EMILE Heskey, the former Leicester City, Liverpool and England striker, last night suggested Joey Barton is unprepared for the fierce intensity of the Old Firm rivalry in Scotland.
Barton has made a series of controversial comments since signing for Rangers last month – including about Celtic captain Scott Brown.
The 33-year-old midfielder has played at a high level in the past with Manchester City, Newcastle United and Queens Park Rangers in England as well as Marseille in France.
But Heskey, speaking at Celtic Park to promote the International Champions Cup game between Celtic and Leicester next month, believes his countryman will be stunned by the passion of the Old Firm supporters.
“The atmosphere at Parkhead is probably the best I have experienced when they sing You'll Never Walk Alone and the roar you get from the crowd,” said Heskey who played for Liverpool there in the UEFA Cup in the 2002/03 season.
"I can understand why Celtic win so many games at home because they will feed off the energy.
"Joey has shown in the English championship he's got the ability to boss games. But you've got to do it on the pitch and not on Twitter or other platforms.
“I've played here and I know how intense it is. A lot of people thrive off being on edge. He's probably one of them. It probably gets him going. But I'm not sure if he knows what he's got himself into. Time will tell. He will find out soon.”
Meanwhile, Heskey has revealed that he turned down an approach from Hibs, where Neil Lennon, his former team mate at Leicester City and manager at Bolton, has just been appointed manager.
"I took a call actually, but I am now happy to do coaching rather than playing now,” he said. “There was interest, but for me it is the coaching side that interests me.”