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Joey Barton has never been everyone's cup of tea and he probably would never have got loads of England caps but one conversation with Frank Lampard explains a big reason he ended up with just the one cap.
Even at their best, in the 'Golden Generation,' there's always been a bit of a tradition of some 'random' players picking up a few international caps for the England national team, our managers love a new call up.
Gareth Southgate has Lewis Cook, James Tarkowski, Nick Pope and Alfie Mawson all on the verge of making their first cap against either Netherlands or Italy in the next six days.
Check out this video of England players you'd forgotten about:
But once upon a time the man getting his first call up to the England set up was Joey Barton. He was called up for the friendly against Spain in February 2007, not long after criticising members of the squad who brought out autobiographies following the World Cup the previous summer.
If that wasn't a good start to his international career then a conversation with Frank Lampard, who he ended up substituting for his only cap, probably didn't help. Writing in the Guardian in 2012 Marina Hyde revealed a comment Barton said when Lampard moved off his table one day at breakfast:
"It's all right. I'm not going to nick your breakfast, you fat p***k."
At the time Lampard was one of the most important members of the England squad so insulting him was hardly going to win him friends in the squad, especially as he had to displace the Chelsea man or Steven Gerrard to keep his place in the side.
This week on talkSPORT Barton, who is currently banned from playing, explained that players like those being in his way stopped him getting any more caps and if he'd been that age now he'd be in the squad, saying:
"At the time at Newcastle, we'd just come back into the Premier League and I think I was playing as well as anyone in the country. It was disappointing to me that my England career only lasted 12 minutes, but I wasn't expected to get one cap.
"There were some incredible players ahead of me - Gerrard and Lampard were the main two players in there. Michael Carrick, Scott Parker, Paul Scholes - it wasn't what it is now.
"I'm looking at the squad now and you look at the central midfield spots and, no disrespect to some of the boys, they wouldn't have got anywhere near that side either. I mean, I didn't.
"If I was that age now, there's no about it, I was a lot better than some of the guys who are in that squad now."
Well I guess if Jake Livermore can get in the squad...
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