Writer: J P Fear
Date:Friday June 1 2007
Vital Villa asked what you thought of the Joey Barton link. Seems not that many were bothered by his history with only 16% saying they'd be disgusted with him joining Villa and just 8% saying NO NO NO!
4% thought it would be an ok signing leaving the vast majority with 53% believing him to be a good player who Martin O'Neill could handle. 11% were unsure and the remaining 8% said he'd be a great signing.
Further to this, I asked Andy Leggott of Vital Manchester City a few questions, here is what he had to say:
1) What do you think of Joey Barton as a player?
Joey Barton is a good midfielder in an average side. He firmly believes he is a sort of Steven Gerrard and Frank Lampard rolled into one. The reality is he falls some way short of those aspirations. His passing is far from consistent and his set pieces are awful. However he is a combatative midfielder who will give his team everything. He will get goals from midfield and create chances for an effective strikeforce. He is a marked man however and opposition players, supporters and referees tend to treat him on reputation alone.
2) Will you be sorry to see him go?
I'm always sorry when an academy player leaves the club, especially one who has managed international honours. Again though, Joey has had one chance too many at City and I believe the club have no option but to sell him. If we can recoup £5.5 million for him then I'll say goodbye reluctantly and wish him well.
3) What do you think of Joey Barton as a person and does his private life affect his game?
Joey Barton is a better person than the national media give him credit for. His charity work is second to none within the club and he is far removed from the brother he is often portrayed as. That said he clearly has anger management problems that he cannot control and that is where the problems lie.
4) Do you think he'd do a good job for Villa or does he carry too much baggage?
Maybe a new club and fresh start is what he needs. O'Neil may have more success in controlling his off field activities and temperament. On the downside his ego may be too big for dressing room harmony (he reportedly upset several England players when called up recently). I'd put £5.5 million as too much of a risk despite the positives on the field.
With thanks to Andy Leggott from Vital Manchester City. www.manchestercity.vitalfootball.co.uk/
Date:Friday June 1 2007
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