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Joey Barton Insults England, Mocks Gareth Barry As Villa Fans Nod In Agreement

Gareth Barry running.
Gareth Barry running.

Go on, then, Joey Barton, tell us how you really feel. In a world in which footballers guard against every word that comes out of their mouths (which is what makes players on Twitter so fascinating, but that's a topic for another time), the Newcastle midfielder has been refreshingly honest to the French press (coffee, anyone?), calling the England national team outdated and hitting out at former Aston Villa player Gareth Barry in particular.

And who doesn't love to start a Premier League weekend by reading words of wisdom about the ex-Villa captain, now chilling with James Milner at Manchester City? Granted, Barry actually plays for City, but the words still ring true. They're more or less the same ones every England fan screams when Barry's in midfield for the Three Lions.

First, Barton crowned himself the best English midfielder. He made exceptions for Luka Modric and Samir Nasri, but after realizing that just because they play for English teams, that doesn't make them English, he moved on to say Jack Wilshere "isn't bad." But Barton reserved the majority of his vitriol for Barry:

"Did you see the game against Germany at the World Cup? If you watch the fourth goal, when [Mesut] Ozil was up against Barry, it was like the hare and the tortoise.

"Barry's got a very good agent. He's also discreet and always agrees with the manager. He's like the guy who sits in the front row and listens to the teacher. I certainly don't lose any sleep when I play against him."

There may be a moral to this story, here. After all, the tortoise actually won the race against the hare. Barry is in the England squad, whereas Barton just runs his mouth. Yet there's really no denying the crux of Barton's point: Barry symbolizes an outdated England, one that relies too much on players that were good in the past rather than looking to include younger, more innovative ones in the squad. As long as Fabio Capello continues to cling to the belief that Barry, and players like him, are an essential part of the team, England won't be lifting trophies any time soon.

But everyone knew that already.