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Why Joey Barton is a great guest

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Dan Walker | 12:35 UK time, Thursday, 13 October 2011

Well, there is no doubt that Joseph Anthony Barton divides opinion.

On Saturday's show we got our highest audience of the season with 1.9m tuning in to see the QPR captain on the sofa. We also got the most number of complaints.

I can assure you that all of them were read carefully but I can also say that - even though I understood them - I disagreed with each one.

The complaints all followed a similar theme: why would we dream of having someone like Mr Barton on the show considering some of the things he has done in his past?

Barton

Joey Barton has transformed himself into a social commentator after opening a Twitter account. PHOTO: Getty

Now, I get where those voicing those opinions are coming from, but I maintain that Joey
Barton - for me - is a great guest. 

There is no doubt that he's done some reprehensible things - all of which he is repentant over and all of which were alcohol fuelled. 

The fact that he has come back from those dark places to have a successful football career makes him a man with an interesting story to tell. 

If you doubt whether that is an 'interesting' story I would point out that over half a million people actively chose to follow him on Twitter

I would also encourage you to watch the Focus Forum which was one of the most watched bits of video on the BBC Sport website this week. Love him or hate him, viewers clearly want to hear more from Joey Barton. 

In addition to that he is also a rarity in modern football: someone who has a plethora of opinions and isn't worried about sharing them.

You never get the impression that he is protecting his friends in football.

If you ask him something you get an honest answer and, believe me, that is as rare as it is refreshing.

I am not disputing the fact that he still does some stupid things on the pitch or that he enjoys pushing people's buttons more than he should but I feel he is exactly the sort of guest we should be getting on Football Focus.

I should also say that, despite the odd complaint, the overwhelming response via twitter and email was very positive.

It was also great to have Gary McAllister on the show who was equally opinionated and remains one of the nicest men in football.

I went to the Super League Grand Final after the programme where - after talking about how the sport has embraced video technology - the referee correctly called for a replay of a disputed St Helens try which hadn't been initially given.

 

Dispute

Video replay was used during the Super League Grand Slam final after the St Helens players disputed referee Phil Bentham decision not to award them a legitimate try. PHOTO: Getty

The decision was made relatively quickly and, far from ruining the flow of the game, actually added to the drama as the crowd all looked to the big screen for a decision. I wonder if Brother Blatter was watching.

 

This week we are off on the road again and our travels take us to Carrow Road.

The whole of Football Focus comes live from the build-up to Norwich against Swansea. Contrary to an accusation via twitter this week, I have not organised the trip simply to sample Delia's culinary delights.

We'll have a few East Anglian heroes on the show and one or two from the world of showbiz as well.

We'll talk through all the big footballing issues of the week, including the latest on Wayne Rooney whose temperament may well be tested in that tasty North West derby with Liverpool on Saturday.

This is actually one of the more bizarre geographically challenging weeks of the season so far.

It started in Sheffield on Monday then Manchester, Nottingham, London, somewhere in Kent, Hertfordshire, Swansea (to speak at a do) then Norwich.

After the game it will conclude with a fast dash to Liverpool before eventually getting back to the seven hills of Sheffield just in time to watch Crawley at home to Shrewsbury on the Football League Show.

I love my job and travel is all part of the package.

I haven't done one of these for a while on the blog, but last week on Twitter we did a Dancing XI in honour of Robbie Savage being on Strictly and I thought I'd share a few with you.

Team Name: Democratic Republic of Conga. Chairman: Niall SeQuinn. Managers: Volta Smith & Gay Gordons Strachan. Full squad: Pepe MacaReina, Rave Beasant, Shaka HipHop, Ruel Foxtrot, CanKanu, Cha Cha Chamakh, Zat Knight Fever, Moritz Waltz, Jive Mendonca, Peter Odemswingie, Attilo Lambada, Charlston N'Zogbia, Ryan Jigs, Igor QuickStepanovs, Shimmy Floyd-Hasselbaink, Murder on Zidane's Floor, Boogie Freedman, Daniel AggerDo Do Do.

Stick down your comments, questions or suggestions for the Dancing XI and I'll see you live from Carrow Road on Saturday at 1215 BST on BBC1. If you can't wait (I know there's at least one of you) you can find me on twitter at twitter.com/danwalkerbbc

 

Comments

  • Comment number 1.

