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Ross Barkley flatters to deceive again and slips in England pecking order | Jacob Steinberg

He so often looks the part but the Chelsea midfielder put in a couple of frustrating displays in the past week and Gareth Southgate has plenty of other options to choose from

There comes a point when a Ross Barkley run starts to feel like Ross Barkley’s career: rich in promise, low on substance. The signature Barkley burst certainly looks good when it starts. It certainly feels exciting. It definitely feels as if something important is going to happen when he picks up the ball in his own half and sets off on a charge into opposition territory.

Then the wait begins. The momentum stalls. The deeper Barkley goes, the less threatening he looks. You find yourself willing him on, urging him to pick the right pass, but the moment slips away and by the end nobody is quite sure what that was all about. There was something there, a teasing glimpse of something special, but all that raw talent still feels too vague to make a meaningful impact when it matters.

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