By support

24th Oct, 2016 | 6:06pm

Michael Ball delivers verdict on struggling Everton midfielder

By Harvey Byrne

Former Everton defender Michael Ball has stated that midfielder Ross Barkley has the “quality and the ability”, but that he is lacking consistency.

The 22-year-old former bright prospect has struggled under new boss Ronald Koeman and has found himself in and out of the Toffees side, while also being dropped by England.

He has played in 10 encounters for the Blues in all competitions in the new campaign scoring two goals, but his performances have come under some scrutiny from sections of the club’s support as well as his manager.

Now Ball, who played for Everton for five years between 1996 and 2001 has stated that he still has faith in Barkley, but he needs to look at how many chances and shots he’s had after the game, as that’s his job in the team.

“There’s a lot of pressure on Ross Barkley and he started brightly,” wrote Ball in his column for the Liverpool Echo. “He put together some nice bits and pieces in the first half and looked hungry but as the game went on he got quieter and quieter.

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“Ross seemed to go back into himself and we need more from him – and more from everyone to be honest.

“He gets singled out but he still needs to learn and make the right decisions.

“It’s basic really because you can’t run as fast as the ball. You just need to pass the ball and move rather than taking that extra touch.

“You might think you’re being clever or showing some extra skill but at the end of the day you’re making it easier for defenders who are being given time to settle and try and get it back.

“When Ross has finished a game he needs to look at how many shots on target has he had and how many chances has he created – that’s his job.

“If he does that on a game to game basis and keeps building on it then everything will come back to him because he’s got the quality and we all know he’s got the ability but the consistency is lacking in his game.”

Despite Barkley’s poor form in the side, Everton have been positive in their league campaign.

They are looking to improve on an 11th place finish lead by former manager Roberto Martinez and they currently sit in sixth place with 15 points from nine fixtures.

They have have got an extended break after being knocked out of the EFL Cup in the second round before they face West Ham on Sunday in the afternoon kick off.

In other Everton news, midfielder James McCarthy is facing another three weeks out injured after tearing a hamstring in training.