Is ‘player power’ tantamount to ‘one bad apple’?

Spot the ball.

Is Barton a bad apple?

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.

avatar NUFCBlog Author: Thump Some say his bones are black and white but that is yet to be medically proven. Currently writes for a few different publications and likes to assert his imaginary authority on nobody in particular. Beware: eats children. Thump has written 36 articles on this blog.

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44 Responses to “Is ‘player power’ tantamount to ‘one bad apple’?”

  1. 1
    avatar Jack N says:

    So you have just got promoted to the Premier League, you have the most popular manager in the league, he has steadied the ship and is raising a young English team with little to no money. The wheelchair personified Michael Owen has left and Joke Innear is nothing but a distant memory. The new manager is respected by the players and has you sitting in 9th, after a 5-1 win over Sunderland, 6-0 over Villa and wins against Arsenal and Chelsea.Thing are looking up, maybe Europe this season? Sack him. Replace him with a manager sacked 3 months before by League 1 Southampton and jokes about rape on MOTD.

    Oh well, you still have your number 9, the pony-tailed geordie. The man who is destined to follow the greats, McDonald, Cole, Milburn, Ferdinand and Shearer.The best thing to come out of the academy since Michael Chopra and the Caldwell brothers. The one player that makes us proud to follow the club. Recently capped, 12 goals in his first 4 months in the Premiership. Promise fans he isnt for sale at any price. Sell him with 25 minutes of the window remaining. Who needs a back up plan when you can get the unattached Shefki Kuqi in?

    Derek says, ‘Oh dear Mike, the fans are turning against us, what should we do?’ Mike has a little think. ‘Derek, we should rename the stadium “SportsDirect.com@ StJames Park.” It seemed like a good idea at the time.

    Well at least you still have your inspirational captain. Hatrick hero against the mackems, the top english midfielder scorer in the premiership. A man who truely loves the club and speaks of his pride of wearing the black and white. Sell him to a Championship club. Give the armband to a non-english speaking Sideshow Bob.

    Where will our goals come from now? Ah yes, the returning Hatem Ben Arfa. Hope. Snap. Sign Marveaux (failed medical at Liverpool) and Demba Ba (failed medical at Stoke) to cover him. At least one will be fit, right?

    Ok, lets forget all that. Lets start afresh. Pre-season, a new begining. Lets book a tour of the USA. Oh. Well 3 of the players cannot go because of criminal records, sorry Joey, Yohann and Nile, no visas for you. You may as well go train with the U18s. That should help our team gel for the new season.

    At least there is one player left who wont just play for a pay check. One that will run himself into the ground for the team, one who will inspire your team to a point when you are 4-0 down at half time to Arsenal. Release him for free.

    This leaves Lovenkrands to be our Messiah now.

    M.A – get out of our club.

    HWTL.

  2. 2
    avatar Thump says:

    @Jack: Funny. I was actually going to write a very similar article to what you have just said!

  3. 3
    avatar Thump says:

    Cheers for the more tag Worky, was just about to correct that!

  4. 4
    avatar Jack N says:

    Publish that one haha!

  5. 5
    avatar Lualua says:

    @Jack N

    Sums it up really. He is destroying this club.

  6. 6
    avatar BeeGuy says:

    Here is how it looks to me, now. NUFC will sell anyone with the ability to tie both of his shoes. They will bring in anyone they can steal due to contractual clauses, the talented but injured, and fill out the roster with whoever is on free.

    As a person who knows some of the few left in the USA textile industry, I can tell you mgt. sees employees as surfs, their peers as genius. Those not out of business discarded any sense of loyalty, moral standards or community responsibility years ago. I’m concerned that the NUFC owner has embraced those traits in order to survive. To succeed in football, he may need to leave some of that behavior at the corporate door. The price of not doing so will be the deep cost of relegation.

