Joey Barton: Criticised United star would be honoured in Spain - better than Busquets

Former Manchester City star has backed continually under-fire Manchester United midfielder, comparing him to a highly-touted Barcelona and Spain player.

Queens Park Rangers midfielder Joey Barton, 31, was an interested observer during this week's Champions League ties between Arsenal and Bayern Munich, and Manchester City and Barcelona.

For Barton, who is studying coaching techniques himself with a view to his post-playing career, the appreciation of the pass for the respective Bundesliga and La Liga giants was both a simple yet genius thing to watch.

'Why is it English sides cannot do this as well as the stronger European sides? As a player, I certainly fall foul of this, particularly getting the ball forward far too early,' reflected Barton on his official website.

Barton believes that there is a player capable of retaining possession by picking the right pass, but it is the same player lambasted by seemingly naive supporters who would rather the midfielder follow suit, like Barton, by rushing the ball forward.

That player is Michael Carrick.

'If you think of the British mentally towards passing, you only have to think of the unfair criticism aimed at Michael Carrick,' he said and, when studying the data below, it is hard to argue with him.

PlayerTouches/ AppTotal PassAcc PassFwd PassBackward PassAppsMins
Carrick 85.53 72.79 63.89 24.84 6.05 19 1,603

'Carrick never risks the ball, he’s often considered a negative kind of player as a result – which I strongly disagree with – because if he was a foreign player, particularly Spanish, he’d be seen in a different light,' added Barton.

'He’d certainly be honoured and appreciated for his role within the national setup, think of him as a Busquets – if anything Carrick possesses better attributes than the Spaniard in my opinion.'

image: © Andrea Sartorati

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