The Barton problem…

The Barton problem…

Rarely has a football transfer in Scotland generated the hype Joey Barton’s switch to Ibrox did. You truly would have to look at the imports of the past like Gascoigne, and for the older Bears, Boli, to see anything like the hysteria of the former Marseille anchor’s decision to join Mark Warburton in Govan.

In terms of recent signings, Barton is arguably Scottish football’s biggest in a decade. Many will make cases for other players, and that is fine, but then I did add the ‘arguable’ prefix.

Nevertheless, this was a controversial signature as much as a hyped one; this was a player with a colourful past and one of the worst reputations in football. From incarceration to appalling on-pitch discipline, his trail of wreckage in life is a sadly long one, and it was with a huge amount of surprise that strict disciplinarian Mark Warburton even wanted the ex-Newcastle midfielder’s services.

But want him he did, and after weeks of an on-off saga, Barton was officially announced much to the delight of the vast majority of Rangers fans.

Here was Burnley’s player of the year, and a player comfortably included in the English Championship’s team of the year, and he was signing up at Ibrox to bestride like a colossus over the SPL, which, with his CV, including experience in France, and top clubs in England as well as his country, was a given.

Fans were willing to overlook his dodgy past, as long as he delivered on the pitch; but as his Twitter spats started to dominate the press, a few supporters started getting impatient with him, requesting he do his talking on the turf instead.

Indeed, as long as a player produces on the grass, he can get away with being a bit of a character off it.

Unfortunately, the absolute blunt truth is Barton just has not lived up to expectations, his reputation, or the hype that he himself created.

While not quite an utter failure, he has been painfully disappointing compared with what had been anticipated. Supporters expected a marauding titan, dominating the pitch, spreading the play, dictating the midfield and breaking up opposition attacks with ease. A holding midfielder who would shore up that soft centre by protecting his back line and pressing opponents off the ball.

What supporters have had is an off-the-pace shadow, a meek and rather timid shirt, failing to intercept much, lacking a great deal of movement, and not passing with any conviction at all. While not totally invisible, he has been flat, uninspired, and in no way what fans hoped for.

Some supporters may argue that ‘he needs time’ – well, he has had approaching 10 appearances now, and looks no closer to the player many expected than he did on his debut. In fact, if anything he appears to be going further away from that level.

If Joey Barton was anyone else playing at the level he currently is, there is absolutely no way he would remain in the team. He is being selected by name alone.

Meanwhile Jordan Rossiter, who has impressed a great deal more than his more illustrious counterpart, either makes do with a place on the bench or gets shoved alongside Barton in an ill-fitting midfield which has absolutely no balance.

In an ideal world Barton would be on the bench to earn back his place, rather than starting by default, with Rossiter taking that position for the meantime.

The Barton experiment is not working, and Rangers will suffer for it.

Time to go back to the drawing board, Warbs.

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  1. Spot on – not just Barton but all the experience players brought in to help the younger ones have put the team back a mile

  2. 5 Games into the season …….are you f***ing kidding me . Judge the guy and the team at the end of the season not 5 F***ing games in with almost a brand new team …….Idiot !

    • Get you blinkers off ! theres been guys like me saying from day fkn ONE big R Kiernan was nowhere near a Rangers shirt and Warbs still plays the guy . Wilson wasnt great at times ? but he consistently got it in the neck covering for Kiernan . Barton and Krancjar have completely changed and SLOWED down our midfield . I am not in any way digging at Warbs , but the man has to learn and FKN FAST ! ………..i have heard fk all from big Davie ? if he cant see this he should have gone too ………..

    • is what I'm saying not true Warburton had Rangers playing football that was brilliant to watch fast and exciting – the players signed has not worked out and on more than one occasion Barton should have been subbed instead someone else was sacrificed

    • Barton is making a laughing stock of himself and the club by bumping his gums off the park and is falling far short of expectations as it stands on it.

