Try as I might, and I can’t pretend to have tried too hard, there’s just no way to take Joey Barton seriously. It is impossible because Joey Barton just isn’t a serious person. He’s a cartoon character who exists largely in his own mind.
There is a fascination that some people have with him that I just don’t understand.
The world is full of these people; modestly talented but who believes that he’s a cut above.
A braggart and a blowhard. A wannabe hard-man with little to back it up.
A pseudo-intellectual who proves over and over again that, in fact, he’s little more than a corner boy.
Barton is in the papers today in part having a go at Ibrox’s players, but it’s claim that they would have won the title sooner had they just “listened to him” which puts him firmly on our radar.
But only briefly. Only for the length of time it takes me to write this and for you to read it; this is what I call a “Kit Kat and a coffee break” piece because that’s how seriously I take it, that’s the amount of effort that went into it, and I’ll not think of its subject matter afterwards until he, once again, reminds me that he’s alive.
His comments today are so self-aggrandising and so egotistical that it almost drowns out the serious point that he’s trying to make. He has, of course, correctly identified that some of the players who are letting the Ibrox club down are the ones who were letting them down when he was there, and who he made sure heard him when he pointed that out.
He talks big about the game here though, and tries to downplay Celtic’s dominance.
Which is where he loses any shred of credibility his more specific point might have gained him. Because, of course, he was owned up here and not just by Scott Brown, who bossed him from first moment to last in their one encounter. I always think of that famous picture of them, standing face to face, Barton’s head down so he doesn’t have to look Brown in the eye.
All he’s really done today is remind everyone of how thoroughly he was humiliated in Scotland, how completely the game up here trounced his reputation. He then finished the job off by getting a ban from playing the game anywhere, for gambling offences, after he moved back to Burnley. He is a clown, and that’s all his statements today prove.
What “advice” would he have provided to Ibrox that would have helped them overhaul us sooner? What are his stats as a managerial guru? Fleetwood Town and Bristol Rovers; he’s hardly climbed to the pinnacle of the game. His win ratio overall is 40%.
This is a clown, a thug, a woman beater.
If I find it hard to treat him with the least respect or seriousness these are only some of the very, very, very many reasons why, and now that my coffee is done I’m finished with him until the next time I remember he exists, probably around the time he next gets the sack for an inability to control his worst impulses.
Which, in point of fact, are all of his impulses.