Manchester United: Could Joey Barton Become a Real Red Devil

Lee ThorpeContributor IIIJuly 24, 2011

Manchester United: Could Joey Barton Become a Real Red Devil

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    If you have read the rumours circulating the football world today, then you would be forgiven for being shocked at the mention of the name Joey Barton linked with Manchester United.

    There’s no doubting that Barton does indeed possess a good amount of footballing ability and his aggressive nature in the game brings a great deal of bite to his team.

    Unfortunately though his ability is not the first thing that comes to mind when we think of Barton. A list of misdemeanours have blemished his career and he’ll never be seen as a good guy in the eyes of the public no matter what he ever produces on the pitch.

    So to see Joey linked with Old Trafford seems strange, considered Sir Alex Fergusons views on players who disrupt the harmony at their clubs. So could Barton be a much needed ingredient into United’s midfield or is he someone they simply shouldn’t be associated with Manchester United?

    I’ve made a list of Barton’s worst offences in and out of football to see if he really is footballs biggest bad boy.

July 25, 2004

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     The then Manchester City manager, Kevin Keegan couldn’t hide his fury at Barton who caused a 15 man ruckus during a pre season friendly at Doncaster Rovers.

    Barton had hacked his way through an opposition player, and his team mates ran over for retribution.

    Keegan said: "I told him the truth - you either play football or you come off. There is no choice. He thinks he can look after himself but when you get in this division and start doing things like that, people sort you out - and that's what they did.”

December 2004

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    During a Christmas party in 2004 a bit of banter between Barton and youth player Jamie Tandy got way out of hand. Tandy attempted to set fire to Barton shirt who then retaliated by putting out a cigar in Tandy’s eye.

    The incident nearly blinded the player and Barton was fined six weeks wages. It led to a spiral of self destruction for Jamie Tandy who was released six months later and took to alcohol and was diagnosed with depression. The 24 year old Tandy is now an unemployed window cleaner.

March 2005

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    Whilst driving around Liverpool city centre at 2am Barton accidently mows down a pedestrian and breaks his leg in the process.

July 2005

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     During pre season in 2005 Barton became Involved in an altercation with a 15-year-old Everton fan at City's team hotel in Bangkok, where the team are playing in the FA Premier League Trophy. Richard Dunne, who was the City captain at the time, had to grab Barton and prevent him attacking the boy further.

    He got fined eight weeks' wages by City after being found guilty of gross misconduct. Barton accepts punishment and he also agrees to undertake a programme of rehabilitation.

September 2006

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     After Everton equalized at the end of a high tempered match Barton, who had been abused through out the match, dropped his shorts in front of the Everton fans. Whilst this was supposed to be taken as light hearted by Barton the incident was still investigated by the Merseyside Police and he was fined £2,000 for bringing the game into disrepute.

February 2007

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    Manages to win his first cap in early 2007 but still he can’t keep out of the papers. Even though he was new to the England set up he still felt the need to criticise the players in the press, mainly about the auto biographies they bring out too early in their career.

    "England did nothing in the World Cup, so why are they bringing books out? 'We got beat in the quarter-finals, I played like s**t, here's my book'. Who wants to read that? I don't."

    (Which i happen to agree with him on)

March 2007

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    Barton was arrested on suspicion of assault and criminal damage after an alleged argument with a taxi driver in Liverpool while going to his hotel after a match on 13 March 2007

    The case was dropped in May 2008

May 2007

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     In my opinion this is Barton’s most shameful thing he's done on club duty. During a training session at Manchester City Barton and French midfielder Dabo got into an altercation that led to Barton beating the daylights out of the Frenchman.

    Barton was banned for the remainder of the season and fined £100,000, Dabo had to go to hospital for his injuries which included a detached retina.

    The police became involved and Barton was charged with assault. He was sentenced to a four year suspended sentence, 400 hours of community service and ordered to pay £3,000 compensation. The FA also issued their own punishment by suspending him for a further six games and fined him £25,000. This effectively ended Barton's Manchester City career.

November 2007

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    During his first Tyne-Wear derby, Barton left his mark on Dickson Etuhu with a hideous challenge which was horrible to see. The match official missed the challenge but the FA investigated it later.  

    Barton also upset his own fans when he called them vicious for not supporting him after the challenge.  

December 2007

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    Just before Christmas in 2007 Barton was arrested on suspicion of assault that had taken place at 5.30am in Liverpool city centre. Barton was seen on CCTV knocking a man unconscious after punching him repeatedly 20 times. He was also seen attacking a teenager, knocking out some of his teeth.

    Barton was sentenced to six months in jail but he only ended up serving 77 days. It was during this time that he admitted he was a alcoholic.

May 2009

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    During a match against Liverpool, Barton again gave out a horrific challenge, this time on Xabi Alonso, which also led to him being stretchered off as Barton was sent off.

    Barton’s boss, Alan Shearer, ripped into the player with the two having to be pulled apart. Once they got into the dressing room, Shearer said it was a mistake putting him on the team and that it was a coward’s tackle. Barton responded by saying that he was the best player at the club, Shearer said he wasn’t and that he was s**t. Barton then angrily claimed Shearer was a s**t manger with s**t tactics.

    Barton was indefinitely suspended and ordered to stay away from the club.

November 2010

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    With Newcastle losing at home to Blackburn Rovers, it was hardly surprising that tempers would be running high, but nothing excuses what Barton did in punching Morten Gamst Pedersen in the chest.

    Again, this incident wasn’t seen by the match officials, but after the game the FA banned Barton for three games.

July 2011

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    Has to miss Newcastle’s pre season tour of the USA due to being understandably unable to get a visa due to his previous assault charges, however this must of for some reason baffled Barton who went on twitter to criticise US immigration laws.

    "Visa story is correct. They told me am not allowed in until I have 5yrs without any trouble. 3yrs down, 2yrs to go. Totally hypocrisy considering what they get up to but rules are rules."


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    So could we really see Barton at Manchester United? Is this the kind of player who deserves to ever pull on the famous red shirt? I personally can't see it happening, just due to the fact that Ferguson likes to keep well clear of trouble like that. But what do you think?

    Also if anyone is interested in some Fantasy football this year then just click here and make your team. When finished go on leagues and enter league code 197338-61577 to join!