Date:Monday August 27 2012
Joey Barton has fired several parting shots at Queens Park Rangers as looks to leave for France in a blaze of glory.
Our former captain and central midfielder Joey Barton has never strayed too far from the headlines for the wrong reasons, and this latest and reputedly final rant is the climax of another tumultuous year in the midfielder's career.
Despite openly stating his loathing for the media at large, Joey continues to court their every whim with a cavalcade of suggestive nonsense in 140 characters or less. One of many inconsistencies and character flaws that make him an unnecessary gamble.
When he signed for QPR under Neil Warnock, it was seen a signing more out of desperation than substance. A player with miles left on the clock that for all intensive purposes was damaged goods - handed wilfully over by Newcastle United on a free transfer.
Warnock was a big fan of Barton's and backed his man fervently after the capture - this respect and a second chance in the game was royally thrown back in Warnock's face after his departure.
Barton slammed his tactics, and openly hurled vitriolic abuse at a widely-respected QPR manager, a boss still respected by those supporters for whom Joey played. It was a statement that rather sent ripples of discontent through the club.
His arrogant ways combined with a devastatingly poor performance against Liverpool saw him booed off. While I did not join in, I can understand the frustration in being very disappointed in a footballer who lauds himself to an extent he believes he is untouchable.
In his subsequent programme notes he laid into the QPR fans further, saying that everyone needed to 'stick together.' Further ripples of displeasure could be felt around the club - evidently ignoring the extremities of the Twitter trolls, here was a man that was causing problems.
With those comments in mind he was forced to come back into the midfield on a more regular basis owing to an injury to Samba Diakité. The words 'stick together' should have been emblazoned on his forehead as he completely lost himself at Man City - all-but throwing away any chance of safety that remained.
Only the superhuman efforts of his colleagues, combined with an unlikely favour from Stoke City kept QPR in the league and spared a public lynching for what remained the captain of our side - a conundrum any side can do without.
Throughout the weeks that followed, Barton maintained that he never lost his cool and any apology was veiled with a self-indulgent binge of arguing with trolls or abusing any celebrity that dare take the spotlight away from our media-hungry/media-hating midfielder.
One would think a 12-match ban, a dressing down from the club, pre-season with another club and having his squad number taken away would be enough to encourage the midfielder to keep his head down and get his career in check.
He has made it abundantly clear that he no longer wishes to stay at QPR and longs for another chapter. Here I am sure he will repeat the same process above ad nausea. A halfway decent midfielder with a game that I'm sure could still develop will continue to wrap himself in self-indulgence until it smothers him.
It's a goodbye from QPR fans, but the already waning respect is fast diminishing - every disrespectful word spoken is another twist of the knife that was firmly planted in our backs at the Etihad Stadium. The circus now takes its European tour - I think it's safe to say we've seen enough for now.
Date:Monday August 27 2012
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