When 33-year-old supposed bad boy of English football Joey Barton signed for Burnley, it raised a few eyebrows to say the least.
Nobody doubted his quality and footballing pedigree, no not one bit. What they doubted was his temperament and the effect that this may have on the Burnley squad.
However, such fears have been allayed and almost ever-present Barton, who featured in 38 of the 46 Championship games that Burnley played, has proven to be that leader with a streak of iron on the field – the so-called midfield general.
In his endeavours this season, as well as notching three goals and providing two assists, the combative midfielder has impressed fans and fellow Clarets over the season. From within the team set-up, Barton has garnered praise such as “Joey is very important, he gets stuck in,” from striker Sam Vokes and, “He’s been very good, he’s enjoying his football but he’s in a team of very good people, not just players.Joey’s going about his business in a good manner,” from Burnley manager Sean Dyche.
However, as in the Facebook video (below) there is a lighter side to Joey Barton.
In this video, Barton leads a rousing parody rendition of The Specials ‘A Message to You Rudy’, directed at 26-year-old central defender Ben Mee.
Away from the video Barton, who is thought to have been offered a one-year contract extension by Burnley, says that the Premier League holds no fear for the newly-promoted Lancastrians. In a video interview on the BBC Sport website, Barton said that there is no fear factor associated with visiting the grounds of the Premier League ‘Big 5’ saying, “we [Burnley] won’t take a backward step anywhere we go.”