Joey Barton Attacks Newcastle United Legend on Twitter
After his sending-off for elbowing Carlos Tevez during Queens Park Rangers' match against Manchester City, he kicked Sergio Aguero and attempted a head-butt on Vincent Kompany before almost having to be physically dragged from the field.
Knowing a hefty suspension is likely to be in the cards, one would understand why a player would remain fairly silent until their hearing before the Disciplinary Committee.
Barton, however, has taken to Twitter to defend his actions:
Can do nothing but apologise to the players and the fans. Still don't think its a sending off. Tried to take 1 of their players with me....
He continued a few minutes later:
Still not my proudest moment but who gives a f***, we are safe..........and that is all that matters.
Only time will tell if he still doesn't "give a f***" after a likely nine-game suspension is handed down to him.
Not content to try and brush the incident off, he then set his mind to entirely deflecting the whole thing:
The head was never gone at any stage, once I'd been sent off, one of our players suggested I should try to take 1 of theirs with me...Alex Livesey/Getty Images
He finally hit out at Match of the Day pundit and former Newcastle United striker Alan Shearer, after the Newcastle legend criticised Barton's actions:
Shearers still on my case..."I know I f***ed up Alan, thanks for stating the obvious."
Whilst were both stating the obvious about each other, can I just say for the record what a great player u were. Well better me...
But I have a better hair(which is not hard), wear well better shirts on TV and have a personality(something u lack).
Honestly, the claim that Barton has better hair than anyone in football is a debatable one.
While north-eastern public relations mode was clearly well and truly out the window, Barton briefly signed off:
I really don't like that prick, in fact I honestly despise him... Goodnight.
I'm glad Newcastle put this fool up for a free transfer. He's clearly a talented player, but his behaviour really is a double-edged sword.
Newcastle fans will recall his ability to get under the skin of opposing players such as Abou Diaby or Gervinho.
That, however, can seriously backfire, as this latest incident shows.
If a manager is to take a gamble on him, they must also take into account the way he disrupts team focus. It's seriously doubtful whether Newcastle would have made fifth on the table with Barton still around, and QPR's ability to come back and beat Liverpool from 2-0 down only after Barton was removed speaks volumes about him as a team member.
But if nothing else, he is always a source of cheap entertainment for fans.
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