Monday 23rd July 2012 will be remembered for a variety of reasons. The orange blob in the sky decided to show its face to throw the UK summer into full swing at long last. The nation basked in the glory of Bradley Wiggins super human Tour De France triumph. The crescendo of Olympic hype reached almost unbearable levels with a specially aired live episode of Eastenders in which the perennial underdog Billy (us Brits love em) finally got his day in the sun (both literally and figuratively).
Big, big moments in the day’s news.
But all pale in significance to the announcement that Twitter aficionado Joseph Anthony Barton made a new home for himself (and his ego feeding ramblings) at joeybarton.com.
“Depending who you listen to… I’m a footballer, ex con, ranting anti-celebrity, “footballs philosopher King”, Loving Dad and violent thug all rolled into one”
Our dear friend Joseph states how he wishes to air his views on things that matter most to him and gives us the opportunity to respond. TROLLERS BEWARE. Joseph has expressly requested that the “4 letter expletive” crew remain on Twitter.
The flow of egotistical narcissism adorns each page. Click on the ‘About’ section and one is confronted with the statement,
“My reputation will precede me until the day I die. And for some that can’t come soon enough”
Glance at the ‘In the media’ section and you are confronted with Joeys’ tongue in cheek witticism,
“Whatever I do I seem to make the headlines, don’t I?”
But one inescapable fact exists that may disappoint. Joey Barton has a brain and he likes to tell us about how he puts it to good use. To the irritation of some and to the glee of others, Barton’s philosophical twitter splurges are, whilst incessant, genuine and brutally honest. The creation of a website, including ‘Have your say’ and ‘Blog’ sections, is one way in which Barton has attempted to harness his undeniable ‘celebrity’ to accomplish some good.
“Here’s a library of topics that matter to me. I want to create healthy debate, hear your ideas and see what everyone’s feeling. You never know, together we might just make something happen”
His debut offerings include “The Rise and Rise of the Monosyllabic Celebrity…” found in his culture section and he also comments on the merits of a Royal Family in his politics section.
Whether the website is a PR stunt to increase his profile or is in fact a product of a genuine ambition to facilitate open debate is open to interpretation; careful perusing of the sites offerings will help answer this over the coming football season.
Barton is probably hoping that Nietzsche foresaw his rollercoaster football career when he stated,
“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”
An idiot on the field. A resounding yes. A bad apple. Yes. But will his new website offerings change our opinion of him? One can hope, although…
“Hope in reality is the worst of all evils because it prolongs the torments of man”
No change then.
Barton In the News (again)
Self aware, self important and self promoting, it seems the wheels are refusing to fall off the Barton-bus. Hot on the heels of his website announcement came reaction to the news that Barton plans to train with Fleetwood Town FC. Whilst only there to regain his fitness whilst serving a 12 match ban resulting from the end of season debacle, Barton has fallen out of favour at QPR. Stripped of the captaincy, fined and banned from their pre season tour, it seems that Barton’s time at QPR may be close to an end, with rumours circulating of interest from Blackburn and Sheffield Wednesday.
But one must question the logic of a football manager who would take a punt on Barton given his almost comical track record. Much has been made of his criminal past and violent tendencies. Assaults on team mates and members of the public have become a regular occurrence. On field spats with opposition and officials have often lead to games descending into farce, the most recent case study being the conclusion to the Premier League season where Joey demonstrated to the world he is genuinely a despicable footballer.
One must question the motives of Micky Mellon, Fleetwood Town’s manager, in permitting the Barton circus to train with his players, regardless of the press attention it brought to the League 2 club.
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