Joey Barton v Arsenal: One-off or is there a deeper problem?

Posted on August 14th, 2011 | 31 Comments |

Barton's behaviour v Arsenal 2011.
Should we be worried?
Newcastle United’s Joey Barton was at the centre of a mini-storm during yesterday’s match against Arsenal, but is it indicative of a longer-term problem with the player?

Obviously the press are having a field day with the Barton/Gervinho stuff, but I do have some long-term concerns.

In the heat of the match, amidst the desire to try and squeeze 3 points out of Arsenal, I was quite happy to see Gervinho sent off and Barton only receive a yellow. On reflection though, I didn’t like the way Barton reacted to the ‘slap’ any more than I liked Gervinho’s dive in the box.

Maybe I’m old-fashioned, but I don’t like cheating in sport and neither do I think that saying “it’s just the modern game” or “we have to do it because other teams do” is any excuse.

I think it’s sad that we’d struggle to find a football player who’d play with 100% honesty these days, even it’s just when they ‘play for’ free kicks. It’s doubly sad that we’ve come to accept all that as ‘normal’.

But that’s kind of an aside. What I’m concerned about is Barton’s frame of mind. I wonder if yesterday was just a one-off or whether there’s a frustration bubbling within Barton that’s going to come to the surface during the games he plays for us this season. Red cards can cost us games and, I have to say, I get the impression that Barton is heading for an eruption.

I can understand why Pardew would praise Barton publicly but I hope he’s also having a few words with him in private about showing the sort of self-control he showed last season, even under circumstances where other teams were deliberately trying to get a rash reaction out of him.

Judging by yesterday’s performance, the team has a lot of settling to do as the new players get to grips with things at Newcastle United. I thought Cabaye looked decent enough and Obertan was a breath of fresh air when he game on, so those are promising signs. But it will take time yet and I hope that Joey Barton doesn’t turn out to be a spanner in the works when it comes to creating a settled team.

What I don’t want to see is Joey Barton exploding in a game, getting shown a deserved red card and possibly losing the game for us because of that.

What do you think? A one-off or a sign of some deeper problem?

NUFCBlog Author: Hugh de Payen I'm a baby-boomer of the punk rock persuasion, currently exiled in Somerset for crimes committed in a previous life where locals keep trying to poison me with something called 'scrumpy'. Hates sprouts, coat-hangers, Cilla Black, ornaments, Steven Seagull movies and 50 Cent (he's not worth 10). Hugh de Payen has written 634 articles on this blog.

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31 Responses

  1. Hope Joey stays.
    Notice we are languishing in 12th place in the prem surely Partridge must be sacked it’s just not good enough.

  2. Fair comment Hugh.

    Cheating sucks!
    We the fans lose out, as does the sport in general.
    It’s the fa & refs that have consistently refused to nip it in the bud, then stamp it out.
    Players are always gonna take anything they are allowed to get away with, human nature.

    Che Joey’s ‘clenched fist of solidarity’ was quite funny at the start though.
    What a card!

  3. Just a thought why weren’t Arsenal awarded a penalty when Joey grabbed him by the neck considering the ball was still in play,glad they weren’t but just a thought.

  4. Seriously, Joey Barton is a cheap/cheating crook that spoils the best game in the world. Is this the only way Newcastle can hope to win against Arsenal!? You only drew 4-4 last season because of Diaby’s stupid retaliation (then going down to ten men) and 2 dubious penalties! Do EVERYONE a favour Joey and take up cricket or something else – maybe acting and/or boxing! Your such a FAKE Joey.

  5. Some hot news… (sort of)

    My man in the know has just informed me that we agreed a fee for Bendtner yesterday and that he has stayed in the north to undergo an medical and agree terms tomorrow. He also reckons that we have triggered the release clause for Pieters and that this will be concluded early this week too, he will travel on Tuesday.

  6. You know joey has had some harsh treatment over the years….nasri, diaby, song all have targeted him and it probably built up.

  7. 1. It was more of a penalty than one of the ones in the 4-4.
    2. How hypocritical is it to manhandle someone because you are trying to show the the world how much cheating offends you and then cheat less than 10 seconds later.
    3. He’s an ordinary player, an attention seeking prick.

