The Brazilian starlet and Manchester City target had an uninspiring game at Wembley in midweek and has started a bit of debate in the media. Do you think he is being overrated?
Looks like Neymar wasn't happy with what I said about him. Just that I read and saw all this hype about him and expected something more...— Joseph Barton (@Joey7Barton) February 7, 2013
But if you thought that was it I am afraid not. After being questioned about the incident Neymar himself made a pretty clever rebuttal to the claims of Monsieur Barton:
"I don't know who he is. I just have to keep doing my job for the Seleção.’’
To be fair to Neymar he may not know who Barton is but it was seen as something of a taunt by Barton himself who went on to continue the Twitter tirade:
Neymar was playing after all against Cahill and Smalling, no disrespect to them but their not exactly Baresi and Beckenbuer...— Joseph Barton (@Joey7Barton) February 7, 2013
...and he never got a kick. I just refuse to believe the hype. #showpony— Joseph Barton (@Joey7Barton) February 7, 2013
The question I am about to ask, and some people may completely disagree with me, is does Joey Barton have a point.
I know that is the point most people have probably shook their heads in disgust and decided to never read another word I type ever again but seriously? Neymar didn’t look like a £50 million striker at all did he? It isn’t the first time either. His Olympic Games performance in the UK this summer was just as uninspiring.
While he has scored a magnificent 17 goals in 28 games for Brazil let’s put that into context. A hat-trick against China and goals against Iraq, Costa Rica and unfortunately for my mother’s side of the family Scotland are not exactly incredible feats. So take his international record with a pinch of salt.
He has also scored five in five this year in Brazil and last year scored 43 in 47 but before he comes over to Europe that achievement will forever be tempered by the standard of opposition he plays against.
Is he talented? Of course he is but the fact remains he missed two open goals at Wembley on Wednesday and seemed way off the expectations the hype surrounding him has suggested.
Showpony? Perhaps a bit strong. But in danger of letting his name exceed his achievements? That may well be a possibility.
Do you agree with Barton?