Should Joey Barton Shut Up? Of Course Not You Dithering Borebag
FOOTBALLERS, regrettably, are simultaneously the most exciting and dull people on Earth. They can go from scoring the most sublime bicycle kick from 25 yards out, to delivering the most insultingly tedious post-match interview in the space of 10 minutes.
It doesn’t matter what sporting genius a player delivers during a game because you know damn well what’s coming: ‘Yeah, um, it was great to score but the three points is the main thing. The lads played brilliantly out there today’.
This is why we cherish the likes of Gordon Strachan and Ian Holloway because, sadly, football breeds a type of human who is both required to show ‘passion’ on the field, but an appalling absence of it when away from it.
And so, we come to Joey Barton who, by default, is just about the only footballer of interest in England currently. His twitter feed is often an accidentally hilarious read as he furrows his little sporting brow over lyrics of The Smiths and tries to pass off his visits to museums and art-galleries like it’s second nature to him.
However, what Barton is doing that is of far more value than his peers is that he’s completely willing to criticise and engage. It doesn’t matter if he looks stupid, funny or clever – the world of football should be happy enough that there’s someone who at least seems to be a human, with all those glorious flaws, in the game at all.
This all comes on the back Joey talking at the Professional Players Federation national conference. He said:
“I feel that the FA came to hush me down or make me not have an opinion. If they came to do that, they picked the wrong person, because there’s no way I can be like that. If I didn’t have an opinion, I’d cease to exist.”
See, it seems that the FA want Barton to shut up and play nice and that they went as far as actually asking him to button it in a meeting.
“If I was to go out and pass comment and say, ‘Everyone join this bondage club’, then I think we would have an issue. But I’m going on there to have an extension of me. It sounds really bad when you say it because it just makes you think of Nazi Germany but it is a propaganda machine. Social media is a propaganda machine.”
It goes without saying that the FA are joyless swine. Have you seen the great picture of Arsenal’s Sammy Nelson mooning his own fans? One of football’s most iconic moments which was met by a warm round of applause and a chortle saw the FA suspending the player for a fortnight.
Of course, Barton’s mooning of Everton fans was met by a similarly joyless Football Association.
It goes without saying that Barton is far from perfect. In fact, at times in his life, he’s been a downright thug. Getting involved in fist-fights, stubbing cigars out on player’s faces and spending time in prison isn’t to be applauded… however, it’s hard to stay mad a kid who tells Alan Shearer that he was “a shit manager with shit tactics“. To his face.
It seems that the FA are chasing the wrong problems. They’re trying to keep Barton from causing trouble, but one comment he’s made shows just how the FA can’t fathom the sports shortcomings.
Attacking Ryan Giggs and John Terry, the QPR captain said:
“The Giggs issue, in any walk of life, is not right. The behaviour of the man towards another man, towards his brother, it’s not right, regardless of the player.”
It seems the FA would rather stop Barton’s criticisms than actually speak out against players who are actually bad role models (not that anyone should look to a footballer to be any kind of moral compass – what kind of idiot thinks that a wealthy young man is going to be well behaved?) to kids.
Ryan Giggs (allegedly) conducted a number of affairs and took out injunctions to stop anyone talking about it. Meanwhile, Joey Barton wants to blither on about the right to privacy, social media, the Royal Family, the London riots, MPs expenses, and the Hillsborough disaster.
You might not agree with him and, sure, you might get sick of the sound of him. Really though, football is more fun with Joey Barton in it and we could do with a few more of him and his motormouth in the game.