  3. Surprised Rossiter was left out.
    Here we go again with the fn mccoist OLD boy chums era.
    EVERYONE should be dropped if they are not performing.
    Believe it or not, despite 5-1, we are not far off the celtic. A few player tweaks and a better fn attitude. This kick up the arse will spur us on for sure.

    • Not that far off celtic don't kid yourself it's a lot further than you think celtic treated the game as a training session

  4. Kranjcar,Barton,Hill,Kiernan and Sendros have been disastrous signings for Gers and have set the team back to Championship level. The jury is still out on Gardner who doesn't look a 1.8million pound player. To give us a chance in the Premier League these players must be removed from the team now.

  5. First priority must be to get that defence sorted , it's a shambles and to lose five goals to Celtic is not acceptable . Why did he not sign Bougie when he was so desperate to come back to Gers . Did Davy Weir not rate him ? Have to tell you Davy , he was a far better player than you ever were .You should be on the phone to him right now , before it's too late .

    • Barton has been the worst offender….all hes done is fire up celtic before the old firm game and couldnt walk the walk on the park.
      Wilson and keirnan has to be booted into touch, they couldnt mark a bingo card!
      Haliday and holt need to be back in the team as soon as possible alongside rossiter and kranjkar….barton sent to sort his act out and button his lip.

  6. The focus on Barton may be warranted but many other players are in the same boat. Shiels and Clark fought their guts out for Rangers.When only Windass and Garner were in that category yesterday there has to be a question of the poor tactical and motivational skills of management.Players need to believe in a system to give their best and it ain't happening.
    Right footed McKay on the left wing and left footed Waghorn on the right wing continually cut inside on to their predominant foot, driving into a packed defence. And it continues every week. MOH, Rossiter, Holt, Windass and Hodson should be playing every single week, injuries aside,and they are not.
    When I see our defenders playing all these short balls back to the keeper or to each other I blame the management. Barton's near miss?
    If you recall the Linfield goal when Bates had ample time to blooter the ball away, he hesitated and the Linfield player snuck in from the outside and scored.It made me wonder if the situation had happened when Bates was in a Cowdenbeath jersey if he would have clattered the ball away. But at Rangers his hesitation was maybe because his first thought now is to build from the back. Caught between the natural thing to do and build from the back mentality that the management demand?This is not a criticism of young Bates. I just fail to understand why all Rangers defenders do not clear their lines when it is by far the best option to do so?

    • garner has to stop diving and trying to get players sent off he,s embarrising himself and our club i know he has previous for this warbo must sort him out

    • Alex bang on mate, being saying that for weeks but no we keep pounding away with the 3 same CH's and there shocking at best. the 4 you mention would start in my team along with Gilks in goal as he does command his 6 yb. I thought Senderos was ok considering it was his first game and against them but lets be honest he got no fuking help from the Kman running about like a headless chicken, My mates a selic fan and said to me after the game that Kman was our best player ffs!! As you mentioned young Bates with Crooks & Senderos is our only option apart from the horror show we have now, If Tavie is playing it has to be RM as hes defo no RB, Did you see the way he got taken apart at times when he was actually there.
      We do have VG players available but there just not playing.

      Time for work and face these unwashed cunts.

  7. I think when we get the defence sorted he should be able to start playing as a midfielder. One man can't be expected do all the defending for the team!

  8. Kranjcar, Barton and Sendros right we have a right to criticize,so obviously we need a man with millions to invest, cheap talk writing here to address the problem, come on how many out their can address the problem.the 3 players I mentioned are everybodys target but I cannot even touch them with my skill. lets get a life we are where we are, no monies from our shirt sales, the wanks out do us financially at this present time, unfortunately with monies from the Champions League they can invest with better players, so stop knocking our players unless you can do better, remember every dog has it day

    • all free transfers what do you expect for nothing why isn't king being held to task where is his promised money long may the con continue

    • I agree…we have done nothing in the past when we should have and look where that got us!!! That crook Murray driving us to the wall and debt…we did nothing, despite good people leaving the board and telling what was going on …we done nothing about the asset stripper until we were in administration…too late then…we gave McCoist a budget and time no one should have had and done nothing …look where that got us!!

