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Barton bashing is way over the top

By Lee Ryder on Nov 11, 10 12:24 PM

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.

46 Comments

Mick G said:

Whats the betting ,that the FA,that have made a living out of sitting on the fence,come out all guns blazing,just to make an example out of one of the easiest targets in football.Good luck Joey you have been a star this season .

barry robson said:

My god, is Lee Ryder a cheerleader for Newcastle United or a proper journalist?
You describe Barton as "the type of lad that the snotty end of society can't stand because he's a worklng class hero."
Unbelievable. what have your ignorant Geordie class prejudices got to do with it?
Chip on the shoulder tripe,old boy.
Most right thinking toon fans deplore what he did. another example of his hotheaded temperament bringing the club into disrepute.
"old School" "handbags" you say. It was a PUNCH. Do that in the street and you get arrested (oh, he already had done that in the street)
The Chronicle shouldn't have you as a representative for the region, you knucklehead.
oh and thanks for letting theref know that colo slapped Roberts in the face... that'll be a ban for him too!

Craig said:

Im not sure the fa read this blog let alone use it as a source for disciplinary actions barry you sad man
You wouldnt get arrested for that in the street at all, stop talking rubbish it was barely a punch at all. It was stupid and he shouldnt have done it but Lees right, the reaction has been way over the top. Is it really worse than a dirty tackle which could result in a broken leg just because it wasnt in play ala cattermole on modric? no, get real

boater said:

Lee, Lee. This article is shameful. Barton's lash-out was violent and unsavoury; the recourse of a street thug, of which he had spent so long assuring us recently was a thing of the past. Our local press coming out with this kind of bravado article to make light of the incident does the club and the supporters absolutley no favours.

It's neither here nor there how much Pederson made of it. The guy was punched in the chest, he handled it with class if anything. But then I don't care about him, I care about our players and our club, and this is so depressing to see, from arguably our most consistent player of the season so far.

five said:

I cant believe that article.

It shames the newspaper to allow such disgraceful comments.

Joey Barton assaults another man....But thats ok, he is a Newcastle player. If it was the other way we would hound the opposition.


Joey Barton is a disgrace, and the general public and his peers need protecting from his utterly warped and deluded sense of right and wrong.


After reading that article, the same thing could well be said about its author.

Matthew said:

Lee, you fool. Bad tackles are at least part of the game. Punching someone when they are not expecting it is the act of a coward and defending it is the action of a small minded man.

Such a shame that you are thrust forward as a representative of the club and the region. I am sure that the vast majority of intelligent right thinking people will understand that what he did was wrong.

Very poor form to suggest he is being picked on because he is a "working class hero." Not the reason at all, also I would hope that most working class people would be a million miles from regarding this coward as a hero.

Geordie Dancer said:

@ barry robson you state that if Barton had done this on the street he would get arrested, however if someone had been walking past you 'ON THE STREET' and was barging into you everywhere you went and making comments to you all night, you would probably punch him as well!

Don't compare the incomparable; Barton was being goaded, barged and all sorts all night and he reacted once. What he did was wrong but too often in this country we punish the reaction and not the person who was trying to start or starting the trouble.

Bill Booger said:

I think we have a tendency to easily forgive when someone is vital to our season - and I'm as guilty of this as anyone, even Lee, who is often fairly blinkered. I hope he isn't banned for several games, but what he did was stupid and wrong (or the other way around) and possible an indication of a naivety that he should have grown out of, whether he was wound up or not. Captain Kev was charging in all over the place last night too. Cooler heads ought to have prevailed. You never know, we might have beaten the Fat One back down to Blackburn or beyond, which is what he deserves for what he did to this club.

Restless Native said:

Lee, he THREW A PUNCH for goodness sake. It's indefensible. You shouldn't even be trying to defend it. You're the journalisitic equivalent of Arsene Wenger (without the flair, skill or trophies).

Bill Booger said:

I think we have a tendency to easily forgive when someone is vital to our season - and I'm as guilty of this as anyone, even Lee, who is often fairly blinkered. I hope he isn't banned for several games, but what he did was stupid and wrong (or the other way around) and possible an indication of a naivety that he should have grown out of, whether he was wound up or not. Captain Kev was charging in all over the place last night too. Cooler heads ought to have prevailed. You never know, we might have beaten the Fat One back down to Blackburn or beyond, which is what he deserves for what he did to this club.

