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Name John Barnes
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2016 03 24 Retrieve

[on Alan Shearer] Alan is not particularly quick but he usually reaches balls clipped over the top. He is not particularly tall but he scores frequently with his head. For someone who isn’t particularly skilful, Alan can drop his shoulder and drill a 30-yard right-footer past a keeper

2016 10 28 Retrieve

[Quote on Frank Rijkaard] He’s perhaps best known in retrospect for his time as a midfielder, but he started off his career as a centre-back – and that background made him a very tough holding midfielder. Frank was very strong on the ball. At 6ft 3in he was extremely powerful in the air, but he was also pretty quick and could place pinpoint passes – hence his later deployment in midfield. He could play as part of the zonal system or one-on-one equally effectively. He’d be well suited to the modern game

2020 04 16 Retrieve

[John Barnes slams Harry Kane amid Man Utd transfer speculation] It’s a bit sad when players say that [wanting to leave a club if it doesn’t match their trophy ambitions].

I remember Wayne Rooney said that about Man United and he got a new contract. That’s a modern phenomenon. Rooney was the first when he came out and said that about the club’s ambition matching his own, and Fergie wasn’t particularly happy, but he had to give him a new contract.

But fans accept that now, which I don’t like, because fans should understand that your club is the most important thing, and for players aren’t going to be committed unless you’re winning, then you shouldn’t be at the club.

What he [Harry Kane] should say is ‘I’m going to I’m going to be the player to stay at Tottenham and help them to win things’. As Bill Shankly said, ‘If you can’t play for us when we lose, don’t play for us when we’re winning’, and if you’re a player, you’re part of the reason you’re not winning. So, if you think you’re better than your team-mates, and you’re blaming your team-mates for not winning, rather than looking at yourself, then that’s a big problem for football club. So, that is not a good thing to say.’

2020 04 27 Retrieve

[John Barnes hopeful Liverpool will become Premier League champions] People are losing their lives, their jobs and their homes right now, so I don’t care how long it takes before football returns.

My eldest son, Jamie, was doing his fellowship as a consultant plastic surgeon at St Thomas’ Hospital in London and was there for nine months. But he’s had to stop because of the coronavirus and is now working at a hospital back home on Merseyside. His third son is six weeks old, but he has not been able to hold him yet because he is social distancing from his wife and kids after working at St Thomas’. My daughter Jemma, also a doctor, was on holiday in New Zealand but she had to cut that short and is now working at a hospital in Lancashire.

You worry about your kids, especially at a time like this. I feel very strongly that we have to be part of a society where, when everyone else can get on with their lives, football can do the same. We cannot be above that.

[Tomorrow will mark exactly three decades since Barnes scored the winner in a 2-1 home victory over QPR to seal Liverpool’s tenth title in 15 seasons and 18th overall] Of course we went out that night to celebrate, but back then we were out most nights anyway! Yes, we had won the title and enjoyed it, but as a club we had won it before so many times and the Liverpool way meant we soon focused on doing it again the following season. I suppose if we had known then that 1990 was going to be the last time that Liverpool would win it for thirty years, we would have savoured it a bit more

[Jurgen Klopp’s side were firmly on track to end that torturous wait for a maiden Premier League title before the outbreak of the coronavirus] I don’t see why, when we are able to play football again, the season can’t be finished. I want the integrity of football to be upheld and it’s nothing with Liverpool being crowned champions, although of course, I’d love to that happen.

Whoever finishes first should win the league, the bottom three should be relegated and the top three in the Championship should come up. There is no point thinking about next season when this season is unfinished, but like I say there are more important things than football right now.

[Barnes was already an established England international when he signed from Watford in the summer of 1987] That first year was fantastic, but in 1990 I was the top scorer in the country. Could I have played in the current Liverpool side? I think any great player can fit into any era. I could have played as one of their front three because Sadio Mane and Mo Salah are not necessarily wingers but players who cut infield and score lots of goals. It would be nice to be playing now, although it was nice to be playing back then

[Liverpool, of course, faded as a force when Dalglish quit in 1991 and Graeme Souness arrived before the advent of the Premier League] If you make changes then you have to be successful straight away. If not, then you’re going to have a lot of resistance and animosity towards you. I felt sorry for Graeme in that respect but I think he just changed too much too soon. With the nature of football nowadays, I can’t see one team dominating for 10 years like Liverpool and United did.”

[Barnes is not adverse to returning to management after short-lived spells at Celtic and Tranmere but accepts it is unlikely] I would still like to manage because I’m a football person. But I’m not holding my breath