Chris Sutton criticises Everton fans' treatment of Ross Barkley

Dejected Everton fans look on following their team's 6-1 defeat 2during the Barclays Premier League match between Everton and Arsenal at Goodison Park on August 15, 2009 in Liverpool,...

Ross Barkley moved to Chelsea from Everton in a £15 million deal in January and scored his first Premier League goal under Maurizio Sarri on Sunday.

Ross Barkley of Everton shows appreciation to the fans as he is subbed off during the Premier League match between Everton and Watford at Goodison Park on May 12, 2017 in Liverpool,...

Ross Barkley’s decision to leave Everton for Chelsea in January raised plenty of eyebrows.

After all, the Liverpool-born midfielder struggled for form in his last few months at Goodison Park with his reputation declining and his promise stalling. So what chance did Barkley have of forcing his way into a hugely talented Chelsea midfield?

The 24-year-old is certainly responding to his critics at the moment, however, making clear improvements under Maurizio Sarri and scoring his first goal for the Blues in the 3-0 away win at Southampton on Sunday.


Speaking on the Monday Night Show on BBC Radio 5 Live (8 October, 5:00pm), Chris Sutton has indicated that the Everton fans have to take some responsibility for Barkley’s difficult final months in the North West.

“I just feel with his career at Everton that there was too much expectation when he burst into the team. And then I felt he was unloved, the fans turned against him,” Sutton said.

Ross Barkley of Everton shakes hands with Ronald Koeman, Manager of Everton as he is subbed off during the Premier League match between Everton and Watford at Goodison Park on May 12, 2017...

“I wonder now, under Sarri, does he feel loved and wanted?”

Barkley certainly had to deal with huge expectations during his formative years at Everton. He was fast-tracked into the first-team, forced to adapt to a new-look number ten role and compared by fans and pundits alike to the one and only Paul Gascoigne.

The pressure is off at Chelsea, however, and Barkley is thriving free from talismanic status at Stamford Bridge.

Ross Barkley of Chelsea celebrates after scoring his team's second goal during the Premier League match between Southampton FC and Chelsea FC at St Mary's Stadium on October 7, 2018 in...

Have something to tell us about this article?

Register for EVERTON team updates

Register for CHELSEA team updates

Register for HITC Sport - Daily Dispatch