Ross Barkley has said that he has learnt from his mistakes and will make sure to keep the right company following a couple of off-field incidents earlier this season.
The Chelsea midfielder was filmed having a dispute with a taxi driver in Liverpool back in October having spilled chips in the back seat two days before a Champions League trip to Lille and he was also captured on film in a Dubai nightclub while injured in November.
At the time Frank Lampard said that Barkley lacked professionalism but he also gave the England international his backing during a difficult period when he was sidelined because of two chips on a bone in his right foot.
“He was really supportive,” Barkley said. “Everyone makes mistakes and if you make mistakes you’ve got to learn from them. I understand when you make a mistake you need to learn from it and move on. He was really supportive.”
Did the fact that Lampard was a player not so long ago and therefore appreciates the difficulties of being a recognisable face in a world of smartphones help in that regard?
“He was one of the best players in the world and I’m sure he let his hair down at the right times but he was fully understanding,” Barkley added. “In his day there was none of that. I need to be aware sometimes people want to make you look bad. It’s in my hands and other players’ hands in that position.”
The 26-year-old, who capped his first start since October with a goal against Nottingham Forest on Sunday afternoon, has promised that such incidents will not happen again as he looks to become a bigger feature in the Blues’ midfield as they seek to consolidate fourth position in the Premier League.
“You have to be careful because everyone wants to catch you out for those eight or ten seconds,” he added. “Sometimes you’ve got to let your hair down but you can’t forget about your job and that.
“It was unfortunate for me to get caught in that position but it will happen many times to other players over…