Warren Barton

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Warren Barton
Warren Barton.jpg
Personal information
Full name Warren Dean Barton[1]
Date of birth (1969-03-19) 19 March 1969 (age 45)
Place of birth Stoke Newington, England[1]
Height 6 ft 0 in (1.83 m)[1]
Playing position Defender
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
1989–1990 Maidstone United 42 (0)
1990–1995 Wimbledon 180 (10)
1995–2002 Newcastle United 164 (4)
2002–2003 Derby County 54 (0)
2003–2004 Queens Park Rangers 3 (0)
2004 Wimbledon 5 (0)
2004–2005 Dagenham & Redbridge 2 (0)
Total 450 (14)
National team
1991–1994 England B 3 (0)
1995 England 3 (0)
Teams managed
2010–2012 San Diego Flash
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only.
† Appearances (Goals).

Warren Dean Barton (born 19 March 1969 in Stoke Newington, London) is a former English football player. He is now a television pundit for Fox Soccer Channel as well as general manager and technical director for Los Angeles Blues in the American USL Pro league.

Club career[edit]

Barton began his league career with Maidstone United, after joining from Dagenham who negotiated for three players and a manager, John Still to move the other way.

Despite some defensive weaknesses, he gained attention from clubs playing in higher tiers of English football due to his ability to move forward at speed up the flank with the ball and place the ball in the box accurately.

During this period, Barton had a 'day job' working in the mailroom at the London offices of accounting firm, Arthur Andersen.

Wimbledon[edit]

Barton was transferred to First Division side Wimbledon on 7 June 1990, his £300,000 transfer fee being the largest sum paid for a Fourth Division player at the time. However, Maidstone were sliding into a serious financial crisis at this time and his sale did little to improve matters, although it would be another two years before financial problems finally forced them out of business and cost them their place in the Football League.

Barton walked straight into the Wimbledon first team, missing just one league game in the 1990–91 season as they finished seventh. His first game was in the 3–0 defeat at home to Arsenal on the opening day of the season.

He would remain a regular fixture at right-back for the rest of his time there, despite playing under three different managers; Ray Harford (July 1990 – October 1991), Peter Withe (October 1991 – January 1992) and finally Joe Kinnear.

During his time at Wimbledon he was instrumental in keeping them in the Premiership, and quickly became one of the most highly rated defenders in England. However, Barton had the most successful spell of his career with the Dons after they moved him into midfield, where that accurate passing provided many goals for the Crazy Gang's forwards.

Wimbledon were widely regarded as the smallest club in the top flight, traditionally having the lowest crowds and the smallest budget to spend on players, but they managed to avoid relegation year after year, more often than not by a comfortable margin, at a time when bigger clubs like Nottingham Forest went down. Barton helped them finish sixth in 1994 – the best finish in their history.[2]

Newcastle United[edit]

On 5 June 1995, he became the most expensive defender in English football when he moved to Newcastle United for £4million, joining the "The Entertainers" being assembled by Kevin Keegan. Everything looked rosy for Barton, and a few England caps followed, his classy, comfortable style on the ball earned him a reputation as a true footballing full-back. His attacking role under Keegan however meant he did not always suit the national team and he did not make too many more appearances for England.

He made his debut on 19 August 1995, when the Magpies beat Coventry City 3–0 at St James' Park. He played 31 times that season, and by Christmas it was looking certain that he would be collecting a league title medal as the Magpies had a 10-point lead over Manchester United at the top of the Premier League. However, when the Magpies lost 1–0 at home to the Old Trafford side on 4 March 1996, the lead had been cut to a single point and soon afterwards they were overhauled, having to settle for second place in the final table.

Over the next two seasons, Barton's first team opportunities were more limited as manager Kevin Keegan and his successor Kenny Dalglish (who took over in January 1997) chose Steve Watson as a right back more frequently.[2]

However, Watson's move to Aston Villa in October 1998 saw Barton return to the right-back position on a more regular basis under new manager Ruud Gullit, and he was still the club's first choice player in this position in 2000–01, by which time the Magpies were being managed by the former England boss Bobby Robson.

