Stuart Pearce has talked about Joey Bartonâ€™s statements earlier in the week that honors for his club, Newcastle, would outweigh success for England.
We really didnâ€™t see too much wrong with what Joey said but itâ€™s been twisted out of context to mean he didnâ€™t care about playing for England, which is not what he said.
But Pearce believes they are comments from a player desperate to prove himself after missing the start of the season with a foot injury.
Letâ€™s see what Stuart said about his former Manchester City captain Joey Barton.
Stuart Pearce – passion personified when he played for England
The England Under-21 side plays a European Under-21 2009 qualifier against Montenegro this coming Friday and Pearce was speaking at the Walkers Stadium helping to launch the FA Tesco Skills Program in Leicester. He was joined at the coaching sessions by Under-21 players Michael Kightly, Matt Derbyshire and England Under-21 captain Steven Taylor.
“Reading between the lines and in support of Joey, I would probably think he was trying to say ‘I need to play for Newcastle before I can think about playing for my country.â€
“When he got the call-up, he was absolutely made up. I’m sure that was the nature of his comments.”
Pearce was justifiably annoyed during the summer when David Bentley pulled out of the European Under-21 Championship squad saying he had fatigue.Â Gabriel Agbonlahor of Aston Villa couldn’t be contacted to confirm his call-up. That does sound rather strange – was he avoiding Stuart’s calls? These are actions which show these players are not too interested in representing their country.Â We thought it was a very bad precedent and message that Bentley was immediately called up by McClaren for the last international break.
Of course Stuart Pearce epitomized the England bulldog spirit when he played for his country, and he was on Newcastle’s books and appeared 37 times for the Magpies.Â Then Ruud Gullit came in as manager and basically ignored Pearce, saying he was too old. Pearce left Newcastle in 1999 to go to West Ham United.
We were really pleased to see Stuart finally get the England Under-21 manager job, because heâ€™ll set a great example to the young boys.
Stuart went on:
“It’s a great honor to play for your country.â€ “It should always be there. Quite often it comes from the individual.â€
“I make sure that is passed on to my set of players – if you are fortunate to be called up to the seniors, take it with both hands because it is a real honor.â€
“You probably only realize what a real honor it is when you retire.”
If Joey Barton does as well for Newcastle as we think he will, there’s no doubt that he’ll get a call-up to the England squad. His comments on Monday were meant to signify just how committed he is to Newcastle, and we just cannot wait to see him again in a black and white strip. England honors are down the road for the 25 year-old, of that there is no doubt.