Waking up to Barkley praise all over Twitter. The common theme seems to be he’s finally understanding the role of a top midfielder. Keep the ball ticking and don’t force anything unless you see an opening or confident enough to dribble through or play a difficult pass. This is what elite mids do. He seems to be learning a lot in a short space of time under Sarri. Positioning, understanding the role, and what you should and shouldn’t do and when. Top midfielders are precise in every action. They carry as much tactical discipline as technical skills. Barkley despite the talent was always huff and puff with no clear pattern to his play like the mids of the lower half clubs.
There is this one quote recently that made me feel like Barkley is going to end up having a much better career than RLC purely for the mentality he carries which reminds me of Lampard.
“I’m usually one of the first ones at the training ground & one of the last to leave, because I just love football. I’m back home around 8pm, I’ll just put my feet up & be ready for the next day.”
However, training alone is not enough. You need the right guidance. And Barkley couldn’t have bumped into a better coach in all honesty. Sarri is elite. This was from 2 weeks ago when he spoke of Sarri’s coaching style:
“Game to game managers are focusing on weekly results, not player development. I have thought about this a lot, maybe if I had this type of approach from a coach when I am younger then I think I would have improved a lot more. This is where I am right now.”
Recently both Sarri and Eden were full of praise for his unearthed talent and you can already see him growing in confidence.
However, we must not force it. We ought to be realistic over what he is at this stage. Is he better than Kovacic? No. He still needs to keep his head down and earn his spot in the team. Tbf his attitude appears to be top class.
The way Sarri has spoken of him, I feel like he’s taking Barkley as his pet project, trying to turn him into a truly world-class midfielder. If England finally has one in the near future, credit to Sarri and the admirable dedication of Barkley. Right talent + Right coaching + Right mentality = The birth of a top player.