22 Nov 2013

Lawro: 'Exciting' €12m star could be the 'surprise hero' of Everton/LFC game. Agree...?

Hurrah! The tedious international break is now over, which means Liverpool can finally get back to business, and what better game for the club to renew its assault on the Premier League than the Merseyside Derby against Everton? Fans of both clubs are hotly anticipating this important match, and both sides have players who are capable of making a match-winning impact. Who will hold the key to victory, though? According to Anfield legend Mark Lawrenson, a 'surprise hero' is set to arise tomorrow, and it's not a Liverpool player.

In his column for the Liverpool Daily Post yesterday, Lawro tipped Luis Suarez, Daniel Sturridge and Romelu Lukaku to have an impact on the game, but predicted that 19-year old Ross Barkley would have the biggest impact. He explained:

"There is often a surprise hero on derby day, and Saturday could be a chance for Ross Barkley to truly announce his arrival.

"Roberto Martinez has a lot of faith in the youngster and, having taken him out of the firing line in recent weeks, this would be the ideal game to thrown him back in.

"Having been brought up on Merseyside, Barkley will know exactly what to expect and he will have little to fear"

Barkley is a very exciting player, but I doubt he'll make the deciding impact during the Derby. He has practically no experience of such games, and in current form, it's more likely to be Suarez or Sturridge who make the defining impact on the game. Lukaku - who has torn LFC apart in the past - also has a big chance of influencing the result.

Barkley is certainly very highly regarded by ex-LFC players. Speaking to Sky Sports recently, Jamie Redknapp raved:

"Everton currently have one of the strongest squads I can remember them having, and at the heart of it is young English midfielder Ross Barkley. He is one of the most exciting youngsters I've seen, and if he hadn't broken his leg a few years ago he'd probably be a regular for England already".

Jamie Carragher - a boyhood Evertonian - is also a huge fan of Barkley, and in a recent column for Sky Sports, he enthused:

“There has been a lot of talk on Merseyside about Ross. We talk about the players that will come through and ask who is going to replace Steven Gerrard? Who is going to replace Frank Lampard? That goal on Saturday was Gerrard-like and Lampard-like"

Responding to Carra's praise, Everton boss Roberto Martinez took a more down to earth view of €12m-rated Barkley:

"That’s a great compliment and something you want to hear. I see what he [Carra] means. We’ve got to be realistic though. He’s not the finished product yet, but he realises what he has to do. He’s a great listener and the best is yet to come".

As Carra suggests, Barkley may well turn out be a natural heir to Gerrard, but there's probably no chance he'll ever actually replace Liverpool's captain at Anfield. After eight years at Goodison Park, Barkley is Everton through and through, and if he moves on, it's far more likely - given the David Moyes connection - that he'll end up at Manchester United.

Having said that, plenty of Everton fans have played for Liverpool over the years, including Steve McManaman, Michael Owen, Steve McMahon (who also played for Everton prior to joining LFC), and Jamie Carragher himself, so anything is possible.

In a recent interview, Barkley revealed that Reds captain Steven Gerrard is already giving him advice about his career. He told reporters:

"I was a bit star-struck when I first joined up [with England] but Steven was good to me when I was away. I sat next to him on the coach and he gave me loads of advice. He said playing is the main thing, going to another team and not playing would be no good for my development".

Nice one, Stevie. Keep him on Merseyside for a few years and then 'advise' him to join Liverpool :-)



  1. Life without club football is like a broken pencil, there's no point!!!

    (What about Ronaldo's performance? Even Sakho's?!)

    Barkley seems like a tidy player and no doubt will improve and progress under Martinez who I think is a really good coach.

    If we win this game then the amount of confidence we will get will be important for the upcoming matches.

    Skrtel needs to show Lukaku who's boss!

    Think it will be 2-1 on win for us. I expect a good performance from Coutinho!

  2. It is no secret that Skrtel does not like the big powerful forwards. I would not play at all him tomorrow.

  3. Ronaldo's performance was indeed amazing. I still think Messi is the better player though. All three of Ronaldo's goals typified the type of player he is: a superb finisher, but someone who needs service. All three of his goals were laid on for him by others, but Messi repeatedly creates goals out of nothing, and doesn't rely on service from others for most of his goals.

