Everton’s Barkley proves he’s ready for life at the top

Roberto Martinez spoke last week of how he believes Ross Barkley is ready to make the step-up to the Premier League. And after a stand-out performance for Everton in their opening league game against Norwich, his prediction appears to have been pretty accurate.

On the Liverpool side’s trip to Norwich in an entertaining game, Barkley, in a man of the match performance of skill, strength and vision, proved his capability to adjust to life in the Premier League.

“In every game Ross has played, he has shown that little bit of magic that not everyone has,” Martinez said of the Liverpool-born midfielder before the game. He continued, “He is very mature at this present time. Maybe that is because he had to go through difficult experiences with injury, but you can see that he is ready.”

Barkley joined Everton as an 11-year-old, playing for the club’s youth teams. He was set for his Everton debut when a bad injury whilst playing for the England Under-19s, saw him break his leg in three places. He did however recover in time to join up with then manager David Moyes for pre-season training at the start of the 2011-12 season and made his debut in the club’s opening league game, a defeat to QPR.

The following season saw him move on loan to Sheffield Wednesday on a one month loan deal and was impressive to see the deal extended. He played 13 times for Wednesday and scored on four occasions before being summoned back to his parent club.

In January of this year he made another loan move, this time to Leeds United on a one month loan deal.

All together he has played 14 times for the Everton first team, but it was Saturday’s performance that made people sit up and take notice.

Martinez seems to believe that Barkley is ready for this step up because of his bravery in allowing himself to make errors and not let it affect him.

“What I look for from players is how you react to a mistake – does it stop you getting on the ball again? Do you become a bit more cagey? The biggest strength Ross has is he doesn’t get affected by making mistakes.

“He has got such an incredible talent and I really admire that, and you know that down the line he is going to get rid of those mistakes.”

Everton’s next game is at home to West Brom who lost their opening day game to a late Ricky Lambert goal for Southampton. And Barkley will be hoping to put in another rousing display to help his side to their first 3-points of the season.

Brian is a sports journalist with over 5 years experience of writing on all things soccer. Resides in Dublin, Ireland.