Everton manager Ronald Koeman said after today’s 3-1 win over Middlesbrough that he was impressed by the reaction of Ross Barkley. The player had been pulled at halftime on Monday against Sunderland and was dropped before that by Sam Allardyce from the England setup.
“The reaction I got from him today was very good and that’s the Barkley I expect. We know his qualities but sometimes in his football he is too sloppy and he loses easy balls.
“If he plays like he did today, we don’t change him. He’s not a young player anymore. He needs to take responsibility but he showed today that he is a very good player.
"I was very satisfied [with Barkley's contribution]. He played how I like to see him play - defensively and offensively strong."
The Blues have little proven cover in Barkley’s position at advanced midfield, so a return to form for the Wavertree-born player would be timely with some important games on the Toffees’ horizon.