Scott Arfield has revealed that, despite flopping in Scotland, Joey Barton did not under-estimate the standard of football north of the border – but admitted that the controversial midfielder “didn’t appreciate” the spotlight that would be shone on him in Glasgow.
Barton had a brief stint at Ibrox before being suspended by the club and having his contract terminated following a bust-up with then-manager Mark Warburton.
Arfield claimed that his forer Burnley team-mate was “used to living” under the microscope but believes it “went to another level” when he completed a switch to the Ibrox giants in the summer of 2016.
“It wasn’t the standard that got to Joey. He expected it to be tough,” Arfield said, as quoted by the Daily Record.
“He lived on Merseyside so was used to living that way off the field. He is a big name around parts of England and anywhere he goes. But up here, he got scrutinised again.
“It went to another level and maybe he didn’t anticipate being in the full glare the way he should have done.”
Football Insider verdict:
Barton was not the the first – and will not be the last – to completely underestimate the spotlight that comes with playing for one half of the Old Firm. When you add someone with the profile of Barton into the mix it was always destined to end in fireworks – albeit it blowing up in the former Newcastle man’s face. Although Arfield claims Barton didn’t under-estimate the quality, his performances were not up to standard during his time at Ibrox and he looked massively out of his depth. Part of Barton’s problem was his big mouth as he made a number of boasts before he had even kicked a ball in Scotland and it ended with him having egg on his face and left him looking ridiculous. Barton’s exit is always going to cause some controversy thanks to the secrecy over what happened but there are more than a few Rangers fans who believe that after realising he was out of his depth at Ibrox, Barton engineered an exit and scarpered back to Burnley with his tail between his legs.
In other Rangers transfer news, the club are in hot pursuit of a 6’4″ colossus who could be signing of the season.