whether our league position changes.

Secondly how do we suddenly become a top 4 club in your analysis seeing as this year we will finish 6th/7th?

For your analysis to work we would have to deteriorate to 17th/18th from our current position having reinvested the 𧴜m transfer proceedings. Now he is a good player but I think that is overstating it somewhat.

As for Champions League income you assume money based on nothing changing. How do we suddenly become a Champions League team doing nothing differently than this season?

The difference last season in TV live revenue between us an Champions League teams was about 6 less games. That equates to ٢.5m.

Basically you have the proverbial Swiss cheese of an argument.

The issue is more pressing with Barkley (the subject of the thread). You might be able to insist a player stays with two years remaining, although it has its risks in terms of motivation and team spirit. You cannot let a player worth tens of millions enter his final year. The manager said so recently and any arguments to run a contract to zero are financially illiterate.

Jonathan Miller
42 Posted 18/04/2017 at 14:40:37
It was so obvious that Jamie Redknapp tapped Ross up for Spurs when he had the opportunity to interview him last.

Come on, son, "Bright lights big city. Big move signing on fee me and Dad will put you right. Sponsorships coming out your ears, guaranteed get your England place etc"!

Even put more pressure by saying "I don't think Ross will be playing at Everton next season."

Spurs want him but imho if he was to leave I don't think they could afford him!

So stick that in your cap Jamie!

Chris Green
43 Posted 20/04/2017 at 01:45:57
John (40),

I know what you mean, but the difference is that is the Everton of old, I hope, and this new Everton would stick to that target.

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