  7. 7
    avatar scott says:

    Preach on brother! I agree with pretty much the whole article, barring the last sentence. No antics of mike ashley made barton a bad apple, he was well past that long before he ever put on a black and white shirt!

  8. 8
    avatar GeordieDan says:

    Jack N>

    Spot on mate. Don’t need to add anything

  9. 9
    avatar Grumpy Old-Toon says:

    Just got back from a weekend in the wilderness, well no TV or Radio! So England coming back to win the 2nd test and Joey being hooked off from stage left were both big surprises.

    Joey is a very intelligent man and I have no doubt he has been deliberately winding up “the management” to get a reaction.

    I am amazed at the over reaction by “the management” that they feel slighted enough to respond by, to all intents and purposes, sacking him. Especially, as many others have mentioned, we have had the worst of times from him and were actually getting the best of times, to quote no one in particular!

    Personnaly I would interpret his sacking as a cull of what “the management” see of the bigger personalities (or troublemakers as they see it)to get a more aquiescent dressing room. If this is the case it is obviously doomed to failure as footballers are hugely egotistical and others will arise to take their place.

    Other teams have their share of “troublemakers” but seem to “manage” them. I can’t help feeling that if CH had of been retained and given some positive backing from “the management” then there would have been less problems from the “troublemakers”. Irrelevent now though and no point in dwelling on might have beens.

    I don’t think things are as bad as many of us think and I think the bookies are getting it wrong, imo we will not be a relegation team and will possibly do better than last season. There is still time for some decent signings. I won’t throw my teddy out of the pram quite yet. :)

  10. 10
    avatar Thump says:

    Publish that one haha!

    Haha I might as well mate! I was going to go through all the cock ups and general crap we’ve put up with under the Ashley regime but honestly, you put it perfectly. Bravo!

  11. 11
    avatar Jack N says:

    fantastic !

  12. 12
    avatar Mumpy says:

    I have issue with 2a) Morrissey is dogshit. Also, Ashley tried to get out for ages and had no buyers. Nothings changed. That’s it. End of. Nile Ranger also washing his dirty linen today, what a mess.

  13. 13
    avatar Willo says:

    Awesome. Now if only we can get the board to read this and get out.

  14. 14
    avatar workyticket says:

    BeeGuy says:
    August 1, 2011 at 7:55 pm

    “As a person who knows some of the few left in the USA textile industry, I can tell you mgt. sees employees as surfs, their peers as genius. Those not out of business discarded any sense of loyalty, moral standards or community responsibility years ago. I’m concerned that the NUFC owner has embraced those traits in order to survive. To succeed in football, he may need to leave some of that behavior at the corporate door. The price of not doing so will be the deep cost of relegation.”

    BeeGuy, he’s had those traits for a long time and we’ve already been relegated once. If by “Serfs” you mean that he can’t treat talented, and sometimes temperamental football professionals who could command high salaries elsewhere like Sports Direct employees, then you’re dead right, and it could indeed lead to another relegation.

    I’ve said this before, but whatever is happening with the players, no good manager would work for Ashley and Llambias unless they were offered a truly ridiculous contract. Sadly much of the damage has already been done in terms of their reputation in the football world.

  15. 15

    Good article Thump.

    Well, except for the Morrissey bit.

  16. 16
    avatar AndyMac says:

    G O-T says:

    “Other teams have their share of “troublemakers” but seem to “manage” them. I can’t help feeling that if CH had of been retained and given some positive backing from “the management” then there would have been less problems from the “troublemakers”

    I wonder whether Pardwho has had a hand in all these outgoings ? Maybe he didnt like the senior committee aspect and wanted to bring in his own men ? If so its a big mistake as there are now no leaders in that dressing room not even Colo !

  17. 17
    avatar Thump says:

    Morrissey, Morrissey, Morrissey.

    I really should make jokes a little more obvious. Morrissey has long been known as the moody man in music. Now go back and read back his other points of conversations.

