Barton witch-hunt is getting tiresome for United fans

By Lee Ryder on Dec 15, 10 10:20 AM

The more Joey Barton goes on putting in quality performances in a black and white shirt and gaining England recognition, the more it will upset the knockers of the Scouser and the haters of Newcastle United.

For the thinking fan, Barton has done more than just put in a string of quality performances so far this season.

He's also kept his head under intense provocation which would lead to weaker human beings breaking down in tears.

We know fine well Barton has not been an angel in the past, but how long do some people want to hit him over the head with the bad boy stick?

At Wolves this season we witnessed Barton being the target of both brutal fouls and intimidation to the point that he actually needed smelling salts to come back round.

Was anybody sent off? No.

Did the FA review any videos due to some serious foul play or write any letters reminding Karl Henry of his "responsibilities", the answer is again an emphatic, no.

For Barton he has the tread the fineline between performing well for his club and keeping that cool head.

The incident with Fernando Torres and subsequent reaction wasn't great.

But Torres' reaction to the incident was nothing short of pathetic either - especially as he and his own team-mates were attempting to wind up Barton for the entire game.

If Torres can't take it, then he shouldn't dish it out and maybe he should spend more time focusing on scoring goals or dying his hair back the way it was, because frankly he's been crap ever since.

If the FA are going to be big on gestures and swearing by players, then I suggest they review every single game in the Premier League and Football League and dish out the same type of punishment.

Certainly, had letters been sent out "reminding players of their responsibilities" then some poor soul at the FA would have writer's cramp and if they had suspended Barton for it then if we are in the interests of being fair, then 50% of the 92 clubs in the top four divisions in this country would be in the sin bin.

Anybody who has played the game knows that players get involved in "sledging" during matches at every level.

But Barton is an easy target because of some of his unacceptable behaviour in the past and when he was younger.

And why else is Barton an easy target for our friends in the south?

Oh yes, he wears a black and white shirt.

To the perfect branch of society, Barton will never be forgiven for those who think they are the brain of Britain merely by taking the moral high ground.

There are plenty of bar-room judges who have an opinion on Barton.

For some people though they can't seem to grasp that there will always be reformed characters in life that regret their past actions and try to make amends.

Certainly we experienced some of that this week when Joey Barton did his bit for local hospitals and dished out presents to light up people's Christmas.

I mentioned on a previous blog about Barton that the Huyton lad to the masses is classed as a working class hero and I fully stick by that even if it upset some of the so called upper echelons of both society and certain members of the north-east press pack.

To Barton it was water off a duck's back.

And having survived the Morten Gamst Pedersen affair, he came out and stuck two fingers up to his critics.

By putting in an England class performance against Liverpool and scoring a goal that arguably won the game, Barton responded in the best possible way.

And if he keeps up his superb form then you won't find one member of the Toon Army that travels down to Birmingham complaining.


Lee Ryder Author Profile Pagesaid:

I think a lot of people who see Barton week in, week out feel the same.
These views are my own and not lifted off your site.

Lee Ryder Author Profile Pagesaid:

I think a lot of people who see Barton week in, week out feel the same.
These views are my own and not lifted off your site.

Odd Sigurd Korsnes said:

I totally agree with you,for most people it seems like Barton can't change,but we who love the toon,we have seen BIG changes in his personality,he's been more responsable now after the season with CH in the championship league

Stormy said:

Good article Lee - sums up the views of most Toon fans. If he keeps on playing the way he is at the moment he should get in the England squad - unfortunately the FA will probably block that though cos he's not from Liverpool or Man U

mark said:

I have written off Barton loads of time and I don't think much of him as a person, he likes to talk about reform but doesnt always produce evidence of it. But he has been playing well this season as thats all, as fans can ask. As long as he keeps producing Ill be happy.

Lee.. any news on the giant screen(s) we were promised a while back at St James

BeeGuy said:

Lee, to protect our lads from lip reading retrospective punishment, I suggest the squad wear those little mouth covers that you see the Japanese and Chinese wearing on cold and/or bad air days. If nothing else, it would give the FA administrators something else to think about other than how to keep the Magpies from flying.

toonagain said:

I agree, theres nothing wrong with a bit banta, barton is going to get stick from now on and for at least the rest of the season.