    "Murder on Zidane's Floor" - Quality!!!

  • Comment number 2.

    All this user's posts have been removed.Why?

  • Comment number 3.

    "Murder on Zidane's floor"! Love it. Whoever came up with that one deserves a prize.

    And I can't believe you guys forgot Chris Samba!

  • Comment number 4.

    Kasper Slide Schmeichel

  • Comment number 5.

    We all make mistakes in life and Barton is know different.
    Unfortunately for him people can't seem to forgive and forget.

    I mean, I made a mistake once. She's called the ex-wife!!

    Bhangra Sagna.

    (I know, poor effort)

  • Comment number 6.

    Jackie Charlston

  • Comment number 7.

    Nigel Reo Hokey-Coker.

    Paolo Di Can-Canio.

  • Comment number 8.

    Ian Moon-Walker

  • Comment number 9.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 10.

    Also, Moritz Waltz :D

  • Comment number 11.

    JOEY BARTON IS A GREAT GUEST! Dan get more guests who are willing to say what they actually think.

    That was a good interview, both the one on one with him and the preceding footage with him and other guests.... whom I can't seem to remember anything about- wonder why?

    I'm not some postmodern "each man do what is right in his own eyes" type, so stubbing a cigar out on some one's eye is always wrong. Right is right and wrong is wrong and there are consequences.
    However, we are all a thicket of inconsistencies, every one of us; the P.C. "goodie two shoes" footballer is just the same. He never gets a booking but always conceals true thoughts and actual events, in order to be PC- when I grew up that was called dishonest, - a guy who has more faces than the town clock. To me that is as flawed as the guy who lacks self control- and makes a fool of himself- but will talk with you openly and honestly.
    Crazy thing is I recognize both in me, the guy who controls what he says out of fear of man / society and the guy who looses control and makes a fool of himself, so I'm quite comfortable listening to Barton, Cantona, Keane (Roy) and so on.
    DO YOU THINK YOU COULD INTERVIEW ROY KEANE? PARTICULARLY TO ASK HIM ABOUT PLAYER POWER & WAGES TODAY? That would be a good interview.
    As for the dance stuff, no thanks.

  • Comment number 12.

    poor form mr/mrs mod, very poor form.

    The only person who might rightly be offended by my comment is mr barton himself. And frankly he has brought it upon himself. You wanted to know how the public feel about him, i didn't swear, i was on-topic etc. Let the fellow posters be the judge in future. Maybe the truth hurts.

  • Comment number 13.

    I agree wholeheartedly Dan, I have always disliked Mr. Barton and as you said, with good reason. However the interview was captivating and it did make me wonder whether he has changed somewhat. Most people, not everyone, deserves a chance to put their case and he did so very well. He was honest, calm, articulate and engaging but as someone above me has said, actions speak louder than words.

    I understand that when you cross that white line something changes, I've shouted at and said things to people on the field of play that I would never dream of saying off the pitch but I still think everyone has that innate sense of what is too far, and whatever the circumstances people won't go there. People's take on what constitutes going too far will be different but it seems Joey's is somewhat skewed to what most deem unacceptable and so too often strays from what people perceive to be right.

    The fact that he has done this away from the pitch, and on more than one occasion, is not good enough - whether it be under the influence of alcohol or not. I will continue to listen to what he has to say as he grabs people's attention but until his actions start to reflect his talk of reformation then I will remain unconvinced.

    http://thebigblogofsport.wordpress.com/2011/06/14/on-best-behaviour/

  • Comment number 14.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 15.

    Funny how his "honest" interview was just for the internet viewers. All I saw of him on the proper Football Focus was a stream of cliches and run-of-the-mill opinions.
    [Unsuitable/Broken URL removed by Moderator]

  • Comment number 16.

    Hiya Dan, agree 100% Joey Barton is a good choice of guest - though more importantly, can you stop Martin Keown interrupting any time anyone has been speaking for more than 2 seconds.

    Thanks......

  • Comment number 17.

    Richard Nixon - David Frost...Dan Walker - Joey Barton. A good guest or interviewee
    doesn't mean the character of the man has to be in question, the answers he gives should be though and in the latters case Mr. Barton completely held his own (so to speak). So I can see where Dan is coming from. We need decent debate on our footie shows not nodding dogs.

  • Comment number 18.

