Written by Simon Saunders
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Tuesday, 27 November 2012

image for Joey Barton: Maybe I'm Too Clever To Be A Footballer
Joey Barton pondering quantum physics after his Marseille debut

Former Manchester City and Newcastle United player Joey Barton is already big news in France following his first match in Marseille colours.

He joined them from Queens Park Rangers in a bid to rebuild his tarnished reputation as the maddest footballer in England.

His debut ended in a one-nil win for his new team but perhaps unsurprisingly Barton picked up a characteristic yellow card.

Following the game Barton amused reporters by cycling into the media room wearing a beret, blue and white stripey shirt and a string of onions around his neck before putting on a French accent to answer questions. The accent has been likened by French reporters to the character of Officer Crabtree in the 1980's BBC hit comedy 'Allo 'Allo.

In the press conference Barton told reporters. "I im viry hippy wiv my pirformince. I filt my stringest ittributes, pissing, tickling and shiiting, were tip nitch. The resilt wis groat. I im sod thit I git yillow curded on my riturn bit you cunt hive iveryting."

Barton later explained his comedy accent on Twitter, "In my defence, it is very difficult to do a press conference in Scouse for a room full of French reporters."

A fair point perhaps. Although nobody remembers him putting on a Cockney accent after away games against West Ham.

Prior to the match Barton had already drawn attention to himself by declaring he might be too intelligent to be a footballer.

Away from football Barton has shown a philosophical side with some of his Twitter comments referencing the likes of Friedrich Nietzsche, George Orwell and 'Hi-De-Hi' actress Su Pollard.

Most Premier League fans would argue that Barton did a good job of hiding his intelligence while plying his trade in England, both on and off the pitch.

However, Bartons intelligence hasn't got in the way of his Incredible Hulk-like temper.

He served seventy-seven days in prison after being convicted of common assault and affray following an incident in Liverpool. He once again displayed his calmness when he was given a four month suspended sentence after admitting a charge of assault occasioning actual bodily harm against former Manchester City team mate Ousmane Dabo. The Dabo episode also resulted in an FA charge of violent conduct as did another incident when he punched Blackburn Rovers star Morten Gamst Pedersen in the stomach and not forgetting his greatest footballing achievement when on the final day of last season he was sent off after doing his nut and lashing out at three of his opponents resulting in a twelve game ban and a third charge of violent conduct.

It's fair to say that having a short fuse doesn't prevent Barton from being a smart guy but his temper has probably denied him the chance of fulfilling his potential with the English national team having won just one cap in his career.

And that's not very clever.

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The story above is a satire or parody. It is entirely fictitious.

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