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“Barkley was important in the game” says Koeman

Manager happier with player’s contributions

Everton v West Ham United - Premier League
Ross Barkley
Photo by Michael Steele/Getty Images

Ross Barkley has been in Ronald Koeman’s doghouse after some poor performances earlier in the season, culminating in being dropped from the starting eleven as Koeman opted for a more defensive formation against Manchester City.

He was restored to the team in last weekend’s loss at Burnley, but wasn’t necessarily much better than before. The manager did give him another chance today against West Ham, and this time Barkley was markedly better.

The Wavertree-born local boy looked more confident on the ball, created a few chances and looked to have put Everton ahead but for a good save from Adrian. He made amends for that later though, finishing Romelu Lukaku’s cross with aplomb to put the Blues up 2-0.

After the game, Koeman talked about how impressive he was today -

“It was one of his best performances of the season. He was working hard, he was tackling and offensively he was important in the game.

“He had some shots on target, Adrian made an incredible save from him in the first half, he scored the second goal, he was the link between the back and the front in creating and that’s the play we want to see from our midfield. That’s what you need to do and then, normally, these kind of players, with the individual qualities that they have, they make the difference.”