Barkley expects England call after actual coaching

Date published: Wednesday 3rd October 2018 3:38

Ross Barkley is optimistic his performances for Chelsea will earn an England recall on Thursday.

The 24-year-old has thrived under new Chelsea head coach Maurizio Sarri and hopes to be named in Gareth Southgate’s squad for this month’s matches with World Cup finalists Croatia and Spain.

Barkley could then feature for Chelsea in Thursday night’s Europa League Group L tie with Hungarian champions Vidi at Stamford Bridge.

“I’m playing a big role in the side at the minute and I believe my performances show I’m capable of being in the England squad, hopefully,” said Barkley, who missed out on England’s World Cup squad.

Mateo Kovacic has been preferred to Barkley of late in the Premier League, but the England midfielder started the Europa League win at PAOK and the Carabao Cup success at Liverpool.

“The amount of games I’ve played, I’m ready to be called up,” Barkley added.

“I’ve just got to do what I can for Chelsea and hopefully that will take care of itself with the national team.”

Southgate last month outlined his desire for a creative midfielder in the mould of Paul Gascoigne, something which might have attracted Barkley’s attention given prior comparisons made between the two players.

After a series of seasons interrupted by injury, including last term on joining Chelsea from Everton in January, Barkley believes he is improving under Sarri.

“His style of play really suits mine,” Barkley added.

“As the season goes on I’ll show a lot more what I’m capable of, I’ll start to score a lot more and assist a lot more.”

Barkley says he is benefiting from Sarri’s attention to detail, the 59-year-old former banker meticulous in his approach and preparation.

Barkley said: “Over the years I haven’t really been coached much. Right now I’m ready to understand every aspect of the game.

“You only need to be around him for half-an-hour to understand how intelligent he is.

“He prepares for each game and each opponent really well. You can understand how much he loves the game.”

Barkley suggested young players breaking into Premier League first teams are not coached as much as perhaps they should be.

“Game to game managers are focusing on weekly results, not player development,” he added.

Barkley left boyhood club Everton in January, with his contract winding down.

He added: “It was a really difficult choice for me to make, but I felt it was the right time to take the step.

“I believed we were going in the right direction at Everton, to be a massive club and compete for titles, but it didn’t go that way and I needed to take this chance.”

Sarri suggested Ruben Loftus-Cheek, who did play for England at the World Cup, could be selected on Thursday after recovering from a shin injury.

Pedro has overcome a shoulder issue and could also feature, while Sarri would not be drawn on whether Eden Hazard would play, with changes planned.

Sarri has never won a trophy, but hopes to end that wait this season and secure Champions League qualification for the Blues.

Sarri said: “I think at the moment for my club it’s more important to be in Champions League. To play in the Champions League is more important at the moment. I want to arrive in the end in the Europa League.

“I am here to win, I want to win, I want to win something. I hope to be able to do it.”

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