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Barton is still a victim of "street justice" from Premier League refs

By Lee Ryder on Aug 14, 11 09:56 AM


If Gervinho's red card at the Gallowgate End has highlighted anything, then it has to be that Joey Barton has to work harder to gain justice from referees than any other player in the Premier League.

The Saturday night debate over the rights and wrongs of how to behave in football were there for all to see.

So when analysing the events of the game let us begin in chronological order.

Let's start with the ugly stamp from Alex Song which could have put Barton out of the game for months and there would have been a call for Barton's head had it been the other way round.

This happened right under the nose of ref Peter Walton but in my opinion and given the incident happend within my eyeline from just above the dugout, he must have had a clear view of it.

If he didn't, then the fourth official Nigel Miller was also near enough the incident that took Barton's boot off!

No matter, given that the FA can use video evidence to punish players later, then surely this comes into play just like it did when Morten Gamst Pedersen was struck by Barton last season?

Oh, except it doesn't always work like that does it?

No, sometimes the camera misses incidents like it did at Stoke last season when Barton was wiped out by Ricardo Fuller's off the ball lunge which the ref also missed.

Only time will tell if Song goes on to pick up a three match ban like Barton did.

Moving on, Gervinho is fouled at Gallowgate before Barton grabs the player and picks him up accusing him of diving.

This is a grey area indeed as it wasn't quite a strike on Gervinho and incidents in a football game ie "handbags" are commonplace - but nevertheless perhaps a yellow card was enough punishment.

Striking an opponent is slightly different, and merits a red card, so fair enough in the eyes of most obeservers.

Sadly, ref Walton had his back to play and missed the whole incident so in reality that he sent off Gervinho and booked Barton means he was relying on the views of his linesman or the calls from the crowd.

Nevertheless, you could say one yellow and one red was the right outcome.

In my eyes, Barton going to ground is neither here nor there.

In the heat of the moment it must be impossible to differentiate what is a slap or a punch.

Just 12 months ago Barton was kicked from pillar to post at Wolves and because he is simply Joey Barton, some of the brutality went unpunished.

Barton gets a raw deal from refs and a raw deal from society in general because of his troubled past - the player wasn't even allowed to warm up at Sunderland a few years ago without a steward moving him on!

Because of the "street justice" mentality of refs at the beginning of last season ie "You're Joey Barton and have been a bad boy so you deserved that foul, therefore let's play on", it is clear that the midfielder has had little choice but to modify his game - simply to survive.

Therefore, if he is fouled, punched, kicked or worse, he has no choice but to make a point of the situation - otherwise he gets nothing.

Afterwards Arsene Wenger groaned that Barton had "got away with it again" and that the incident from yesterday's game was "linked" with the dismissal of Diaby last season when another one of his players raised hands.

This to me was a little bit rich coming from Wenger.

During the Premier League years we've seen Martin Keown manhandle Ruud Van Nistelrooy, we've seen incident after incident involving Patrick Viera, we've had pizzas and soup hurled all over Alex Ferguson when he was trying to do an interview, we've observed Thierry Henry lose his cool and push referee Graham Poll and cameramen around after our 3-1 win back in 2001 at Highbury and a host of other incidents are also out there.

Barton's brush with Gervinho is hardly the real story here, it has to be Alex Song's stamp on the Scouser that went unpunished?

12 Comments

Glenn said:

Song should of seen red for the stamp, then Both Gervinho and Barton should of seen red, Barton started the incident.

He was lucky to only get a yellow card.

Dangly Ham said:

I think Barton played the incident perfect.In his mind Arsenal (song) got away with a red card offence and retribution was taken.
Well done Joey.

Bobby said:

Watch it again. The ref was watching and had walked 5 yards towards the Barton/Taylor/Gervinho tussle, before the slap, so didn't consult with assistants before raising the red card

Lee Ryder Author Profile Pagesaid:

Seen it at the time, have looked again and have had it confirmed by observers in the Gallowgate. Unless he's got eyes in the back of his head, he didn't see any of it.

Davey said:

Song should get a six (yes, that's right, six!) game ban - no pun intended, but we have to stamp out what he did. Gervinho probably would have saw red for raising his hands to a players face, without Joey's theatrics, which made Steven Taylor look like Robert De Niro! Taylor didn't help matters by insisting there had been an elbow (not the brightest at Physics I'm guessing!). However, what Joey did was cheat (not just the ref, who was woeful for both sides, but a fellow pro and perhaps most important of all, himself) and as much as it pains me to say it, if the Premier League is to set an example, he should be given a three match ban.

Malta Mag said:

Joey was lucky not to go because whether we like it or not he raised his hands to Gervinho when he grabbed him. What annoys me is why we are still going on about it? Joey is always going to be a figure of hate unless he plays for you, which beggars the question why he wants to leave and have the full wrath of 52,000 Geordies crashing down on him? Stay Joey mate and enjoy the acclaim while it lasts.

Chris Garrawway said:

Why should Joey Barton be punish he did nothing wrong All Joey did was helped the man to his feet as any Geordie Gentleman would do Joey never kicked any one, Punched any one, Stood on any one , Abused any one, he was the perfect Gentleman . Thats the trouble with people just because someone meets a famous person ie Joey Barton they decide to see what his reaction would be if the person whom stood on Joeys leg to see what Joey's would do the person in question ended on the ground and Joey decided to help the man to his feet as any body could see if they watched the football match as I did via the Television and I can honestly say Joey never touched the man whom was given a Red car and was sent off the pitch I commend Joey's good manners his mam would be proud of him WHY AYA MAN lets be having the lads they deserve the BEST

Swamp Duck said:

Bartons actions would not have looked out of place on the streets of London last week. Once a thug always a thug.
What a fine example for the youth of Britain, get your brain into gear please.
Plus your acting was plainly speaking BLATANT CHEATING

Jackie W said:

Has acted once or twice to emphasisie fouls to the ref , hard as nails , A bit of an incident where a player got kicked / hit in the face , and is a bit of a dirty but fair player.....Are we talking Joey Barton or Alan Shearer !! Enough said Swamp duck wind your neck in

Jackie W

Azmi said:

If joey hadnt gone down, gervinho wud hav escape the red card n joey could hav been given a red. F joey stamped song, the headline of the papers 'Dirty Joey stamped Song'.

mix said:

gervinho did an oscar worthy dive earlier in the game that no one comments as well..

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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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