Joey Barton – Polarising Opinions

Many love his character while others despise his attitude, Joey Barton has polarised opinions for many years. After being handed an 18 month ban after admitting an FA charge relating to betting, there is a chance his footballing days are over. Barton is a very determined professional and there is no doubt he will want to end his playing career on a high, he will want to return after his harsh ban. Barton, in my opinion has always been an underrated player. His ability on the pitch has always seemed to be overshadowed by controversial incidences both on and off the pitch. Barton has learnt from his mistakes in the past, unfortunately though, for some people Barton has made too many mistakes.

As a Newcastle fan, I can’t fault Barton’s dedication on the pitch, he is a player who will give everything to the team. Barton has a lot of passion, perhaps at times too much, he is a player that plays on the edge – Some people love that attitude and others hate it. Those that do not like that attitude, believe it makes a player unreliable and unpredictable. With Barton though, you know exactly what you would get when he stepped on the pitch. Barton is a player that has so much talent, a tough tackler, good passing ability and can chip in with a few goals. There is no doubt that there will be people reading this, scoffing at the idea of Barton possessing the ability to succeed on the pitch.

For those that have followed this website from the beginning, will know I miss the characters in the game, especially in English football. There are not many left, Joey Barton is a character, one that brings headlines – Either good or bad. There is a fine line, players with Barton’s attitude rarely get the plaudits their footballing ability deserve.

Barton has always been up for a challenge, even those who dislike him can’t argue with that. Barton, stayed at Newcastle as they were relegated to the Championship, helping them bounce straight back at the first time of asking. The passionate midfielder made 15 appearances in England’s second tier. Barton was one of the main voices in the Newcastle dressing room, along with the likes of Kevin Nolan, Alan Smith, Steve Harper and Nicky Butt. Barton’s decision to stay with Newcastle despite relegation showed his commitment to the club. Barton did the same with QPR, he stayed at the club despite their relegation, in a situation where many players jump ship at the first opportunity. A player always looking to challenge himself, Barton played in Ligue 1 whilst on loan at Marseille. He made 25 appearances for the French side in the 2012/13 season, he made an impression not just for his hilarious French accent, but for his talent on the pitch and his work ethic in training. Barton returned to QPR for a season in the Premier League, before making the move to Burnley, on a one year deal, who were in the Championship at the time. Barton was a key figure in the Burnley side that clinched promotion to the Premier League, making 38 appearances.

Barton then made the move to Rangers in May 2016, he signed on a two year deal. However, Barton was suspended for three weeks by the club, for a training ground argument with Andy Halliday. Barton had his contract terminated with immediate effect by Rangers on November 10th 2016. Despite the threat of an FA ban in relation to betting, Barton returned to Turf Moor with Burnley in January of this year. Joey Barton went on to make 18 appearances in all competitions, he was a key part of the Burnley team that secured their Premier League status for next season.

Barton is someone who is not afraid to say what he thinks, which can be seen as brash by some people. In a game with a lot of deceit. Barton is constantly criticised for sharing his opinions. In recent years Barton has worked hard on and off the field, I hope that he can return to playing after his ban and end his career on a high.

Comments welcome.

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