The Rat Returns!

Ross Barkley, Everton fan, Scouser, young kid, fan favourite, are just a few things that made me and many others think that he would go on to wear the captain’s armband at some point in his Everton career and go on to be a club legend. A creative midfielder but arguably one of the most frustrating football players I’ve ever had to watch in my 16 years of going the match; (not as bad as Niasse or Bolasie but not far off) unplayable one week and invisible the next. A once bright, young English prospect eventually turned 21, then 22 and before we knew it he was 23 years old and we were still making excuses for him; “he’ll come good, he’s still young” when in reality we all, as football fans know that if you’re bang average at 23, you’re gonna have a bang average career. Look at Jadon Sancho, another young English prospect yet he’s slotting goals for Dortmund on the biggest stage in Germany. We were lying to ourselves with Barkley, but because he was a local lad and an Everton fan we were forcing ourselves to believe that he’d be good one day. I’m glad he wasn’t.

It was plain and simple to see that after Martinez got the sack and Moshiri hired Koeman, (who took no shit off anyone, no matter whether they “got Everton” or are from the other side of the world) that Barkley was rapidly falling out of love with the club. His regular position under Koeman, after he realised that he was just a modern-day Jay Bothroyd, was the bench, but as much as me and the lads sat by me in the ground hated to say it, we weren’t missing him. He was hit with various ‘hamstring injuries’ and had a pretty dreadful season.

We all knew his time was up, getting linked with moves away from the club nearly every week. It blew my mind at first cos I couldn’t get my head around the fact that an Everton fan had the chance to be an Everton legend if he wanted to but it was as if he couldn’t be arsed putting the effort in and fighting for his place, he was literally living every Everton fan’s dream.

The arrival of Allardyce finished him (and me) off, that was him gone, to where, was the enigma but he was a gonner, and I felt like going with him, cos that half season under Allardyce will go down in history as the record for the most depressed people under one roof at the same time. I’m not going into that but fuck off Allardyce.

Transfer deadline day in the summer of 2017. Barkley travelled down to Chelsea for his medical but pulled out last minute cos he was injured at the time. He claimed that he wanted to stay with Everton until he was fully recovered and see if he could fight for his place. Bollocks. This is where he went from a potential legend to potentially the worst player to ever be affiliated with the club, and because he was the thickest person on the planet [see interview at Swansea away where he got a skin’ed] we could all see a mile off what he was doing. He realised that if he signed for Chelsea still injured, he wasn’t gonna get a game so he thought he might as well carry on getting paid whilst sitting on the bench for Everton as well as run his contract down, the crafty little twat.

He got his move to Chelsea and not one Everton fan was sorry to see the back of him, just what could’ve been. Conte was the manager of Chelsea at the time and he hated Ross as much as Koeman did. He was a regular on the bench, just like at Everton and a few dire substitute appearances encouraged Conte to come out and say that Barkley’s still got a lot of learning to do. He was 24 at that point, the same age as Lukaku, who’s done it everywhere he’s played and scored something stupid like 100+ career goals. No more excuses from Conte or Jamie Redknapp or any other of them gobshite pundits on Sky or BBC, it’s time to accept that Barkley, once a very well sought after central midfielder, was less deserving of an England cap than Mark ‘Brexit’ Noble, who subsequently has never played for England cos he’s shit. 30 million quid was starting to look like a decent price for him.

Everton haven’t looked back since in all honesty. We’ve had players in the past who we’ve struggled to replace, and some we still haven’t replaced (Arteta, Lukaku), but Barkley is long forgotten. On his day, Andre Gomes is as good as anyone and twice the player Barkley will ever be and even Tom Davies who’s my age is getting there. Can’t believe we’re the same age and he’s playing for Everton whilst I stand on the terrace and shout abuse at Walcott when he pretends to run into space when all he’s doing is standing behind their full back.

Ross returns on Sunday and I hope he gets absolutely slaughtered for the full 90 minutes, pending he doesn’t feign an injury in the warm up, which is something he’d do. Make Goodison like it was a couple of weeks ago against the murderers and we’ll beat these, and probably make Barkley cry. I’m only going only Sunday to watch Tom Davies come off the bench on 62 minutes and the first thing he does is two foot Barkley on the knee.

Fuck Ross Barkley and fuck Chelsea the horrible racist, Tory twats. Up the bastard Toffees.

@joewhitehead__

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