How long do you give it? A week? A fortnight, tops. We’re speaking of course about the length of time before Newcastle United impose a Twitter ban on their players.
Let’s face it, Joey Barton and on-line social networks was always going to be a combustible combination, and so it has proved.
The midfielder has greatly entertained us since starting with his regular Tweets earlier this year, enlightening his followers on subjects as wide ranging as his admiration of Morrissey, to his thoughts on speech impediments and the state of Mario Balotelli’s mental health.
No doubt, the St James’ Park hierarchy are happy for the 28-year-old to pontificate on whatever subject he should so wish so long as it doesn’t impinge on his duties and responsibilities in representing the football club.
So after he joined Jose Enrique as the second Newcastle player within a week to openly question owner Mike Ashley and chief executive Derek Llambias, it’s pretty safe to state the powers that be, who’re publicity-shy at even at the ideal of times, aren’t ideal pleased at the embarrassment being heaped on them via Twitter.
For his part, increasingly isolated-looking manager Alan Pardew is simply caught in the crossfire between dressing room and boardroom.
Enrique copped a six-figure fine for his trouble, and it’s a racing certainty the equine-loving Barton will earn similar censure after sharing these thoughts with us in the wake of the 3-2 friendly defeat at Leeds United.
“If only we as players could tell the fans exactly how it is, without them above fining us lots of money. There will be a time and a place if it would not effect team morale and cause unrest within the dressing room.
“I’m certain Jose’s comments would be the tip of the iceberg. And again it would be left to those magnificent fans to pick up the remnants of their once great football club.”
Barton even warns of a repeat of Newcastle’s relegation in 2009 in the wake of the departure of his close friend and influential skipper Kevin Nolan in addition to a far from stand-out summer of in-comings.
The former Manchester City player’s intentions may be honourable, but he also clearly has an axe to grind with Ashley’s refusal to offer him a new contract, meaning the forthcoming campaign will be his last on Tyneside before his current deals runs out.
He added: “If I wanted to leave, I’d just come out and state ‘I want to leave’. Things need addressing as I’m not prepared to go through a relegation again. If I did not care, I’d state f**k all and pick my money up.”
Wayne Routledge quickly retweeted some of Barton’s comments, and it would be no surprise if the soon to depart midfielder adds to Newcastle’s woes by revealing a few home truths via his account in the very near future upon completing his transfer to Swansea City.
Newcastle are no different to the majority of their Premier League counterparts in being keen to micro-manage the public utterances of their players nearly down to the very last word, something it is virtually impossible to do given the freedom they enjoy on platforms such as Twitter.
Of course, revelations such as this one from Barton is manna from heaven for media outlets with vast amounts of space to fill but often with tiny access to the main movers and shakers, so quite often what can be just a single 140-character message can often end up filling an entire page, given a bit of revving up.
Hang on a minute, is not that what we are doing here? We’ll quickly gloss over that if you do not mind.
So, we will give it until the begin of the Premier League season on August 13 before Newcastle announce their blanket Twitter ban.
Barton’s 150,000 followers have been treated to an at times amusing, revealing and no tiny pleasing stream of consciousness over the last few months, but you have to fear his account, and those of his team-mates including Danny Simpson, Nile Ranger and Jonas Gutierrez is close to having its final hurrah.
Coming to a newspaper / website near you in the not too distant future…Joey Barton in a stand-off with Newcastle after refusing to shut down his Twitter site despite a strong club directive. Remember where you read it first.
source : www.fanhouse.co.uk
Submited at Monday, August 1st, 2011 at 10:00 am on Uncategorized by james
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