  8. Joey is hogging all the limelight and has been all summer. Personally i think he loves it and thrives on it but joey just stop talking! Didn’t get why he picked him up in the first place tbh. It was daft to get involved with gervinho who i thought was arsenals best player yday. Colo and saylor were quality. 2nd half we were better because we had 3 in the middle. Should’ve started with 3 in their but fair play to pardew who realised and changed this at ht. Obertan looks promising – cabaye looked better second half but there needs to be more movement up top for us to see the best from a player like him

  9. How about giving a 6 week ban for simulation. Like all other crimes, without a decent deterrent, such things will never be cut out. Only a thought but if youv ever played the game at any level, no player wants to be out that long.
    Something like this may just work. HWTL.

  10. When I read your headline i thought the one off bit was a reflection on the rank poor display from arsenal and their continued ill discipline. They will do well to finish sixth this season. As for the rest of article its more than 24 hours old is no longer news the authorities have dealt with it competently move on.

  11. I’m willing to bet that the stamping will go unpunished as retrospective justice is only dished out when it suits the FA. and cos Joey was involved, it will come to nowt as per. How competent is that ?

  12. for some reason joey bartons past will not be forgiven bowyer woodgate lee hughes adams etc have all been bad lads in the past but dont get as much stick as joey barton on the pitch he is no better or worse when it comes to yellow and red cards than anyone other nutter and thought his reaction to songs stamp on him was ok he isnt a angel but i would rather have him playing for the toon than anyone else

  13. Are some of you lot(Al imp-articular) on drugs? Barton`s spent 2 seasons getting kicked fro pillar to post with little or no protection-self control???? Song could have snapped his leg in a cowardly assault-NO PROTECTION and `Alex`Wenger say`s whats the problem-The Arsenal were pap,dirty from the kick off and very average-leave Barton alone he`s not the problem,I hate cheaters also-i`m old school-get up and man the fek up`s my way-make footballers play rugby close season. :-) and YES Barton went down like a woofter but Gervinho acted like a 12 year old numpty-nobber!!!A crook Al?-HOW YOU PLUMB-SONG WAS THE ANIMAL YET YOU SLG BARTON_GROW UP YOU PRAT,,Barton’s done wrong in the past but is he any worse than Paul(feel sorry for me)Merson the drink and drug abusing drink driving sociopath? HYPOCRITE!! or what about the other drink drivers/druggys(here’s looking it you Reo)wife beaters and phishheads in the Pl-nah cos their not called Barton!!!!!

  14. Guys let’s start by saying I think that Song should have been sent off. Not the first Arsenal player to lose his head around Barton and thanks to Gervinho, not the last.

    That said, surely the way Joey picked merited a penalty? The Gervinho contact such as it was (joey does have an issue in determining the difference between a punch and a slap, ask Morten Gamst Pedersen) was AFTER that and so regardless of the seriousness of the different offences you punish them in the order they occur.

    The points are shared, but I am glad this obviously gifted footballer, whose skills our club could really do with, didn’t sign for Arsenal this summer and I’m sure some of you must squirm at Joey’s nonsense and the fact that it is associated with your club.

  15. I do hope Song is given a 3 match ban for the stamp on Barton.

    If Barton haddent of done what he did, Gervinho would of gotten away with his dive, now if the ref had given arsenal a penalty for that dive and they scored it, I think you’d be wishing Barton had done what he did.

    Someone did mention arsenal should of had a penalty for joey’s foul on gervinho because play haddnt stopped and it was a foul in the penalty box, so gervinho should of been sent off but arsenal should of had a penalty.

  16. Oh dear!

    Surely way too many incidents throughout the game to blame Barton for them all.
    The targeting of Shola.
    gervihno’s ridiculous ‘no contact’ dive to Raylor.
    song’s stamp on Barton.
    rosicky’s 2 yellow cardable offenses, only one given.
    Barton’s divvy man-handling of gervinho.
    his dumb-assed retaliation.

    Any more?

  17. As an Arsenal fan, let me tell you there are quite a few of us who would have Barton in our squad instead of the fannies we’ve got running around.

  18. Big Jack,

    you lot only need a destroyer & you could go far mate.
    Dunno if Barton’s the one like, but you need someone.
    Song had a canny go like, but in the wrong way. His card’s marked now.

