Date: 10th October 2009 at 11:08pm
Written by:

It`s that time of the season whereby Joey Barton, fresh from being rules out until roughly February with another foot injury, sits out another string of games on £70k a week and looks back on the various misdemeanours he`s been involved in and says sorry and how much he`s changed. His latest effort went something like this:

‘I’m in a better place now. Even though I’ve got a cast on my leg and I’m on crutches because I’m injured once again. If I’m honest, my career has gone backwards over the last two years and, of course, some of it is my own doing. The first year at Newcastle I broke my foot, got arrested and had the court case hanging over me for the rest of the season.

I came out of jail in time for the start of the season and then got a ban from the FA. Then I broke my other foot, came back and tore knee ligaments, came back and injured my foot, got sent off and missed the end of the season and the club got relegated. Now I’m injured again and you think ‘what have I done to deserve this’ but my whole philosophy is it all happens for a reason.

Someone somewhere is thinking ‘let’s push him and challenge him a bit more’ and it gets you down. There’s nothing worse for me as a footballer than being injured as it takes away your passion in life but I’ve just got to get on with it. There are a lot of people a lot worse off than me and that puts it in perspective.

There’s no such thing as good and bad decisions – just the consequences of the choices you make. I’ve had to deal with those consequences and one of those was that I decided to lead my life in a different way and for me that meant abstaining from drinking. I’m not an egomaniac but everyone has a side where you think you’re the most important person in the world. Then reality kicks in and you realise you’re far from it.’

Is that the sound of the world`s smallest violin playing? We`ve heard it after Dabo, after McDonald`s and after Shearer. What makes him think anyone will believe him a fourth time?