Is ‘player power’ tantamount to ‘one bad apple’?
Posted on August 1st, 2011 | 44 Comments |
Joey Barton’s tirades on Twitter has been very well publicised, as have many other players comments on the social networking sites. Jose Enrique, Wayne Routledge and countless others from teams across the UK. This has prompted the Premier League to consider rules and regulations for the popular website.
Of course, everybody is entitled to their opinion and that does not differ because of your profession. Joey Barton, however, has taken it above and beyond “opinion” and turned the popular website into a media circus.
Just to get one thing straight: I don’t necessarily disagree with what he has to say. I do, however, think that somebody such as Barton should hold themselves with a little more tact, dignity and most importantly with a hell of a lot more professionalism.
Barton goes on about how much he loves the fans, the club and how he wears our famous strips with honour and pride – so why did he hold out on the contract back in January? Andy Carroll was sold on the last day and Barton himself had mentioned that he’d like to see his career out here – discussions were going on before then, presumably.
Please don’t get me wrong, in no way am I trying to vindicate Mike Ashley and Derek Llambias here. Their internal business strategy of “put up or shut up” is not a way to deal with your employees and gain trust of your customers – us, the loyal fans – but something is not adding up.
“Jailbird Joey” as he was once known is a good player as he shown during his time at Manchester City and of course the little games he played in the Championship and near enough all of last season. He cares and nobody can doubt that but is it possible to care too much? Imagine showing up for work one morning and having to sit in a room with somebody who appears to have two modes of conversation:
1. Complain about the heirachy.
2. Talk about how he’s the best player in the country.
2a. Talk about Morrissey
For what it’s worth, I would not have a single problem with 2a.
So the question I’d like you all to answer, either to yourself or in public is this: When does an opinion become toxic?
We have new players at this club and they must be wondering what the hell they’ve got themselves into. This is certainly not a way to represent a club you claim to love.
This entire debate is a choice between who you believe is the lesser of two evils and frankly I don’t think that Barton realises exactly how much he owes this club. After one solid season, or half a season if you’re a pessimist, he believes he is God’s gift to this once great club and that is simply unacceptable.
In 4 years, the man has played a mere 79 games, missing the rest through either injury or jail time. To put that into perspective, former captain Kevin Nolan, who joined in the January transfer window in 2009 and left this summer of this year (2011 for you future readers), has played 85.
Newcastle United and everybody involved stuck by Joey during thick and thin – jail, community service and the injuries, yet he still doesn’t seem to think he owes a debt of gratitude to the club – how many others would have even touched him, let alone give him chance after chance? At the very least he owed the club to keep his grievances behind closed doors – where they belong. There’s always a solution to the problem, and Joey repeatedly took the most public option time and time again.
Moral of the story: Don’t gamble with a gambler; you will not win.
As a message to the man himself: Need I remind you of this? For all the good you’ve done over the past season and a bit, you have shot yourself directly in the foot. Maybe you’re pulling an Andy Carroll and hoping to infuriate the board to the point where they do exactly this and vindicate your obnoxious behaviour. Perhaps you’re telling us exactly what we already know but either way, you’re no good to the club if you aren’t playing for us.
Speaking of you playing for us: How long is it going to be before we see you playing for a different club slagging off the owners in the tabloids? I have no doubt in my mind that you won’t follow through with your “I will see out my contract” comments and you’ll be off at the sniff of a slightly better paycheck although having said that – I challenge you to prove me wrong. From one man to another, just prove me wrong and show that you care as much as you say you do.
Your acts have (potentially) left us without another, very able, player. As of now, we don’t actually have a proven right sided player who is guaranteed to put on a show. If that’s your idea of ‘passion’ then it’s absolutely laughable.
As a message to the board: Just get out. Thanks for the cash to keep us afloat but there have been too many broken promises for us to even consider putting our faith in you – as long as you are all in charge, we will never be anything more than a mid table team and unfortunately that’s being particularly optimistic.
People are blaming Pardew as being a “yes man” and I genuinely don’t think he has a choice. I have faith in Pardew’s ability to manage a football club, he knows the brand of football we want to see, the players we want to see and yet he isn’t allowed to manage – I said those same words in 2009 after relegation in regards to Kevin Keegan – as an exact quote:
Effectively, Keegan was expected to take responsibility for results from a team he didn’t put together – our manager couldn’t fully manage.
If you replace “Keegan” with “Pardew” and change past tense to the present, you’ll see that 2 years on that sentence is still applicable.
Mike Ashley, you are an owner. Your job is to pay the wages, give the gaffer money for players and then scream with delight every time one of those signings scores a goal. I understand you want this club on a fair financial level but at what cost? Another few seasons in the Championship? You’re gambling with us and we can see that very well. I don’t even think Alan Pardew himself trusts you as far as he could throw you.
As far as that club statement goes – can any of you be the bigger man? Why stoop to his level? Frankly it’s pathetic and I expected so much more – even from you clowns.
Just so the point isn’t lost on you: Get out of our club. Not yours – ours.
Maybe Barton is a bad apple but at the end of the day, it’s you who have broken the trust of not just the fans and supporters but your own employees. It takes a bad apple to make a bad apple and we have many.