Joey Barton says he is better equipped to be the England manager than Sam Allardyce or predecessor Roy Hodgson and has branded Stoke boss Mark Hughes “terrible” ahead of the launch of his autobiography.
The Rangers midfielder is currently serving a three-week suspension after a training ground bust up with manager Mark Warburton and is under investigation for betting on Celtic’s Champions League defeat by Barcelona.
But Barton, 34, has refused to hold back on a series of targets this week with No Nonsense set to be released on Thursday, a book he says is “ the product of a lot of research and reflection”.
Speaking to the Daily Mail, the former Manchester City and Burnley midfielder said: “Let’s look at who is doing the key roles. Sam Allardyce is England manager. Well, am I a better player than Sam? Well, yeah, of course. Do I believe, if Sam can get to be England manager then I can? Of course I do. What’s Sam got that I haven’t got?
“I look at Roy Hodgson in the England job and look at the way he handled it. Surely even you think you could have done a better job.
“And I look at other managers. Mark Hughes is a terrible manager. Stoke are bottom of the league. I thought his people skills were really, really poor. My trade is football. All I’ve ever known is football. I watch as much football as anybody. I care about football as much as anybody.
“And I might fail. I could dip my toes in the water and go “**** this”, like other ex-players have done.
“But the pressure? If anything I believe I’m better suited to it than anybody else. Do you think when I walk around Glasgow there is no glare? Because of everything that has gone before there is a spotlight on you. People are going to judge me now, just based on performances.”