Joey Barton, because of his Twitter comments and all the friction that has developed between Barton and the leadership of Newcastle United, has found himself on the transfer list and a free transfer as well. Despite stating his desire to stay at Newcastle at the end of the season and wanting a new contract, he decided to take his frustration to the public using the media and Twitter as a means to communicate his issues concerning the club.
The 28 year old midfielder is now an outcast at Newcastle United. It was reported, August 2, 2011 that Barton is being forced to practice alone and fined two weeks wages for his latest comments. Putting aside who is to blame for the developments at Newcastle, Barton may be leaving Tyneside very soon but where he will go is the question. A few Premier League clubs have been reported to be in talks with Barton’s agents and one of the clubs mentioned is Tottenham Hotspur. As a Spurs supporter I would welcome Barton to White Hart Lane and think he would make a fine addition to the club.
Of course I know what many will be thinking about my statement. I am well aware of Barton’s past or “rap sheet,” whether on the pitch or in the public involving the police. I know about his promises to correct his mistakes and not repeat them. However, I am aware he still continues to keep falling into the same traps. No doubt about it he is no saint and has a very checkered past with issues of authority and discipline in general. However, he hasn’t had any encounters with the police since 2008. Granted his temper on the field has continued and that will need to be addressed. But I think he is a quality player and has a playing style that really could enhance the midfield at Tottenham.
I have read stories and heard people’s discussions who believe Tottenham’s midfield is fairly strong and new players aren’t really required. However, I am not sure about that. The Modric saga is not over and there is still a chance he could leave. Kevin Bond admitted Modric does have a price; of course he has attempted to correct the story. I think that has to be considered. I think the flanks or the wings are strong with Bale and Lennon and if needed that is a position that Barton could fill. If Modric does go, that will leave a hole in the midfield and unlike many I don’t see Sandro as the savior of the midfield at this point. I am not saying he isn’t a good player but I am not sold on him as of yet. Since his arrival at Tottenham in September of 2010 he has made just 19 appearances in all competitions. Up until the matches against AC Milan in the Champions League I was not impressed with him at all. I think he did play very well in those two matches and merits credit for his performance. I would say he played fairly well in the remaining matches he participated in. However, it’s premature to think that Sandro is the answer and of course the media has helped fuel that idea and people have jumped on the bandwagon, which isn’t uncommon. A few matches don’t create a superstar; time will determine his true talent and we aren’t at that point yet.
Granted Barton isn’t a big goal scorer but neither are Modric, Kranjcar, Pienaar, Palacios, Sandro, Jenas, and Huddlestone — just to name a few of Tottenham’s midfielders. The lone exception would be Rafael van der Vaart but he really plays as a withdrawn striker. But like Modric, for example, Barton does create opportunities for other players to score goals, which is just as important. In my view Barton has demonstrated his ability as a player during his time at Manchester City and Newcastle and I believe he could provide a solid presence in midfield.
I have watched Barton play many times and I admire his style of play. Barton is a physical and tough tackling player and certainly that has been the historical playing style of English football, hard hitting and aggressive. When I play soccer I am very physical and aggressive but I don’t play to purposely injury anyone. However, I have no problems when attempting to get ball to take down a player. It’s a contact sport and it is part of the game. I think people have forgotten that aspect of the sport. Barton plays hard and wants to win, the ideal player in my view. Of course you don’t want a rogue player who is out of control. Discipline is critical. If Barton was to join Spurs, the club would have to make it perfectly clear to him that respect for authority and discipline must be maintained or he would be out. I am sure that would be going through the minds of any club managers and owners.
Barton, now being a free transfer target, would be very appealing to Spurs. Harry loves a good deal. Instead of money being spent on chasing Scott Parker, the transfer of Barton to Tottenham would save them money. Since Harry wanted to bring Parker to Spurs it indicates that he thinks more can be done in the midfield. I think injecting some new blood in the midfield would very helpful. Levy doesn’t like to spend money and desperately wants to balance the books at the club this would help. You secure a good quality player while saving money at the same time.