Joey Barton has thrown his hat into the ring for another chance with England, the Newcastle midfielder has boasted “He is as good as anyone in this country”. It appears that our friend Joey is having a dig at England midfielders Lampard, Gerrard and Barry for their performances in South Africa. The Newcastle midfielder will be relishing the chance to playing in the Premier League again after the Toon’s successful Championship campaign last year, don’t get me wrong Joey Barton is a good player and will do a good job for Newcastle but do we want him anywhere near the England team?
Saying Barton has a checkered past is like saying John Terry likes the ladies, let’s take a closer look at the England hopefuls past. Back in 2004 Joey stubbed out a cigar onto the eyes of a youth team player during a Christmas party during his time at Manchester City, the player didn’t lose his vision but has been permanently scarred from this incident. The following year Joey broke a pedestrians leg whilst driving through Liverpool at 2am, fast forward 2 years to 2007 and young Joey was in trouble again – this time arrested on suspicion of criminal damage and assault following an alleged argument with a taxi driver. Although to be fair to Joey he was cleared of this charge, finally at the end of 2007 Joey arrested again on suspicion of assault following an incident in Liverpool city centre at 5.30am!?
Barton was charged in May 2008 with 6 months imprisonment, the magistrate stated “I also have to consider the safety of the public – you lashed out indiscriminately”. Of course, everyone deserves a second chance but Barton has used his second, third and fourth chances in my eyes. I haven’t even mentioned the attack on Manchester City team mate Ousmane Dabo (see picture)! To represent England is a massive privilege, what kind of role model is Joey to younger generation? Personally, I think Barton is a million miles away from an England place, 24 appearances in the last 2 seasons (15 in the Championship) does not warrant a place in Capello’s mind for selection.
I hope Joey has learnt from his mistakes and concentrates on his football, but if there is trouble in the Newcastle camp this season you can be sure that Joey won’t be far away.