    Ultimately, you can have a revolving door of bland, mediocre characters who are "over the moon" about Martin van Nincompoop signing or whatever, or you can a number of more controversial characters and hear what they have to say. I'm not entirely convinced of Barton being an intellectual but if you decide that people can't be rehabilitated, then society would be a very cruel place where any misdemeanour would see you become a pariah.

    The guy has done some nasty things in his time, and criminal things no less, but if he has done his time, has shown contrition, and is showing himself as being willing to make an effort, then they deserve that opportunity. What perhaps winds some people up is that he is a Premier League footballer making a pot of money.

    On another note, I didn't even know the blog was up as it failed yet again to make it to the main Sports page.

    Al Capone

  • Comment number 19.

    Applauding honesty is not what you are doing by giving Barton air time rather just trying to up viewing figures. The man is trying to charicature himself and the BBc is a party to it. Stop trying to create news and start reporting it BBC.

  • Comment number 20.

    I think it is a disgrace that Barton was allowed on the show.
    Partly because of what he has done in the past; he can repent all he likes but he still did them.
    However the main reason is that whatever he says and does off the field, he is one of the most disgusting players on the field I have seen in the last 10 years. Kevin Davies, who is often portrayed as the dirtiest player in the Premier League has gets, on average, a booking every 5-6 games, while Barton gets a booking every 4, whilst Barton also has got more red cards than Davies in less than half the number of games. While I respect he is honest, and while I understand having him on the show boosts ratings, Barton's behaviour is exactly the sort that should be kicked out of the League. His behaviour against Arsenal on the opening day was atrocious. While I accept Song was rightly banned, if Gervinho deserved a red card, Barton should have been banned for at least 3 games and given a fine.

    His pretentious rubbish on Twitter just makes me hate him even more. And he criticises players like Lampard and Gerrard who he could only dream of being as good as.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g9AfwVuttS4
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZkBfsNlBEaY

  • Comment number 21.

    Oh and of course I forgot this one:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?NR=1&v=Wlz5tO1F9JI

  • Comment number 22.

    "The 'man' is a criminal.
    The 'man' is a thug
    The 'man' is a deluded, spoilt, petulant, mediocre lout."

    Are soccer fans really any different? It sounds rather precious to me.

    He sounds more like a champion to your average foul-mouthed soccer fan than an anti-hero.

    It tickles me to have fans deride miscreant players as if they themselves are paragons of virtue.

    Only when fans can get through a match without screaming abuse with it's usual plenitude of "effs" and "cees" may they expect more admirable player.

  • Comment number 23.

    ec2y8bp - well said.

    Nobody but nobody takes dan walker even remotely seriously. No one. However, in an effort to try and enlighten him (and a few others who clearly need some enlightening) here goes....

    The picture caption for joey states 'Joey Barton has transformed himself in to a social commentator...' - not even close to being true.

    Walker goes on to state ' there is no doubt he has done some reprehensible things...' - yes dan, he has. Therefore having him on the tv is a horrendous idea at any time but on a Sat lunchtime with hundreds of thousands of kids watching? I clearly do not need to elaborate. Horrendous. Walker then says barton regrets all of his despicable actions. Does he? Really? I doubt it. Millions of people doubt it very much. If he did how come he keeps making horrendously stupid mistakes in life? Walker then manages to make an already beyond belief despairingly bad situation worse by stating ' all of them fuelled by alcohol...' - enough said. More than enough said.

    On it goes - ' a man with an interesting story to tell...' - No. No. No. Why don't we see if ian brady fancies a bit of time on the settee as no doubt dan would love to hear his interesting story. Good grief. To back up his claim barton has an interesting story to tell he cites his half million twitter followers as proof. Erm...hold on a minute...don't the vast majority of barton's so-called twitter followers go on there to give him dogs abuse? Rightly so too. This DOES NOT make him interesting.

    It gets worse - 'love him or hate him viewers clearly want to see more of joey...' - no they don't. By your own admission dan you had more complaints about your guest this week than ever before. Can you even try and read between these ocean sized gaps in between the lines? No, thought not.

    And more - dan claims he is a great guest because he is opinionated. Surely that can't be too hard to find can it? Day one at researcher school would probably do for getting past that one is my guess. Funnily enough - it turns out i might be right because by a remarkable coincidence by the end of his ridiculous blog dan has happily told us that gary mac is 'equally opinionated'. Genius stuff.

