I like me an underdog, and QPR are my favorite scrappers in this season’s EPL. Therefore, it is with great excitement and giddy anticipation that I await Joey Barton’s official announcement at the West London club. Here are my 10 reasons why this is the summer’s best transfer:
10.Joey Barton is good for business – his jerseys were among the best-sellers at Newcastle, and they will be even more popular with the West London crowd.In a couple of years, he’ll be selling L.A. Galaxy jerseys by the truckload.Movie roles will be pouring in; the man can act – just ask Gervinho, and he’ll tell you. As his exposure grows, the MLS will become mainstream, and billions will be made.
9.Joey Barton has a monumental human rights record – okay… it’s a record of breaking, encroaching and viciously curtailing other people’s human rights, but it’s a record nonetheless.Records are good things.Just ask Guinness, the book.Also, Joey Barton loves Guinness, the beverage.
8. Joey Barton is Arsenal’s kriptonite – the man single-handedly orchestrated the 4-4 comeback versus Arsenal last season by picking a fight with Abou Diaby and getting the poor bastard sent off with half the match to go; he did it to Arsenal again this season, by adjusting Gervinho’s collar for him.Apparently, the Ivorian didn’t like it, so he went to the dressing room early to fix it himself, and without him, Arsenal couldn’t muster the win. With this man in the line-up (no pun intended), QPR can count on at least two points from their Arsenal derby meetings this season.
7.Joey Barton keeps up with technology – there is no one, and I mean no one in the English Premier League that can tweet like this guy.The man is a Twitter-deity!Most of the messages he writes sound irresponsibly demented, but they are in fact, freakishly brilliant. Regardless, the man has mastered the latest gadgetry, and that’s the kind of guy you want in the locker room when your ipod locks up on you.
6.Joey Barton v 9.0 is actually new and improved – I’m serious, people!I mean, come on, he hasn’t really committed any felonies since 2007!And honestly, the last time he was really punished by the FA was in 2010.For what, you ask?For punching Morten Gamst Pedersen during a match.This is the same guy that committed this monstrosity:
Joey B. should have been awarded a medal or commendation for that incident, not handed a suspension.Sometimes I think this league is going to hell with some of these decisions…
5.Joey Barton is a fashion statement – the man is “walking art” (evidenced by assortment of pictures in this article).He is so far ahead of the trends, most people just take it for eccentricity, but *I* know better.Stylish mustaches, avant-guard haircuts, low-cut shorts… and, let’s face it folks:the man looks way better in hoops than he does in stripes.Huh?Am I right?Hmmm?Come on, London, stop playing second fiddle to your neighbor across the pond and lead the fashion industry!
4.Joey Barton must dethrone Neil Warnock as “most obnoxious guy in the league” – to say the QPR manager is socially awkward is a massive understatement.He is largely unpleasant with his words, and we all know words are overrated.Joey Barton doesn’t have that problem, because Joey Barton talks with his fists.Having J. B. on the team will take the spotlight off Warnock, and the whole squad will benefit in the long run. By the way, “J. B.” stands for “Jail Bird”.
3.Joey Barton will prevent new boys QPR from being pushed around – who better than Joey freaking Barton to stand up to the tyranny of the referees, and the inequities of this league?This is a guy who is not afraid to shout at the officials when his team is unjustly treated on the pitch.He may even shove one or two of them and get away with it, ‘cause hey – reason number 6; you don’t wanna be the guy that derails this young man’s progress, do ya?
2.Joey Barton can be violent, but London is a violent place – the latest riots highlight just how rough and tough the mean streets of London have become.One must be schooled in the arts of ass-kicking and general rough-housing if one is to survive in this town.Joey Barton has a chain belt in these techniques!He’s the kind of guy you need to have beside you at the London nightclubs, or you might not make it back home alive!
And the number 1 reason this is the EPL season’s greatest transfer is:
1. Joey Barton is actually really good at playing football – I already liked QPR’s chances of scoring a mid-table slot at the end of the season prior to this move, and with Joey Barton in the mix, my prediction is looking better than ever.This guy is in his prime – he is experienced, strong, has great vision, and can pass the ball like few in the business.Sure, you can count on him getting a few yellow and/or red cards this season, and maybe even the odd three-game suspension by the FA.But look on the bright side: when he comes back from that time off, he’ll be fresh and commanding that midfield like a boss.
