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Why Tottenham Needs to Sign Newcastle’s Joey Barton

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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.

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  1. Matthew

    August 6, 2011 at 3:13 pm

    To be honest I am a fan of Barton and his playing style (not the criminal side). I think there is a lot of dead weight in the midfield that needs to be sold. I think Barton is a very good player and believe he could add something to the club. He would be a free transfer so the club wouldn’t be losing a lot. I think Barton could really add some strength and force in the midfield. I would like Modric to stay if not it’s not the end of the world. Depending on what Chelsea offer next, I assume that will address his future. Plus, all this talk about Sandro is crazy the man hasn’t shown that on the field at least in my view. The forwards or strikers need help and agree with you on the striker problem. I am hopefully a couple of new signings will take place. I think the signing of a striker or two in their early 20s where they build a future for the team would be perfect.

    • Daniel

      August 6, 2011 at 6:58 pm

      Barton’s a great player and I would love to see him ahead of some of the deadweight in midfield (Jenas and Pienaar, specifically) but I’m not sure who I’d want him to replace in a starting capacity. I’d choose VdV and Modric (or Kranjcar if he were sold) who are both fairly attacking midfielders, so the third should be more defense minded — in this order, Hudd, Sandro or even Palacios if he’s still around. Palacios adds a strong defensive element and while he’s weaker at passing, he shouldn’t BE passing, except short, no-risk passes to the part of the team meant to attack. As for Sandro, you’re right that he hasn’t proven himself yet, but he’s the kind of player I’d like Spurs to be getting. That is, young and with potential who can play backup (to Hudd, in this situation). I’d rather have top players by having them work into the team slowly than paying over-the-top for talent when we need it. You can always sell them off if they don’t work out, but I think Sandro could prove a great signing after a year or two more to develop.

      • Matthew

        August 6, 2011 at 7:23 pm

        I hope Sandro works out. I like tough, aggressive and hard hitting football players not out control of course. I have seen some of that in Sandro which I like and of course I see that in Barton. I am at a lost as to why we bought Pienaar. I really hope for some young strikers and a long term goalkeeper as well. Great clubs aren’t built over night and I think every supporter should give the team some time, I think it will work out in the end. Thanks for all the great feedback and ideas Daniel.

  2. luka van der bale

    August 6, 2011 at 6:20 am

    Poor Matty,
    Another EPLtalk contibutor with absolutely No footy knowledge.
    Barton for Spurs. How’s he gonna get a game? We have perhaps our best midfield destroyer since G Roberts in Sandro, and a midfield packed with real quality. Lennon, Bale, Modric, with VDV in a freerole just in front whats Joey gonna do? Oh by the way still on the bench: krancjar, pienaar, palaciso, huddlestone,jj.
    What Spurs need is a top quality striker, Samba from Blackburn and another
    pacey winger to cover for either lennon or bale.

    • Matthew

      August 6, 2011 at 9:59 am

      I normally don’t waste my time with comments like yours but I was bored and thought what the heck it would be fun. If you had a real name I would address you by that name. So, Sandro is the great new midfield destroyer and you based your evidence and analysis off a few starting matches, doesn’t take much to impress you. Good work you have successfully joined the media inspired bandwagon, great independent thinking. Don’t forget Modric still might be sold. I would place Barton on field in front of the following: Sandro, Krancjar, Pienaar, Palaciso, and Jenas in a minute. Plus, VDV plays mainly a striking role than a traditional midfielder. Also, you contradicted yourself in your comment but I will let you figure out where you did that; put your critical thinking skills to work. Which also furthers one of my points if you were reading correctly? Also, Samba from Blackburn did you think that one up all by yourself or did you get help from the newspaper?

      • Robert

        August 6, 2011 at 11:57 am

        Boom. Roasted.

      • Daniel

        August 6, 2011 at 2:09 pm


        I assume you’re saying we should get Barton? Also that Modric might be sold.
        At this point I don’t think it weakens Spurs if Modric is sold — as long as he’s sold for a premium (since he’d be bought when we don’t want to sell him). Say 40 or some combination of cash plus player (I’d take ~30 plus Sturridge, as an example that’s come up before). I like Modric but wouldn’t be worried if Kranjcar stepped in to take his place — he’s been decent off the bunch but we’re hardly seeing his top form when he plays a handful of minutes a month. He’s class and I’d rather take that very minor step down (from Modric) and come away with a pile of cash.

