Joey Barton praises Steven Gerrard and claims "interest" is back
Photo by David Shipman - CameraSport via Getty Images

Joey Barton praises Steven Gerrard and claims "interest" is back

Joey Barton hasn’t been adored by Rangers fans for a long time, but nobody will disagree with him here.

The former Rangers midfielder has praised the work done by Steven Gerrard this season. Despite being knocked out of the Betfred Cup by Aberdeen, Barton claims the interest is now back in Scottish football once more.

His short quip was on TalkSPORT this morning, where Barton is frequently on discussing the game north and south of the border. It wasn’t long ago that he claimed the football standard in Scotland was “pathetic” back in March.

Joey Barton was a huge flop at Ibrox (Steve Welsh/Getty Images)

Now, however, he appears to have spoken about our game in a positive light thanks to the landscape of the league table this season.

“It’s (Gerrard’s arrival) has brought the interest back to Scottish football again. With the likes of Hearts at the top of the table and Aberdeen and Rangers just being back with the opportunity to win. The interest is back.

“People are now more interested in it because when it was just Celtic, and they won everything at a canter, it just wasn’t good to watch.”

Interest has always been there

If we’re all being honest, the interest in Scottish football has always been there since Rangers returned to the Premiership. Granted, the arrival of Gerrard has taken that up a few notches, but the interest was still previously high.

Mark Warburton and Pedro Caixinha’s times at the club respectively were still interesting if not successful. Every Old Firm game remains a huge occasion, and Gerrard coming up only adds to it – not save it.

Steven Gerrard’s arrival has added interest to Scottish football (Ian MacNicol/Getty Images)

Having so many competitors at the top of the table, however, has been terrific for the game. Kilmarnock, Livingston, Hearts, and Hibernian are all in fine form and sitting pretty near the top. There’s no denying it’s an intriguing situation, and Barton is right in that regard.

Barton’s opinions on Scottish football, however, are always plagued with bitterness. He was never good enough to make it as a player at Rangers, so tends to resort to sly digs about our country’s game.

Despite commenting on the interest, Barton has yet to take away his comments about the quality being “pathetic”.

That, however, says a lot more about Joey Barton than it does Scottish football.