Why does no one see that Ross Barkley is the victim in all of this?

Ross Barkley set for £50million move to Manchester United; Barkley interesting Chelsea; Everton starlet everything England have been waiting for. 

The future was meant to be bright for the attacking-midfielder, with the above headlines taking up column inches after Barkley’s debut against Queens Park Rangers in 2011 – a game in which saw a few lesser media publications name him Man of the Match.

Very quickly, as per usual, England started losing its shit over the prodigal son; the boy sent from the heavens to rescue the Three Lions from years of ineptitude.

“[Barkley will] be one of the best players we’ll ever see in this country.”

Martin Keown

Out of his depth ‘pundit’, who bypassed all journalism courses, wage structures and work experience spells to end up with a high-profile and envious job, makes over-the-top claim based on minutes of football, ends up being wrong.

Shocked? Of course you aren’t; absolute bunch of wasters, the lot of them – apart from Chris Sutton; I randomly have a lot of time for him.


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That was Louis Saha speaking on 10th August 2011, before Ross Barkley had even made his first-team debut for the Toffees.

In the same article, then-Everton defender, Sylvain Distin said the following on Barkley:

“He seems to be an amazing player but the problem is after one or two games people put too much expectation on the young players. I want to give him time. But definitely he’s got quality.”

The former Manchester City centre-back sounded like he almost got it, regarding the media pressure and hyperbole, but let himself down right at the end of the quote.

So, before Barkley has stepped out onto the Goodison Park turf for a Premier League fixture, before the then-17-year-old has taken in any of a proper match day experience and before Barkley’s name has even been read out over the tannoy, he’s going to become England’s best ever player.

What. The. Fuck. Are. You. All. Playing. At?

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The sad thing is, the Ross Barkley that we are seeing now, is that the Ross Barkley that we were always going to get? Or has the unnecessary over-the-top pressure and expectancy placed upon him, crippled his footballing ability? And you’ve even got to consider that maybe Barkley wasn’t even going to be as good as he is now, without the hyperbole that surrounded him…


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