Joey Barton says Rooney hasn’t developed since he emerged at Everton (!), tags Wayne in Twitter explanation

Joey Barton has sparked his latest bit of controversy by declaring Wayne Rooney ‘not world class’ in a coaching conversation with Clive Woodward.

Dealing with the predictable Twitter backlash from United and England fans, Barton has taken to Twitter to back up and contextualize his comments, saying he’s a massive Rooney fan, but next to Iniesta, Suarez, Ronaldo and Messi he cannot be considered world class.

Hard to argue with to be fair.

But as is Barton’s wont, he then took the whole thing a bridge too far by saying that Rooney hasn’t developed since he broke on the scene at Everton – a ludicrous statement about a player who’s won the Champions League, multiple Premier League and domestic trophies, and has Sir Bobby Charlton’s goals record within his grasp. He’s developed from a raw schoolboy into one of Man United’s greatest ever goalscorers, and become an iconic figure regardless of the ‘world class’ tag.

And Barton’s piece de resistance? He then has the brass neck to tag Rooney in his final tweet (above), saying he’s been ‘nothing but complimentary to him’.

If telling someone their career has been stagnating for the last 10 years, then yes, he’s been highly complimentary.