The very worst has happened so far for Joey Barton.
Joey Barton – seems intent on ruining his career
When he came to Newcastle last summer, he was already in trouble for allegedly beating up on fellow Man City team-mate Ousmane Dabo, and then manager Sam Allardyce had to persuade owner Mike Ashley that Joey was a worth-while buy.
But since heâ€™s been at Newcastle, heâ€™s beaten up a stranger in Liverpool in a separate drunken incident on December 27th, and landed himself in jail for 6 months.
The trial for his alleged altercation with Ousmane Dabo still has to be heard in court, and that case is due to start at the end of June.
So what happens now with Joey Barton?
Kevin Keegan has said he is willing to stand by his player. But what is Joey willing to do?
If Barton is to resume his football career, one thing he must do is to submit to a full course of anger-management classes, learning to avoid situations where he loses control.
Of course, it also appears he only gets into trouble when heâ€™s drunk â€“ so he must cut out the booze, probably forever.
We have no idea what the Newcastle club will do, but it seems to us that Joey may be in even further trouble, after the Dabo trial.
After that verdict, and at the very latest, the club will need to issue a statement saying what their course of action with the player will be.
One strong possibility is that he could be fired, and that would already have happened in most normal jobs.
We’ll just have to wait and see what happens, but it’s sad to see a player of Joey’s undoubted ability seem so intent on wrecking his career and his life.
Maybe there’s a silver lining at the end of this story, but that’s entirely up to Barton, and nobody else.