Football Friends Online – When 90 Mins Is Not EnoughCharlton, Barnes, Gascoigne, Beckham..... Barton? - Football Friends Online - When 90 Mins Is Not Enough Charlton, Barnes, Gascoigne, Beckham..... Barton? - Football Friends Online - When 90 Mins Is Not Enough

Charlton, Barnes, Gascoigne, Beckham….. Barton?

As an international force, England has always left a lot to be desired. It’s no secret that throughout the years, as a nation, we have struggled to shake off the hangover that was the 1966 world cup achievement. Iconic, charismatic and admired managers, past and present, have tried and subsequently failed, all be it with different degrees of success.  Since the late, great Sir Bobby Robson was on the brink of success at Italia 90, there has always been an added pressure to succeed for a number of reasons. The game within the country was changing and gaining more coverage from a newly formed television company Sky Sports, thus the fans opinions became more prominent and the nation was being scrutinised like never before. This has continued until this day and the game has exploded in previous years with increase in wages and the valuation of football as a product. Nobody would disagree that as a nation we have the best domestic league in the world, all be it due to the influx of foreign players. However with that said, our ‘home grown’ talent has always been evident and as a nation we have displayed some of the greatest talents not just of this generation, but of those gone by.

The legendary sir Bobby Charlton, synonymous with top class English football, acknowledged worldwide as one of the true footballing greats that have ever played this illustrious game. Kevin Keegan, Sir Stanley Mathews, John Barnes, Bryan Robson, Gary Linekar, the list of past English icons is not one which will diminish anytime soon. Even as we get closer to the modern day the likes of Gascoigne, Shearer, Beckham, Le Tissier, Scholes, Gerrard, even the new talents such as Rooney, Ferdinand and the ones we will expect to see in this list in a number of years, people like Joe Hart, Jack Wilshire, Adam Johnson and Jack Rodwell, the list could go on and on. The problem has never been the talent on paper, just the way these players are integrated and for some unknown reason their lack of ability when it comes to performing as a unit. As a nation one of the many things we pride ourselves on is togetherness and this is what the English fans can’t understand. How we can have the greatest league in the world, some of the greatest players past and present and simply just be unable to gel? However as I have reiterated throughout and highlighted above, the one thing we know we have that is undeniable, is talented players.


And then there’s Joey Barton…


Oh Joey, deluded Joey. Joey Barton, a man who has become synonymous within his own country for violence and scandal, rather than the trade which he is apparently at the top of.

“I don’t think it is for me to say but at the end of the day I don’t think there is anyone playing better than me in this country. That’s an honest answer, not a big-header answer…. There are probably six or seven midfielders get in a squad for an England game and I don’t think there are two English players playing better than me at the minute.”

 So Joey Barton believes himself to be England’s “best midfielder at the minute.” This comment has come in the wake of such players as Jordan Henderson, Matty Jarvis and Jack Wilshire starting to make the cut for the England national team. However I think the two selections which have hurt our greatest talent the most were those of Stewart Downing and in particular Scotty Parker. There, Barton has seen two players who got their initial international break around the same time as Barton. The difference between these players however, is that while yes all three got dropped, two of them reacted appropriately and got on with their football knowing that if they keep their heads down, work hard and make an impact at club level once again, then they knew that there was always a shot. Joey however didn’t do this. He has been in and out of the tabloids for disrespecting managers, arguing with team mates, even fighting publicly, ever since he got his international break (he got his only cap in a 1-0 defeat to Spain in which he played 11 minutes.). Even that occasion was surrounded by controversy as the ever talented Barton spoke publicly and disrespected his fellow internationals, creating angst from the general public, as well as some England players, like Frank Lampard who spoke to the media about Barton’s comments.

For Barton to openly state that he is currently the greatest English player, shows his lack of respect for his other professionals and those who have preceded him. Charlton, played 834 scored 277, Gascoigne, played 389 scored 83, even David Beckham, who was a scorer of great goals rather than a great goal scorer has so far managed 119 goals in 644 games.  Barton’s current record of 203 games and 26 goals doesn’t even come close to these sorts of players, who rather than publicising that they were the best players of their time, simply let their football do the talking and the general public came to the conclusion themselves. I say to Joey ‘England’s finest’ Barton that if his feet were half as good as his mouth that statement may be true, or at least close to it. However the truth is that he just simply isn’t. Yes the lad is a good hardworking English talent; however Barton should take heed of what former American football star Ken Simonton proclaimed, “No talking. Talking doesn’t play football, talking isn’t going to make you practice harder or play harder.”


Steven Ormrod

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