The not-so-reliable tabloid, ‘The Sun’, contains claims that we are interested in the controversial footballer Joey Barton. The same source suggests that West Ham officials are in talks with him and keen to push through a deal:
“Joey Barton is in shock talks with West Ham about a deal. Aston Villa are also keen but the 32-year-old has been in discussions with the Hammers – even though co-chairman David Gold has previously slammed him on Twitter.” – ‘The Sun’
This is the first I had heard of Sherwood’s supposed interest in Barton and I desperately hope that this rumour is not true. I suspect that the tabloid journalists have made this link to the former Queens Park Rangers’ captain, who was released by the Hoops last month, after hearing Sherwood’s comments suggesting that any more players he signs this summer are likely to be ones already based in England.
As we know, Sherwood has already made a lot of signings in this transfer window and therefore I really don’t think that our squad needs Barton, regardless of my negative opinion of him. We have already got some experience in the squad, most notably with former England international defender Micah Richards, the man Tim Sherwood has selected as this season’s captain. The only benefit I can see in signing Barton is the experience he would bring to the squad and the influence he might have on some of our young players. The Paul Lambert days of adding experience cheaply due to the low average age of our squad have thankfully gone and we now have a good balance so I believe that signing Joey Barton would be wasteful.
Barton is unpredictable and unreliable, both on and off the field. Barton has a reputation for being violent and not thinking about his actions. Who can forget how he elbowed Tevez, kicked out at Sergio Aguero and attempted to headbutt Kompany in quick succession a couple of years ago? Perhaps more importantly, at the age of thirty-two, Barton is past his best. He has never been a footballer of absolute quality and he certainly isn’t one now. I do not think he would be worthy of a place in our starting XI. He would perhaps make the bench but we have Joe Cole, a midfielder similar in age, with the same amount of experience, who is also a better player.
I would imagine that Barton will still be hoping for a considerable weekly salary, which the club can probably afford due to some of the departures we have seen during this window, but I do not believe he is worth the wage he would want. Your opinion may differ but Barton has never exactly been a fans’ favourite and I remember the abuse he received from the Holte End whenever he played at Villa Park so this would be a controversial signing to say the least.
Fortunately, this is just a rumour.