Since his departure to the bright lights of London and comparatively fractional capacity of Loftus Road, self-appointed voice of the people Joey Barton has once again been running his mouth about Newcastle.
Timed well in the immediate aftermath of not securing a striker he chose to lay in to Ashley and Llambias safe in the knowledge there would be little backlash from Newcastle fans deeply disappointed by the events of deadline day.
Many would agree with what he said and you can`t blame them. Whether he has carte blanche to say it any more is another argument.
Look Joey is not a stupid bloke. In fact he is pretty smart as footballers go, just not as smart as he thinks he is. Heart and definitely ego rule over head a lot of the time and there has been numerous occasions in which he has said something he would later live to regret.
His latest digs at Newcastle are no different and although he has managed it well lately it is only a matter of time before someone pushes a button and he slips up.
I will give him this much, he is smart enough to know what he can get away with saying, and he is rapidly becoming an expert in the art of saying something but saying nothing. The incarceration question put to him by some fans the other night outlined this perfectly. When questioned on the board standing by him he was typically evasive, ego not allowing him to concede the point, merely brushed over the issue with such drivel as, wait until the truth comes out about all that, as I said time and a place.
Anyone who knows about this period in Joey’s life and time at Newcastle know full well he does not have a leg stand on here. Not only have an army of people in football expressed surprise that we did stand by him at all and were completely disgusted by Barton’s continuous thuggery up until this point, but his own agent has expressed on more than a few occasions the respect he had for Newcastle for how they treated Joey during this time.
Will leave that one there, I don`t agree with most of what he done back in those days although in the same breath I think the jailbird thug card gets thrown in his face all too often. So the past being the past and all shots fired at the board noted and debatable, as smart as Joey thinks he is I personally think he is letting his ego mask forethought on this little crusade he is on, and in terms of the person on the opposing side, this is not a battle Joey can win.
When he is not turning the stomachs of Newcastle fans first thing of a Sunday morning with photos of him stripping for Sports Direct women I now imagine to be fully fledged lesbians, Mike Ashley is known in the business world for burying people that go against him. He is one of the most ruthless out there and like, hate or despise him one thing is for certain, in a dog eat dog world it’s all about who has the bigger teeth and stones. On both counts Joey loses when up against a man like Ashley.
I think at this stage Joey knows this full well. If he doesn’t I have grossly overestimated his intellect. I would imagine he will continue to have subtle sly little digs to grab attention and let his twitter following feed his ego more and more while Mike Ashley will continue to remain silent. He doesn’t get into a war of words with billion dollar business men, why would he bother with little old Joey Barton?
I can see the end result of this coming. He will allow Joey to run his mouth until the day comes where he gets the wrong button pressed by someone and says something that will provide an opportunity for Ashley to well and truly nail him to wall. He may even do a little dance for him too.
Anyway enough on the battle of the egos for now. I expected it to happen and it wont be the last we hear of it. What bothered me more about Barton’s latest digs at Newcastle was bringing the team and players into it.
I generally have a problem with footballers running their mouth via print or social media. I am firmly in the “footballers should just concentrate on playing football” camp and think players are too close to clubs and other players for their opinions to be overlooked in the same fashion as we do journalists.
If that is what a footballer chooses to do in his spare time though fair enough. When it concerns Newcastle, especially as a former player, there are very simple ground rules in my book. Lay into the board all you want, or in Joey’s case, as much as he knows he can get away with while manipulating public opinion to make himself look good. When it comes to the team and naming specific players it is out of order, simple as. It can only serve to unsettle the camp.
Stating that Cheik Tiote and Tim Krul will be sold as soon as there`s a significant bid or they ask for a new deal, and following it up with Jonas Gutierrez and Coloccini being off by this time next year is overstepping the mark in my eyes.
Without debating the points made, I personally agree with the latter. It makes sense in terms of the plan to reduce the wage bill and lower the average age of the side, but whether people agree or not is irrelevant. Joey has no place saying this in my opinion and should have left well alone.
He also made reference to Davide Santon, belittling what is considered by nearly everyone else I have heard speak about this lad as a great signing for Newcastle. An Italian international who has been rated by big name managers and also players in, quite frankly, a different league to Barton.
Without going into the history behind Santon and Inter there is a lot more to it than Joey makes out and the mainstream media has reported. He is very selective in his opinions on Davide and although admittedly this lad will take time to settle, build his confidence back up and hit top form, as a player he is potentially the signing of the summer as Cheik Tiote arguably was last year.
I don`t rise to most of what Barton says to be honest. I’ve no time for celebrity wannabe footballers, but running his mouth on Santon really frustrated me. There was absolutely no need for it whatsoever and upon reading it was praying that Joey would be playing right wing against us in the upcoming game, facing up against Santon and from my knowledge on both players, in all likelihood would be made to eat his words.
Off the pitch Joey is a bit of an ego-driven tosser, that much is a given, but as far as on the pitch and as a footballer Joey is rapidly beginning to rival Bendtner in the ego stakes and in my opinion rates himself so highly as a player it is laughable. If Santon played anywhere near potential he would leave Barton for dead. That is not to undermine Joey as a player but again ego comes into play here. He is a good player no doubt. Just nowhere near as good a player as he thinks he is.
Anyway, agree with me or not on that point it now seems an irrelevant argument to an extent. With QPR signing Shaun Wright-Phillips the opportunity for Santon to face up against his critic was put to bed. In all probability Joey will debut in centre midfield against Newcastle. This makes me very happy. The thought of him coming up against Cabaye and Tiote is without a doubt the main reason I am looking forward to QPR. There is no way on footballing talent alone Joey can get the better of either of those players if they are on form.
So if this is the case what will more than likely happen is he will have to manipulate, push the boundaries, take risks, and try and get the better of Tiote and Cabaye with tactics outside football ability alone. For all the talk, all the pandering to fans, all the effort to make himself out to be the good guy, Joey Barton’s little PR crusade could come to a screeching halt with Newcastle fans come the 12th of September.
He is in serious danger of being seen for the character he truly is, and in even more danger of being found out to be nowhere near the player some people, especially Joey, consider him to be. With that said I really do hope the post match headlines are for footballing reasons and reflect another positive result and performance for Newcastle. Unfortunately logic dictates the headlines will be about Barton regardless of result.
One thing is for sure. Come the 12th of September there is no hiding behind twitter any longer. Joey is in a make or break situation with Newcastle fans. His conduct on the pitch will push that one way or the other. In a performance and ability sense, he has 90 minutes to prove it was wrong to get rid.
Personally I think he could be taught a severe lesson and could well lose the respect of Newcastle fans in the process. In the meantime I think it would be wise to stop his mouth writing cheques his body may not be able to cash come the 12th.