Merson said Everton star Ross Barkley needed big game, but it did not pan out

Sunderland Gates

Ross Barkley was substituted at half-time as Everton lost to Sunderland.

Everton turned in another dismal performance last night as Sunderland rolled them over to claim a 3-0 win.

To place the loss in context of Everton's recent struggles, Sunderland were a team which the Toffees hammered 6-2 earlier in the campaign.

England international Ross Barkley was at the heart of that magnificent performance, but could not repeat his feats at the Stadium of Light.

Former Premier League ace Paul Merson had called Barkley out ahead of the game, telling the SkySports Fantasy Football Club podcast that it was time he put in a big performance after his form tailed off in recent weeks.

He said: "Barkley needs a big game if I'm being honest. He's gone right off the boil. He's under a bit of pressure."

Last night ended in disaster as Barkley was substituted off at half-time by manager Roberto Martinez after an ineffective 45 minutes.

He did not attempt a single shot at goal or create a single chance, but to be fair to him, Martinez could have been justified in taking off all 11 players at half-time.

For Barkley, his dip in form is worrying ahead of Euro 2016, where he will hope to be included in the squad and be more than simply a back-up player.

Passing AccuracyTotal Att AssistGoalsGoal AssistTotal ContestAccurate CrossOn Target Shooting AccuracyDuel WonMins Played
Ross Barkley82%000100%645

Register for EVERTON team updates

Register for HITC Sport - Daily Dispatch