Joey Barton defends Newcastle player amid harsh criticism

Fabricio Coloccini

Joey Barton does not agree with John Carver’s comments about Fabricio Coloccini.

Burnley midfielder Joey Barton said on The Monday Night Club show on BBC Radio 5 live on Monday evening (February 15) that it was unfair of John Carver to criticise Newcastle United defender Fabricio Coloccini.

Former Newcastle head coach Carver said on BBC Sport’s Match of the Day 2 Extra on Sunday that Coloccini is not a leader and plays only for himself.

"Not really," said Carver when asked if Coloccini is a leader. “He is the captain of the football club, but he is not like the old-fashioned captain, like a Shearer, who wore the armband and everybody knew who he was. He was very vocal.

“Coloccini is not vocal. He almost plays for himself, if I am being honest. That is something that the club will have to address.”

Barton, who played with Coloccini at Newcastle, does not agree with Carver, and believes that the criticism levelled at the Argentine central defender is not fair.

“I think it is unfair on Coloccini there,” said the former Queens Park Rangers midfielder on The Monday Night Club show on BBC Radio 5 live on Monday evening (February 15) when asked about Carver’s criticism of Coloccini.

“I don’t think it’s fair to hold him responsible for the way the team is defending at this moment in time,” added Barton.

Coloccini has been on the books of Newcastle since 2008 and has a contract until June 2017.

The 34-year-old centre-back has scored one goal and created three chances in 26 Premier League appearances for the Magpies so far this season.

The Argentine has a pass accuracy of 83% and a shot accuracy of 43%, and has won 32 headers, four dribbles and 32 tackles.

Newcastle are third from bottom in the Premier League table at the moment with just 24 points from 26 matches.

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