12.01.07

Barton To Toon Army : Give Us A Break!

Posted in Football at 6:18 pm by

Newcastle midfielder Joey Barton gave the Guardian’s Louise Taylor a full display of his axe-grinding skills this morning, though keep in mind, the comments below came prior to Barton’s side losing 3-1 at Blackburn earlier today. Presumably, the Rovers fans weren’t very supportive, either.

“The fans want success and they want it straightaway,” he said, “but unless they change that mentality and start supporting the side through poor results, then things won’t change. It’s the easiest thing in the world to shout a negative comment but I would like them to just try to be positive. Unless there’s a massive change it’s going to be the same for this manager, the next manager and whoever comes in after that. And if it continues, when the manager goes for players, they will go somewhere else rather than jump in the frying pan.”

Barton has been urged to tell the truth at all times in his regular sessions with counsellors helping him with anger management. As with Roy Keane, such candour does not always make him popular but, like the Sunderland manager, Barton often makes sense. Where Chris Mort, Newcastle’s chairman, has taken the view that “the paying customer is king” and insisted that supporters are within their rights to vent their spleen at poor performances, Barton disagrees.

“Without people behind you, you can’t achieve anything,” he said. “People have talked about a fear factor up here and you sense it the minute someone gives the ball away and it’s greeted by jeers. You look at the calibre of the players who’ve been at Newcastle over the last 10 years and there are a lot of top, top ones – Patrick Kluivert, Jermaine Jenas and Scott Parker – who didn’t do so well here.

“This crowd has been vicious enough to eat players up.”

The draw for Euro 2008
will be shown live on U.S. television tomorrow at 6am EST. The harsh thing about the Swiss having 4 national languages is all the extra work for someone merely wanting to get their “Corso Sucks Donkey Dick” sign on TV.

4 Responses to “Barton To Toon Army : Give Us A Break!”

  1. How is it in the US regarding fans getting behind their team? It is only recently that UK fans have started to believe they know more than the management and feel they have a right to vent their frustration.

    Newcastle are the worst for this and there are plenty of anecdotal stories of professional players being scared to play when a member of a Newcastle squad.

    I’m from the old school of being a ‘supporter’ which in essence means I support my team. Sure I can vent my frustration at team selection, tactics and certain players but there is still a strong faith behind the team.

    Joey Barton is right to make these comments but if you know about the player his comments won’t be taken too seriously.

  2. GC says:

    “How is it in the US regarding fans getting behind their team?”

    it varies pretty wildly. Suffice to say, some cities’ fans have a shorter fuse than others.

    “It is only recently that UK fans have started to believe they know more than the management and feel they have a right to vent their frustration.”

    How would you specifiy “recently”? Within the last decade? Quarter century? Seriously, I’m curious.

  3. I think it is only in the last five years that I have heard teams getting booed off at half-time. Newcastle actually boo their players on sometimes!

    Certainly at Anfield, where I was brought up on football, it was unheard of to boo a team at anytime. The general good results helped though.

    I suppose you can put the increased booing down to the increased ticket prices and the all-seater stadia. People think they have a right to be entertained and the sitting down certainly brings a more ‘theatre’ atmosphere and because they have paid so much they expect more.

    The proliferation of media certainly means that everyone thinks they are an expert now and while a more knowledgeable crowd is to be encouraged they have to realise that sport is an inexact science and there will always and always have been dreadful games to watch and teams cannot always play to their best.

    Another reason could be that because there is less of an atmosphere in stadia these days (mainly due to a smaller away support, ironically to give home fans more tickets) which means that boring games or games where you team does not play well are more focused.

  4. GC says:

    I’ve been witness to teams being booed off at halftime, chants for managers and/or chairmen to be fired/strung up, etc. at matches in the top flight and lower divisions longer than 5 years ago. I can’t tell you if this has existed forever.

    The ticket prices / sense of entitlement thing could certainly a part of it. On the other hand, I’ve heard just as much rancor, seen just as much protest in what used to be called Division 4.

    And the price of mediocrity can be just as high as the price of excellence. I paid 24 quid for a QPR ticket last month.

    I’d spent very little time in England prior to the advent of football ‘zines, call-in shows, Sky Sports News, message boards, etc. so I can’t say with any degree of certainly how different it might’ve been twenty years ago.

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