Joey Barton, who was infamously sent off and subsequently banned 12 matches for a violent outburst in 2012's final Premier League match, has revealed the methods behind his actions.
In speaking with students at Oxford, the QPR man dished on the now-famous match where Manchester City scored twice late to win the Premier League. Barton called it "cold," "calculated" and "lunatic."
In quotes via the Daily Mail, the midfielder said:
This is the weirdest, scariest thing about it. I've lost my head lots of times. That time I hadn't gone. It was a cold, calculated decision to try and even it up.
What people forget about the incident is, and I'm not trying to condone my part in it, I'm just trying to put it into context, (Carlos) Tevez had punched me off the ball, for all intents and purposes he's come round me and hit me with the side of his hand.
So me being me thought I'll wait and I'll even this up so I've elbowed and the referee and the linesman have seen, well the linesman's seen it, the referee's never seen it.
I subsequently get the red card, Tevez gets away with impunity and I've got a strong sense of justice and what's right and what's wrong and I'm not going to accept that, and (Sergio) Aguero had been telling the ref that I'd done it.
And so I thought, where I'm from grasses—we call them grasses people who tell—so I'm like well he's grassed on me so I'll get him sent off, the snitch, he's getting sent off, so he gets a knee.
I thought if I can even the teams up and get one of their players sent off then that will make my sending off lesser, because he'll have been sent off and he'll have apportioned the blame.
It was a mad, mad scenario, cold light of day I'm thinking that's a lunatic who made that decision. A lunatic wouldn't think that was the rational thing to do but at the time I thought it was the correct decision.
See the entirety of Barton's talk at Oxford dishing on his sending off here.