And so it begins…
Famous Football Quote of the Day:
“Won’t be a problem finding Joey a home.” – Joey Barton, footballer, martial artist, philosopher
Gameweek 2 is in the bag in England, and the usual boneheads have given the rest of us plenty to talk about, folks:
Wasted substitution: Roberto Mancini tries to appease the South American Gods by bringing Carlos Tevez into the match against a tough Bolton side while holding onto a 1 goal lead with 23 minutes left in the match. The result was… unremarkable. The Italian may have convinced Tevez of his importance, but the rest of the world didn’t give a rat’s ass.
Damaged Goods – AC Milan owner Silvio Berlusconi has rejected a move for Mario Balotelli. Apparently, Italians have learned of Balotelli’s antics, and want nothing to do with him. On a related note, somewhere in the PETA back office, a tree hugger issues a statement that large parrots make terrible pets because they have the brain of a 5-year old and require constant attention. If their needs are not met, “they revert to wild behavior” and “can act like 2-year olds for up to 50 years.” Yeah…
Penalty – Wenger was suspended by UEFA for two matches for communicating with his team while suspended in the last match. The gambler always doubles-down. And the house always wins – especially when the casino is being run by the mob (yes, this is definitely a dig at Sepp Blatter). By December, Arsene Wenger will have accumulated enough suspensions for the rest of his career.
Lost Cause – Samir Nasri wants to leave Arsenal. Manchester City want to buy Samir Nasri. Arsenal can’t hold onto Samir Nasri because Samir Nasri is a human with a brain, and knows there’s a gaping hole below this ship’s deck. Samir Nasri’s agents want to collect obscene amounts of money they’re not entitled to from this deal. This Wednesday, in Italy, a bunch of gladiators from Udinese are digging in as they await a sort of invasion by a bunch of Brits led by a headless, hopeless Gaul. In a desperate act, the Gaul throws Samir Nasri to the lions. The coliseum goes wild! The Italians win the battle, and poor Samir Nasri gets sold for mere scraps to a Scottish tactician in red who doesn’t really need any more good fighters for his European battles.
Off the Field Trouble in Paradise – What in the blue blazes is going on in the red devil locker room? The growing tension on the pitch in the last few months between Wayne Rooney and Nani came to a head today, in the match against Spurs. With a wide open lane to goal, Nani puts a pass outside Lil’ Wayne’s reach, and the English transplant recipient (snickers) throws his arms in the air in disgust, shouts some bad words at the Portuguese whipping boy, then points his finger at his head as if to question Nani’s mental state. Then, he gives him some useful advice like “don’t suffocate”, or something like that. I’m not an expert lip reader though.
These are some of the highlights of what this past week had to offer us in terms of class, subtlety, selflessness and intelligence.
Tune in next week for another edition of the Professional Foul Report!
The Professional Foul Report is a weekly publication where some of the more outrageous events of the weekend are discussed. Typically, these are bonehead-type actions by players and managers, but which are essential for us fans – without their doughheadedness, there surely would be less enjoyment by us, the fans.
Editor note:Expect more low-quality shots like these in future Professional Foul Reports. What these photos lack in clarity, they make up for in emotion – as I watch all the important matches, any and all moments that capture my breath are recorded for prosperity with my trusty BlackBerry camera.
Editor note: My brother complained about the 2nd part of the Nasri post above. I emailed him with a translation, and told him to take some history lessons about our ancestors, the Romans! Anyways, here it is: “This Wednesday, in Italy (champions league second leg), a bunch of gladiators from Udinese are digging in as they await a sort of invasion by a bunch of Brits(Arsenal)led by a headless, hopeless Gaul(Frenchman). In a desperate act, the Gaul throws Samir Nasri to the lions(plays him in the European match, which makes him ineligible to play for anyone else in Europe this season). The coliseum goes wild! The Italians win the battle, and poor Samir Nasri gets sold for mere scraps to a Scottish tactician in red(SAF)who doesn’t really need any more good fighters for his European battles. (Don’t need him in Europe – only in EPL)“
I thought the MLS was a place for over-the-hill players to retire. Here’s a player that banged in 200 goals in the most competitive domestic league and cup competitions in the world. He is 10th highest goal scorer in premier league history – Didier Drogba and Ruud van Nistelrooy don’t even come close to making this list. With over 50 goals in the international stage, Keane is Ireland’s all-time record goal scorer.
$73,800,000. This is what he’s commanded from clubs such as Liverpool, Tottenham, even Inter Milan. He was most successful at Tottenham, but why didn’t he live up to his potential at the bigger clubs?