    You’re all terrible :(

  18. 18
    avatar Toonie1949 says:

    Anybody else getting the feeling that JB has manipulated this situation to suit himself? He must have know what the reaction of the club would be, in his case they have choosen to throw him out. End result being when he signs for a new club he can then throw his hands up and say it was’nt his fault.

    Don’t anyone get me wrong, I would have liked Joey to stay at least till next summer and no I don’t have any time for Ashley & Llambias, it will be the happiest day of my life when those pair of tossers leave SJP and never come back.

  19. 19
    avatar MadAboutToon says:

    i have stuck up for barton ever since he joined and i can see why most off you’s agree with barton on this. it’s because you’s hate ashley, he’s lied to us he’s treated some employees badly, true. but barton had this coming, he talks to much and this is the right treatment by ashley. barton said about the way ashley running the club is effecting the morale of the team, how? the only thing i can think off that’s effecting the team morale is him and jose’s tweets. the club has stuck by him through everything and all he’s give us is 1 good season and he come out saying this because is good mate nolan was lied to about contacts, i don’t always agree with ashley decision’s but i agree with not giving nolan a 5 year deal, maybe not the lieing bit but i can’t imagine that effecting morale can you’s ? and as for newcastle being a selling club where’s the prof ? we sold carroll because he asked for a transfer, maybe with milner you could say that but that’s one player, the why i see it is if where a selling club then why wait to there on there last year of there contact?

  20. 20
    avatar Johnny says:

    first off, Morrissey is great. now that that has been addressed, as much as i hate the management and what they have done with barton, i agree with Grumpy that i think most people are experiencing a major overreaction. as far as skill goes, we only really saw one good year of him as the article says. as far as leadership goes he was great, but for those who say we don’t have any leaders left, i think they are underestimating both jonas and colloccinni. i for was was very impressed with colloccinni when he stated that he was going to begin english lessons again to get even better in order to communicate with the squad. and from what i’ve been able to tell, ba seems like he can be one to rally around as well. however i’m still pissed about losing barton if only for the leadership. theres a good chance he wouldve been gone at the end of the season and i think we should have given him the chance to stay as he claimed he wanted to see it out. after the traitor saga i decided i would reserve judgment on pardew and the board until this window was closed – on pardew to impress me with signings and for the board to earn back even a semblance of trust. now im still waiting for the end of the window and i must say that i was impressed with ba, cabaye, and such, but if nothing else happens i will be severely disappointed

  21. 21
    avatar Johnny says:

    and by reserving judgment i do not mean giving them the benefit of the doubt. i’ve had a problem with ashely for a long time now and wanted to see if he was even going to try with the team. i understand tha they’ve claimed to follow the arsenal model – which im certainly ok with – but in order for those players to actually develop they need the older leadership and experience to help them along

  22. 22
    avatar scottie says:

    Barton is a loser, always was always will be. This so called best player in the country was warned by his employer to stop tweeting and show some manners. He is payed by ashley to play football and that is it!! He treated barton as he would anyone of his employees and sacked him, I would have done the same!! You have to set a president to stop the rot and kill the infection and without doubt barton is not a good factor to have round such a young team. Good luck to him, but it had to be done!!

  23. 23
    avatar scottie says:

    And BTW we have got Jonas for the Right wing!!

  24. 24
    avatar nzedtoonman says:

    Good Article , Jack N,
    Grumpy spot on about CH , he would have managed this better, Its not just about 90 mins on a saturday, its managing the whole set up , Twitter has been a nightmare since it arrived , personally I couldn’t give a fech aboot the antics of footballers washing their hair , stroking their wags , and drinking in public, as long as they are 100 % behind the club , thats what pardoo and us all want..

    Joey Barton is not as intelligent as my dog, my dog can nearly pick up a pen in its jaw, and it wags its tail when its happy , and you know what Joey, get this it’s something special …

    …ITS LOYAL !!

    HWTFL….