    Finally dan claims that 'despite the odd complaint, the overwhelming response via twitter and email was very positive...'. This is a blatant lie and dan knows it.

    Enough is enough. What a joke of a man, a joke of a blog and a joke of a guest for football focus. If there were no other reasons not to have joey on (and there are literally dozens of other very good reasons) then go and watch the highlights of the newcastle v arsenal game from earlier this season. Debate has finished if it ever really begun.

    As i said at the start - no one, but no one takes dan walker seriously.

    Here endeth the lesson.

  • Comment number 24.

    Everyone, or nearly everyone, who comments on BBC blogs lives holier than thou, are perfect parents, are role model citizens, genius football managers and are far better journalists than anyone at the BBC, or anywhere else.

    Meanwhile back in the real world....I like listening to what Barton has to say.

  • Comment number 25.

    What about Lewin Nyatango for your dance team.

    Then about Joey Barndance?

    He's a really good footballer. He's a hot head. He's got loads of opinions. Do I want to listen to them? No thanks. I can get that sort of nonsense from the drunken cider heads in Bristol city centre any evening.

  • Comment number 26.

    Cheers Dan. I agree wholeheartedly with your comments. You're an inspiration!

  • Comment number 27.

    What a shame that no-one has mentioned his football...
    As a Rangers fan, I've been interested if underneath all the hyperbole there is actually a footballer.
    So far this season, excluding Fulham, I've been pleasantly surprised.
    Joey Barton is doing a good job at QPR, he's putting in shifts and helping to form a very strong midfield for us.
    I think we should all remember that life could be very different for all of us, should we have been lucky enough to be paid thousands of pounds a week when we were still teenagers. Then surrounded by people telling us how we good we are, and helping us to spend that money, on the wrong things, like many other young men in England would.
    No, I'm not sure Joey is as clever as he thinks he is.
    Yes, those youtube videos make him look like an idiot, but I can find videos of Scott Parker, Steven Gerrard or John Terry all making stupid dangerous tackles, or behaving like children...
    One thing is for sure, he does give an honest interview, and I agree with Dan, this is rare and should be celebrated!
    You only have to look at the interview, after the transfer window closed. I've never seen anyone so unhappy to be transferred! Of course he was holding out for a better club like Arsenal ;p
    Let's just let him get on with playing football, because strangely enough, that is his job, and with any luck we could stay above Arsenal all year and prove the doubters wrong

  • Comment number 28.

    Didn't Barton say something about players should conduct themselves properly off the pitch and mention something about diving?
    Really Joey, you really do have a poor memory. I'm sorry but I can't take this guy seriously.

  • Comment number 29.

    I agree with you Dan, Joey Barton proved to have some interesting comments. Personally I found him thoughtful and articulate and he didn't seem like your run of the mill footballer.

  • Comment number 30.

    I've always liked Joey Barton, but even more so recently. To come back from the kind of things he's done in the past, and the slating he's had from pretty much everybody and make a good career out of it, takes a lot of character. Yes, he still gets up to a bit of mischief on the pitch, but he's a competative guy. If he steps over the mark, he's punished like everybody else. He's no worse (now) than the divers and players who feign injury on the pitch.

    Great guest, and great interview. Enjoyed it a lot!

  • Comment number 31.

    I think both intellect and upbringing has had a lot to do with how Joey Barton ended up. Consider Rooney who was brought up in Croxteth ( a disadvantaged area of Liverpool) by mum and dad (less said about dad the better) but with few, if any, GCSEs. Joey Barton was brought up in a similarly disadvantaged part of Knowsley (Huyton - essentially part of Liverpool) by his nan but had the intellectual werewithal to actually pass his GCSEs thus you have Joey who speaks his mind whereas Wayne appears monotously stagemanaged.

  • Comment number 32.

    @23 thewhitewizard

    What kind of high horse do you think you're on then?

    Why is it a bad idea to have a controversial footballer on football focus? Yes, there were more complaints than for any other guest, but there were also more viewers, which actually does prove that people want to see more of him. Even if people tune in to see if he messes up, does something stupid or even just to get angry about the fact he's on television, it's still 'interest'.

