The product of immense pressure applied to carbon below the earth’s surface. A fiery atmosphere not too dissimilar to the extreme heat of the Grand Old Lady during a frustrating stalemate to a some mid-table scrappers. A two banks of four reenactment of the siege helms deep. At the spearhead of the charge, is the most promising talent to emerge from the School of Science production line since a certain Mr. Rooney sent tremors through the knees of premier league defenders.
Pressure is nothing new to Ross Barkley. After all, this is the lad Martin Keown predicted to be the greatest player England will have ever seen, big words from our big eared alumni. The ever pressure shadow of Rooney will no doubt forever loom large over the corridors of Goodison whenever a local lad makes it through the ranks at Everton. And while Rooney’s impact was near instant, it’s taken Barkley a little bit longer to assume the position as Everton’s talisman.
Leg breaks, false dawns, Neil Warnock and more have all played a part in shaping the early years of Barkley’s professional career. But what’s been both a help and hinderance to Barkley in his fledgeling has been the overwhelming pressure that a lad still learning the trade has been under. Barkley is no doubt a confidence player. It’s not too much of a argument to say he plays well, Everton play well, and vice versa. For him to progress into the world beating, game winning dynamo his incredible talent demands, he has to deal with the pitfalls of being the main man. Pressure will come from everywhere, from the back pages of the daily red top toilet roll to the wild west timelines of social media, and even the middle aged tanked up weekend warrior screaming “JUST FUCKING GET IT UP” every time he picks the ball up deep in midfield. You know who you are…..YES YOU THERE!
By his own standards, last season was a great big steaming pile of homemade toilet toffee cake. Not just for him but for the team in general. This season he’s started by looking more like the Barkley that Martinez put so much faith in his first season in charge. That swagger, that audacious flair for the dramatic that had us all purring in his breakthrough season, has been present once again. Yes, he will be frustrating, yes he will make wrong decisions, yes you will runout of swear words to say when he runs straight into traffic. But let it be known. When them stray passes start finding the target consistently. When the insane long range shots start finding the top bin on a regular basis. You’ll be screaming at the top of you lungs them same swear words with joy.