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08th Dec 2016

Joey Barton makes a preposterous claim about how he was portrayed by the Scottish media

Is he for real?

Patrick McCarry

Remember all those Scottish media headlines that portrayed Joey Barton as the English Messi or Scouse Neymar when he signed for Glasgow Rangers?

No? Us either.

The English midfielder lasted only eight games with Rangers and failed to back up some of his claims – made in interviews and online – during his short stint in Scotland.

Barton fell out with the club after he had training ground altercations with Andy Halliday and manager Mark Warburton. The spats came days after Rangers had lost 5-1 to Celtic.

What started as a short ban was extended to six games before Barton was signed off with stress-related issues. The club and player then mutually decided to terminate his contract.

Speaking to BBC Radio 5 Live, Barton insisted he had no regrets about the switch from Burnley, who wanted him to play with them in the Premier League, to Rangers. He also laid a lot of blame for his Rangers failure at the door of the Scottish media. He said:

“The difficulty for me lay in the fact that before I went up there they kind of built me into this Neymar, Messi kind of player, which I wasn’t.

“I’m a player that’s never been blessed with an enormous amount of talent, speed, tricks. I’m somebody who has always served the higher purpose in terms of the team, always done well when that’s been at the fore. I’ve never done particularly well when the onus has been on me to go on and create and do things.

“Everyone was saying ‘you’ve been caught out by the standard of Scottish football, you’ve looked down your nose at Scottish football’. I didn’t. I knew what I was getting into.”

The fact that he claims he knew what he was getting into, still got into it, got in trouble, got let go and is no having a go at the media for his ails is of little surprise.

Barton is currently training with the Burnley squad and says several ‘big clubs’ have made inquiries about bringing him into their squads in January.

Wherever he goes, at least he will know what he is getting into.

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