EVERTON’S Ross Barkley may have clinched his place in England’s World Cup squad – to be announced on Monday – with his wonder goal against Manchester City at the weekend. Barkley’s sensational, bending, dipping shot has to be a contender for Goal of the Season and his strike was the highlight of the 20-year-old’s best game for some weeks. The goal also dispelled in an instant any pre-match suggestion that Everton would not give 100 per cent in a match where victory for them would have been a huge boost to Liverpool’s title prospects.
Unfortunately for Everton, they could not quite cope in the absence of injured centre-back Sylvin Distin and with Phil Jagielka returning from injury and looking around 80 per cent fit. When without one, or both, of those centre-halves this season, the team has looked a little vulnerable. But, whatever happens in the final game at Hull on Sunday, it has been a wonderful first season in charge for Roberto Martinez. I’m sure the Goodison faithful are looking forward to next season with optimism and a sense of excitement at what might lie ahead.