Newcastle midfielder Joey Barton has finally talked about the incident with Sunderlandâ€™s Dickson Etuhu and insists there was no malice in his challenge during Newcastleâ€™s derby draw with Sunderland.
Try telling that to the millions of TV viewers who saw the incident.
Joey has to realize that because of his past actions, there is zero tolerance for him to do any more of this type of nonsense.
Joey Barton’s challenge on Dickson Etuhu last Saturday (ouch!)
The Football Association has confirmed Barton will not be punished after referee Martin Atkinson decided to take no action over the studs-high tackle. Joey Barton made this statement to Sky Sports last night:
“There was no malice in it, nor was it premeditated,”“If I caused him any injury, then I apologize.”
“Things happen in the heat of a derby game.â€
“It was my third game back and I’m still a bit rusty. If I was fully match fit the situation would have been avoided.”
Since Martin Atkinson did not get a full view of the challenge, Barton has escaped any action. But this will hardly improve Bartonâ€™s reputation as a thug, and he just cannot keep doing these things. He is definitely on trial for this past actions, in more ways than one.
Newcastle manager, Sam Allardyce, was reported to have been very relieved last night when he heard the news. However, it is also being mentioned behind the scenes that Sam is not at all happy with Barton for making such a rash challenge. Sam has regularly talked about Joeyâ€™s maturity since he moved to St James’s Park from Manchester City for Â£5.8M in the summer, and he has supported Joey fully in the last 4 months. Sam feels Joey has let him down by his actions.
This is just the latest of a list of controversies in the career of 25-year-old Barton. He was punished for stubbing a cigar out in the eyelid of a youth team player while at Manchester City. Currently, Joey is denying the charge of assaulting former Manchester City team-mate, Ousmane Dabo, following a fight at the club’s training ground in April.
As we said before, there is just zero tolerance for any more of this behavior from Joey at Newcastle United. This is a minor incident compared with some of his antics in the past. However, more of his previous behavior will shorten a promising career at Newcastle United, there’s no doubt about that.Â The sooner Joey grasps the full gravity of the situation, the better.