Odds shown as:

John Barnes: “When I played for England the top players were the top players for their clubs”

John Barnes believes that England's stars will fail to realise their potential.
John Barnes believes that England's stars will fail to realise their potential.

BettingOdds.com has teamed up with England legend and former Liverpool and Newcastle winger John Barnes to give us his insight over the course of this summer's Euro 2021 Championships…

Euro 2021 is underway and England have started the tournament brightly with a convincing 1-0 win against Croatia.

Despite England’s fans being upbeat after such an impressive start to the tournament, John Barnes believes that some of England’s best players aren’t going to realise their full potential because many individuals in the squad aren’t the top players at their respective clubs.

Resuming our series of interviews with the former England international, Barnes tells BettingOdds.com how there’s nothing new about this current national side, where he believes Jurgen Klopp should manage after his time at Liverpool is finished and whether he wants to get back into management after a decade without a club.


England kicked off their Euro 2020 campaign with a 1-0 win against Croatia. What do you make of this current England outfit and what does the future hold for the national team?

“When Gareth Southgate said this was going to be a ‘new and diverse’ English team, there was nothing new or diverse about it. There’s nothing new going on now. 

“The difference is, when I played, the top England players were the top players for their clubs. Bryan Robson, Glen Hoddle, Peter Shilton, Gary Lineker. The top England players now are not the top players for their clubs. Raheem Sterling is a top player for England, but he’s not the top player at Manchester City. You do have Harry Kane at Tottenham Hotspur, but the rest of them are really decent players for the top clubs, so how is the national team going to improve?

“In ten years’ time, English football is going to be exactly where it is now. The club teams are going to be the best in Europe, the best in the world, whereas the national team will always do well but won’t maximise their potential.” 


England Euro 2021 Betting

You were recently quoted saying that you believe Leicester City would be an ideal destination for Liverpool midfielder Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain. West Ham are now the bookmaker’s favourites to sign the player, which club do you believe he should join this summer?

“I think Leicester or West Ham. Leicester would probably be a bit better suited because they’re more stable than West Ham as they know that they will be in the top seven most seasons, which isn’t the case for West Ham. 

“However if he wanted to go back down south then I think West Ham would be a good move for Alex too.”


Rangers manager Steven Gerrard is the man tipped to replace Jurgen Klopp when the German finally decides to leave Liverpool. As an ex-player of the club, who would you like to see takeover from Jurgen when the day comes?

“Pep Guardiola. Of course there are other managers that you would think are better suited, such as Steven Gerrard who has had a very good season at Rangers, but is he going to come to Liverpool off the back of one good year? Of course he would be given time because of his relationship with Liverpool. 

“If you were to ask me now, if Jurgen Klopp left Liverpool tomorrow would I think Steven was the man for the job? Probably not because you would want a manager with more experience and is proven at the highest level. He would be given time because he’s Steven Gerrard, but would that be the right thing for Liverpool? Maybe not.

“I’m sure Steven will do really well over the course of his career, but he’s going to have to show a longer level of consistency over a longer period of time before we start linking him with the Liverpool job.”


Now if Klopp is to leave Liverpool in the near future, which club can you see him going to next?

“I wouldn’t want him to go anywhere, I would want him to stay at Liverpool! Jurgen Klopp is an all-encompassing manager who knows what the club is about. The way it should be. The manager should be the most important person. 

“The logical step you would think would be Bayern Munich. However, they have a hierarchy at Munich which is more powerful than the manager in a certain respect. Would he be a right fit for that? The managers who have gone there have been quite subservient to the group, ‘The Firm’ in royal terms. Would Klopp be that, is he that kind of person? He’s like Bill Shankly, a man of the people, quite socialist in the way he views things. 

“Is Real Madrid for him? No, I don’t think so. Paris Saint-Germain, maybe not. Barcelona I think in terms of the philosophy could be. However, Barcelona is quite steeped in its traditions of Rinus Michels/ Johann Cruyff/ ‘this is the way we play, we have to stick to that’, which is the wrong thing to do if you have a manager like Jurgen Klopp. 

“These are big managers with big characters who have big personalities who want to instill their own way on the team and they’re not allowed to because the fans or the situation demands it. That stopped Liverpool managers of the past, until Jurgen Klopp. He’s created a new way. 

“Is Barcelona the same type of club that if Klopp goes there and says ‘I want to play a different style’ and they respond with ‘No, Barcelona only plays this way, so you have to do what we say’, I think he’s always looking to try and instill his own way on the team. A team that can accept his way will be successful. Will Barcelona do that? He would have to completely revolutionise the playing style at the club to suit himself. If they’re willing to do that, I think Barcelona, because of the humility, and the essence of what it is - it’s not about the individual players - I think Barcelona could actually suit him.” 


Onto your former club Watford and their manager Xisco Muñoz. In recent years Watford have got a reputation for being a ‘sacking club’. Can you see Xisco lasting the season?

“Watford are a strange club. I played for Watford when they were probably the most stable club in the world, with Graham Taylor being there for a long period of time, with the same staff, same players, continuity, and that is the recipe for success. 

“Watford have got success with instability, the amount of managers they change and have survived and have got promoted, they’ve brought players and changed the squad. You know you talk about players who are committed to the club and it works. I don’t think, long term, it will work. I think they’ll look for more stability now. But nothing about Watford surprises me. Whether they’re going to change him or not, who knows?”


