Joey Barton may have promised to tone down his twitter posts after dinner with ‘three wise-men’, but every time his omission from the England squad is announced, I wonder how hard he has to fight to post his true feelings towards his exclusion?

However, the reason Barton perhaps opts not to is because of the multiple factors that aren’t in his favour.

Take his former club, Newcastle, for example. It could be argued that Newcastle have taken many by surprise this season, and although they may fall by the wayside as the season progresses, its worth noting a major change in their side is that they have replaced Barton in the middle of midfield with French international Yohan Cabaye. The results over the first 13 games have been a fast improvement from those of last season.  Cabaye has been at the heartbeat of the Magpies sensational early season form, controlling the midfield alongside Check Tiote, allowing ex-Manchester United misfit Gabriel Obertan and Jonas Guttierez to provide the support for in-form pair Demba Ba and Leon Best.

Does Barton’s current form really suggest he should dislodge the midfielders currently in the squad? 

Scott Parker has been vital in Tottenham’s surge up the table, and Spurs have only lost one Premier League game when Parker has been involved. 

Gareth Barry has been a rock in the Manchester City midfield and it would be harsh to exclude a player who has featured heavily in a side who are cruising at the Premier League summit.

Frank Lampard’s attacking threat from in and around the box makes him a dangerous option from the start or even from the bench.

After a disastrous World Cup campaign, Capello was heavily pressurised to blood the youngsters for a shake up and in preparation for the future tournaments.  Whether fans, pundit’s etc. dislike Capello, you can’t argue he has done so. In the midfield, Jack Wilshire seems to have been the main beneficiary and Jack Rodwell has looked comfortable in the recent fixtures that he has been involved in.

That’s not to mention the currently injured Steven Gerrard, who you would expect to take a seat on the plane to make the trip to Poland and Ukraine, if fully fit.

This could be argued if England were a struggling side, but results would suggest they’re not. After comfortably securing qualification, encouraging performances against World Champions Spain and the notoriously, tricky Sweden makes the QPR midfielder task even more difficult.

It’s Spain who Barton made his one and only England appearance against, and although he was only a substitute, he failed to make any impact.  This was when he deserved an England call-up. His form at that point was outstanding for Manchester City. He looked like a complete midfielder, and if it wasn’t for his performances in the couple of years leading up to his England call-up, Manchester City may have found themselves a Championship outfit once more.  With Steven Gerrard and Frank Lampard in the prime of their careers, it was always going to be difficult for him to earn a place in Steve McLaren’s side, which is why an instant impact was needed, and unfortunately for Barton, it didn’t materialise.

Barton’s main hope of a place in the England squad depends on if Capello decides to use Andy Carroll as an option. There’s no doubt that the link up between the two caused problems for many back fours in the Premier League last season as Carroll netted 11 times for Newcastle before his £35 million switch to Liverpool. The 22 year-old was largely assisted by Barton’s diagonals and set pieces tailored to his game. If Capello decides to take Carroll as a different option to the seemingly preferred Darren Bent, then this could be Barton’s way into inclusion for Capello’s 23-man squad for the European Championships.

Capello has gone on record labelling Barton as ‘too dangerous’ to consider but stranger things have happened when it comes to selection for a major tournament. You only have to look back to the World Cup in 2006 when a 17 year-old Theo Walcott was selected ahead of the likes of Jermain Defoe and the aforementioned Bent. 

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Comment by redmisty on December 19, 2011 at 12:34

Spot on Doghouse.

Another case in point...I heard Barton's twitter comments on MUTV before I even heard from Sir Alex after the game!! We then had to read about Barton's twitter comments again the next day in the papers because God forbid we could ever go a few hours without hearing about what Barton has to say...He is now the official voice of football apparently!

Like I said, his head is so far up his ass it's unreal. I just can't understand why the media seems determined to give him the attention he obviously craves. I'm just glad Capello doesn't.

Comment by Doghouse on December 18, 2011 at 13:14

Hah. Case in point today for why Carrick > Barton. :D

Comment by WorldClass on December 16, 2011 at 13:02

Erm Barton played on the right for Newcastle....

Barry is a water boy fetching and carrying for the super stars... Barton has more to his game than Barry, but perhaps isn't a yes man.

