Why Joey Barton is worth taking a chance on:

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To some he is nothing more than a thug in a football shirt, to others he is a misunderstood anti-hero, and to most of us he is Joey Barton. A footballer so controversial he makes Mario Balotelli look like a choirboy, with a rap sheet long enough to make even Mike Tyson blush. Now Barton can add talking himself out the Newcastle door, to his long list of misdemeanors. Barton is available on a free and there are a number of clubs who can do worse than acquire his services.

The difficulty, which most people have with Barton, is separating the man from the footballer; something, which Barton believes, has counted against him when being considered for International duty. Some of his behavior has been deplorable but that should not detract from his ability as a footballer. He is a hard tackling, no nonsense player who possesses an impressive passing range as well as an eye for goal. His ability to deliver a dangerous ball from set pieces is amongst the best in the country. In short he is the kind of player you want in your team.

His boasts about being the best English midfielder in the country last season were largely met with derision, yet a closer analysis of his performance last season suggests his comments are not as far fetched as they seem. This writer saw him live seven or eight times last season and he was outstanding in nearly game, and judging by match reports he maintained a high level of performance throughout the season.

His statistics might not be impressive as some, but statistics do not always give you a true reflection of a player’s value. Andy Carroll took many plaudits last year but much of this was down to the Beckhamesque service provided by Barton. It was Barton who showed the fire and desire to start that famous 4-4 comeback against Arsenal. It was Barton who was good enough to go toe to toe with Parker and Gerrard and come out on top. His performance in that 3-1 victory over Liverpool was analysed on MOTD, which led Lawrenson and Hansen to exclaim ‘the boy can play’ with evident surprise.

Gerrard was sidelined for much of the season with injury as was Lampard who was nowhere near influential as he is normally is. Wilshere impressed but had nowhere near the same impact as Barton did for his club. The only English midfielder who you can argue outperformed Barton over the course for season was Parker, yet even then its an
extremely close run thing.

Manchester United and Arsenal have been touted as possible destinations for the boy from Huyton and both clubs should at least consider the possibility of taking a chance on him. Arsenal (who are apparently interested) need a player of Barton’s character, someone who will provide a sheer bloody mindedness to drag them through those games which they always falter in, such as those away trips to Stoke. Barton will bring leadership and a physical edge which the Gunners so desperately need.

Paul Ince says Barton is good enough for Arsenal but not United, however Carrick and Anderson have hardly set Old Trafford alight have they? This writer would rather have Barton than any of the central midfielders United currently have, Ryan Giggs aside. He is not good enough to replace Paul Scholes, very few are, but he can help close that Hargreaves shaped hole that currently exists.

Barton would be a useful asset to any almost any club in the premiership, particularly as he is available on a free transfer, and at 28 is entering the peak of his career. Understandably clubs will be cautious to employ Barton due to the baggage he brings, but his twitter account shows he is an intelligent and perspicacious individual far removed from his brute-like persona (he was even quoting Orwell recently). His willingness to speak his mind should be seen as refreshing, particularly with today’s monosyllabic footballers (and lets face it Barry did look like a tortoise against Ozil and England have been using 4-4-2 for far too long)

So there you have it, Joseph Anthony Barton a brash, arrogant flawed individual, but past this veneer lies a gifted footballer, a footballer who is worth taking a chance on. are seeking new writers to join the team! If you’re passionate about football, drop us a line at “” to learn more.

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