You haven’t been in management since Tranmere Rovers over a decade ago (2009). Do you ever consider dipping your toes in again?

“I’ve considered it for many many years. The waters consider you, more than you consider the waters. Everyone feels they can just become a manager. Of course there are certain groups of people who are given more opportunities. I’m no different to most black ex-managers who can’t get employment. Maybe I’ve given up now - I’m 57 - but for many years, every single year, we were hopeful, we went for jobs, and this is what’s happened. I’m no different to most black managers.”


Keep tuned for more John Barnes content for BettingOdds.com during Euro 2021.


England Euro 2021 Betting
Advert Disclaimer
Bettingodds.com is a free online resource which endeavour to provide helpful and useful content and odds comparison to its visitors. Please be advised that Bettingodds.com accepts affiliate commission from the companies appearing on the site, and agreed commission levels impact the location and order in which the companies (and/or their products) are presented on the website. Any ratings that appear on this site is determined by our subjective opinion of the brand but also based on market share and reputation, each brand's conversion rates, commission paid to us and general consumer interest. Company listings on this page don't imply our endorsement. We do not feature all providers on the market. Except as expressly set forth in our terms and conditions, all statements and warranties regarding the information presented on this page are disclaimed. The information, including odds, which appear on this site is subject to change at any time.
Bet £10 Get £30 In Free Bets (APP Only)
#AD New UK, IE & Malta users only. Min. £10/€10 first deposit only using Debit Card or Trustly. Free bets expire in 90 days. T&Cs apply.
Bet £10 Get £30 In Free Bets
#AD 18+. Play Safe. New customers using Promo code H30 only, Min £10/€10 stake,  min odds 1/2, free bets paid as 2 x £15/€15, free bets credited after  settlement of first qualifying bet, free bets will expire 30 days after  the qualifying bet is placed, payment method/player/country restrictions apply.
Bet £10 Get £20 In Free Bets
#AD Min stake £10. Min odds 1/2 (1.5). First bet only. Free bets expire in 7 days. Cashed out bets won’t apply. Payment method restrictions. Online UK customers only. 30 days to qualify for £20 in Free Bets. 18+. T&Cs apply
Bet £10 Get £60 in Bonuses
#AD New UK customers only. Register using the promo code BETFRED60, deposit and place first bet of £10+ on Sports (cumulative Evens+) within 7 days of registration. First bet must be on Sports. £20 in Free Bets to be used on Sports, £10 in Free Bets to be used on Lotto and 50 Free Spins (20p per spin) credited within 48 hours of bet settlement. Further £20 in Free Bets credited 5 days after settlement. Bonuses have a 7-day expiry. Payment restrictions apply. SMS verification and/or Proof of I.D and address may be required. Full T&Cs apply.
100% Up To £50 Welcome Bonus + 25 Spins
#AD 18+ begambleaware.org; New bettors get 100% of deposit up to £50; Once per household; Min deposit £15 (no Skrill/Neteller); Wager a total of 8 times deposit + bonus, with max qualifying bet stake equal to your initial bonus amount; Bonus expires after 60 days; Min odds of 4/5 on singles, or 2/5 per leg for acca; Some bet types excluded; Free spins validity: 7 days; Free spins max. winnings = £100; See full terms; Terms apply.
Bet £10 & Get £30 In Free Bets + £10 Bonus
#AD Promo code: 30FB • Min deposit £10 • A qualifying bet is a ‘real money’ stake of at least £10 • Min odds 1/2 (1.50) • Free Bets credited upon qualifying bet settlement and expire after 7 days • Free Bet stakes not included in returns • Casino Bonus must be claimed within 7 days and expires after 14 days • To withdraw any winnings from the Casino Bonus, wager the Bonus amount 40 times within 14 days • Withdrawal restrictions, payment methods, country & Full T&Cs apply.
Welcome Offer
#AD Bet £10 & Get £50 in Free Bets for new customers at bet365. Min deposit requirement. Free Bets are paid as Bet Credits and are available for use upon settlement of bets to value of qualifying deposit. Min odds, bet and payment method exclusions apply. Returns exclude Bet Credits stake. Time limits and T&Cs apply.
Bet £10 Get £30 In Free Bets + 100 Free Spins
#AD 18+ New customers only. Opt in, bet £10 at odds 2.00+ within 7 days, no cashout. Get 3x £10 Free Bets, set events at odds 2.00+. Plus 100 Free Spins on Big Bass Bonanza, no wagering. Free Bets and Spins expire in 7 days. Card payments only. T&Cs apply. Please gamble responsibly.
Bet £20 & Get It Back As CASH If It Loses
#AD New customers only. Place your FIRST bet on any Football market and if it loses we will refund your stake in CASH. Max refund for this offer is £20. Only deposits made using cards will qualify for this promotion. T&Cs apply.
Bet £10 Get £30 In Free Bets
#AD Place a min £10 bet on the Sportsbook on odds of min 1/2 (1.5), get £30 in Free Bets. Rewards valid for 30 days. SMS verification required. Only deposits via cards will qualify. T&Cs apply. Please Gamble Responsibly
Get £35 In Free Bets
#AD Place a qualifying £25 fixed odds bet at odds of 1/2 or greater. Qualifying bet cannot be placed in-play or cashed out early. A first free £5 fixed odds bet will be credited upon settlement of the qualifying bet. 4 x following £5 free fixed odds bets will be added to your account on consecutive days. T&C's apply, 18+ begambleaware.org