  19. To some extent it’s like a win-win if Joey stays:

    either he gets in trouble, and if so – well, we can cope without him now, with players like Vuckic, Ben Arfa back etc

    or he stays out of trouble and plays well.

    By’t way, what’s going on with Kadar?! If you type him into wikipedia, he’s stated as “currently playing for Newcastle United” but is not listed either in the squad sheets on wiki nor on the Toon official site. I thought this could be his breakthrough season!

  20. “In the heat of the match, amidst the desire to try and squeeze 3 points out of Arsenal, I was quite happy to see Gervinho sent off and Barton only receive a yellow. On reflection though, I didn’t like the way Barton reacted to the ‘slap’ any more than I liked Gervinho’s dive in the box”

    Twas the only way we were getting anything from the game Hugh. We were so poor yesterday that getting in to their faces and maybe winning a pen was about our only option to score :(

    Goal scoring is gonna be a problem for us this season if yesterday was an example of how Pardwho wants to play :( but dont get me started on Bendtner :)

  21. Interesting to see Barton now apologising on radio for going down easily, then also admitting he now believes it was a genuine trip for the Gervinho penalty incident. Has Barton suddenly seen the light because he’s about to join Arsenal? I wonder…

  22. Andy man,
    ‘…so poor’
    We get a well earned point off of arsenal first game & that’s not good enough?
    Howay man.

    It’s early days with regard our playing style, new lads, players to come back in etc.
    Haad thee pash marra.

    While i do tend to agree re:bentner though.

  23. I can only imagine what the rest of the Arsenal players would think about having Joey in the team so I cant see that happening.

    Bartons fall to the ground actually shows he was thinking with his head. If he was just angry Joey had have probably have smacked him back getting himself in hot water too.

  24. Big Jack great comment mate I think if he was to leave Newcastle he would offer alot to Arsenal. I think both sides were guilty of gamesmanship throughout the whole match. Gervinho dived all match, Song stamped on the back of Barton’s leg and there were persistent professional fouls from Arsenal anytime Newcastle were building up an attack. From Newcastle Barton dived, Steven Taylor lied to ref about the elbow, Tiote was mistiming challenges because he does not look match fit. I think if we look at the game itself Arsenal were the better passing team had a lot more possession but no cutting edge and created few chances, Newcastle created few chances also and looked slow in attack until Obertan came on who I think made a difference. Ba and Ameobi are too similar to operate together. Delighted with the point but we need to improve for the game against the Mackem’s HWTL!!

  25. The ref couldn’t have given a pen when Barton picked up Gervinho despite the ball still being in play because the ref didn’t see that happen.

    The ref turned his back as soon as Gervinho went down and only turned back round to see both players scuffling with each ofollowed by Gervinho’s slap.

    From the refs point of view it could just as easily have been Gervinho who started the scuffle.

    We got a bit lucky with the Barton / Gervinho incident… but then Arsenal should have been down to 10 men way before that anyway so I don’t think either team can say they were unlucky with refereeing decisions.

  26. Cant agree more with H de P , its all cheating , and it sucks , there was a time 15 or 20 years ago , when we watched the Italians in their league from afar diving in their speedos in the box , and just laffed, now oor league is full of it.

    With diving you have all the attached baggage of players squabbling and handbagging over how each should behave , both players were cheating !

    Its laughable tho also watching the ARSE wenger interview , the fACT he actually sees an incident against his player WHEN he nivva sees when his own player dives, or fouls etc…

    Sorry Arsenal are skillful but also clever at being dirty. I remember when we had arse back years ago in the semi final of the league cup and David Ginola was running rings rund the arse midfield we would have walked that game but a player called ….Dennis Bergkamp fouled Ginola all night, basically fouled him off the pitch , Wenger nivva saw any of it , and yet he was 10 metres from most of the incidents in his dugout !!

    I digresss….No Cheating not for ANY TEAM !!!

  27. Barton is a ticking time bomb. I think he adds a dimension to the team but with all the problems he has had of late, I fear for him if we play him against Sunderland. If he is going to stay at Newcastle he needs to get his head together and cancel his twitter account. I thought Tiote was off the pace at times during the game and did`nt look match fit. Cabaye imo also struggled to come to terms with the pace of the game. It was interesting watching Shane Long yesterday he looked exactly what we need up front. He was mobile, quick and presented a goal threat throughout.