Joey Barton has been rather vocal in recent days although most of what he has been saying has been fair enough, if you look at it in an unbiased way.
However some of it has just been a bit uncalled for if I’m being honest. Dragging up his attack on Ousmane Dabo and calling him a ‘pussy’ was perhaps a bit uncalled for, as was singling out Gareth Barry for criticism. Fair enough, he is probably right, but you can’t go around moaning about being singled out, like he has been, only to go around and single other people out. It’s called double-standards.
That’s just my view though. Joey is an outspoken person, which is a good thing, but there comes a point where you just need to learn to put the brakes on to stop your mouth running away. When stuff gets personal then you step over the line and make yourself a target for people to have a go back.
Mind you, Joey does feel hard done by and feels that the interview has come across in the wrong way according to Alan Pardew, who despite having reservations about what Joey has said insists that he wouldn’t change him and his penchant for airing his views. Lets face it, Pardew and Barton love to talk so it was only natural that Pardew would back Barton.
“Joey may have thrown too many soundbites and perhaps he hasn’t done himself too many favours with that interview,” Pardew told The Guardian. “He is a little bit disappointed and feels he’s been badly reflected but that’s Joey. I said: ‘Well OK, Joey, perhaps you shouldn’t have done it.’ That is how he is but sometimes players and managers cannot say what they think because it will cause a massive, massive problem.”
Pardew then revealed that Barton is as vocal on the training pitch as he has been in the magazines in recent days and often gives his view on many things. Pardew continued:
“Joey expresses exactly what he thinks at the training ground and in team meetings. He will say: ‘I don’t agree with that.’ It’s good information for me and I will listen and I will weigh up whether he is right or wrong.”
“I don’t agree with all of his opinions, on or off the training ground, but I recognise he does have a genuine opinion. We all have our own opinions about the England team because we love our country to win football matches but Joey’s opinion is his opinion, mine is mine and if either opinion harms someone then what’s the point of making it?”
I think this whole thing has gone far enough and is risking detracting from the fact that Barton has turned his life around. Yes I think he has overstepped the mark with some of his comments, but it shouldn’t make people look past his performances on the football field so far this season.
Barton is already a target in the eyes of some, but he was starting to defy the critics by letting his feet do the talking. Ironically it’s the fact that it’s his actual talking that could attract the critics once again.
Still, I’m sure it won’t affect his performance on Sunday!