Even history’s most brilliant and searing minds have dropped the occasional clanger – and Joey Barton is no exception. The Rangers midfielder once famously asserted that while Brazillian superstar Neymar looked to be the complete package in condensed video clips, he was in fact “cat piss in reality”.
Nearly a hundred Barcelona goals and a Champions League win later, it would be fair to say that Joey got this one wrong. But don’t be too hard on him. The truth is there are one or two players who do look better in three-and-a-half minute “best of” packages.
Find a super-slow-mo 30-yard screamer and throw in a couple of stepovers, then pick out a nice backing track (we recommend Darude – Sandstorm), and you can make almost anyone look like a world-beater. Even Joey himself would probably seem half-decent.
Actually, that’s a lie. But here are five players whose YouTube compilations flatter them:
Barkley burst onto the scene as teenage prodigy with a penchant for blistering long shots and sweeping cross-field passes. But there’s a reason the Everton midfielder has struggled to build on his early promise: his overall game is severely lacking, and the occasional piledriver shouldn’t command the sort of reputation Barkley once had.
Milan’s Japanese wizard has a mightily impressive goal-scoring record for his national team, but he’s never quite managed to set the world alight at club level (the San Siro side’s woeful last couple of seasons haven’t exactly helped matters, in fairness). Honda is a set piece specialist which means his highlights look amazing, even if his overall career has been a little disappointing.
Ah, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain. He’s scored some beauties in his time – and a great many more have crashed back off the woodwork. You can make a great YouTube compilation out of Chambo’s near-misses and bull-like runs down the flank, but in reality he has little to show for his five years at Arsenal.
Nani’s YouTube compilations have the added bonus of elaborate somersault celebrations as well as mazy runs and net-busting thunder-bastards. The Portuguese winger was once likened to a young Cristiano Ronaldo, but he never managed to marry his obvious talent with consistency.
Depay is a victim of the Eredivisie ‘curse’, where a player rips teams to shreds in the Netherlands, earns a big money move abroad, and then struggles to make an impression against better quality opposition. Clips from the winger’s time at PSV depict an all-round attacker brimming with confidence – a far cry from the broken player we now see warming up at Old Trafford.