LN2Mag said:

To the people who have slagged Lee Ryder off for what I think is a really good article. Words cannot describe what I think of you and wouldn't be fit to publish anyway. He is getting punished not for the so called punch, but becuase he is Joey Barton. And Lee is not an unbiased reporter, he is a life long Newcastle United fan who is lucky and privileged enough to have a job reporting on the team he supports. A bit similar to the biased Liverpool and Man Utd ex-players who comment on all the football on TV and don't even attempt to pretend they are neutral.

FIVE said:

hat is rubbish.

Lee Ryder has become a sycophant, and that "article" gives every other fan all the amunition they need.

Lets get Gazza in to do the reporting.....He couldnt do a worse job could he.


Barton is not misguided, caught up in the heat of the moment, niaeve or anything else.

He is a THUG who basically never has to face up to his actions. If we did what he does our lives would be in tatters. WE would not come out of Jail etc to £60k a week!!

For goodness sake he wont change at his age now will he? A THUG....nothing more, or less.

Bill Booger said:

"A bit similar to the biased Liverpool and Man Utd ex-players who comment on all the football on TV and don't even attempt to pretend they are neutral." WTF? Where on earth does this come from? What's that got to do with anything?

Lee Ryder Author Profile Pagesaid:

Yes he did throw a punch and if you read the article properly, it says that was WRONG.
But for every action there's a reaction and Pedersen knew exactly what he was doing sticking his elbow out every so slightly just to annoy Barton after words had clearly been said.

Lee Ryder Author Profile Pagesaid:

Barton shouldn't have hit him, but Pedersen is not innocent here.
You need to watch the incident again if you think he's an angel.
As Chris Hughton said today, much more has been made of it because he is Joey Barton.

Lee Ryder Author Profile Pagesaid:

And you set an excellent example to society yourself by hurling verbal abuse at anything you don't agree with.
And how can you speak for "most right thinking Toon fans" ?

Lee Ryder Author Profile Pagesaid:

Incredible, how could he not be expecting it?
He clipped Barton first.
Barton was WRONG as I say in the article but it's easy for all the perfect people in the world to take the moral high ground on this one.
It happens in most games at lower league level and non-league level where there are no cameras.
It has been totally blown out of proportion.

Mickey Leazes said:

In this day & age you simply can't raise your hands. There are twenty zillion cameras watching yuou from twenty zillion angles. In my day it would have been 'God bless you, son' and forgotten just as quckly. In the brave new world of the EPL, it's a six game ban with replays of the penitant's sinning repaeted every twenty minutes on SSN.

andyj1973 said:

...I suppose the same ones who were defending Carrol will be defending Barton...shame on anyone who tries to defend this thug...

Bill Booger said:

"joey barton and newcastle are scum."

Zzzzzzzzzzzzzzz. Get a life sonny.

My problem with this is that Barton surely knew this would land him with a ban and the team without him will be up sh - i - t creek without a paddle.

FIVE said:

Hey....LEE

I am "holier than thou".....or at least a damn sight holier than JOEY!!

And Im entitled to take the moral high ground am I not....you ARE defending Joey by giving reason to his action....get a grip man (although fair play for coming on and commenting....I respect that)


And dont blame pederson, the fact is it was nothing, absolutley nothing. 6 players around the Blackburn player on the ground and Barton in a rage is running across in a rage to JOIN IN!

Pederson did nothing, the barge was what 11 year olds do, and nothing of note. Do that to an 11 year old and hed laugh at you.

He would not give you a full on punch to the solar plexus.

Fact is there is no defending him in anyway.
Come on admit it without a "BUT..." and Ill think more of you......"not alot" but a bit more.