  25. 25
    avatar steg c says:

    Sick of been led up the garden path ,be realy happy when the tosspots (2 in question) p*** off outta the north east ,the toon needs a good leader to step up to the plate ,continue the good team spirit and hopefully improve on last season ,definatly need a striker of good pedigree shift out shola nd lovenkrans ,best definatly deserves anuther season to prove he’s got the minerals ,and of course the enrique saga needs to end a wish hed f*** off already and get anuther top quality left back in as you’ve definatly got the money you fat prick ,stop shaking evrybodys hand s get ur finger outta ur ass and strengthen our beloved teams squad ,how can we improve if the best player s keep going sort it out man its not like ur short of a few bob is it ???

  26. 26
    avatar robsondoc says:

    Good stuff Jack N, my sentiments entirely .I enjoyed the Championship season more than any other for some time – no longer a laughing stock,success on the pitch,respected manager treating his players like adults and getting the response from them,in the sports pages for all the right reasons.Then since Christmas – here we go again!! – do the samaritans have a dedicated telephone line for Toon fans?

  27. 27
    avatar Charlietoon says:

    Looking forward to seeing a lot more of both Gosling and Vukic this season! Those lads will be busting their balls to get out there and impress.

  28. 28
    avatar CLiNT FLiCK says:

    Players come & go for various reasons in various ways.

    Time for others to step up to the plate.

  29. 29
    avatar Thump says:

    It’s not often I say this… but I agree with every comment this far. (Edit: apart from clint but that’s just principle.)

    @scottie: Yeah, and Gosling. Problem is, Jonas is lost without Jose’s overlaps and Simmo just won’t give that. I think Marveaux can play right too, can’t he? Either way, we’re making concessions because of Barton and that’s not on.

    @robsondoc: Have you not been over the Tyne Bridge mate? There’s a load of adverts for the sally army! ;)

  30. 30
    avatar Jimbob says:

    nzedtoonman, where bouts in the land of NZ are you mate? (if you don’t mind me asking).

  31. 31
    avatar Armykev says:

    I have a mate who’s an everton fan and after watching a pre Christmas match with him last year he commented you are really lucky the makings of a really decent team there especially Carrol, Nolan, barton, Enrique and tiote well once Enrique is sold in the next week or so that will leave one of them….. ‘what was that chelsea on the phone dell

  32. 32
    avatar Armykev says:

    I have a mate who’s an everton fan and after watching a pre Christmas match with him last year he commented you are really lucky the makings of a really decent team there especially Carrol, Nolan, barton, Enrique and tiote well once Enrique is sold in the next week or so that will leave one of them….. ‘what was that chelsea on the phone dell-boy? Tiote? ,Tell them we will deal at five to 12, yeah and put in a £2.50 bid for ronaldo at Madrid least we tried… Aspers? Yeah will just get my coat’ the writing is on the wall. Give us our club back you fat cockney twat!
    HWTL

    Ps morrisey is great although I think you will find Barton liked him more during his smiths days lol

  33. 33
    avatar Phisix says:

    Don’t worry guys, we still have the almighty Smudger.

  34. 34
    avatar nzedtoonman says:

    jimbob, born and bred geordie, born in gosforth (shearers birth place praise the messiah , now theres a loyal one !!)
    Left UK 2.5 years ago, live in wellington at mo , but thinking of moving to sooth island soon …

    Problem with NZ too many earthquakes ! and the footy is crap hence I need to keep in touch on blogs with the toon etc…

  35. 35
    avatar sirjasontoon says:

    I am surprised Partridge has not been letting his mouth go the Barton incident mustn’t be dealt with in his department.
    It’s a shame that sturdy little backbone that Houghton assembled has in the space of months to totally been broken and the replacements are just not in the same division….non of the replacements are up for a scrap they seem weak and will either break or run scared when the going gets tuff (and it will get tough).