    And you also use circumstantial evidence in your reasoning for it being a poor blog. Do you have access to BBC emails, and have you read every tweat about having him on as a guest? No - I didn't think so. So it's quite conceivable then, that for the most part he had a positive response? Yes. You can tell from the blog so far, that it had a positive response.

    Also, Dan Walker is actually quite respected - a lot more respected on these blogs than the sports editor David Bond, and the football editor Phil McNulty.

    His story might not be interesting to you, but it is to plenty of other people - in fact, more so than any other football focus, and I dare say that video has had a lot of hits. People watch dramas, films and read books about famous people that have done far worse because they are interesting.

    You also 'doubt' that Joey Barton regrets the things he has done - so essentially you don't know that he doesn't regret them.

    A very poor argument for a) nobody taking Dan Walker seriously and b) Joey Barton being a guest, as a footballer, on a football related TV show.

  • Comment number 33.

    Bonjourno everyone. Thanks for your comments thus far.

    Now I like a debate. I quite enjoy a tussle over a point of view which is one of the reasons I write this blog.

    What I haven't got much time for is bigoted buffoons spouting bile & dripping with pomposity. I would like to congratulate thewhitewizard #23 on a glorious example of the above.

    In fairness sir, you have produced a well-written comment and make a couple of valid points but the miniature essay is betrayed by your abhorrent holier-than-thou attitude & pointless, childish insults.

    If you genuinely think that is an effective way of getting your opinion across then I feel desperately sorry for the people unfortunate enough to work alongside you.

    And to top off your pontification you accuse me of lying. I've seen the feedback in black & white. Surely you know that the 7 complaints that I received on twitter (for example) is slightly less than the 300+ positive comments? You learn that long before 'day one at researcher school'.

    We also had far more complaints when Eric Cantona came on last season. Should we have binned him too?

    May I politely encourage you to slide off that high horse, step down from your self-constructed pulpit and return to your perfect life where you are clearly a paragon of virtue, morality & humility.

    But seriously, thanks for enlightening me and everyone else. We all appreciate a few moments in your presence.

    Goodnight comrades.

    Ivan Drago

  • Comment number 34.

    @33 Dan Walker. Brilliant

  • Comment number 35.

    Dan Walker, you absolute fool. The bloke at 23 has just as much right to my attentions as you, and most of what he says is fine. Please don't take yourself so seriously. You've really let yourself down with that reply.

  • Comment number 36.

    I disagree RO. Of course the bloke at 23 is entitled to his opinion, but it is offensive to Dan as a professional, and is simply not true in the evidence to reach the conclusion he has. With your logic, Dan is as entitled as us to reply to his own blog with his own opinions on individual replies as well. I think fair play for sticking up for himself against a poster who's sole purpose was to insult Dan

  • Comment number 37.

    #35

    Totally agree. Of course he has a right to your attention. You have missed my point. What I object to is the tone of the comment which suggests he is educating the rest of us lesser mortals.

    I like a well placed insult but surely you can see he clearly thinks that when he speaks - everyone else has to listen and bow down. I don't have much time for that.

    Have a good night

    Sam Warburton

  • Comment number 38.

    I agree there's no needs for insults, and I accept your point on this.

    I think the blogger himself just has to rise above that.

  • Comment number 39.

    Yeah, Sam Warburton to you too. I've just rediscovered my Welsh grannie.

  • Comment number 40.

    I don't see why a blogger on the BBC has to rise above things like that, when other bloggers wouldn't. At the end of the day Dan is being paid for this stuff and in my view does a good job. If the comment was well thought out and had valid points, it's a different matter but it was basically slander

  • Comment number 41.

    I find it puzzling to understand why some viewers,#thewhitewizard included, have what they believe is an entitlement to influence the Beeb's football guests.Here's a tip, which I find stands me in pretty good stead, - if you're really that put out about it, try the off switch.

    The rest of us can make our own minds up.

    Incidentally, any Harry Potter/JRR Tolkien monikered contributor would surely show a better grammatical and stylistic mien.Look it up, Saruman/Gandalf. Which are you anyway? Be more specific.

  • Comment number 42.

    Blogs are generally about information or opinions. When you write a blog giving an opinion, you have to kind of accept you may elicit plenty of opposing opinions, some of them occasionally nasty.

    When you're paid by the taxpayer to provide a service to the state (ie a BBC employee), like Dan Walker is (and I agree he does a good job), then it's going to happen from time to time.

