Joey Barton: "French players don't like working"

Barton:
© AP Photos
Joey Barton claims that French players believe that working hard implies compensating for lack of talent.

Marseille midfielder Joey Barton has said that French players do not believe in working hard on the pitch.

The 30-year-old, who joined the Ligue 1 club from Queens Park Rangers on loan last summer, believes that in France working hard means compensating for the lack of talent.

"In France, when you work hard, it's taken as meaning you have no talent," he told L'Equipe. "They don't believe in work, in making an effort.

"I don't understand that. The number of discussions I've had on the subject! French players don't like working. They don't like getting themselves dirty.

"If you push yourself in training, for them it means you don't have any talent. But if you have talent and you also work really hard, you get even better, don't you? Anyway, I don't have any talent, so I have to work."

Barton added that he thinks that French players perform to their best when they are "angry".

"I get the impression that they have to be angry to really push themselves," he said.

"It's the same with the national teams: rugby, football. If you tell them, 'You're rubbish, you're a bunch of losers' they'll play really well.

"If you tell them, 'You're brilliant', they're going to stop working. So I suppose you have to try and annoy them."

Marseille will take on Paris Saint-Germain away from home in Ligue 1 on Sunday.

A dejected looking Joey Barton after Marseille's 3-0 defeat to Lorient on December 9, 2012
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Tables
TeamPWDLFAGDPTS
1Paris Saint-GermainPSG21182167155256
2Lyon21136249212845
3Marseille21135343222144
4MonacoMonaco21134448212743
5NantesNantes2110471920-134
6Nice219482731-431
7GuingampGuingamp218582326-329
8Montpellier HSCMontpellier2161051814428
9Rennes218492630-428
10Caen2183101422-827
11Dijon2174102942-1325
12StrasbourgStrasbourg216692435-1124
13Bordeaux2165102331-823
14Saint-EtienneSt Etienne2165102036-1623
15Angers2141072531-622
16AmiensAmiens2164111723-622
17Lille2164111932-1322
18Troyes2163122131-1021
19Toulouse2155111930-1120
20Metz2143141735-1815
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