The fact that the club have said and done nothing reinforces the "etiquette" slur that others justifiably tag the Mags with.

andyj1973 said:

...This FIVE fella stutters...

spence said:

In response to the inevitable parrallels being drawn between de jong and barton:
They are completely unrelated incidents and Barton will serve his three match ban, as would any other player. De Jong's cynical and allegedly pre-meditated challenge on Ben Arfa can be more easily covered up as an accident, whereas Barton has no such defence.
What annoys me most about the incident were the commentators and pundits who, once again, were heard to say such things as ,'it's in his make up', 'it's what/who Joey Barton is', etc, etc, et al. If these knowledgable people said anything similar about say Wayne Rooney, they would be facing a lible case, but as it's Joey Barton it's open season.
I've seen far worse incidents on a football pitch and I think a 3 match ban is fair enough, (especially considering he should have been sent off), but the media are gonna have a field day. Whinging about De Jong is certainly not going to add any credibility to the 'victimised geordies' case, (even though I think we are often scapegoated and discriminated against), so I think it's best to accept Barton's wrongdoing and move on. To imply that barton should be let off because De Jong was would be like sayiing it's okay for america to kill innocent civilians because some of their innoicent civilians were killed... oh!
I'll get me coat!

spence said:

I must add also- it's difficult for me to think of Barton as a 'working class hero' when he get's 60k per week for staying fit and kicking a ball. I think the title would be more deserving if given to say a paramedic, fire fighter, carer, voluntary worker, or similar.

spence said:

@Franky Boy: Call the toon scum again and I'll punch you in the solar plexus region! Then everyone else probably will too!

FIVE said:

SPENCE.... it IS in his make up, nobody can now deny otherwise.


Diouf and his spitting, he has form, and if he did it again would be rightly jumped on.


The fact that Barton has "form" for just about any sickening thing you can think of, never mind his disgraceful footballing assaults cant just be washed away with a "you're all picking on him"

He has been pushed from nearly every club he has been at, or at least theyve given a sigh of relief when he left.
Newcastle will at some point so the same. Unless its a case of we will justify anything, anyway, anyhow..... just for a few points.

Not much more to say bar, can Lee Ryder and the defence leave their "BUT..." for the next time.
Because as sure as night follows day, the next Joey Barton act of unmitigated thuggery is just around the corner. And it will be justified or excused by people who should know better........Unless he does it at another club that is, and those same people will suddenly become the "Holier than thou" lot to coin a rather sad editorial cliqche

spence said:

Five: I prefer to judge each case on it's merits rather than making character profiles based on single actions. I would contend that there many acts that are far more sickening than anything Joey Barton has ever done, (mugging old people being at least ten notches up the scale), but that's beside the point.
I agree that Joey has been a violent thug in the past and has gone to jail for it, but this was a silly incident on a footy pitch that happens quite often. Apart from last night his conduct has been spot on and I don't think his reaction is necessarily indicative of the beginning that a violent crime spree is pending! I honestly don't see any correlation between his past and what happened last night. Perhaps we could adopt some Clockwork orange style of rehabilitation and ensure no former criminal is capable of commiting a similar crime again?
I would suggest that you have reacted to the admittedly biased article by taking the polar opposite stance on the issue.
It's a three match ban for a daft lash out at another player, not even meriting a common assualt in my opinion. And despite the reactionary element to the blog, Lee's general assertions are that the incident is being blown out of all proportion.
Could that be exactly what you are doing?

FIVE said:

I would have to say that highlighting the rather absurd original article (which I assume was written in frustration at newcastles failure)...should be tempered with a little honesty.

I can correlate his past misdemeanors with this. And I will use this along with his next.

Newcastle the club or fans can have NO arguments with Bartons 3 match ban, or the condemnation that came his way.

To have ever tried to defend it with a "BUT..." was and is silly.

Better to hold your hands up and say...."Idiot" than try to justify it.


Yes Barton has been on his best behaviour.....BUT THAT IS THE POINT! it was his best, and it was just the normal to everyone else..doesnt last long does it, then back to type.


Cattermole gets his fair share of bookings and sendings off.... but I dont see people justifying him.
Diouf spat at Celtic and was villified by Liverpool supporters.

Newcastle seem to have a long line of Bowyers, Dyers, Carrolls, Bartons..... But silly articles like this give credence to arguments that newcastle fans are out of sync.

