'England are s***' - Barton offers scathing assessment of national game

The QPR midfielder slams the state of the English game, declaring players overhyped and deriding the quality of coaching on offer, including criticism of Sir Alex Ferguson
Joey Barton has slammed the England national team as "s***" ahead of their vital World Cup qualifiers against Montenegro and Poland and criticised the state of the country's football.

Speaking at the Leaders in Football Conference in London on Thursday, the QPR midfielder derided Football Association chairman Greg Dyke, former Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson and the overall standard of coaching in England.

In a typically full-blooded diatribe, Barton also attacked the media for their role in the Three Lions' plight, suggesting that the press are unqualified to judge footballing talent.

18/1 England are 18/1 with William Hill to lose 1-0 to Montenegro at Wembley
"The English national team are s*** at the minute," he argued. "I don't think we have great players. Our players are told they're world-class, they're great. They play with great foreign players."

Dyke announced on Tuesday that the likes of Howard Wilkinson, Danny Mills and former England manager Glenn Hoddle are to feature on a commission set up to assess potential improvements to the state of football in the country but Barton is highly sceptical of how useful it will prove.

"What's the point?" he continued. "[The commission] gives [Dyke] eight people to hide behind.

"At least have the balls to say: 'This is what I'm going to do and this is how I'm going to do it'."

Barton, who won one senior England cap in 2007, offered a damning assessment of the quality of coaching in England, including a surprise critique of Ferguson, who retired earlier this year after a trophy-laden career at Old Trafford.

"England produces managers, not coaches," the midfielder claimed. "Alex Ferguson couldn't put on a coaching session to save his life."