We all know Joey Barton likes to share his opinion whether it’s good, bad or indifferent.
Recently, the Rangers midfielder has been very public in his criticism of England manager Roy Hodgson during this summer’s European Championships.
Barton slammed the Three Lions boss after England could only manage a draw against Russia in their opening fixture by saying: “He’s not a leader. You wouldn’t follow him, would you?
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“He’s not energetic. He’s not someone you look at and think: ‘Wow, I’d love to play for this guy!’. He doesn’t give you that feeling. He looks boring. He looks like he’d drain the energy out of you because he is a worrier.”
But now, it seems as though Barton has turned his attention from Hodgson to one of the England players.
That man is Raheem Sterling who has had a disappointing tournament so far. The Manchester City winger began matches against Russia and Wales but was substituted in both due to his underwhelming performances.
Ahead of England’s last-16 clash with Iceland, the Mirror report that Sterling is in line to be recalled to the starting line-up - something that has angered many supporters.
And Barton is likely to also be furious if that is the case judging by his rant about the 21-year-old. Whilst writing a column for French newspaper L’Equipe, per the Mirror, Barton destroyed the former Liverpool player.
“Raheem Sterling has been poor for two years now," he wrote.
"Unfortunately, he has not been coached well enough. If you take away his pace, he is really weak, very limited technically.
"With his final ball, he is imprecise or clumsy. Without his pace, would he be a professional? If he weren't so quick, he would not be apt to do the job. And to think he cost £50m!
"I am really perplexed to see him in the national team after the season he has had. With France, Germany, Belgium or Spain, he would never be picked.
"For England, he is a starter and that says we are not that well stocked in the attacking department. I don't want to write him off completely because he is still young.
"With Guardiola, we will know within three weeks: either he will cut from the group because he will find him not good enough technically or he will help him get better.
"But your touch on the ball, the quality of your control, I don't know if you can learn that at 21-years-old.”
We take it Barton isn’t a big fan of Sterling.
Rooney on Sterling
Despite all the criticism, England captain Wayne Rooney believes that the youngster is in fine shape ahead of the knockout stages at Euro 2016.
"For me, what I've seen, his state of mind is fine," he said.
"He's been normal around the camp. What we've seen on the training pitch from Raheem, he's been fantastic: sharp, taking players on, scoring goals.
"There's no issue with Raheem at all. His attitude isn't questioned."
If Sterling does start against Iceland tonight, he’s going to need to produce an excellent performance to win over the England fans - in particular, Mr. Barton.
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