Early Doors

Barton gazes into the abyss

Early Doors

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Twelve Nietzsche quotes for Joey Barton to ponder during his suspension:

'If there is something to pardon in everything, there is also something to condemn.'

'Talking much about oneself can also be a means to conceal oneself.'

'And if you gaze for long into an abyss, the abyss gazes also into you.'

'All things are subject to interpretation whichever interpretation prevails at a given time is a function of power and not truth.'

'Undeserved praise causes more pangs of conscience later than undeserved blame, but probably only for this reason, that our power of judgment are more completely exposed by being over praised than by being unjustly underestimated.'

'Anyone who has declared someone else to be an idiot, a bad apple, is annoyed when it turns out in the end that he isn't.'

'We often refuse to accept an idea merely because the tone of voice in which it has been expressed is unsympathetic to us.'

'Arrogance on the part of the meritorious is even more offensive to us than the arrogance of those without merit: for merit itself is offensive.'

'No one lies so boldly as the man who is indignant.'

'Some are made modest by great praise, others insolent.'

'The demand to be loved is the greatest of all arrogant presumptions.'

'You have your way. I have my way. As for the right way, the correct way, and the only way, it does not exist.'

Yesterday's mammoth ban buried Joey Barton, Renaissance Man. It might even signal the end of Barton as a Premier League footballer.

Barton's rap sheet is too long to view him as a loveable rogue - his acts of wrongdoing outweigh those moments of lucidity and insight.

Clearly, Barton is not worth the hassle any more.

QPR would love to rid themselves of him, but who is going to take a risk on a player who earns £80,000 a week, cannot play until mid-autumn and appears highly likely to find more trouble.

Twelve games seems like a lot, and is based on the initial red card, plus two subsequent pieces of violent conduct.

Early Doors would rather view the Barton freakout as a piece instead of splitting it into bite-size misdemeanours.

But still, he deserves a few extra games just for claiming - preposterously - that his post-red rampage, in which he kicked Sergio Aguero, tried to headbutt Vincent Kompany and started on Mario Balotelli - was a calculated move to get a City player sent off.

The latest Barton affair represents yet another feather in the cap of Newcastle United.

Their decision to let Barton leave for free now appears a masterstroke, yet at the time it provoked much derision.

This was last summer, during Barton's philosophical hipster period, after a season of good play and (mostly) good behaviour at Newcastle.

His Twitter feed was still entertaining, if massively sixth-form - quotes from Nietzsche, Orwell and Morrissey, plus refreshing candour about football.

But the two sides of Barton were clear in his reflections on last summer's riots.

First the thoughtful, reflective Barton, showing greater awareness of the world around him in one tweet than the average footballer does in a lifetime.

"Violence always comes from a place of misunderstanding and low to zero self-worth, well mine did anyway………#educatethem"

Then this assessment of the looters: "Mentally deficient knobheads #helmets"

Oh.

It was not Barton's overuse of the H-word that got him into trouble, but his public expressions of disillusion with Newcastle bigwigs Mike Ashley and Derek Llambias.

And when the club made him available for free, it seemed like a massive overreaction from deeply unpopular owners against a largely reformed character.

Not any more.

Who will take Barton now?

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QUOTE OF THE DAY: "No, they have not been punished, they know the rules, they should have been third and not fourth, they could have finished first. Did they fight for first place?" Michel Platini on Tottenham's claims to have been hard done-by after Chelsea nabbed their Champions League place. Mr Platini, Harry may not be able to read or write, but ED suspects he was trying to finish as high up the table as possible.

FOREIGN VIEW: Didier Drogba might want to read this before taking Shanghai Shenhua's dime:

(Reuters): Shanghai Shenhua player-coach Nicolas Anelka has said there would be "a problem" if the Chinese club replaced him with former Argentina boss Sergio Batista.
Local media in China have reported that struggling Shanghai will name the 49-year-old former Argentine midfielder as manager, with Anelka reverting back to a sole playing role.
The Frenchman, who was famously kicked out of the 2010 World Cup for comments directed at then coach Raymond Domenech, was unhappy at the prospect.

"I don't know this coach. I haven't heard anything about this from the club. I have only learnt this from the media," Anelka told reporters at a news conference in Shanghai on Thursday.

"If that is going to happen, there is a huge problem of communication between me and the club, because of the language barrier. I am not aware of anything that is happening," the 33-year-old, speaking in French, added.

"I am a coach but also I am a player before anything. If something happens and I am not aware of it, you should know that I am a player and that would be a problem in the future because I will still be here."

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