      And despite the lessons of the past people are still turning a blind eye to the lies and spin they are being fed by someone so crooked… he couldn't even pass the SFA fit and proper bullshit to become chairman of the club lol…. lies spin and more lies… wake up guys or will we all just wait for the next disaster to befall us like previous!!!


  9. What's Dk got to do with it? He doesn't pick the team…. He saved our club from llambias et al by having to shell out millions on worthless equity just so he could outvote the bus-boys proxy. His contribution makes rangers first look meek and he is still trying to fight off Ashley's contracts. That's his job. He hired us Warburton and thank god.
    Warburton is a good manager. Naive yesterday, but good managers learn from that. Agreed, Barton needs to chill on the bench and I'd be having holt(when recovered)/Halliday/rossiter in every week at the moment with windass taking miller's place alongside Waghorn/garner and Mckay.
    Kranjcar can go. Great player, but incapable of earning the right to play because he isn't dynamic enough to win the battle in midfield.

  10. WATP… 2nd or 3rd good enough?

    We have no chance of competing for the title, not this season, not next season.

    Financially we are in big trouble…..again.

    8 million needed in soft loans to see out the season……..where will the money come from, King?

    Apparently he owes Easdale £6m, the money used to pay off the Sports Direct loan just before Ashley called in the administrators.

    It's not looking good, on or off the park.

    • Agreed, worst still, we appear to be trying to buy success again, only this time buying washed up players and while not paying huge transfer fees, you can be assured the new players are on very tidy salaries. Still think Mr King is only in this to pay as little as possible, to walk away when he can sell his shares for a Kings ransom a recover what he has lost in the past, he can't send his much talked about loot out of S A. Still, while yesterday was a disaster, we should be good enough to manage 2nd or 3rd which might be okay except of where it leaves us not just in Scotland but with little hope of managing anything in Europe such is our recent record /Scottish coefficients. Circumstance or hitting our head against a brick wall, something is starting to feel bad again, not just the present team of past it footballers who add nothing to our future, at least with past glories and signings the players were still at the height of careers such as Gascoigne. J

    • Ffs no one wants to talk about finances.

      It's clear that it's ST monies that are keeping the lights on. ……apart from Club 1872 contributions there is no other source of income, wake up and smell the coffee.

      The fans have been fooled and seduced by the Level 5 pish that we have been bombarded with for months……and more fool us, at our cost into the bargain.

      Who loaned King the money to buy his shareholding?

  11. Not far off Celtic? Did you even watch the match yesterday? The only good players were McKay and Fotherinham. Kenny Miller was playing as a wing back for fuksake. Warbs has no plan B, just like Celtic didn't have the past two years. If King doesn't spend money(is there any?!) We'll be lucky to finish in the top 6!

    • you think your problems don,t LIE with dk then your all as stupid as the rest of scottish football thinks,,there will be a nomad in place in week,2 max,,,i will personally put up 30 million of childrens inheritence to challange celtic,,,no bank will give credit to club,,fights with ashlry,,puma,,32red,,sfa,,loans from ???,,how long do you honestley think this house of sand will be with dk running club,,why dosent red top rags not go investigating the glib n give real fans the truth,,the club finiancally are worse off now than they have ever been in last 4/5 years,,start asking the real questions,,mind also why did the magic hat slate robbie nielson for rebuilding team who pissed league for top league then do exactly the same himself??who signed barton??what happened with lescott???truth,,it hurts but thing can get resolved if the right people are at the top,,good luck and great to se youse back,,

  12. Joey Barton 'arguably' one of the biggest signings in Scottish Football in the last decade ?
    International appearances : 1. Yes, one. Nine years ago.
    He's a gob on a stick. Brown utterly outclassed him yesterday.