  4. I would like him to stay put for 7-8 years and to improve every year and play for England and to be among top 5 midfielders in the Europe... But to watch LFC just above him taking trophies...

  5. That's a good point actually. I still think Ronaldo is the more complete player out of the two but Messi definitely creates and scores goals out of nothing. Ronaldo does indeed need great service!

  6. Lukas' first derby was a sub on for Stevie, and he gained a penalty. Now Brazil WC is getting closer and he believes he can maken it to the squad. Being the man of the match in this derby would boost his chances, I vote for him as a surprise match winner..

  7. Another few reasons why I think Messi is better

    - When you watch them take on players Ronaldo is say about 2 yards away and goes to take on the players but Messi gets a matter of inches away, so close that the player thinks all he has to do is touch the ball and he's got it but just as soon as he puts his foot where the ball is the ball is gone and Messi is away.

    - Ronaldo relies on his fancy little tricks which don't get me wrong are impressive but Messi just uses body feints and rarely uses tricks.

    - Messi scored 91 goals in a year.

  8. Pls. give a break. There is so little class & talent in English football left that any young Englishman with some talent makes a decent start, it becomes a mayhem. I heard similar words for last Everton boy, sold to MCity for f**king 15mn, now warming bench; Zaha, Sterling, Wickham, Alex Oxled, Phil Jones & the list goes on. In-fact, I doubt if Wilshire could make into the squad of 23 for Germany, Spain, Brazil or even France, let alone in starting XI. Few nights back, a tall, lanky French boy of Barkley's age dominated the midfield against a top European side in a must win game (that too required by 3-0 margin) for entire 90 min. I wonder what the English media would have done had Pogba been English. Actually, I 'll take Kongdobia, Coupe or Moussa Sissoko a head of Berkley.

  9. I think because we have the "best league" in the world (may be the most entertaining but I think the Bundesliga is better) people may expect the young English players to be at that level.

    There is currently a group of very average players in the England squad. But to be honest there is not many others to chose from.

    Also these young players get given too much too soon in my opinion.

    I've seen it time and time again a young english player who has one or two games and the media and players alike start praising the player like he was Rivaldo!

  10. Fuck off dickhead! If Barkley had been playing for Liverpool you would be screaming his praises like the redshite were last season when Sterling first appeared on the scene.Do one you bitter little wankstain.

  11. Under kenny and rafa we used to destroy usually the big teams and get raped by the average ones, now its the opposite, so we dont seem to play that good in derbies under rodgers, sturridge was off this week plus injured as well, suarez travelling the world and playing 90 pointless mins on weds. he must be well tired, so really I see a difficult day out for us, perhaps Id be happy with a point considering evertons good start as well, just hope not to see cissokho again in my life.

  12. I think skrtel sits. Assuming health is not an issue, we end up the back four tomorrow with:

    Agger - Sakho - Toure - Johnson

  13. No suprises here - Suarez has a score to settle in this fixture, after being denied a late winner in last year's.
    I think Suarez, SG, DS, might be a little frustrated after the international results, not getting any goals, and will come out with a point to prove. Sakho - if he starts will be playing with extra confidence. Coutinho still wants to get on the scoresheet.
    As long as set pieces are defended well, Lukaku kept in check, there's no way Everton can prevent an onslaught of goals from the front 3.

  14. Suarez tired? When have you ever seen that happen??

  15. The cannibal was not denied a winner at Goodison last season. Leaving aside whether or not he should have even been on the pitch, what about his fellow countryman, Coates ? Did you conveniently overlook his part in the proceedings only a second or so before the ball was put into the net ? As clear a foul as you'll ever see. As far as I know his two hands on Jagielka's shoulders holding him down, and preventing him jumping still constitutes a foul doesn't it ? And before you start spouting bias claptrap, Distin's effort at Anfield was (correctly) disallowed as it was almost carbon copy of challenge by Coates. Just a bit less blatant.
    The footage of both is still out there.

  16. There is a few reasons as to why some countries are generating better players than England and one is definitely attitude of players themselves.
    But at least u have some quality in Englands side i am Australian we dont have 1 that would make Englands side but we learn to live with it.