Fabregas and Song destroyed us in central midfield on the opening day. In the Cup Final it was the same — Lampard ran rings round us in the second half. It's clearer than ever that we desperately need a defensive central midfielder. Rodwell might be the answer but for me he looks like a central defender and he’s only 18.
So who can we bring in? M’bia rejected us, Cana and Cattermole have gone to Sunderland, so not many other defensive central midfielders I can think of. Well there is one, but it's certainly a risk – Joey Barton. Now before you get your angry heads on and have a go at me, just hear me out on this one:
- Physical attributes – he’s 26 and has pace and terrific stamina and can physically dominate weaker players. c.f. Neville.
- Footballing abilities – he’s a fierce tackler, a decent passer, has a reasonable touch and scores a surprising number of goals.
- Premier League experience – unlike taking a chance on foreign players who invariably take time to settle in to the Premier League and then don’t always work out.
- He’s a Blue – at least you could be certain he’d give 100%.
- Positive Character – he seems a lively positive personality which you need in the dressing room.
- He clearly hates losing – some players meekly accept defeat, others will give every ounce of effort to win. The best have an obsessive, all-consuming will to win. I see a bit of this in Barton.
- Possibility of deal happening – let’s face it, after this pre-season we can’t underestimate this factor. Newcastle are desperate to reduce their wage bill and get some money in. A bid of £3M to £4M may be enough. Barton himself has said recently he’d love to play for us. So a real chance of deal actually happening if we go for it.
- “Can I improve him?” I presume Moyes must consider this before he signs a player. Moyes appears to be an excellent man-manager. The players play for the team rather than playing as individuals. In his career to date, Barton has played in disjointed teams at Man City and Newcastle. Perhaps he could fulfill his potential with us?
- Motivation – England have a real weakness in the centre of midfield in that there is no outstanding defensive midfielder. Barry is very capable but not outstanding. Cattermole looks promising for the future. Barton on his day has the ability to dominate a game and very few players can do that. If he came to us and had a great season he could finish it playing in the World Cup. That won’t happen if he stays at Newcastle. What better motivation could he have?
Well that’s enough of the positives, we can’t ignore the negatives. He comes with baggage that’s for sure:
- His brother; a cowardly, despicable disgrace to humanity if ever there was one. But should Joey Barton be tainted with his crimes? Obviously not. Possibly a positive outcome could result if Joey Barton sought to play a prominent role in fighting against racism.
- His personality – here lies the big problem. We can’t ignore his history, the attack on his teammate, the cigar incident, the argument with a young Everton fan, the conviction for assault. We all make mistakes but hopefully we learn from them. But Barton keeps making them.
- However he’s 26 now and he may be thinking that if he gets a chance at Everton its probably the last chance he’ll get to make it at the top level. Perhaps that thought could keep him on the straight and narrow.
- Or perhaps in his contract include very strict penalty clauses, e.g. his signing on fee is only paid at the end of his contract if he keeps himself out of trouble for the entirety of the contract.
On balance, is it a chance worth taking? Do the positives outweigh the negatives? I think they do and more importantly it’s a chance we can financially afford to take. Finally, its a deal we could feel reasonably confident would be completed if we decided to go for it. A very significant factor in these dark days...
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1 Posted 20/08/2009 at 14:08:32
He’s a disgrace of a man and not much of a player either in my opinion. Moyes would never sign him in a million years for all the reasons you listed above plus a lot more — just ask any Evertonian who was actually present in Thailand what actually happened.
Scum — end of.
2 Posted 20/08/2009 at 14:10:52
3 Posted 20/08/2009 at 14:18:54
4 Posted 20/08/2009 at 14:17:25
I’m a scouser and would love to see more local blues in the team but Barton won’t happen.
5 Posted 20/08/2009 at 14:19:05
6 Posted 20/08/2009 at 14:25:26
7 Posted 20/08/2009 at 14:21:23
Also, I saw the Newcastle game on the box last weekend and he was a yard behind the pace of a championship game...sliding in late, taking down a few players, laughing about it and then picked up a yellow card.. Clearly thick as pig shit.
8 Posted 20/08/2009 at 14:35:35
9 Posted 20/08/2009 at 14:43:08
I’ll put a quick call in to Chris Hughton with a 3m offer to get the ball rolling, could you get onto Moyes, and Barton’s agent to let them know what’s going on? What do you want to offer him in wages? Shall I invite him round to mine to read through the contract?
10 Posted 20/08/2009 at 14:46:22
11 Posted 20/08/2009 at 15:03:15
We never appealed for Obinna’s work permit after it was rejected at the initial hearing as there wasn't time. If Banega gets knocked back tomorrow, hopefully it will be accepted upon appeal.
12 Posted 20/08/2009 at 15:07:33
13 Posted 20/08/2009 at 14:56:27
Since then, though, I’m afraid it’s one thing after another with him, and I think he’s a magnet for trouble. I am no longer in favour of seeing him in a blue shirt.
I also don’t think it’s even worthy of debate anymore, despite your balanced article, Peter. I do agree we do need some teeth in the middle of the park though...
