Ross Barkley unlikely to start against Italy after Hodgson criticism

Everton star is not likely to start at the World Cup for England after Roy Hodgson criticised his performance in last night's 2-2 draw with Ecuador.

Barkley made his first start for England in Miami last night and put in a seemingly good performance, with his run and lay-off for Rickie Lambert's goal the standout moment.

But the England manager was not too impressed with the Everton midfielder's display against the South American side and he highlighted his discontent at Barkley's decision making after the game.

“He lost the ball an awful lot of times as well. If he's going to be the player we want him to be, he has to make better decisions of when he turns with the ball.

“I think Ross had some good moments. I think he needs to learn when he can turn with the ball and when he has to keep the ball. But that's quite normal for a player of his age. He'll be quite happy to have played so long on his first start."

Hodgson refused to be drawn in to an "obsession" on one player and was quick to highlight the encouraging performances from some of England's other players.

"There were other performances out there today who merited your ‘obsession’ more than Ross Barkley's.

“Oxlade-Chamberlain and Phil Jones were outstanding, Jack Wilshere in the middle of the park, Rickie Lambert scored a magnificent goal.

“There always seems to be an enormous obsession with one player. I will be prepared to start any of the players in any game, but I'm not prepared to address your obsession with Ross Barkley," he added.

The suggestion that any player could start any game does not rule Barkley out of a starting berth against Italy in just over a week, but it is extremely unlikely following the criticism of his inexperience.

Despite Hodgson's comments on Barkley, the 20-year-old put in a very encouraging display in his first start for the Three Lions, and his assist was worthy of praise in itself.

He was good in possession al night and was successful with 91% of his passes, whilst enjoying 54 touches of the ball - more than other attacking players Wayne Rooney, Rickie Lambert or Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain managed.

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