Over the weekend, the English Premier League (EPL) season, arguably the most popular football league in the world, started again. However, the biggest news over the weekend wasn’t the football or the goals, but English football’s most controversial player, Joey Barton.
In the opening game between his club Newcastle United and Arsenal, Barton got his name in the papers for his part in a melee which saw Arsenal’s new striker Gervinho getting sent off. In the 76th minute of the game, Gervinho fell to the ground in the penalty area in an attempt to earn a penalty. Barton reacted by racing towards the Ivory Coast striker, grabbed him by the shirt and aggressively pulled him off the ground. Gervinho reacted by giving Barton a seemingly weak, gentle slap to the face and Barton then fell to the ground theatrically like he had been punched.
Referee Peter Walton gave Barton a yellow card and Gervinho a red card for the incident even though Barton was the one who started the whole thing. However this is professional football, so this is almost normal. What I found extremely funny was Barton’s excuse after the game. He said that he was angry with the dive by Gervinho yet in the same breath agreed that he went down easy because Gervinho “should not have raise his hands”.
So you went over because he dived, yet it’s okay when you dived? But you know what’s even funnier about the whole thing? It is that Barton don’t find anything funny about the whole thing at all! Now that’s hilarious.