Ross Barkley can offer something England have lacked in midfield

Maurizio Sarri believes it is time for Ross Barkley to get back into the England squad, “I think he can return to the national team. He is improving week by week.”

Barkley agreed with his manager, he said, “I’m playing a big role in the side at the minute and I believe my performances show I’m capable of being in the England squad.”

Barkley spent the majority of last season recovering from a serious injury. Sarri, even in his first few weeks as Chelsea manager, has shown more interest in the former Everton man than Antonio Conte did last term. Barkley started the Community Shield, has appeared in six of Chelsea’s Premier League matches and played the full 90 minutes as Chelsea beat PAOK in their opening Europa League group match.

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Ross Barkley’s and Chelsea’s Future Prospects

Ross Barkley arrived in Chelsea at a time when many fans had doubts about the club’s recruitment strategy and his signing is often given as an example to everything that is wrong about the Blues’ transfer policy. He was talented, but never really fulfilled his potential, is injury prone and spends more time on the treatment table than on the pitch and is said to lack in football intelligence.

However, there was one thing that he had going for him and that was his contract which was running out and Chelsea managed to snap him up on the cheap. This has been a recurring theme for Chelsea recently as they have been wheeling and dealing mediocre players, but the benefits of this policy are yet to be seen.

Betting enthusiasts have already sensed an opportunity in Chelsea’s transfer policy and are already backing them to miss out on the Top 4 for the foreseeable future and go into a steady decline. Betting Strategies such as this one may not always be an accurate method of assessment of whether a club’s policy is faulty or not, but the fact that many punters are writing the Blues off is indicative of a club which is falling from grace.

Let’s see how Ross Barkley’s future prospects at Chelsea are closely tied to the club’s future fortunes and how his career path closely resembles the path that Chelsea are on at the moment.

Poor Decision Making

Ross Barkley has never been known as a good decision maker and Everton fans often held it against him that he’d made the wrong decision at a crucial point in the game. As Graeme Souness once said in an interview, Ross Barkley runs with the ball when he should pass it and passes the ball when he should run with it.

Leon Osman, a former teammate of Barkley, had a similar indictment about Barkley and said that it was a pity that the once hugely talented player hasn’t really kicked on by now and that the fact that he has been playing first team football ever since he was 17 should have shown in his game by now.

Chelsea’s decision making has been equally bad recently as they have gone for mediocre, but cheap players in a market in which players such as Alexis Sanchez and Romelu Lukaku where readily available.

Instead, they went for average players such as Davide Zappacosta, Olivier Giroud and our very own Ross Barkley, so the chances that the Blues’ fortunes will resemble Barkley’s career path are very high.

Poorly Arranged Marriage of Convenience

Ross Barkley and Chelsea seem to be tied in a dysfunctional marriage of convenience in which neither side seems to know what the purpose of the other partner is. Chelsea have acquired a player whose value will only drop if he stays on the treatment table and Barkley should have found himself another club if he wanted to play a regular role in a title winning side. In a way, Chelsea and Barkley are dragging themselves down.

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Ross Barkley Has Been The Best Signing Of the Season So Far


This transfer window malarkey is a bit of a headline maker, isn’t it? Rumours, done deals, fantasy transfer dealings – it’s all in there, and helps fill a ton of column inches during the small gap between matches.

Some transfers prove disasterous of course – millions of pounds spent on a player who then offers little to nothing in return. Some are just sensible – a player makes a like-for-like move and carries on doing a fine job. Then you have the good deals – the bargains, the masterstrokes, the diamonds in the rough.

The current transfer window may have been a little quieter than usual, but one or two moves have really raised some eyebrows. Virgil Van Dijk’s on-again, off-again move to Liverpool was finally concluded, with vending club Southampton sweetened to the deal with compensation to the tune of £75m. Continue reading

Is Roberto Martinez in trouble following yet another defeat?

Everton lost 2-0 away to Stoke City on Wednesday evening, which was their third consecutive defeat on the road in the Premier League. The loss puts manager Roberto Martinez under even more pressure, and the Toffees’ failure to turn around their poor form could really see the Spanish coach out the door in the summer. Supporters have lost patience in the former Wigan Athletic manager, and with Everton on course for their worst Premier League finish in around a decade, Martinez is certainly on thin ice.

Everton have picked up just one league win in their last 11 games, and have failed to score in eight of the matches. It’s clear what their problem has been this season, but will the manager still be in charge to rectify over the summer? With how impressively the Merseyside giants finished 2013/14, there were big expectations for them this season. They retained the core of the squad, and made little changes to the system and personnel, but things just haven’t clicked.

Only Sunderland, Burnley and Leicester City (4) has won less games than Everton this season (6), and only Sunderland & Leicester (2) have won less games on home soil (3). Everton’s performances at Goodison Park would always be solid in the past, with many sides failing to get a result. But now all too many sides are picking up points in the Toffees’ backyard, and they are showing little signs of a turnaround.

A lack of goals has meant all too many draws being accumulated (10), and players who shone last season have been heavily criticised this time round. Ross Barkley and Romelu Lukaku were outstanding in 2013/14, but have found such form difficult to replicate, and critics are trying to pinpoint the cause. It could be argued that being in the Europa League has played havoc with their fitness levels and subsequently results in the league, but it’s perhaps too easy to blame it on the extra games.

Supporters certainly won’t allow manager Roberto Martinez to use the competition as an excuse, nor will they be so forgiving if they finish in the bottom half of the table, as they currently appear on course to do. 2005/06 was the last time Everton finished outside of the top-10 in the Premier League. Predecessor David Moyes always managed top-10 finishes despite having European commitments in some seasons, so fans won’t allow it to be a reason for their considerable failure. Everton have started slow in the past, but they could win their last 10 games and still won’t match last season’s points tally.

Is Roberto Martinez in trouble?