FIVE said:

Or perhaps the article proves they are?

spence said:

Hmmm. I see where you're coming from Five, but still think you're going well over the top and becoming increasingly more judgemental. At no point have I tried to justify Barton's actions and nor do I feel aggrieved at the 3 match ban he has accepted and apologised for.
What I would commend, and defend, Barton on are identifying potential sources of his previously violent off field antics and seeking help and support to make changes to his behaviour, making lasting and positive life style changes, like going tee-total for two years, trying his best to change his ways by learning to appreciate what he has got over the things that he has not or feels he has lost.
I believe he has been open and honest about his problems and his behaviour, paid the price for his previous misdemeanours and is now trying to move on with his life and career. I personally accept that the media will target him and hold his actions to scrutiny, (not sure if he will mind ya), but I don't have to be happy about it.
Oh yeah
Bowyer: Racist *** that i didn't ever want plaing for the club.
Dyer: Arrogant ***- only good thing he ever did was punch Bowyer
Carroll: Reserving my judgment until he has chance to grow up a bit and the papers leave him alone- class centre forward though!

FIVE said:


"At no point have I tried to justify Barton's actions and nor do I feel aggrieved at the 3 match ban he has accepted and apologised for."

Fair enough..... But you havent wrote the article.


Obviously Lee Ryder feels a little different about it.
And its that view I am criticising. Its that view that is been put out to the public.

Its that "view" that purports to be representing the Toon view.

Perhaps on a rethink it may be changed.

spence said:

Five: Sorry about that then- I had assumed your later comments were directed at me.
I don't like the idea of anyone speaking for me either so good on ya, even if we don't totally agree on the issue, take care.

andyj1973 said:

...Lee Ryder's wearing tinted glasses...some would call them blinkers...

toonagain said:

hmmm Big Sam has obviously told him to whind him up. Barton threw a punch but it was a body shot, remember Roy 'Dog Bothera' Kean smack Shearer in the face, was he banned? I honestly can't remember but he never lost his shine as one on ManU's greats he was probably praised. The press would love the toon fans to cast him out again and so would every manager of every team we'll be fighting for a place in the PL with come the end of the season. with Barton out we've just lost our 'Ace' in the midfield now thats for 3 games, that gives the likes of Blackburn etc., a great chance to try and catch us. after what we've seen Joey put up with this season i would say it wasn't the knock he reieved but the words we couldn't hear that went with it. last week I backed Barton, this week because he's fell foul to someones dirty ticks I'm not going to stop, just hope the 3 games of gives him time to reflect and hopefully he'll come back just when we need him. stick in Joey, and don't lose your head, and don't let the B*****ds get you down.

Relton said:

Hands up all those who are surprised by this ! ! Lee - I appreciate he gives good comment and is (on the surface) a likeable, chirpy scouser - but (to use your parlance) this was in the post.
I thought he had turned a corner - and saw the wolves game was evidence of that.
Then along comes another gnarled old manager and JB undoes the great work of the season.
This could be the end of JB - for everyone now will have this guy down as a marked man - a weak link in the machine. In four games time - expect some rough stuff.
Number one worry now is that we no longer have a quality chain of supply and I cant see where the quality balls are coming from.

bob harvey said:

Barton for England.

dave said:

lee's article in my opinion is spot on, we see worse things than this in every game we see, we have had 2 players hospitalised for the combined punishment of 1 yellow cars, I will admit to anyone I find Barton distasteful, and I think he should have been sacked when he was jailed, but we see only Barton gets suspended for what was a blow that could never be described as violent, the elbow that Pedersen used was just as violent, but what do we hear about that, a deafening silence, what if it had been the other way around, would we have heard a peep out of those cocaine snorters on the bbc. Barton being an ex boxer would know, that what he did could not cause an injury, so it could not be classed as violent, the sternum is the strongest bone in the human body as it protects the heart, and that's why you never see any boxer punch in that area as it can break the bones in the hands. if we seen the fa punish all players for things the ref misses then fair doo's but no we see them very selective in what reaction they take if any. if this had of been done by any other player we would not have had this reaction, this action is actually illegal as he had by rights , a right to be treated under the law. Any other person would have, and in this case he was not, as simply acting to one side the fa have brought football into disrepute. And also have broken the human rights act as they have deigned him his right to be treated equally under the law. The ref did not see catamole handle the ball on the line, so why no action for cheating or ungentle many behaviour. simple the fa are corrupt as simple as that.

spence said:

Dave- you raise a valid point that had not occurred to me actually- mainly cos most comparisons have been to the de jong challenge on ben arfa which, to my mind, will always be disputable. But yeah- how come indisputable incidents like catermole's handball aren't retrospectively punished on video evidence. Fair enough it's not a violent conduct charge, but it is cheating and cost stoke a lot more than Barton did blackburn.
Excellent point that makes perfect sense- I'd love to have a gander at the FA guidelines and rulebook over this issue. I bet it's subject to very loose interpretation and so based on subjective opinion.