Andy Carroll thrives of quality crosses.... so even if Carroll hits incredible form at Liverpool is still highly highly unlikely Barton will be called up. There are better deliverers of the ball then Barton at QPR never mind in England. The only thing Barton would bring the England squad is a steely edge, arrogance and a bucket load of a want to win... there is no doubt he seems to have a huge will to win anything he enters... and isn't afraid to try stuff on the pitch....

Comment by redmisty on December 16, 2011 at 12:48

Carrick has more of a right to claim an England place than Barton imo. And he isn't a total w*nker.

The only reason we are talking about Barton is because his head is so far up his own ass.

Comment by Doghouse on December 15, 2011 at 13:41

I am angry about England. I find it intensely irritating to see how England is run, how the team is set up and run, and how they play. Compared to how the best club teams are run in this country it's a shambles. It's a shambles that cannot be improved by increments. There needs to be a revolution in mentality and strategy.

Comment by thecityisred on December 14, 2011 at 22:33
You seem very angry about England and the manager and it may blu the truth of it for you.

Your originally statements about parking a bus, hoofball and Spain being able to score ten if they liked, are utterly ridiculous. England nullified Spain and not through hoofball or being packed into the area as you suggest.

It was energetic pressing, similar to what Manchester United have done on occasion versus Arsenal. Good positional sense and limiting choices.

A prick of a manager? Calm down dead, a very successful manager who hasn't hit the heights he'd have liked with England - but who picked the right tactics for a game where he was missing key players. A good confidence boost and a knowledge they can do that in a quarter final or similar.

It wasn't park the bus, silly to suggest that. Just similar to the way Ferguson has set up for games where opponents play like that before.
Comment by Doghouse on December 14, 2011 at 22:19

Nah. You can't say a team is in the game if it never gets a single shot, on or off target, from open play. Even the set piece was from quite a distance when it came up. Can't even remember us getting a corner, though am willing to concede I could be wrong on that.

Spain fashioned a few good chances (Cesc missed a sitter for instance) and sure England did limit them, but that's nothing to be proud of. Sticking the entire team in a phalanx defensive formation except for a lonely striker is not big or clever and if England are supposed to be any good it's not how we ought to be confronting Spain, at home, in a friendly. I mean if you can't play it a bit fast and loose under those circumstances you really have got a pussy for a manager.

Comment by thecityisred on December 14, 2011 at 20:29

"What mattered was England retreated into a forlorn little ball of defenders, hoofing anything that came near as far up the pitch as they could manage"

That would be all well and good, except it didn't happen. England were not simply hoofing everything away, yes they had a defensive strategy but one that got them into the game and provided a foothold to build on.

Spain dominated possession but couldn't do anything with that, they were forced into long shots by a good defensive display which is quite different from parking the bus and hoofing everything.  England pressured the Spanish team very well and made it hard for them to make the passes they wished which resulted in them passing it about in areas that weren't dangerous.  When they did get near the box, the Spanish were closed resulting in a lot of snatched shots that were usually blocked by the first man.

Spain would have scored ten if they cared? That's quite a silly statement.

Comment by Doghouse on December 14, 2011 at 17:24

Am not sure England's impersonation of relegation battlers parking the bus against Spain would be considered an encouraging performance. Sure, the result was encouraging, but the result didn't matter because it was a friendly. What mattered was England retreated into a forlorn little ball of defenders, hoofing anything that came near as far up the pitch as they could manage, and considered that a viable strategy to contend with the world champions. There is nothing encouraging about getting none of the ball for an entire match. There is nothing encouraging about creating absolutely nothing whatever from open play. There is nothing encouraging about a team allowing itself to be continually assaulted in waves by a Spanish side who, if they'd really cared about the game, would have scored ten.

England are supposed to be a top team. Seriously. Don't laugh. We're supposed to be in the top ten in the world. One of the elite sides in world football. And sure Joey Barton shouldn't be in the team, for oh so many reasons, but the idea that with or without him England are actually delivering when it counts is laughable.

We know that more than half of this England team can't cut it as senior internationals. Terry, Cole, Gerrard, Barry, Lampard, for example, are all failures. They need to be got rid of. If Barton was a few years younger and much less of a cock I think he'd be in the running for a spot, but with the likes of Cleverly, Wilshere and others coming through why put a poisonous little muppet like him in the crew?


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