Barton backed for England

Agent surprised Capello is overlooking midfielder

Barton: In fine form

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Joey Barton's agent has admitted his shock and surprise that the Newcastle man has again been overlooked by England for their friendly with Denmark.

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"The people who pick the England squad must have white sticks as they must be blind if they can't see that Joey deserves a call-up."

Willie McKay.

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The 28-year-old was not named in Fabio Capello's squad for Wednesday's friendly despite his impressive form for the Magpies this season.

Barton is arguably enjoying the best form of his career at St James' Park this season and his performances have led to calls for a recall to the international fold for the combative midfielder.

However, his absence from the party to face Denmark despite several players withdrawing because of injury has raised a few eyebrows.

Barton has not played for England since winning his first cap back in February 2007 against Spain, with many feeling his reputation off the field has damaged his chances of ever winning a recall.

Barton's agent, Willie McKay, admits he is perplexed as to why the all-action midfielder continues to be overlooked despite being one of the top performers in the Premier League.

"I am shocked and surprised that Joey continues not to be picked by England," McKay told skysports.com.

"The people who pick the England squad must have white sticks as they must be blind if they can't see that Joey deserves a call-up.

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"He has been the best midfielder in the Premier League this season and Fabio Capello said he would pick players on form rather than reputation. So why doesn't Joey get a chance?

"Joey is no angel and he is not proud of some of the things that have happened in the past, but everybody deserves another chance.

"Joey has paid for his misdemeanours, but not everybody knows of the good work he does now for charity and things.

"You have all these players pulling out of the squad for various things and you have players like Joey who is desperate to play for his country and he is not even considered.

"Joey is a proud Englishman and he wants to play for his country, but I don't know what more he can do to actually get a chance as his form this season should mean he is a certainty to play in England's midfield."