    Joey Barton arguably the most over-hyped signing in Scottish football in the last decade … I can agree with that.

  13. old pals act im afraid again sorry mark said it at the time you're not the man for rangers no plan b should have changed at half time bring in the youngsters you promised you would

  14. Is it a Barton problem though? Take a look at McKay and Waghorn for instance. I don't recall Willie Henderson playing on the left wing or Davy Wilson or Bud playing on the right or McCoist at No.11. I think many of the present Rangers players are played out of position to conform to a system that does not hold water.

    • Davy Wilson was right footed and played on the left wing . Same as McKay , but then Davy was a far better player and a true blue !

  15. Totally agree in getting behind the team tbh never wanted Barton but was willing to give him a chance. For those who think judging him after 5 games is harsh well hes a 33 year old highly experienced player. If he was as honestly ctritical of himself as he is of everbody and their dog he would knock warbs door and ask to be taken out the team. He is way short of what is required just now and that comes in the shape of rossiter. Im not for ripping up plan A either after a pumping from the manky mob been there seen that done it before. We have been patchy since the start of the season in parts we have played nice stuff.Injuries to key players waggy and holt have disrupted the flow.Cannot understand what ohalloran has to do to get a run in the team ffs. Given time we will come good 2nd will be good enough we have to be realistic ploughing millions into a team guarantees nothing ffs. Lets get behind the manager and the team they need support not villification.

  16. No one has yet mentioned we are now playing in the top tier now against full time players, we got carried away with the big wins against part timers over the last four years, time for a reality check.

  17. I think Barton has an appearance clause in his contract. There isn't an excuse that's credible if we don't reach at least 2nd. We have 3 times the budget of Hearts, so if Robbie can do, nothing else is acceptable.

  18. There is no time for bedding players in.

    Half way through September and Celtic are almost out of sight.

    Those clowns posting that Celtic dropped 28 points last season and still won the league are deluded.

    I doubt if they will lose a game this season, bear in mind they will add players in January for next season's CL qualifiers whilst King is robbing Club1872 to keep the lights on.

    It's a feckin shambles on and off the park.

  19. King saved the club…..really.

    He had to borrow money to buy his shareholding……..has it been repayed?

    He tried to offload the shares to Ashley who told him to do one.

    Apparently it's no secret that if someone comes up with £10m then he's off back to SA, jetting in to watch his beloved Chelsea now and again.

    ……at least we won't be picking up his first class travel and accomodation anymore……

  20. No one wants to talk about the Club 1872 contributions………why, it's the fans monies yet no one knows what the feck is going on, given the transparency King promised.
    Has most of it already been swallowed up, if so we are in a very bad place?

    What about the conflict of interest with Blair……how can he be on the Club 1872 board and the football club board?

    Does no one care that the fans contributions are no longer being used for the purpose that they were originally set up for.

    There is no transparency anywhere, King and his crew have made sure of that.

  21. We need to switch to a 4-4-2 and play Tav in midfield because he can't defend. Keirnan is about as much use as a chocolate fireguard. He cant clear his lines or organise the defence at set pieces and is a bomb scare every time he has the ball. Why can Warburton not see this? We should bring in Robbie Neilson as our new manager as soon as possible, as his teams are well organised defensively and don't get bullied on the park.

  22. Krancjar is the biggest problem but I think he is being asked to play deeper than he is comfortable with. I would play him in the hole or on the wing with the only defensive responsibility being to press the opposition backline. His biggest strength is his vision and ability to pick a pass and shoot from distance. So why ask him to do the box to box job Holt and Halliday have done so well for us??

    Put Halliday next to Rossiter (or Crooks when fit) play Windass, Krancjar and McKay in front with Waghorn up the middle. Much more solid. And when we are up against a top team we may need to drop Krancjar and opt for a grafter like Garner, Miller or MOH

    Defence – lets give Senderos a break. Idiot on Saturday but tough first game in 6 months and with Wilson (or Bougherra) beside him might look better

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