        …which we would NEED to spend on a quality forward — even if we’re paying a little more than they’re worth. And none of those late twenties, early thirties strikers. I don’t want a stopgap but someone who can grow into the side. Get someone in their early 20’s with potential but enough current skill to make an impact from day 1.
        I think there’s more value in a team that’s played together consistently for years than people give credit to.

        For defense Samba would be fine, although you’re right that it’s not the most creative suggestion. I’d like to see any of:
        Vertonghen, Camacho, N’koulou, or Sakho.

  3. Chef_wanted

    August 5, 2011 at 10:01 am

    Spurs is an interesting club on so many levels when you consider all the players currently on the squad. They don’t necessarily have one visible uber=star but there are more decent/above decent enough players to achieve something with them with really good manager. If you give Spurs’ current squad to Fergie or Wenger they would eassily run away with the title. And i think as fans become more jaded and short-sighted with blockbuster purchases, we lose sight of managers really influencing and coaching players up. The sense of instilling something in all of them that can’t easily be quantified is no longer appreciated. The never-die attitude that bonds players and sustain them through thin times is being phase out of the game thanks to the infusion of over-leverage money that is currently polluting the sport. Which is sad really because it’s eroding one of the fundamental pilars of the sport – the band of brothers trying to achieve something that’s beyond their capabilities as a team even though the striker might be hangover and the keeper needs a sip of guiness on every corner kick. This is what’s beautiful about the game but sadly the game doesn’t aspire to it anymore and has become a mole instead. I’m not Spurs fan but i do know that they have the best squad in EPL . And if you want to look at mathematically, they would have the highest average skill level even if they don’t possess the highest skill player on the level of Wayne Rooney or Cesc Fabregas. And any manager worth his salt should be able to mold that talent into champions.

    • Daniel

      August 5, 2011 at 4:45 pm

      That’s an interesting comment from a non spurs fan.
      I think Harry was a good move for the club but it might be time to find a new manager come next summer. The three replacements I’d be most interested in would be:

      3. David Moyes: Everton seem to have stagnated and they haven’t had money for any new signings for a while. He’s always seemed quality and able to inspire the squad (Everton have some great players but overall they’re punching above their weight to break 7th place), he’s young, and might be able to tempt a few key players to follow (Baines, Jagielka, and Heitinga could IMMEDIATELY do a job for Spurs).

      2. Owen Coyle: Willing (unlike Harry) to rotate the squad properly, wants to play nice, attacking football, and has looked great working with what Bolton has. Also, like Moyes, if he could tempt Lee, Holden, and/or Cahill to follow it (any of those) would only strengthen Spurs. Spurs would have to be seen as a move up and the quality of our squad would be enticing.

      1. Marcelo Bielsa: The most exciting of the bunch — based on the last World Cup. He’s tactically brilliant, knowing when and who to sub, starting lineups and dynamic formation changes to take advantage of the other team. Chile might not have gone as far as some other teams but for some (Spain, specifically) of those teams, a can of paint could have managed them and seen the same result.
      I imagine he’d know how to take advantage of the glut of quality midfielders.

  4. dominjon

    August 4, 2011 at 5:25 pm

    He is supposedly a boyhood Everton fan, and considering their lack of any money, a free transfer Joey Barton might just be the best they could hope for as a ‘marquee signing’…

  5. Ringo

    August 4, 2011 at 12:20 pm

    An interesting take, but I respectfully disagree. I don’t think Spurs should waste any more money on players who don’t fill a need or provide a serious upgrade. Signing Barton would be a lateral move, on par with signing Pienaar last year who, let’s face it, should never be playing when Kranjcar is available and in want of minutes. Furthermore, with Huddlestone and Sandro (who needs to get minutes to prove himself, whether you rate him yet or not) already playing virtually the same role, Barton would not be getting the playing time that he starves. It would likely end in a bad situation because he expects to log major minutes but wouldn’t (or at least shouldn’t) get them amongst our current crop of players. It would add to our logjam in the midfield and have little chance of actually improving anything.

