Joey Barton has come out today with an interview with the French magazine So Foot, and Joey again says he thinks he’s the best English midfielder at the moment.
Joey Barton – I’m the best England midfielder right now
It’s not the first time Joey has given an interview, that in retrospect he probably shouldn’t have given.
That’s if his goal is to play for the England side under Fabio Capello, but before we say too much more, here’s what Joey actually said:
“Honestly, I think I’m the best English midfielder.”‘Luka Modric and Samir Nasri are very good, but in terms of English players Jack Wilshere isn’t bad, Frank Lampard’s on the way down and Steven Gerrard’s been injured a lot.”
“Did you see the game against Germany at the World Cup?’ ‘If you watch the fourth goal, when Mesut Ozil was up against Barry, it was like the hare and the tortoise.”
‘Barry’s got a very good agent,” ” ‘He’s also discreet and always agrees with the manager. He’s like the guy who sits in the front row and listens to the teacher.”
“I certainly don’t lose any sleep when I play against him.'” “‘I’m English and I love playing for my country.” “Maybe the people at the top have a problem with me.” (you don’t say!) “
“I don’t know. But the trouble I had was four years ago. They should be able to forgive, shouldn’t they?” “Look at Jordan Henderson against France” “He was up against M’Vila, Valbuena, Nasri and Gourcuff.” “And he had Gareth Barry alongside him. What could they do against those players?”
“France killed us at Wembley. We English will play the next 50 World Cups and we’ll never win one. The people in charge at the FA played football maybe 50 or 60 years ago and still think that we can win a World Cup in the same way we did in 1966.”
“We’re too focused on tradition in England, like always having to play 4-4-2. Sometimes you need to experiment, drop a bit deeper so you have more space to move into. France, Italy and Germany have done it. We’ve been doing the same thing for 20 years.”
As readers will know by now, I’m not a big fan of the English FA, and I agree with Joey that they far too traditional, but most things are that way in England, still.
It’s perfectly okay to have opinions about the England team and the England players, most of us do, but that doesn’t say it’s okay to come out and express them, especially when they are so adversely critical.
Well not unless you write a blog that is. 😀
Of course the gossip press just love it, and now Joey’s interview is all over the place, with sensational headlines that say Joey says Gareth Barry is a teacher’s pet.
So if Barton was picked in a squad for England right now, what do you think his relationship with Gareth Barry will be – and would Capello think that was good for the spirit and camaraderie in the England squad?
The answer is no, and these kinds of interviews will not help Joey get a place in the England squad, and in fact they will prevent him doing just that.
You always need a little bit of decorum when dealing with people, because Fabio Capello and Gareth Barry are only human – as big a shock as that may come to some people.
Joey’s best chance for England will be after Fabio Capello leaves after next summer’s European Championships, but it would have to be a brave Capello who would pick Barton after this type of interview.
Maybe Harry Redknapp, who looks to be the next England boss, unless being English disqualifies him from the post (just kidding), could give Joey his chance with England, that his football certainly deserves.
Barton received his one and only senior cap in a friendly match against Spain on 7th February 2007, when he replaced Frank Lampard in the 78th minute of that 1-0 defeat at Old Trafford, when Steve McClaren was the England manager.
Joey played twice for the England U21 side with one goal.