7 matches, 0 minutes: Barkley lets his guard down

Date published: Monday 27th March 2017 10:25

Ross Barkley has every right to be disgruntled and on Sunday night he ‘liked’ a tweet highlighting his England inactivity.

The Everton man finds himself in good form in the Premier League and since 2015/16 he has collected the most assists (15) by and Englishman.

But that apparently does not cut the mustard with new England boss Gareth Southgate and once again he was left on the bench on Sunday evening in the 2-0 cruise past Lithuania.

It was the seventh game he has sat on the bench and not seen any action and he was the only outfield player from Southgate’s initial squad not to play a single minute in either game against Germany or Lithuania.

When Jamie Vardy made it 2-0 yesterday with 66 minutes gone, it represented a good opportunity to give Barkley a run-out, but Southgate refused.

For a player who has created 64 goalscoring chances in the Premier League – the highest for an Englishman – he must be frustrated and when Squawka tweeted a stat detailing his inactivity, Barkley ‘liked’ it.

The tweet showed Barkley’s last seven England call ups and the sum total of his minutes on the pitch – zero.

Is there a problem between Southgate and Barkley?

Barkley, who has 22 senior caps, did not play under Southgate in the England Under-21s and was not called upon for the U21 Euro Championships in 2015.

The 23-year-old was though considered part of the senior set-up, but there were questions as to why Southgate had not called up their star players, when the likes of Portugal, who called on William Carvalho, reached the final.

Barkley, who was also selected for Euro 2016 and never played a minute under previous boss Roy Hodgson, has never suggested there is a problem and never indicated as much, but it will be interesting to see if Barkley “picks up an injury” when Southgate calls his next squad together for the games with Scotland and France in June.

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