Manchester City - Barton Must Push For England Spot
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Barton Must Push For England Spot

The debate about England's midfield has been raging for some while now and after this week's two European qualifiers, it's still clear to all that we just don't have the right mix in the centre of the park.

Thankfully, McClaren has realised Beckham's days are now gone, but he really needs to bite the bullet quickly and accept that accommodating players in the side because of their reputation is not likely to produce results at the highest level; the World Cup provided ample evidence of that.

Similarly playing people out of position is not the way forward. Gerrard, who for me disappoints at International level is not a left winger. Lampard also, is rapidly developing into this generation's John Barnes; a phenomenal club player that cannot produce the same form for England.

It's now the right time for McClaren to assess his other options. This gives our Joey Barton a great opportunity to see if he can step up to the international stage. With a series of personal and contractual problems now thankfully behind him, Joey is at last knuckling down and has been City's 'Mr Consistency' for a while now.

Whether Barton can do it for England, depends on whether McClaren is (a) brave enough to rest the failing Gerrard / Lampard partnership and (b) Joey himself putting in performances that demand his inclusion.

Just to prove, I'm not writing this with my blue blinkers on, I think that Villa's Gareth Barry, West Ham's Reo-Coker and Bolton's Kevin Nolan are equally deserving of a chance...... but hopefully behind Joey !

Click here to join in the debate on the club forum.

The journalist

Writer:  Mail feedback, articles or suggestions

Date:Thursday September 7 2006

Time: 12:21PM

Your Comments (oldest first)

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You can probably name another half a dozen who deserve to be there, SGE and McClaren signalled the changing of the guard.
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07/09/2006 12:28:00

I wouldn't call Gerard's recent performances as failing I think he has been a revelation since the departure of Beckham, however I do agreee that Lampard is only in the side on past performances and that chances for new faces in that department will come sooner rather than later.
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07/09/2006 13:26:00

If he really gave it a go and pushed himself he could do it but maybe not cement a place as i think the midfield is strong.
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09/09/2006 14:26:00


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