Joey Barton has been one of the most talked about players in the Premier League since he made his Man City debut against Middlesbrough in August 2002. He is well-known for his no-nonsense tough tackling nature on the pitch as well as his opinionated views off of it.
But this week the QPR captain has had to deal with the opinions of his own supporters who turned against him during the 3-2 win against Liverpool. After being booed of the pitch when he was substituted in the 62nd minute of the match, we ask the question whether the player deserves the criticism that has been aimed at him in recent weeks.
The best way to do this is to look at Joey Barton’s performances this season and compare them to other players in the Premier League that play in the same position. As ball winning, ball distribution and ball retention are the key aspects of being a good centre midfielder these are the areas we will be looking at.
The first comparison that we have carried out is between Joey Barton and midfielders from the top four teams that play in the same position. This is to see how he compares to players in teams that are doing well.
The main findings of this comparison are that Joey Barton compares quite well in most fields with the players from the top four teams. The main areas where Barton comes out on top is winning ground 50-50’s and winning the highest percentage of the tackles that he makes. Barton has won 9 more ground 50-50’s than his nearest rival Parker and an astonishing 142 ground 50-50’s than Michael Carrick. He has also won 2.92% more of his tackles than Scott Parker and 3.97% more than Michael Carrick.
Barton also scores highly on goals scored, assists and successful dribbles per game. Barton has 2 goals this season which is only one less than Aaron Ramsey and two more than Scott Parker. He also only is one assist behind Aaron Ramsey, which is good going as Ramsey plays in a free scoring team.
The main area where Joey Barton lets himself down though compared to the other midfielders is his pass completion percentage. Barton’s passes find the other player only 68.03% of the time which is an astonishing 17.62% below his nearest competitor Aaron Ramsey.
Next Page: Barton compared to players in bottom four…