Barton blasts Arsenal, Rodgers, Man City, Newcastle…

Matt Stead

Joey Barton made the most of appearing on talkSPORT on Wednesday morning by criticising a number of different clubs and managers.

Rangers midfielder Barton labelled Pep Guardiola’s treatment of Joe Hart as “disgusting”, whilst he also took aim at Celtic manager Brendan Rodgers, the spine of Arsenal’s team, and the lack of leadership at former club Newcastle.

On Guardiola’s decision to drop Manchester City goalkeeper Hart, Barton – who made 130 appearances for the club between 2002 and 2007 – told the radio station: “It is not the club I left.

“The club I left and watch now are two totally different organisations. The club I played for wouldn’t have treated a player that had been a servant for as long as Joe has in the manner that it has. It is disgusting.

“He is a full international, somebody who, probably before City took the money, could have gone on to bigger and better things himself but stayed and wanted to be at City.

“I don’t see what he has done wrong to be treated the way he has. His attitude isn’t terrible. I don’t like this. It is common human decency, regardless of how good a coach you are. Why treat him like that?”

On Arsenal’s problems this season, Barton said: “Arsenal haven’t progressed. They’ve signed Xhaka but they look really light through the spine of the team.

“Petr Cech isn’t getting any younger. Where have they improved? Because if they have I don’t see it. I just think they are really vulnerable and have a real scrap on their hands to get in the Champions League.

“The natives are getting restless seeing all the title rivals all shell out a few quid and Arsene sitting their saving his money for God knows what. I expect them to get a real scare this year and maybe not even get into the top four.”

The 33-year-old joined Rangers in the summer after leaving Burnley, despite being part of the Clarets side which earned promotion back to the Premier League.

Barton will come up against a familiar face in former Liverpool boss Rodgers when Rangers face fierce rivals Celtic, though he doesn’t expect to bump into the Irishman around Glasgow.

He told Alan Brazil: “The places he goes and the places I go probably differ with the tan and the teeth. They’re not the establishments I rock up at, Al. I’m not having a mid-life crisis.”

And the one-time England international also had some disparaging words for Newcastle, who have lost their opening two games of the Championship season, despite being big favourites to win the division.

Barton was part of the Magpies squad which won promotion from the Championship in 2010, but questions whether there is currently enough leaders at St James’ Park.

“The money they’ve spent I thought they were going to be up there,” he added. “They lack stuff that we had. We had a great captain and I don’t think they have that.

“When you look around the dressing room and they look a bit milky and I don’t think they are going to knuckle down and dig deep. You need the dressing room to be strong and you need real leadership within the group and we had that and I don’t see a Kevin Nolan in that dressing room.

“I don’t see a leader of that quality and for that reason it’s not going to be a cake walk that I think everyone expected.”