14 Posted 20/08/2009 at 15:08:39
15 Posted 20/08/2009 at 15:14:15
16 Posted 20/08/2009 at 15:22:23
One thing I noticed — how many times is the lad knocked over!!!!
17 Posted 20/08/2009 at 15:11:17
I’d rather watch Everton in the Championship with pride intact than sell our soul for 30 pieces of silver. To wear the sacred royal blue shirt you have to earn it off the field as well as on. Not even Moyes could tame this ferrell and feckless excuse for a human being.
Remember the moto:- Nil Satis Nisi Optimum
18 Posted 20/08/2009 at 15:40:12
You’ve got to be joking.
He’s a thug, a scumbag, a mediocre player, a disruptive influence, he’s suspended all the time. He’s not fit to wear the jersey.
Seriously, no. I’d rather have Robbie Savage. I’d rather have Don Hutchison on crutches. I’d rather start each game with 10 men.
19 Posted 20/08/2009 at 15:59:19
20 Posted 20/08/2009 at 16:04:54
Have a look at the You Tube footage, it doesn’t show him doing much tackling...but a fair amount of falling over so perhaps he is more like Ronaldo - haha!!
21 Posted 20/08/2009 at 16:08:33
Hitler would be a more welcome addition.
22 Posted 20/08/2009 at 16:45:38
23 Posted 20/08/2009 at 17:21:47
Then only one person’s mind will have been polluted with this garbage. Joey Barton shouldn’t be allowed on a football pitch, never mind in the Royal Blue. End of.
24 Posted 20/08/2009 at 17:19:10
25 Posted 20/08/2009 at 17:39:58
And in case you were wondering, Mugabe plays right back, Bin Laden is a box-to-box midfielder and Sutcliffe is a pacy winger.
26 Posted 20/08/2009 at 17:42:48
Otherwise the man is the scum of the earth and has no place in football.
Sums up the football authorities that he is still allowed to play professional football.
27 Posted 20/08/2009 at 17:46:46
Mugabe is great and would really dictate midfield play.
I’m not sure about Sutcliffe though. I’ve heard his fellow players keep having to bail him out and he gets away with murder!
The bar has been raised my literary friends........
28 Posted 20/08/2009 at 17:53:48
29 Posted 20/08/2009 at 17:52:51
Thomas Christensen - Banega is not a winger and his natural position is DM. I can see him playing more central midfield though in the EPL. He is actually a terrific tackler i guess that doesnt make for great youtube videos though.
30 Posted 20/08/2009 at 18:18:08
-1: Pol Pot
-2: Idi Amin
-3: Jeffrey Dahmer
-4: King Herod
-5: Robbie Williams
-6: Richard Nixon
-7: Peter Mandelson
-8: Tony Marsh
-9: Montgomery Burns
-10: Mel Gibson
-11: Rafa Benitez
Subs: Piers Morgan, Satan, George W Bush, Jimmy Saville, My Boss, Prince Phillip, Alexei Sayle & Joleon Lescott.
Manager: Gary Lineker
31 Posted 20/08/2009 at 19:24:37
32 Posted 20/08/2009 at 19:52:25
33 Posted 20/08/2009 at 21:12:35
Laughing like a drain here.
34 Posted 20/08/2009 at 23:40:04
Also - no way is Idi Amin a fullback, have you seen the guy? Centreback in the Vinny Jones mold, nailed on.
35 Posted 21/08/2009 at 01:35:55
I can imagine Marsh having a bad game then popping straight on here to complain about what a pile of shite he is!
36 Posted 21/08/2009 at 03:10:01
But where is Gordon Brown and his Physio Alaistair Darling. You know. The bloke who runs on to help the fallen shite whilst cupping his balls and magic spraying everything until he is ok again?
37 Posted 21/08/2009 at 04:34:51
On a serious note, no friggin way to the Joey Barton suggestion. No, no,.no, no, no.
38 Posted 21/08/2009 at 04:41:12
WTF: Tony Marsh keeps Hitler, Satan and Kenwright out of the starting XI!
I hear Hitler strokes a mean ball, Lucifer has a few tricks while Kenwright runs the channels and creates space... of which we are still watching!
Oh, and Joey Barton? Like sharing your girl with your best mate. He might help to fill a hole or two but there’ll be hell to pay when he starts giving orders!
39 Posted 21/08/2009 at 07:49:28
40 Posted 21/08/2009 at 10:28:10
41 Posted 21/08/2009 at 13:02:36
42 Posted 21/08/2009 at 17:33:11
This guy has a serious psychological/anger problem, which considering his brothers’ heinous crimes, appears to be a family trait.
No football manager is capable of resolving this. Not even Moysey.
43 Posted 21/08/2009 at 17:37:57
44 Posted 21/08/2009 at 18:40:45
45 Posted 21/08/2009 at 19:40:01
He available on a free transfer. Not sure he could do the 90 though but you have to consider him.
46 Posted 22/08/2009 at 16:32:57
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