This is the same Joey Barton who, at the 2004 Manchester City Christmas party, stubbed out a lit cigar in team-mate Jamie Tandy’s eye.
The same Joey Barton who in the summer of 2005 was sent home from Manchester City’s tour of Thailand for allegedly assaulting a 15 year oldfan who had provoked him by verbally abusing him and kicking his shin.
The same Joey Barton who bared his backside to Everton fans after an injury time equaliser in a game atin September 2006.
The same Joey Barton who, when called into the England squad for the first time in February 2007, publicly criticised members of the squad who had released books following the 2006 World Cup with the priceless quote:
“England did nothing in that World Cup, so why were they bringing books out? ‘We got beat in the quarter-finals. I played like sh*t. Here’s my book.’ Who wants to read that?”
The same Joey Barton who in May 2007 was suspended by City for allegedly assaulting team-mate Ousmane Dabo, causing injuries including a detached retina (that one was bailed until the summer by the way).
The same Joey Barton who did this to Dickson Etuhu in the Tyne/Wear derby.
The same Joey Barton who, at the start of December declared the Newcastle fans “vicious”, and questioned their support.
So to those footballers who feel they need more protection from “dangerous” supporters, I have an idea. Just employ Barton as a bodyguard. I’ve got a feeling he’s going to have a fair amount of spare time on his hands in the not-too distant future.