BY ALAN TEMPLE – @CCP_Sport
DANNY MILLS has taken a swipe at his former Manchester City teammate Joey Barton, insisting the Rangers bad boy is deluded about his own ability and will never apologise for the bust-up which has seen his Ibrox career crash and burn.
The ex-England internationalist played alongside Barton at the Etihad for four years and has pointedly described the player as potentially “volatile” and “remorseless”.
He also believes Barton demands the same ruthless, exacting standards as Roy Keane used to at Manchester United – without having the same quality.
Barton returned to Rangers training this week following the end of disciplinary procedures which followed comments reportedly made during a teem meeting in the aftermath of their 5-1 hammering at the hands of Celtic in September.
However, he is not expected to train with the senior squad and Mills has no doubt that he will never play for Rangers again.
He said: “Joey is a very good footballer but he is not as good as he thinks he is – and he expects everyone else to be as good as he thinks he is. That is one of his problems.
“He’s nowhere near the standard of Roy Keane, but it’s like Roy Keane syndrome. He expects everyone else to be at that standard and meet the elevated opinion of himself. That is almost impossible and then he gets frustrated with players.
“Joey is a complex character. He is very difficult to understand. I got changed next to him for four years and was there every time things went wrong for him.
“He has a personality deficiency where a switch goes and he just goes off track and he has no remorse of empathy for his actions.
“In his own head, he probably feels like he hasn’t done anything wrong and doesn’t have anything to apologise for. So he refuses to do so. He just doesn’t have that in his character.
“It seems quite clear that Rangers are trying to freeze him out.”
Mills believes Rangers will be praying that Barton steps out of line so they can either annul his deal or fine him as the impasse between club and player shows no sign of ending.
However, he believes the real problems could start if Barton is unable to find a new club when the transfer window opens in January.
He continued: “Training with the kids will frustrate Joey and either he leaves in January or they [Rangers] frustrate him and keep prodding at him and he might snap and they can get away with sacking him.
“It will be very difficult for him. He will probably look at it and say ‘it’s eight weeks until the transfer window, I’ll get my head down’. But if he doesn’t get a move then all parties might have to look at the situation – it could turn volatile.”
Barton has been liked with a return to Burnley, who helped claim the Championship title last term during a virtuoso campaign in England’s second tier.
However, Mills has his doubts that the former QPR and Newcastle man could cut it at Premier League level any more.
Mills told BBC Scotland: “He might come back down to England and one of the teams on the verge of relegation might take a chance on him but it would only be a short-term deal an I wouldn’t expect him to play every week.”