More revealtions from Joey Barton’s featured piece in the So Foot magazine have emerged today, and yet again they are characteristically forthright.
Yesterday Barton ripped into the England national team, Steven Gerrard, Frank Lampard and in particular Gareth Barry, The FA, all at the same time as questioning the ambition of Newcastle United and the honesty of the owner and his cohorts.
To be fair it’s hard to argue with anything that Barton has said really, however I still feel that some things are best left unsaid. I can, and have, been quite outspoken in the past, and it doesn’t always pay to be honest or to tell it how it is as it’s generally you that ends up getting dumped on.
Anyway, his latest rambling harps back to his days at Manchester City and that now infamous scrap with Ousmane Dabo, which landed Barton with 200 hours community service and a four-month suspended prison sentence.
“I have never given my side of the story, but the truth is that he started the fight and I finished it,” said Barton. “Frankly, Ousmane is a little pussy. It’s him who hit me from behind with his hand.”
“When he did that, I hit him back. It happened just like that, bang, bang bang and it was over. But I am no monster. I don’t like fighting, but it’s human to defend yourself. The problem was I hit him three times. Of course, it was not the best response, but I grew up in the street and when I am attacked, I defend myself and when you fight, there are no rules.”
Barton the went on to explain how the incident came about. He recalled:
“There was a late tackle in training and we exchanged a few words. I have an aggressive style and he wasn’t happy. I told him, ‘You are a piece of s**t, don’t come looking for me’. He said, ‘You are arrogant, you think you’re something special’.”
“We kept talking and I said, ‘Yeah, you’re great’, but it was sarcastic because he was not playing well, so he slapped me from behind. He tried to be the bad boy, but it was him who ended up on the floor.”
The result was that the incident was sprawled all over the press, but Barton feels aggrieved that he was unable to give his side of the story after being instructed by his solicitor to keep quiet amd accept a guilty charge. Barton continued:
“I wanted to discuss it like men, but he never came to see me and that makes me angry because he told lies in the papers and I was not able to respond.”
“You know, I am not proud of that. It’s never good to fight a team-mate, but from the moment he raised his hand to me … it’s hard to explain. If we saw each other tomorrow, we might say, ‘What we did was stupid, I am sorry and we should never have fought’.”
“I‘ve seen team-mates fighting at least 15 times but City said I had hit him too many times.”
It’s from these dark days that Barton has managed to turn his life around. What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger, and this along with a bit of anger management and becoming tee-total has certainly ensured that Barton, who will be named as Newcastle United Captain on Sunday, has been able to reform himself.
There has been the occasional slip of the halo, such as that punch against Morten Gamst Pederson, but he has also shown some tremendous resolve at times where it would have been easy to lash out like the old Joey Barton would have done. Wolves springs to mind when I mention provocation. Can’t think why….. 😉
People who don’t support Newcastle don’t like him, but so what? Even some of our fans don’t like him, but so what? If he keeps going then opinions of him will start to change eventually. The ill-feeling towards him won’t completely disappear as there appears to be a minority of pillars of the society that have never put a foot wrong in their lives and will continue to judge him.
For now though Joey is doing just fine. He is in the best form of his career and is steering clear of trouble. If this is the new Joey Barton then long may it continue!
Keep it up Joey!