Four and a ½ reasons why I love Joey Barton
On the news that Joey is now training with league two newcomers Fleetwood Town, I thought it would be fitting to express my love for the philosopher, pugilist, full-time ‘Twitterer’ and footballer that is Joey Barton.
Never far from the spotlight, Joey has been convicted twice on charges of violence and has served a 77-day prison term. This thuggery shows that I shouldn't love Joey Barton, but I just can’t help it. I do because he has a undoubtable love for the game, he’s different from other footballers and he’s downright honest. Oh, and the fact that he chopped up Jay Bothroyd's grey fluffy ugg boots after posting on Twitter, 'Bothroyd has bowled up in uggs today, he's 6'3 and size 11. I think they'll end up in the shower,' doesn’t hurt.
4. He’s actually quite smart
Although his violent past and outbursts on the field might have you thinking the antithetical, his performances on the BBC, and Newsnight, show a calm, collected and thought provoking Joey.
With a fresh new website, Joey now has his own segments, ‘Joey on sport, culture, QPR, politics and more’, and while they aren't going to win a Pulitzer Prize any time soon, he actually comes across as well versed and not as bromidic as most modern footballers. Just sitting here looking at his website now, he has articles on Draconian libel reform, Anti-Monarchism, the Falklands dispute and one entitled ‘The Rise and Rise of the Monosyllabic Celebrity . . .’ and to be honest this is a nice change in trend from the Morrissey lyrics and quote after quote from Nietzsche he used to lambast the world via Twitter.
3 ½. Everything's better with a moustache
"One thing led to another and before I knew, I'd agreed to grow a moustache." 2010, the year of the moustache. Well done to Joey for spearheading the crusade to bring the Mo’ back to the Premier League with the rest of the Newcastle team. Looking like the doppelganger of Ian Rush is always going to be alright in my book. If only he could have paired it up with his Morrissey quiff, the world would be a better place. I’d rather a Joe Strummer haircut any day that the monstrosities that turn up week after week on the noggin of Balotelli or Solomon ‘you’ve got a spider on your head’ Kalou.
3. He’s a talented footballer
Punching and kicking aside, the fact of the matter is, Barton is an extremely talented footballer, able to start for any team in the Premier League, and if we ignore all his disciplinary problems he probably would. Manchester United are in dire need of a technically gifted craftsman, and free-kick maestro such as Barton in the centre of midfield. I used to get on the edge of my seat every time NUFC got a free kick in Barton range, and the pairing of him and Carrol was immense. Maybe this time at Fleetwood will, as he says, “re-ignite his love for football” and allow him to regain a place at QPR.
2. Relegation and promotion
It takes a player with strong character to stick with a team after relegation, but Joey along with many of the stalwarts at Newcastle did just that, bouncing straight back to the Premier League after only one season. On his website, Joey claims to feel that he didn’t deserve the Championship medal after only playing the last seven games of the season. But in my opinion, although he didn't play as much as the rest of them, he was an integral part of the team, and a senior player that helped the squad gel as they did.
The next season he was a standout player, playing 32 games, with four goals and nine assists, helping NUFC finish 12th. He might have mouthed off to, and about, the upper echelon of the club and then ultimately been forced out, but because of his work throughout relegation and the following season, Joey will always be a Geordie in my heart. (Oh . . . and making 5-1 gestures to the Mackems as he warmed up for QPR is a nice touch.)
1. We have all wanted to . . .
He punched Morten Gamst Pedersen in the stomach. Nuff’ said.
Article by Greg Hall
Calling all football fans. Do you agree with Greg? Do you love Joey Barton for being true to himself or do you think he is a horrible human being who shouldn't be anywhere near a professional football club? Whatever your view, we'd love to hear from you.