    The decision to let Joey go on a free just for questioning the Boards ambition is if anything way to heavy handed,I think all the Ashley lovers need to admit the sugar daddy dream is dead,Mike and his Gang hate NUFC and are concerned only with Profit.

    Who next Tiote?
    Jose?

    What if more players Tweet will they be put on free transfers?
    Going to be a long season….someone mentioned relegation yesterday….from where I am sitting it is certainly looking possible.

  36. 36
    avatar Hoolie says:

    I don’t think anybody can blame Joey for speaking out when there is something fundamentally wrong with Newcastle. The club refuses to communicate and this is the only way he saw fit to keep us supporters in the the loop. A drastic step maybe but one that Joey was prepared to take in order to speak out against this corrupt regime. He certainly goes up in my estimation for his comments.

    The club’s reaction to let him go on a free is purely a foolish knee jerk reaction to cut their nose off to spite their face.

    Greed and money is all that Ashley lives for.

    All the best Joey.

  37. 37
    avatar Jimbob says:

    nzedtoonman, nice mate. I just finished two years of backpacking including a year in OZ. Couldn’t afford NZ at the time, but I’m heading out on a year long working visa, in about 8 months (or whenever I got enough money).

    Earthquakes won’t put me off mate, I can’t decide whether to settle in OZ or NZ, so I got to see NZ, then hopefully I can make a choice!

  38. 38
    avatar Gav Collins says:

    I know being a Premier League footballer isn’t the same as being in any other walk of life, but the “what would you do if the guy sitting next to you at work was like Barton” analogy hit home for me.

    If I went on Twitter right now and started slagging off my employers, the guys that pay my wages, day after day, they’d probably be anoyed and rightly so. After one or two slaps on the wrist, they’d probably fire me. You just can’t go around telling the whole world your employers are rubbish and not expect them to care. It’s basic professionalism. It’s called being a grown up and finding ways through your problems.

    He may be right, and he may have a lot of people agreeing with him, but constantly slagging off his employers in such a public way is just naiive, plain and simple. In any other walk of life, we’d call it childish and disruptive. If anything, it’s perhaps even worse when you have the expectations of a whole city on your shoulder and you’re a media personality.

    None of this is to say I don’t agree, at least in part, with what Joey says. Just that if he went about life in a more mature way and reasonable way, he’d probably find himself still in with a chance of playing for the club he says he loves being at.

  39. 39
    avatar sirjasontoon says:

    You can’t have a rule for one and a rule for another if we are talking professionalism right?
    Enrique should be given a free transfer and be forced to train alone?

    If the club is run the way it is then you can expect professionals to kick off now and again surely?

  40. 40
    avatar Hoolie says:

    I think that was just the excuse they were looking for to transfer list him.
    I know if my company was run by a bunch of crooked morons, (which it is) I’d like to think that someone would stand up and shout about it. I would do it myself but unfortunately I haven’t got a few million to fall back on.

  41. 41
    avatar workyticket says:

    Hoolie says:
    August 2, 2011 at 1:30 pm

    “I think that was just the excuse they were looking for to transfer list him.”

    Or just the excuse Joey was looking for to go on a free one year early and negotiate a signing on fee at another club Hoolie? ;-)

  42. 42
    avatar workyticket says:

    nzedtoonman says:
    August 2, 2011 at 2:05 am

    “jimbob, born and bred geordie, born in gosforth

    Snap nzed, I too was born in the home of the Geordie elite.

  43. 43
    avatar Hoolie says:

    I’d like to think that wasn’t the case worky but I guess we’ll all find out sooner or later.

    If this was a game of chess, all the best pieces have gone but we still have a few pawns and maybe a knight or two.

  44. 44
    avatar workyticket says:

    Hoolie says:
    August 2, 2011 at 3:27 pm

    “If this was a game of chess, all the best pieces have gone but we still have a few pawns and maybe a knight or two.”

    And Alan Pardew as Gary Kasparov? :lol:

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