However, there were encouraging green shoots (Ed: enough of the Countryfile references!) in Ross Barkley’s performance yesterday to give us hope of a sunnier future for him and the team.
Having been dropped for the City game, he was back in the fold at Burnley, where he was OK, level par, but not the game changer, the match winner, the playmaker we all hope he can become.
Yesterday in a pretty tentative first half, there were flashes, especially unlucky not to score when putting the West Ham defender on his arse before blasting a shot which took a deflection & Adrian got a big hand to.
After the break Ross showed much more, his passing was quicker, he worked harder & was rewarded with a fine goal showing the massive potential of his relationship with Rom. Brilliant cross field ball into space for Lukaku to run onto with gusto. The striker took it to the byline, shimmied inside and floated a lovely cross to Ross who had ghosted into the back post and finished sublimely with a left footed half volley.
Barkley took the plaudits of the Gwladys St, turning & pointing to his name.
This fan might have hoped for a little more humility, as this is just “one swallow” but, hang it, since scoring our first goal of the season v Spurs on the opening day, Ross has had a rough time. Left out of the England squad, dropped by Everton, jeered by the fans; so great to see him score & smile.
Praise aplenty came, Sky gave him Man of the Match (bloody harsh on Lukaku!), RK was impressed & even former captain @fizzer18 Tweeted congratulations https://twitter.com/fizzer18/status/792766587157831680.
Ruud Gullit joined in on MOTD2, highlighting his work off the ball. He also pointed out the most telling comment which came from his former teammate & friend, Mr Koeman. When asked what Ross needed to do RK’s advice was spot on: “listen to the Manager”.
A simple message & one Ross will do well to heed. We all know he has talent & potential in abundance, but now is the time for him to follow instructions, be disciplined, step up & deliver, game in, game out, home and away.
In Koeman he has a great mentor, listen to the boss, Ross, & a whole load of sunshine lies ahead.