The Joey Barton contract saga is what I’m talking about. Most fans that I’ve spoken to/heard from have been left disappointed about the lack of a new contract for Barton and with things currently at as much of an impasse as you’re ever likely to get it leaves me wondering if there is going to be any way to get it sorted.
It’s a clash between two stubborn and headstrong parties that won’t budge, which is usually a recipe for disaster. One one side we have Mike Ashley and the club who like to play hardball with just about anything whilst on the other we have Barton who won’t take any s**t from anyone. Add the two together and you have what could be construed as a ticking time bomb on your hands.
Looking at it from where I’m sitting it seems to me that there will be no end in sight for the stalemate. I’d like nothing more than for compromise to be reached and I’m sure most of us are the same, but then we get back to the stubbornness of the two parties. Who’ll budge first? Neither is my guess.
So with no resolution in sight, especially with Barton admitting that the chances of contract negotiations reopening are “slim to none”, where do we go from here?
Well I guess the best we can hope for is for Barton to get his head down and continue to play football like he did last season. Much was made of Barton’s new found temperament and professionalism, but next season is the ultimate time for him to show it. Not for our benefit, but for his.
He can sit there on Twitter and have his little digs at the club all he likes. There is no benefit to it and the only people who will listen to it is the fans. Not a bad thing of course, but that kind of thing is water off a ducks back to the hierarchy. They’ve been called much worse by many of us at some point.
The worst thing to happen would be Barton becoming becoming a destabilising influence on the team. He’s an emotional guy, but those emotions will need keeping in check if he is to continue keeping people on his side. He’s done a damn fine job of changing peoples perception of him so it would be a shame to undo all that hard work by making a point to people like Mike Ashley and Derek Llambias who probably won’t even listen anyway.
Give up the rants on Twitter, put the personal stuff aside, and be a team player. If he can do that then he’ll have more people behind him, and if he can continue his performances on the pitch he’ll end up making the management stance look even more silly. That, to me, is the best thing that can happen with the Joey Barton situation.
I guess the best thing that can happen is for Joey to do his talking on the pitch! « View from the away end – Norwich City. | You, the manager! »