There are a number of Everton fans who don’t look back to fondly on the last January transfer window where its fair to say some games were played out in the media and behind closed doors when it came to the eventual transfer of Academy graduate Ross Barkley to Chelsea.
Despite the cut-price move, Barkley has largely slipped from a highly rated household name into a ‘whatever happened to him’ figure, but on that front things did improve for the now 24-year-old as he’s finally into double figures for appearances and scored his first goal for them in their victory over Southampton last weekend.
With plenty of Everton fans arguing that Barkley’s star was on the decline prior to the move as he just hadn’t kicked on as many expected him to given his early promise, former striker Chris Sutton decided to stick his two penneth in on Monday night’s BBC Radio show – (October 8, 5pm) and he curiously came to the decision that Everton fans shouldered the blame for Barkley’s dip in form as we simply expected too much of him.
“I just feel with his career at Everton that there was too much expectation when he burst into the team. And then I felt he was unloved, the fans turned against him. I wonder now, under Sarri, does he feel loved and wanted?”
We do have to look far for the comments we see about youngsters at the club who are failing to impress for one reason or another to see where Sutton is coming from, but as a counter, fans may be slightly more vociferous when a youngster doesn’t make the ground but that’s usually owing to the patience they have been given as all fans like to see a homegrown talent come through the ranks and establish themselves.
It’s also fair to say when it comes to expectations, does Sutton want to take a look in the mirror at his own profession for talking up players like Barkley before then tearing them down?
As for the implication that he’s suddenly under no pressure at Chelsea, that’s just bizarre on its own level.
He scored his first goal, well done, but who’s doing the hyping now implying he’s flying because he’s been shown a little bit of love? He’s hardly flying.