Barton says Rooney not world class, insists FA chairman deserved sack
Joey Barton has dismissed England’s chances of winning the World Cup and insists Football Association chairman Greg Dyke should have been sacked for his cut-throat gesture at the draw in December.
In a scathing assessment of Roy Hodgson’s team, the QPR midfielder claimed the England coach does not possess a single world class player and attacked the attitude of Wayne Rooney.
"If the coach doesn’t believe, the organisation doesn’t believe, if the media don’t believe, the players…..nobody believes we can win it. So we’re not going to win it," Barton told BBC Radio 5 live Sport.
"When you see Greg Dyke’s reaction to the World Cup draw, for me that said everything I need to know.
"I’d have sacked him on the spot. He’s probably a great human being and a nice person.
"He’d have been dismissed on the spot because if he doesn’t believe we can win it, what is the point in taking part?"
Barton, who made his solitary England appearance in 2007, is highly critical of Manchester United striker Rooney.
"Our players aren’t world class. They are not world class," Barton said.
"Rooney could have been world class but look at his mentality compared to Cristiano Ronaldo. Polar opposites.
"Why does Ronaldo achieve what he achieves and Rooney doesn’t? When you see Wayne Rooney smoking cigarettes, does he live his life correctly?
"From the questions I’ve asked of players who have worked with both….he (Ronaldo) is in the gym or honing his game.
"The level of discipline he has for his chosen profession is the reason he is the best player in the world at the present time, and that’s the reason Rooney isn’t."
Barton later wrote on Twitter: "So media take one comment, one excerpt from an hour long interview and sensationalise it! Thats (sic) not been done before.
"Rooney is our best player at the moment. Put in context for me, by my definition of ‘World Class’, he isn’t. I’m sorry thats (sic) my belief.
"He is infinitely better than me. That is not the debate here. But I was never World Class, so people are missing the point."
"Now shall I tell you what World Class is for me. Ronaldo and Messi. Iniesta and Suarez. WC is a term thrown about far too often.
"Maybe Wayne was has been in WC bracket before. I would have to say now he isn’t. Why? Well it isn’t for the lack of talent IMO.
"I would have to argue that he has not been better since he broke on the scene at Everton. For me thats (sic) when he stopped developing or just..
"…afterwards. As I say, he is a top player. My favourite of the current bunch. Love watching him. Old school. But not World Class IMO."