I was wondering if Lee Dixon and Shearer had fell out? he can't help himself from putting the boot in for no apparent reason?? or does he just not like to see newcastle do well? he never seems to be on the sofa with Shearer these days? Think he might have the hump, as Shearers' pushed him down the ladder on MOTD. if Dixon hadn't made such a meal about it, it wouldn't of gone beyond the game however as he is in such a prominent position people who didn't cathch the game and the media pick up on it. in my opinion Dixon is making himself out to be a bit of a whinge and not what you want to hear on MOTD.

spence said:

Well said Lee.

Malta Mag said:

Good article however for some he will never be forgiven which is both unfair and hypocritical. How many of us have done things we regret or got into a bit of bother but luckily in my day there were no CCT cameras. Not condoning his past but give the lad credit as you can see he's really making the effort and cares about this club. As for Pardew, well give him a chance and see what happens. I remember the hysteria on these blogs when Hughton was appointed and I can bet that half those shouting the abuse on Saturday at his sacking were the same that vilified him on these pages. Hypocrisy rules ok

Ian Turnbull said:

Pretty poor article if truth be told. The one person who doesnt make any excuses for his behaviour is barton himself. After the Pederson incident for example when Hughton and yourself leapt to his defence the one person who came out publicly condemning his completely unacceptable behaviour was Barton himself. He is fighting his demons and doesnt need anyone making excuses for him on the occasions he does slip up - in fact its the last thing he needs.

jjk said:

Ian Turnbull: Self-righteous...

Andy said:

Spot on Lee...

F.A by name - F.A's by nature!

McMackem said:

QUOTE: We know fine well Barton has not been an angel in the past, but how long do some people want to hit him over the head with the bad boy stick?

For as long as it takes him to stop being a thug :-)

FaunAce said:

McMackem. Nice to see you spend more time worrying about the toon than your own club. We are not surprised. 5-1!

Wor Spavvy Spenkburn said:

Great piece.

Sure, Barton got up to all sorts when he was a kid, like those balmy teenage days where he punched Gamst Pedersen in the ribs, but that's ancient history.

If Torres can't take a bit of banter, he should have a sense of humour punched and kicked into him on the streets of Liverpool.

Oh, we're Geordies, and these London journos just divvint understand our proud club. Next thing they'll have the gaul to report Andy Carroll's impending court case. It's just another form of racism, fueled, no doubt, by jealousy over out scintillating football and perennially sold out stadium.

Typical Cockneys. I hate them all, apart from Hughton, and possible Pardew. And Steven Taylor.

mal said:

As you say lee, it's all getting a bit ott. lee Dixon and Colin whoever were pathetic on mod 2.
Incidentally, I think your first para needs amending doesn't it? I doubt if the majority of toon supporters will be upset if he continues with his good performances.

belter99 said:


old bramble is in courts soon for doing something far worse then punching someone, maybe you should concentrate on your own players before having a go at ours.

oh and just in case you forgot, the time is 5 past sunderland. (lol you wont ever live that score line down)

Driver said:

Barton slaps every critic he's ever had right between their runnin' lights with his performances so far this season and the few from the Championship.

When asked whose shirt he wanted, my 10 year old proudly and adamantly said "Joey's".

Driver said:

Joey puts the boot to the nads of all his detractors with his form....even after the 3 match suspension he came on to set Andy up to nod on to Nolan. Everyone has a past, Joey has moved on and passed his past...keep him in the Toon, not another club deserves him.

relton said:

Well - i thought he had changed - hoped he had changed. Hughton who built the team around him and his obvious talent thought he had changed. The wolves game marked a watershed - and we all breathed a sigh of relief.
Then the stupidity of the "punch" - the ban, the game we play dependant on his crossing lost its way - Hughton lost his job.
He is Lee - still showing signs of stupidity - and needs to re-asses and place himself back where he was at the start of the season (circa nazi salute era). Clearly there is an improvement - he has kept himself out of jail - he must now keep himself out of the minor incidents.
Vital player - still clearly a gamble though.


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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