Everton FC: Gareth Barry says Ross Barkley ‘needs to achieve’ the consistency of Steven Gerrard and Frank Lampard
Having failed to see any action at Euro 2016 under Roy Hodgson, Barkley was omitted from new Three Lions boss Sam Allardyce’s first squad for the 2018 World Cup qualifier in Slovakia at the weekend.
Barry admits the 22-year-old was disappointed to have been overlooked by Allardyce, but he believes it will have given him added motivation and he fully expects his fellow midfielder to play a key role for his country in the future.
“It was a massive surprise for him not to make the squad having come off the summer not playing any minutes at all,” said Barry, speaking on talkSPORT’s all-new Jim White Show.
“His consistency has improved and that is the one thing all top players need. To keep doing that week in, week out, like the Gerrards and Lampards have done for 15 years, that is what he needs to achieve. But he has all the ability.
“He has got strength, he uses both feet, he is learning to get in the space behind midfield and is delivering goals and assists with it now. If he can keep that going year in, year out, then he can become a top player for England and Everton.
“You could tell he was disappointed initially [to be left out of the England squad] but he didn’t let that affect him from the training sessions we had [last week].
“It will do him good. I think Everton can reap the benefits of that decision. He really wanted to train well and he was having conversations with the manager to get his head right straight way
“Initially, Everton can get the rewards from him missing out and hopefully England will as well.
“It will be a little eye-opener, a little learning curve for him, because you do have your downs throughout your career. This is maybe one of the first ones he will have and I’m sure he can come back stronger.”
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