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Joey Barton: Most footballers are knobs


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Joey Barton has been blamed for many things but the Newcastle United midfielder cannot be accused of a lack of candour.


"Most footballers are knobs," said Barton today in a radio interview which is unlikely to prove popular with his fellow professionals. "I meet a lot of them and they are so detached from real life it's untrue. But there was a stage when I was like that."


The 27-year-old, who says he is a changed man since giving up drinking two years ago, expressed dismay at footballers' isolation from the wider world and the rampant materialism of many of his peers.


"Driving around in flash cars and changing them like you change your socks, wearing stupid diamond watches and spending money like it's going out of fashion in the middle of a recession when some people are struggling to put food on the table for the kids – it's not the way to do it," he said.


Interviewed on an edition of BBC Radio 4's Today programme which was guest-edited by his mentor, Tony Adams, Barton said that he was only jolted out of the game's "Peter Pan" world – in which agents organise players' lives, taking care of such mundane basics as bank accounts, bills, mortgages and car insurance – by his addiction to alcohol and inability to control his anger.


A series of unsavoury incidents led him to the Sporting Chance Clinic, which was founded by Adams, the former Arsenal captain. Barton, who served time in prison for his part in an assault in Liverpool city centre two years ago, said the clinic "gave me the tools to understand myself, basically. It helped me grow into a man".


The gulf between Barton's upbringing in Huyton, Merseyside and life as a young player at Manchester City was obvious.


"I was earning £20,000 a week and yet I didn't even know how to behave, I was just a child," he said. "You grow up in an environment where, as long as you're a good player, you're told that you're the best all the time. But whether you're the best footballer in the world or the best golfer or the best cricketer, you're a human being. You might be good at that [sport] but you might be crap at life."


Barton's misdemeanours included stubbing a lit cigarette into the eye of a City team-mate; slapping a fan; assaulting a former City colleague, Ousmane Dabo; and the aforementioned attack on a 16-year-old outside a branch of McDonald's in Liverpool.


"My last night out probably cost me £500,000 plus my reputation," he said. "I must have been as close as you can get to self-destruct. I had two choices, basically. Either you carry on what you're doing and your career's gone, or you address it."


Barton, who is close to full recovery from a serious foot injury, says the British media helped to change his character.


"I am very thankful to the media of this country," he said, suggesting that regular vilification in print and broadcast media forced him to confront several issues.


He also said: "There's stuff I got away with. But I'm very fortunate, because of my profile and the job I do and the fact that I'm in the public eye, it got addressed. And it's only the fact that I'm grounded by the trouble I've been in that's forced me away from being in the football world."


After counselling and introspection, Barton has decided that he is, essentially, "a simple bloke".


"I don't want to be famous," he said. "It was never for me about the cars, the women, the money – whatever people perceive to come with it. I love football, I want to play football."



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I can kind of see where MiniJC is coming from.


You have to admire Barton's ability, his desire to get stuck in and his SOBER moral compass.


However his ability to self destruct quite so spectacularly, on the whole precipitated by a couple of shandys, is a disgrace and utterly un-befitting of an overpaid footballer, the likes of which he himself pours scorn on. I hope for his sake that he can sort out his demons and has not completely wasted his talents as a footballer, or for pissing off the obvious up themselves knob-heads of the modern game.

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To be honest, I like to see the mental footballers who inject cocaine into their eyeballs and set fire to taxis off the pitch and drop kick opposing players then start fights with the opposition mascot on the pitch.


Far more entertaining than boring drones like Alan Shearer. Who gives a fuck about being sensible when you're getting paid 100 grand a week?

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Guest rocket debris

Joey Barton likes cabbage yet is unversed in late 19th century Italian opera? There's a conundrumdeedum to fuck with your onions.

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  • 1 year later...

he reminds me a wee bit of keane.  Clearly not a stupid guy by any stretch of the imagination but when the blood starts pumping and is in a competitive environment he loses the plot a bit.  He's clearly talented and a winner, i dont mind him to be honest as i find him highly entertaining.


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  • 8 months later...
Footballer Joey Barton has been punched in the face outside a nightclub in Liverpool.


Merseyside Police said officers were called to Eberle Street at about 05:30 BST following reports of a disturbance outside the Garlands club.


They confirmed that a 29-year-old man who had been injured voluntarily left the scene.


Two 21 year-olds are being held on suspicion of a public order offence and are currently in police custody.



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  • 3 weeks later...

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