‘A Sit Down with John Barnes’ – 10th March 2022

Ahead of an action-packed weekend of Premier League, we caught up with Liverpool legend and BonusCodeBets ambassador, John Barnes. The ex-midfield ace discussed Liverpool’s ability to win the quadruple, why Harry Maguire criticism is unjust and Alexandre Lacazette’s future at Arsenal. 

John Barnes Exclusive: Mohamed Salah is one of the best attacking players in the world

“When people talk about if there are better players in the world than Mohamed Salah right now, then it depends on how they’d define ‘better players’. 

“Awards like the Ballon D’Or are not just about attacking players. 

“What is important when it comes to Mo, is that he’s helping Liverpool to challenge for the league title and other cups. 

“In terms of the world’s best attacking players, Salah is in the top two or three. The fact that he finished seventh in the Ballon D’Or might mean people don’t see it that way.

“He’s appreciated at Liverpool, but these individual awards mean nothing. He is a fantastic player.”


John Barnes Exclusive: Liverpool can win the quadruple

“The current Liverpool squad [and their talent] means that they should win the Premier League, but so does Manchester City’s. 

“Liverpool won’t be thinking about winning four trophies, they’ll be thinking about winning football matches. They’ve won the Carabao Cup, are in with a chance of winning the league and they are the only team left with a chance at the quadruple. 

“Jürgen Klopp won’t be looking that far ahead to [winning] four trophies. They will wonder how they can win in the next round of the FA Cup to reach the semifinals. 

“Can they win four trophies? Yes. Do I believe they will? Not necessarily.”


John Barnes Exclusive: Manchester United didn’t give up against Manchester City

“The Manchester United performance and result against Manchester City was down to their mentality. 

“They didn’t give up, but they were disheartened. They lost their confidence and belief. Players will say they gave 100%, but when things aren’t going your way, it’s tough to play with a spring in your step and determination.

“They are going through something that a lot of teams have been through.

“Ralf Rangnick will be there until the summer, so that won’t change. It’s up to the players to say ‘this is the situation we are in, despite managerial uncertainty. We must play with the right intensity and determination regardless.’. 

“I wouldn’t accuse them of not trying. I’ve been there when it’s hard to play the same way when things are going well.”


John Barnes Exclusive: Manchester United aren’t playing well enough to challenge for a Champions League position

“Manchester United aren’t going to write this season off, they still have good enough players to win on any given occasion. 

“They aren’t playing with any real consistency to challenge for a top three or four spot in the league. They could possibly do well in a cup.” 


John Barnes Exclusive: Manchester United is the best club for Marcus Rashford

“Manchester United is the best possible club for Marcus Rashford. 

“Where else could he go to play regular football [if he left]? At Liverpool he wouldn’t play much, nor would he at Manchester City. 

“He must start playing well consistently, and that will gradually happen as the team gains some consistency. 

“The talk of Rashford not being happy is all speculation, but I’m certain he is happy. Things just aren’t going well at the moment and he’s not playing regularly.

“He needs to concentrate on doing well for Manchester United, as the rest of their players should and then see what happens.”


John Barnes Exclusive: Players should show solidarity with their teammates, but Ronaldo’s situation is all speculation

“The situation with Cristiano Ronaldo’s location this weekend and whether he should have been at the Etihad was all speculation. 

“If he was given time off, he was injured and needed to go to Portugal, then it’s perfectly fine. 

“Obviously though, you’d prefer your players to show solidarity and be there together, at the stadium.”


John Barnes Exclusive: The criticism of Harry Maguire is completely unjust 

“Criticism of Harry Maguire isn’t justified at all, and there’s nothing he can do to fix the perception of him either, it’ll have to be a team effort. 

“Manchester United haven’t defended well as a team. They have left the back four and the two holding midfielders to do it all, but that isn’t the way to defend. Whereas, when you look at Manchester City, everyone helps out and defends. 

“The United back four have been left vulnerable, because the front four aren’t working hard enough to protect them. 

“I don’t blame Harry Maguire individually. He can’t just go from being the best centre back in England to the worst. 

“There is absolutely nothing he can do, apart from Manchester United as a team rectifying it together.”


John Barnes Exclusive: Alexandre Lacazette should stay at Arsenal

“Alexandre Lacazette is an excellent player. 

“As a senior player, he’s really helping the younger ones out. Lacazette plays in the right way and conducts himself correctly, and he doesn’t have the same problem with his attitude that Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang had. 

“All of that alone may not mean he stays at Arsenal, but he’s helping their team be consistent. Arsenal have plenty of young talent and the future bodes well for them. 

“I’d like to see him stay, but regardless of whatever he chooses to do in the future, he’s playing with the right attitude and commitment. Arsenal cannot ask anymore of him.”


John Barnes Exclusive: Everton won’t be relegated from the Premier League, but they must improve quickly

“I cannot see Everton being relegated from the Premier League. They have some inconsistency in their squad, but there are times where they play incredibly well, as they did against Manchester City. 

“They can pick points up and beat any of the other teams. 

“The current bottom three aren’t playing well enough to definitively say that they will finish above Everton. 

“Everyone knows what football is like, it will be difficult for them. They must start playing well away from home and picking up points.”


John Barnes Exclusive: Harry Kane is world class, whether he stays at Tottenham or leaves

“When the media and fans talk about Harry Kane as an individual world class player, he definitely is one. Kane scores plenty of goals and plays fantastically well. 

“The fact that he hasn’t won a trophy doesn’t prevent him from being world class. He is one of the best players in Europe, even if he doesn’t move to a top side. 

“If he goes to a top team this summer, scores 13 goals and they win the league, does that make him a better player than one that scores 30 for Tottenham? 

“At Tottenham he can win trophies but probably not the league. They could definitely win a cup competition. 

“Moving away will be a question of whether he personally feels he wants to win a league – he almost won a Champions League with Tottenham. 

“Harry Kane just needs to find a home where he’s happy.”


John Barnes Exclusive: Harry Kane can fulfil his aspirations at Spurs, but if he leaves, he should choose United!

“Harry Kane would be better suited to Manchester United than he would Manchester City, because of the type of player he is and the way he plays.

“At Manchester City with Kevin De Bruyne and their other players, they play a far more comprehensive brand of football, rather than looking to a side that needs one player specifically to perform. Whereas Manchester United need that type of player.

“I do believe that he can fulfil all of his ambitions at Tottenham though.”


John Barnes Exclusive: Haaland is off to Real Madrid, but if he comes to England, he suits Manchester United

“A goal scorer like Erling Haaland would suit many different teams. 

“He definitely shouldn’t move to Manchester City because they have a more methodical way of playing, wheras he’s more dynamic. He can get the ball in the box and do something with it quickly. 

“Manchester United would be better suited. 

“That being said, Real Madrid is the club for him, and that is where he will end up.”


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