    You shouldn't respond by implying the people that don't share your opinion are "bigoted buffoons spouting bile".

  • Comment number 43.

    ps, I'm off to bed.

  • Comment number 44.

    P.P.S I don't get paid for these blogs.

    Gandalf The Grey

  • Comment number 45.

    but buffoons aside, I think the rest is true. You have to draw a line between opinion and insult. The comment in question doesn't claim to be an opinion - it uses what he thinks are facts to call into question different aspects of the original blog. I actually think the comment was lucky to get through the moderation, and being as it did I think Dan is perfectly entitled to say his piece, after somebody else has said there's. I'd rather see that than a corporate robot accepting such insults. We wouldn't accept them if they were said about us.

  • Comment number 46.

    Dan, that reply was just excellent. A virtual slap across the chops.

    But on to Barton, I like him. Yes he comes across as pretentious with his philosophical tweets and is a bit of a wotsit on the pitch, but he's interesting. It's nice to hear a footballer with some character instead of usual media favourites spouting cliches.

    I suggest you put in a word with your higher powers at the Beeb Dan, we have to get Joey in between Hansen and Lawrenson on MOTD at some point.

  • Comment number 47.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 48.

    ...oh, and by the way Curumo/Olorin (see what I did there) , you also shouldn't state what you can't possibly know- read your own post and you should be able to spot a couple of "your opinions" stated as "facts".

    Have a good day.

  • Comment number 49.

    The whitewizard sounds like he/she thinks there very intelligent, yet they clearly are not because everyone knows one loses their credibility and undermines their argument when making petty insults like 'no one takes dan walker seriously.'

    On the joey barton front, I enjoyed watching him the other day. He adds a certain unpredictability and speaks his mind which makes him more interesting.

  • Comment number 50.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 51.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 52.

    This blog is spot on. You shouldn't judge someone until you know them- I know he's no saint but not everyone with anger problems is a bad person. He broke the law, he served his term, and he's acknowledged his mistake. Dan was pointing out that he is honest, and if you actually LISTEN to what Joey says you will realise Dan's opinion is absolutely valid.

    Joey is honest, astute and intelligent in his observations, just because he is aggressive and has a working class accent doesn't make him a mindless thug. I mean he might be, but I think there's a lot more to him than the critics are making out. Dan, I really enjoy the more personal take you put across in your blogs, keep it up.

  • Comment number 53.

    Respeck to you Mr Walker, respeck indeed. You have some blog skillz :)

    Now if only you could see that giving Joey Barton air time is not a good idea...

    Not good for you as you have to deal with a barrage of sanctimonious commenters ;)

    Not good for Mr Barton as it only inflates his already vaulted sense of self-worth.

    Not good for the licence payers as I can only assume Mr Barton was paid for his appearance (and you ought to be for writing this blog lol) and, even if it is better than paying for a parking space ahem, it is still money dubiously spent.

    Not good for Robbie Savage, as he currently holds the number 1 shirt for the bbc sport controversial but cheeky sweetheart role.

    Not good for aspiring footballers who may interpret this as reprehensible behaviour being rewarded.

    Not good for the little children. Oh Daniel, think of the poor little children!

    I hope you see all the terrible damage this decision has inflicted upon the world. Next time perhaps a real role model with genuine chances of being an international footballer... Jack Wilshere, say.

    Either way I'm not really that bothered tbh. But it must be said my respect for Dan Walker has grown immensely from reading his comments. BBC promote this man now!

  • Comment number 54.

    also- thewhitewizard. With regards to Newcastle/Arsenal- after that game Joey phoned up 5 live, apologised and said he made a mistake, and put across the game from his viewpoint. I don't see any other players involved in that kind of controversy having the balls to do that.

    Sometimes I wonder if people have even played competitive sport when they criticise footballers. Yes, a lot of them are complete morons. But to get to that level you have to have more drive, passion and fight than any of us lot on here. I know how annoyed I get in a kiackabout in the park- can you imagine wha it must be like with 60,000 people watching, in a sport you've worked your whole life to perfect. They should be professional enough to rise above it, but if you want footballers to play with desire and passion you have to expect that it will boil over occasionally.

  • Comment number 55.

    I dont condone or like some of the things joey barton has done in the past, and i hope he doesnt either, but everytime i hear him speak i find myself nodding my head in agreeance .

