Despite the humiliation of his brief playing spell in Scotland Joey Barton still harbours the belief that he would have delivered on his Scott Brown taunts.
The former Burnley star was one of Mark Warburton’s star signings in the summer of 2016 with huge expectations on the manager to deliver success.
Filip Senderos, Nico Kranjcar and Joey Garner were all brought in on a fanfare with Barton not shy about telling the media how he would put Scott Brown and Brendan Rodgers in their place.
An opening day draw at home to Hamilton Accies should have provided a warning but the noise levels were maintained in the run up to the first Glasgow derby of the season.
Inspired by Brown and led by Moussa Dembele Celtic hit top form to win 5-1 in what turned out to be Barton’s last game in Scotland.
Celtic went on to win an Invincible Treble as Warburton and Barton returned to England to watch the hoops clean up from afar.
It seems that reality and modesty remain elusive to Barton, picking up on a social media post The Sun reports the former Burnley star saying:
I’ve obviously gone to Scotland and said ‘I’m going to be the best player up here’, which is probably the wrong thing for an Englishman to say, but I’m confident if I stayed up there I would have delivered.
I knew I was way above the average player that was in the division and I knew the only difficult game we’d have that season would be Celtic.
Brendan Rodgers had gone up there and they turned the corner after Ronny Deila and became more professional and because Rangers were back in the top flight, they narrowed their focus.
I think all of us comfortably accept there is a monopoly on who can win trophies, and at that time Celtic were so far ahead. I went there to close the gap.
I knew they were ahead because Rangers were in the Scottish Champ, but I genuinely believe if they listened to me they would have won the league a lot quicker.
After a couple of club suspensions Barton agreed to a mutual parting of the ways on November 10, two months after his fateful trip to Celtic Park.
During a radio interview with TalkSPORT Barton said:
People keep talking about Joey Barton and Scott Brown. He ain’t in my league. He is nowhere the level I am as a player. He can’t get to me. If I play well, Scott Brown doesn’t stand a chance. That is not me being blasé. That is me just stating what I believe.
Brown was voted 2016/17 Player of the Year by the SPFL.