Ray Parlour highlights the main problem in Ross Barkley’s game

Arsenal legend Parlour has highlighted the big problem Everton star Barkley must fix.

Speaking to talkSPORT (aired at 07:35), Ray Parlour has explained that Ross Barkley needs to develop his work rate and discipline if he is to develop into the top class central midfielder many believe he can become.

Arsenal legend Parlour said: “The problem you’ve got with Barkley is he has got to, at times in his game, be more disciplined. Where he says, ‘okay, I’ve got to defend well as well’. He’s great when in the free role, you want players when they can express themselves. He’s got the perfect build for a central midfield player, and I think he could be really good.”

Barkley has shown his attacking skills and his flair on a number of occasions, but that is not enough to be a success in the modern game.

The 21-year-old has an eye for goal and a precise passing ability, and his through ball for Theo Walcott in England’s victory over Estonia on Friday was a keen showing of all his best traits.

However, Barkley has often come under criticism for his work rate, and his unwillingness to defend for the side, especially if it was the 21-year-old at fault for ceding possession to the opposition.

Although he is naturally an attacking midfielder, to be a success in the modern game, you need to be able to work in all areas of the field of play, and there is a sense that Barkley is starting to learn this need to be well-rounded.

His game has been less wasteful this season than in recent years, whilst he looks more energetic and hard working this term, for both club and country.

This is the kind of change that could set Barkley on the path to being a top class midfielder, and it finally appears as if the Everton youngster is ready to live up to his exciting potential.

Have something to tell us about this article?

Register for EVERTON team updates

Register for HITC Sport - Daily Dispatch