Harry Potter had Voldermort, the 101 Dalmations had Cruella de Vil, Luke Skywalker had Darth Vader, and the Premier League has Joey Barton.
With every great story-line and for every hero, there’s always villains in equal measure. Set on spoiling the party and causing controversy as they go. Required figures to make all the best ‘good over evil’ stories, the plot needs a character we love to hate, take a bow Joey Barton.
But I am standing up for Joey. Nobody can deny his passion to the game, and commitment he shows during every 90 minutes he ever spends on a football pitch. So far this season he has triggered a 22 man ‘hand bags’ session while playing for one team, and single-handedly silenced 20,000 Wolves fans with a simple reminder of the score for another. Yes it’s not always pretty, pretty ugly at times in-fact, but a man that makes Saturday night’s in front of Match of the Day more interesting for a whole nation of football fans can’t be a bad thing. Love him or hate him, he makes the English game what it is, and would anyone change that?
So as far as I’m concerned he can go on dishing out fiery tackles and causing controversy for as long as he wants, playing a lead-role in the greatest, longest, most exciting story of them all…
The English Premier League.