Graham Southern Toon said:

It is very disappointing but you can not defend what Barton did in anyway, anyone that does is wrong in my opinion.
Yes, Pederson may well have wound him up during the match but that doesnt make it right for Barton to hit out like that, the best way to get back at someone who is goading you all match is to setup or score the winning goal, Barton has been great this season and now he will miss the next 3 games, because of his stupidity.
I suppose what CH has to weigh up is having Barton on his game but having the odd rush of blood is better than not having him at the club at all.
I for one will not defend him and he is a thug, but he is also a great talent and on his current form should probably be ahead of Carroll for an England call up!

marcusTOON4LIFE said:

I have read all the comments above and I've a massive gripe with 3 IDIOTS in particular. They are barry robson, five and mathew. Are you sure you 3 aren't MACKEM SCUM! sounds like it from your comments. Firstly, regarding this barton issue, i accept everyone has the right to their own opinions INCLUDING Lee. For some reason you seem to have a personal vandetta against Lee. Lee is entitled to his views as any newcastle fan. He is a proud born and bred geordie, a lifelong newcastle fan who has been following this club for as long as i can remember. So for you 3 to come on this blog and personally slate him when he is just expressing his views like you are is SHAMEFUL AND UNFORGIVABLE! I'm not going to say any swear words to you otherwise my comment won't be posted, but TRUST ME i have lot of them. At a time when every southern scum and across the country are waiting for us to fall flat on our faces, you 3 come here have a go at Lee when he is just trying to defend his club. PURE FILTH! you are you 3. Don't give us TRUE FANS that TRIPE speak for yourselves you MUPPETS!! NUF SAID!

Jonny Boy said:

MarcusTOON4Life ... it's idiots like you that give anyone outside NE1 the evidence to believe Geordies are thick. Prat.

Alex Moore said:

Pedersen's reaction shouldnt have anything to do with this... it doesnnt matter if he rolled round crying for ten minutes or took it like a man.Neither does what Big sam said to pedersen before the game. Alot of managers will say that, and maybe newcastle players will target tempermental players, but its no excuse to have a dig at Sam just because things didnt work out for him here. Barton throw a punch FACT, he deserves a three match ban, just like any other player who would do such a thing. If this happened in the street i would expect the person to be arrested, we cant not give Barton beenfit of the dobut just cos he plays for Newcastle.

Dont get me wrong i like joey barton, use to hate him, just like many newcastle fans and journalists (i remember a blog titling "joey barton should never play for newcastle again") but this isnt acceptable. Hes taken his ban and admitted he was wrong. End of in my opinion. I dont think blogs like this help. We need to set an example to kids watching. This isnt acceptable who ever the other person reacts.

Bartons accepted it wrong, he'll sit out the next three games. Joey you let yourself and the fans down.... but im sure you'll put it right when your back. End of.

marcusTOON4LIFE said:

Let's get this Barton issue clear here. Barton didn't hurt Pedersen. There was never any chance he would hurt Pedersen. I can only assume Pedersen went down like a bag of cement out off utter shock. And what Barton did certainly wasn't anywhere near as dangerous as the stamp that Tom Huddlestone got away with. The two incidents highlight the hypocrisy of the F.A. Barton was caught bang to rights when he thumped Pedersen, so was Huddlestone when he raked his studs into the groin of Elmander. But one of them is viewed as a mindless thug with a penchant for violence, while the other is regarded as a gentle giant who just doesn't do that kind of thing. Anyone who thinks that incidents like these are judged in isolation should remember Alan Shearer's stamp on Neil Lennon a few years ago and Steven Gerrard's elbow on Michael Brown last season. I rest my case.

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Lee Ryder

Lee Ryder - Proudly born and bred on Tyneside, the Chronicle's chief sports writer has followed the fortunes of the club over the last three decades as a Toon fan and football writer.

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