Luck of the Irish? At Inter Milan, Marcelo Lippi went on to say “At that time at Inter, they had a policy of going for young players and Robbie Keane was the best one that I saw.” He didn’t hesitate in splashing 20 million for this promising young talent. Of course as luck would have it, Lippi was sacked. His successor had different plans for the future of the team and deemed Keane surplus to requirements. Ciao Italia!
At Liverpool, the “fat Spanish waiter” Rafa Benitez never gave him a proper chance to express himself on the field. The constant tinkering with formations, playing him on the wing, and often leaving him to rot on the bench – It’s not difficult to imagine what this does to a player’s confidence. When he played (mostly as a sub) he scored – and important goals as well against Arsenal, and also in the Champions League. If he did score, he was sure to be dropped for the next game. Don’t forget how Benitez, who at the time was feeling the heat from the owner’s and fans, put the blame of poor results squarely on the shoulders of Keane. Class! As a kid growing up in Ireland, Keane always had a Liverpool shirt on his back. His spell at Liverpool lasted just 6 months. Eeek.
Enough about his past. Let’s focus on now.
I’m truly excited about the growth of the MLS. There was a time when big name stars only came to the MLS at the end of their careers (36-40 years old). At 31, Robbie Keane still has so much left to give. First came David Beckham. Then Thierry Henry. These are players who are still playing amazing football. Henry is currently top scorer in MLS and I just saw Beckham in person perform at the highest level against Man Utd a few weeks ago. These guys give meaning to the saying “form is temporary, class is permanent.”
What an incredible signing for the L.A. Galaxy! Compared to other leagues around the world, the MLS is just a baby. But there’s a reason why I’m drawn to the Galaxy… I can’t wait to watch Becks, Landicakes, and Keano together on the pitch.
I really admire Robbie Keane and I’ll tell you why. This is as a man who makes no excuses for himself. If the goals aren’t coming, he’s honest about it and will be the first to admit it. Some think he’s underperformed at a professional level, but I feel he has done it all. He followed his dream to play in Italy, Liverpool, Celtic (where he was voted Fan’s Player of the Year), and now a new chapter in his life begins in the US. If that’s not enough of a reward, check out his wife and Miss Ireland contestant Claudine Keane! (Pictured, right)
There is something very wrong with the modern game. Corrupt agents, greedy owners, and worse of all, ungrateful players are tarnishing the image of the sport. Two words. Carlos Tevez. Here are five reasons why I can’t stand this self-loathing, simple-minded tyrant.
1. Manchester United
He thought he was bigger than Man Utd with his insatiable demands. There’s a reason why SAF said he had no regrets over his departure. It wasn’t because this “little engine that could” bagged an impressive 5 goals in his final season at Man Utd. No. It’s how his selfish mentality behind the scenes in the dressing room and board room rubbed off on the rest of team. Remember the Rooney debacle? This was a classic case of mimicry with limited knowledge of the consequences. Ask yourself why Rooney stayed and Tevez left. I’ll give you a hint… 3 letters.
2. He is Not As Good As He and the Media Make Him Out to Be
Even with his “try hard” attitude he still didn’t earn a regular spot over the laziest player in history of football – Dimitar “Le Sulk” Berbatov. Give Tevez enough playing time, as in the 2010-11 season where he started 30 games, and he’ll bang in 20 goals. Sounds good right? Last season Berbs matched that feat in only 24 starts! Don’t forget Berbatov lifted yet another premier league trophy while Tevez took a “Scrooge McDuck” dive into his money bin. The quicker he realizes that there’s only now, the happier he and everyone around him will be.
3. Speaking of Happiness…
In yet another expected turn of events, Tevez failed to pull 40 million from Corinthians. Suddenly he’s more than ready to come back to the same people he insulted – the same people who pay his ridiculously inflated salary said to be as high as $450,000/week. His egocentric attitude will infect the rest of his City teammates and surely disrupt team morale. Bye bye momentum!
4. The Aimless Money-hungry Saga Continues
I predict that before January, Tevez will explode in a fit of rage at Mancini regarding his lack of playing time. A new hero has emerged at City in Aguero and Tevez’s greed will get him exactly what he deserves… A never-ending quest to nowhere.
And one last thing:
5. “I’m Never Coming Back to Manchester”
Tevez is not fooling me with his reason(s) for wanting to leave. “I want to be closer to my family.” LIAR!!! He is clearly using diversion tactics to stress that his issue is NOT with money, but family related. He paints a picture of himself struggling emotionally so we as fans will sympathize with him. But try to answer this question in an honest way… If Inter Milan or Real Madrid met his over-inflated $$$ demands, would he move even farther from his daughters?