Barton will do well to find a club to take another chance on him after Newcastle split

Barton’s demise at the club was as predictable as it was controversial, with comments on Twitter drawing the inevitable response from a team who gave him a chance when no-one else would. That Newcastle stuck out their reputation to take him on and given him the opportunity to resurrect his career was a remarkable gesture of faith in a man who did little to inspire anyone to have confidence that he would repay it.

Of course with Barton, such an act, which has resurrected his career and perhaps his life, goes unappreciated. It chimes with his fantasy world where Newcastle is some kind of Orwellian island of double think. The player seems not to appreciate the irony of his ramblings.

That aside, there is the small matter of finding a new club to take on the player, and there seem to be plenty. On one hand this is quite a surprise, Barton is a decent player with good passing ability, but is vastly overrated too and prone to over the top tackling and assaulting opponents on the field of play. A decent player for a low to average Premier League club, and no better, it is a surprise to see big teams being linked with him, though this is likely to be tabloid speculation based on little other than misperception.

Tottenham have been linked with a player who would not improve a midfield currently of Tom Huddlestone and Luka Modric, who offer everything Barton does apart from impetuosity and a red card risk. Arsenal also have been said to be interested. This is largely because of the misconception that Arsenal need a tough tackling midfielder; quite contrarily Arsenal’s strength is their midfield – for years they have dominated midfield battles – Arsenal’s problems are the first and final third of the pitch, not the middle. In the first third, their defence is so weak that they collapse under pressure. And in the final third, Arsenal are often predictable and slow. Midfield is their only area which doesn’t need strengthening, so why they would go for Barton is a mystery .

Then there is Manchester United, who are possibly in the market for a midfielder, but would Barton add anything? Already they have Darren Fletcher, a tough tackling player with energy, and Michael Carrick, who is a good passer but not that mobile. Barton would give you the best of both these worlds, but does he really have the ability to marshal a midfield for a team as big as United, who will take on some of the world’s best teams in a typical season? Up against Xavi and Andres Iniesta, Barton would be found wanting.

Manchester City have already got rid of Barton once, and would not have him back, whilst Chelsea are in the market for creative midfielders. Liverpool meanwhile, have too many midfielders on their books, so the chances of Barton signing for a top club appear distant. He is more likely to find himself at home at a team like Bolton Wanderers, Blackburn Rovers or Stoke. Teams looking to add numbers and physicality to their ranks. But who would take a chance on a player with such a chequered history, who brings a near guarantee of disharmony within the club? That will be the biggest question over the Barton furore.