Love him or hate him, football (and twitter) would be a much duller place without Joey Barton. His life has more weekly drama than Eastenders and Coronation Street put together, something aside from Mario Balotelli (legend), no other footballer can boast. No longer just an above average footballer, nowadays Barton is something of a ‘C’ list celebrity, a transition helped largely by outbursts on twitter. I mean, have you ever read the stuff he’s tweeting about? It’s not all philosophy and Smiths references, oh no, most of the time he’s just saying what we’re all thinking. Tweeting that he’s praying for one of the stage lights to fall on Alexandra Burke (during her cringe worthy stint as a judge on the X Factor) remains one of my personal favourites.
Last year was a busy one for Barton, highlights include sticking it to ‘the man’ during his time at Newcastle, and a twitter war with the cast of ‘The Only Way Is Essex (or TOWIE as a lot of douchebags are calling them), which resulted in talk of a boxing match between Barton and Mark Wright (dunno which one he is either, I hear he has a shocking tan though). So it may come as no surprise that following his sending off against Norwich Barton took to the web to vent his frustrations claiming Bradley Johnson had conned the referee. Not only that, but he claims the officials even told him at half time they didn’t see the incident! We’ve all seen it, and I’ve got to say Bradley Johnson’s performance was better than Brad Pitt in Snatch. A lot of people will have enjoyed Barton’s sending off especially considering how he reacted to Gervihno at Arsenal earlier on in the season, but they would have enjoyed Johnson’s reaction to Barton’s twitter outburst even more. Whilst out watching the World’s Darts Final (seriously why?) Johnson held aloft a sign saying “Barton your breath stinks”… that’s one way of hitting a man where it hurts.
But the story doesn’t stop there. Followers of Barton’s tweets will have seen he is now considering suing the referee! Those officials must be bricking it, after all Barton does have an extended knowledge of the English legal system. He then states that someone has to stop the game from being ruined, before finally posting “Maybe I’ll be the 1st one. Can players sue referees? Barton’s comments drew criticism from Graham Poll who labelled Barton’s comments ridiculous, adding that referees are being blamed for things and being left hung out to dry.
Sure, he’s done some things he regrets (and I’m not talking about that haircut), but by God he’s got entertainment value. Who knows what 2012 holds for Joey Barton? Will Barton ‘save football’ and successfully sue the FA? Maybe he’ll start a twitter war with the cast of Time Team? He might even solve the conflict in the Middle East? Or, alternatively Barton could use his new found celebrity and bag himself a Tic Tac commercial?