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Koeman: I will make Barkley a better player

New manager fan of tougher approach

Ross Barkley of Everton
Ross Barkley of Everton 
Photo by Jordan Mansfield/Getty Images

New Everton manager Ronald Koeman has promised a tougher approach towards the team. For Blues fans who had gotten used to the relentless positivism from former manager Roberto Martinez, this is going to come as a surprise.

The straight talk from the boss is a refreshing change.

“That is my character, I don’t like to lie or even make the picture nicer than the picture is.

“If we play bad, we play bad. I think that is the way to win. Put ambition and high standards to everybody.”

Koeman went on to expound about his tough-talking character -

“I am a nice man in the press, in the dressing-room, sometimes different. You need to be critical if you have reason but most of the time, you keep that inside the club.”

One of the first players to draw Koeman’s attention will be midfielder Ross Barkley. The youngster is currently in France with the England Euro 2016 squad, but is not expected to get a look-in from Roy Hodgson.

The Dutchman feels that there is room for improvement for the Wavertree-born player.

“He’s already a key player for Everton, even at a young age. I look forward to working with him and making him a better player.

“I like him as a player because he is good with his left foot, right foot and has a good view of the pitch. But he needs to improve, he is not just a talent any more he is a national team player and expectations are strong.

“We will give him every support. It is about building a good relationship with the players, showing them what they have to do to improve. It starts in the morning and finishes in the evening.”

Barkley endured a tough second half of the season as did striker Romelu Lukaku. It will be interesting to see how Koeman goes about changing that.