Barton having a medical at West Ham? I wonder, that isn’t a bad deal! Then I started thinking…

There is no doubt Joey Barton is a good footballer and he could have played for some very important teams, but over the years he just seems to let himself down on and off the pitch.

Barton is a very outspoken player and demands to be the main man at the club. I don’t want to mention his past as I’m sure on his Wikipedia page you will see a lot of incidents between himself and clubs he has played for.

He has played for some good managers over the years; Kevin Keegan, Mark Hughes, Stuart Pearce, Chris Houghton, Alan Pardew and Sam Allardyce, but they all seemed to struggle in the end with managing him.

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The only man you could credit for getting the best out of Barton is Harry Redknapp.

The midfielder has been described as having a good work ethic and the ability to carry the ball and retain possession for the team, and he has been praised for having a good passing range. This aspect of his game has shown improvement since the 05/06 season, when he began to favour simpler passes over more ambitious ones, and his relatively high pass completion rate can be attributed to this change.

Barton’s passes have often proved to be crucial; in the past he has led the way in his team’s assists.

I have to admit that he has matured both as a player and a person, but is he really what West Ham need at this moment? In central midfield we have Noble, Obiang, Kouyate, Nolan, Poyet, Cullen, and Oxford.

Can he be prepared to sit on the bench with reduced wages and get a handful of games at the age of 33? It would be like buying a 33-year-old Nolan.

I like Kevin and he has been an outstanding captain for us. But as much as I want him to stay I can’t see it. He wants to start games on a regular basis, but is he going to get that at west ham when we are looking to push on? The perfect role for Nolan at our club is to come on for those last 20 minutes of the game to secure a result when we are winning. Can you expect the same from Barton?

Barton would come in on a free and would be on less than half the wages Kevin Nolan is currently on. So…

  • Is the club looking to strengthen the squad beyond the 18 that get mentioned on the team sheet on match days?
  • Is the deal too good to refuse for someone who has Premier League experience and already played with Nolan, Carroll & Amalfitano?
  • Is this signing going to be more for the domestic cup competitions to prevent the League squad being hampered?

Barton wants to be the centre of attention and, admittedly, he has good intentions. He wants to be a role model, as mentioned during his time at Newcastle, he wants to be captain of a squad and we’ve seen good leadership qualities at Man City and QPR.

He is a set piece player by taking corners and free kicks, he can assist his team and can score goals from those positions. But can you take someone who has attacked his team mates, caused bad injuries and spent time doing time for putting a cigarette out on a fellow team mate? Head butting and punching the opposition? Criticising his teammates when things go sour? Is that a role model?

If we can’t control Ravel Morrison, how on earth are we going to control Joey Barton?

Joey’s heart is in the right place but it’s just a shame his head isn’t. I have no doubt he will be a good player for a team like Leicester City or even Watford, but I just think at the current time at West Ham it’s just a few years too late for this transfer to happen and for him to become a Premier League player for us.

But I would sign him as a cup player who could play in midfield with Nolan, Poyet and Amalfitano, in order to give the first team a rest. That wouldn’t be the end of the world…

And can we really judge Joey Barton over his aggressiveness on the field? I feel he has learnt and he has improved his attitude.

You look at the Jekyll and Hyde players of the past who have that aggressive mentality, but also been an absolute gent off it; Ian Wright, Razor Ruddock, Paolo Di Canio, Stuart Pearce, Martin Allen, Roger Cross – there are loads of hot heads that have been in a claret and blue shirt that have become good, great and legendary players for this club.

You’ve even got to look at our current management setup Slaven Bilic & Julian Dicks!

I’ve been studying Joey Barton and I feel that maybe there is a place in the West Ham squad for him. This could be a match made in heaven for the current team. If you have any doubts in your mind, please have a look at Joey’s views during his BT Sport’s Fletch and Sav show (above).

If we sign Barton, he will have the same role as Nolan. Or perhaps Nolan is going to leave and Joey is going to replace his squad status?

Let me know your thoughts in the comments section below…

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