Barton bashing is way over the top
So there you have it - Joey Barton steps one centimetre out of line and he's got the world on his back again and of course the ultimate court of justice aka Twitter on his case.
Make no mistake Barton was WRONG to throw a punch at Morten Gamst Pedersen but come off it, surely you've seen worse than that in football?
Or even in the street.
Old school footballers would say it was just handbags.
We've seen worse this season.
Nigel De Jong on Hatem Ben Arfa for one...and a host of other horror incidents to go with it by a host of other players that I haven't got the time to list - I mean Coloccini in the same game slapped Roberts in the face and he isn't a trending Twitter topic!
Barton has kept his nose clean since coming back from injury last season and the knockers have hated every minute of it.
They hated it on Sunday when he came out with an arm round Samir Nasri when they wanted him to kick off again at the scene of his last "crime", which was being booted in the air by the Frenchman as he tried to tip toe back into football after serving his time behind bars.
Yes, Barton has had a troubled past but he is the first one to put his hands up and admit he was wrong about most of it.
Pedersen made a meal of the situation but nobody apart from Barton and the Norwegian know what was said during the game for Barton to flip like that.
If you look at it again, Pedersen deliberately sticks the angle of his arm out to clip Barton in niggly fashion and in the heat of the moment Barton hits out.
He's had to put up with much worse this season - in the Wolves game alone when his critics thought it was funny watching Henry try to break his leg - but he didn't flip then.
In football there is a lot of needle and Pedersen knows the game fine well.
I'd be amazed if he hadn't have been instructed by Big Sam to wind Barton up.
Well he got to him to flip and then rolled around like he'd been shot.
Again, that doesn't excuse Barton lashing out but the reaction since has been way over the top and personal.
Whatever people say about Barton, I have to say he's probably one of the most honest footballers I've had the pleasure of interviewing - but on top of that, he's actually a nice down to earth working class bloke.
Away from the field, he's a model pro these days and not a Big Time Charlie - he'll spend an hour or more signing autographs and getting pictures with his fans.
If anything, he's probably too honest but the type of lad that the snotty end of society can't stand because he's a worklng class hero to the fans that pay their money to see him do what he does best.
That's why the Newcastle United fans will put up with him if he throws one punch in the next 12 games but plays as well in the next 12 as he has in the last - because the truth is, he's been one of the best English midfielders of the season so far.