Neil Warnock wrong to be critical of Everton star Ross Barkley

The former manager was in charge of Ross Barkley during a loan spell at Leeds United as a teenager.

Yesterday saw former Leeds United boss Neil Warnock have some rather harsh words to say about Everton talent Ross Barkley.

Warnock had Barkley on loan briefly at Leeds, a deal that started well but soon fizzled out back in 2013. He made the move after a great spell on loan at fellow Yorkshire club Sheffield Wednesday but under Warnock's management he struggled for his best form.

Warnock told talkSPORT:

“I had him at Leeds on loan and the problems I had then, Roy is going to have.

“He has got super talent, but he can’t defend, he can’t take responsibility in his own half.

“If you play Ross, you have got to let him have his way, you have got to let him have that free role behind a striker, the third midfield man if you have to with two good anchor-men. But you can’t give him any responsibility and, if Roy is in doubt, he will go for the defensive type of player. I fear the worst for Ross."

The simple fact is Warnock played Barkley all wrong at Leeds United. The midfielder was used on the left-wing in his latter games and as a teenager not yet versed in the game, who specialised in playing through the middle, this was an unfair question for Warnock to ask of him.

When it didn't work out he sent him back to Everton, tail between his legs.

But it was Warnock's fault for his failures. You don't buy a table and then get annoyed when it won't be a chair?

Plus Warnock is wrong. He has likely only seen Barkley play regularly for England where defensive duties are not necessarily at the forefront of his mind.

For Everton, when needed to, Barkley can certainly put in his defensive shift. His pace and strength make him a good covering midfielder when the chips are down but it is admittedly not the strongest facet of his game.

But Warnock was wrong to be so critical. Barkley didn't work for him at Leeds through his own faults as a manager and he must take responsibility for that.

As for Barkley, he can just continue to play the best football of his career so far and prove his old loan boss wrong.

FIFA World Cup 2018FIFA 2018 World Cup Russia - click here for all of our coverage...

Register for EVERTON team updates

Register for HITC Sport - Daily Dispatch