    However, I know there are many Spurs fans out there who agree with you.

  6. omakbob

    August 4, 2011 at 11:49 am

    “But what Tottenham can 100% look forward to is a News Corp, News of the World like hacking scandal.”

    More info, please?

      • scPhillyfan

        August 6, 2011 at 7:58 am

        Spurs have to make a stink about West Ham getting the Olympic Stadium. They are trying to get some leverage for a new stadium. And come on they aren’t relegated every couple of years like WHU.

        And it is not like WHU being involved with someone on the Olympic staff sounds like it is on the up and up. The Spurs accused WHU of improriety and then WHU says the same about the Spurs.

        This is nothing like hacking phones of families of perished soldiers or abducted people. WHU should be more worried about Pompey, Leeds, Cardiff.

  7. Trickybrkn

    August 4, 2011 at 6:56 am

    Barton would fit the need best for Liverpool. That said, it was reported yesterday that he has been linked with over 10 teams in England and Scotland. Even as far fetched as Nolan reaching out to bring in the fold at West Ham under big Sam.

    Barton and Redknapp would never work.

    But what Tottenham can 100% look forward to is a News Corp, News of the World like hacking scandal. That thing to this point has been under reported, but now is being persued . Should be interesting to see how Levy plays this one. But, whatever he says, it doesn’t look good for Tottenham.

    • trickybrkn

      August 4, 2011 at 7:13 am

      PS just read on the BBC that Tottenham have ruled themselves out of the Barton race.

  8. Ryan Crawford

    August 4, 2011 at 6:49 am

    ‘Granted Barton isn’t a big goal scorer but neither are Modric, Kranjcar, Pienaar, Palacios, Sandro, Jenas, and Huddlestone’

    This is exactly the reason Tottenham shouldn’t sign Barton. The main hinderance in last seasons campaign was their inability to finish a team off. Strikers couldn’t find the form they had the infamous season before hand where they pipped City to 4th place. Money then (and I am aware this is a free transfer but Bartons large wage package could be used elsewhere) should be spent instead on bringing a central midfielder the likes of Lampard with a proven track record for scoring goals. When you have Van der Vaart, Modric, Huddlestone, Kranjcar or Sandro in midfield creating chances with Bale and Lennon on the flanks doing the same why spend money on someone who would do the same?

    Defoe will find form again, Crouch will always be at the back post to head one home and Pav will always be a Spurs favourite. No to Barton, yes to someone as prolific as Spurs super season signing last summer, Rafa Van der Vaart

    • Daniel

      August 4, 2011 at 1:50 pm

      I would argue that Kranjcar is a midfielder with the ability to score. Since Tottenham lack a really dangerous striker I’d like to — as an option — see us play with 2 attacking mids and 1 clearly defensive mid.
      Assuming striking options stay the same there’s not much difference between them and I’d choose based on the opponent (Defoe if the opposing CB’s are slow, Crouch if they’re smaller, and Pav if…what is Pav’s specialty?), so:


      Sorry for the digression; regarding Barton, I’d bring him on only if we get rid of 1 (or hopefully 2) of Jenas, Pienaar, Palacios — although for choice I’d hold onto Palacios. Bad form last season but we know he’s better than that and I’d like to see his form return. I’d rather him and Barton as backups than Jenas and Pienaar (who I’ve never been impressed with).

      • Matthew

        August 4, 2011 at 2:01 pm

        Palacios would have already been sold but Spurs were demanding too much so that has stalled. Plus, there have been reports of Jenas being sold. Plus, Kranjcar might have sold but the club is asking too much money for him as they did with Palacios. Keane would have been gone but Blackburn didn’t offer enough. Modric still could go in the end. I am still not sold on Sandro as I said in the story time will tell. If the right price is offered any of the current strikers could go as well. I agree I have not been impressed much with Pienaar. I like Cudicini in goal.

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