Barton finally lost his first team place in the 2001–02 season and this time he was unable to win it back. He made just five league appearances before joining Derby County for a fee of 200,000 on 1 February 2002, calling time on nearly seven years on Tyneside.[2]

Derby County[edit]

Barton was manager John Gregory's first signing for a Derby County side battling against relegation from the Premier League, and played in all of their final 14 league games. At first, things went smoothly enough at Pride Park, with two quick wins following by a point against title chasing Manchester United suggesting that the Rams were on their way to safety. But seven defeats from the final eight games cost them their top flight status after six seasons, and with financial problems putting the club under serious pressure, there was little prospect of a swift return to the elite.

Derby finished 18th in the 2002–03 Division One campaign, well short of the playoffs even though they were never in any real danger of a second successive relegation. Barton remained the club's first choice right-back, but following Gregory's dismissal in favour of George Burley, Barton did not feature in the first team picture in the 2003–04 season, finally departing in October when he joined Division Two promotion chasers Queens Park Rangers on a free transfer.[2]

Queens Park Rangers[edit]

Barton played just five first team games during his four months at Loftus Road, before returning to Wimbledon on a free transfer on 27 February 2004. The Hoops went on to secure promotion to Division One.

Return to Wimbledon[edit]

A lot had changed at Wimbledon Football Club since Barton had last played for them nine years earlier. They had survived in the Premier League for five seasons after his departure, finally going down in 1999–2000. The decision to relocate the club to Milton Keynes was approved in May 2002, after the Dons narrowly missed out on the Division One playoffs for the second season running. In spite of some of the lowest attendances in the league after the majority of the club's fans defected to newly formed AFC Wimbledon (at non-League level), the Dons had managed a respectable 10th place finish in 2002–03, but then they went into administration and were forced to sell most of their key players. As a result, their fortunes on the pitch suffered and the move to Milton Keynes in September 2003 (initially in the National Hockey Stadium until a new permanent stadium was built) did little to solve matters. By the time Barton arrived at the end of February, the club was still in administration and relegation (if not complete closure) was almost certain. Barton appeared in just five games for the Dons as they went down in bottom place with a massive 33 defeats (one of the worst Football League records ever) and on 17 September 2004 he finally departed from the club, who for the 2004–05 had been rebranded as Milton Keynes Dons to reflect their new location. At the age of 35, Barton's senior career was over.

Dagenham & Redbridge[edit]

On leaving Milton Keynes Dons, Barton dropped into non-League football to play for Conference National club Dagenham & Redbridge. He was selected just twice for the "Daggers", before finally hanging up his boots on 31 May 2005.[3]

International career[edit]

Barton made his debut for England in the infamous February 1995 friendly away match against the Republic of Ireland (where he infamously blessed himself at the end of the Irish anthem),[4] which was abandoned after only 27 minutes because of rioting extreme-right[5] English fans.[6] Later that year, he earned his second and third against Sweden and Brazil respectively. In the latter, which proved to be his last international match, he was only a very late substitute coming on for John Scales.

Coaching and Management[edit]

Warren Barton ended his playing days where he began, with Dagenham & Redbridge in the 2004–05 season and then coached the side during the week. He also worked for Brighton & Hove Albion part-time on a consultancy basis.

In 2008, Barton was named as the U-18 coach for Los Angeles Galaxy of Major League Soccer. He remained in the position until 2010. On 13 January 2010, Barton joined on as a partner and technical adviser for the newly reestablished San Diego Flash soccer club in the National Premier Soccer League. He was later named president and head coach of the club on 19 March 2010.[7]

Barton was named general manager and technical director for Los Angeles Blues of the USL Pro league on 11 December 2012.[8]

Television[edit]

Barton now works for Fox Soccer Channel as a TV Pundit.

Upon his retirement in 2005, Barton began work as a TV pundit. For a time he also ran a travel agency. In 2006, Barton was part of ITV4's World Cup team of pundits. He presented his own comedy segment entitled 'Warren Barton Travel Agent' in which Warren provided a comical breakdown of each country taking part in the World Cup.

Barton represented Newcastle United for Sky One's "Premier League All Stars". The match took place on 26 September 2007 and finished 3–3. In the resulting penalty shootout, Barton missed his penalty to knock Newcastle out of the tournament.

Barton is featured in the "Legends of the Tyne" series of beers from Northumberland brewery, which depicts past Newcastle United players.

References[edit]