Joe Kinnear was asked again about Joey Barton before the team left for London for their game tomorrow afternoon, which will be broadcast live around the world.
Joey Barton – an instinctive kind of player
Joe was asked whether he thought Joey, because of all the media spotlight on him, should try to tone down his game a little, and Joe said:
“I agree that Joey has to be whiter than white, but the point is why has there got to be a headline about everything he does?” “He’s a kid who’s instinctive.””He doesn’t plan to kiss his badge – it’s emotional.”
“That’s how he plays. He’s always going to be scrutinized – I’ve spoken to him about that but I don’t want to take anything out of who he is. But, yeah, he has to learn and he’s aware of that.”
“These kind of questions aren’t new, though. I had them for ten years with Vinnie Jones.” “It was the same sort of stuff – Vinnie blew his nose and the headline would be ‘Vinnie’s headbutted someone’. There’s no difference.”
It’s a difficult situation for both Joey and Joe, because just one bad or mistimed tackle, or an argument with some other player will be blown out of all proportion, first of all by the TV commentators, and then by the media after the game.
But that’s the way it is right now, and Joey is after all responsible for his plight, so the only thing to do is to lump it, as we used to say. Keep playing with passion, but be ready for ploys to get into trouble, and stay away from them on the field.
But it’s so much easier to say and write about, than to actually do it.