    He's a very good footballer and i dont mind at all the way he plays the game. If he can get the oppos backs up by winding them up- and they fall for it- i say well done joey.

    Provided he stays on the straight and narrow from now on, i've got to say i like joey barton!

  • Comment number 56.

    And since you mentioned Sam Warburton i would have said Lionel Ballet, but it's not Soca ;)

  • Comment number 57.

    As I said earlier, if you believe in the rehabilitation of people who have committed crime, etc, then people who have done misdemeanours but have shown themselves to have either reformed, or want to reform, then they deserve a chance.

    I thought he behaved poorly in the match against Arsenal, and it was undeniably cheating on his part when he went down, a little like Rivaldo, but at least he owned up to it. Others haven't/wouldn't. Hopefully now that he has decided to put himself much more in the public eye by his use of social networking, it will make him think more often, and for longer, before he does things.

    He's not going to be to everyones taste, but then who is?

    Smeagol Gollum

  • Comment number 58.

    He's been coached and tells you what you want to hear. That's why he's a great guest. But 'Dave' Cameron would also be a great guest or even Nick Griffin - not comparing by the way, just using these to make a point.

    He's not a great person.

    And as for the Super League video replay - they got it wrong. Watched it again after someone pointed this out - the leeds player's foot is in touch behind the goal line and he's touching the ball before Tommy (St Helens player) - so the ball was out of play and the try shouldn't have been awarded.

    Mucks up the 'video replay is fantastic' theory somewhat.

  • Comment number 59.

    Sorry - Webb's arm is in touch - and by a long way.

  • Comment number 60.

    You've got to love Joey - a footballer with a brain and an opinion. Hate him for leaving NUFC though! Keep it up Joey - always follow you on twitter.

  • Comment number 61.

    The man is a disgrace 95% of the time he is on a football pitch, but then again most players turn into different people when they cross the white line - I know I've said some some choice things in my time on the pitch!

    Like him or not, agree or disagree with him, it's refreshing to hear a professional footballer speak his mind - there's only Barton and Carragher that I can think of off the top of my head who do. And if what post #54 says is true, then you have to hold your hands up and respect him for that (although the incident was apalling).

  • Comment number 62.

    Dan, you are a good man and a very able broadcaster. Your blogs are often a good read. I would very respectfully suggest, however, that responding to the white wizard as you did was a little excessive. The underlying points you made to him are undoubtedly valid, but in some respects so are his. He clearly expressed his in an objectionable manner. For a man of your moral fibre, some of the expressions that you used were not only inelegant but also, arguably, somewhat objectionable too. Perhaps on this blog, allowing for a good robust debate, we should be slow to take offence as well as slow to give it.

  • Comment number 63.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 64.

    I enjoyed Barton on last week's footie focus. I admit, my impression of him beforehand from his reputation and record, was of another brainless football thug. I still do not like some of his aggressive antics on the field and we all know about his off field criminal record. But I have to admit, he surprised me - he came across as articulate, thoughtful, reflective and honest. He avoided all the hackneyed cliches most footballers come out with when interviewed. He was also far more eloquent and interesting than the vast majority of ex professional footballers turned pundits (Lineker, Hanson, Dickson excluded -they are all very good). I think when Barton hangs up his boots the Beeb should give him a slot on the MOTD/Focus sofa. A footballer that reads Neitzsche - I mean, c'mon most footballers would never have even heard of him let alone read him!

  • Comment number 65.

    My main problem is with the fact no one asked a current footballer "why when pushed or slapped do you fall as if punched or shot?" Would Barton with all his refreshing honesty have said its because I cheat?

    He is a good guest though I am not a fan of the footballer at all and don't know the man himself.

  • Comment number 66.

    Number 23 the white wizard

    You sanctimonious ***** get off your high horse and stop making things up to suit your argument.

    for example 'Finally dan claims that 'despite the odd complaint, the overwhelming response via twitter and email was very positive...'. This is a blatant lie and dan knows it'

    How on earth do you know this, do you have access to the BBC mail servers are you hacking into other peoples mails.

    Get a life numpty

  • Comment number 67.

    Wow, just got up for the day (EST-USA) and read this...
    Well we have had Gandalf the Grey and the White Wizard, who in keeping with literature, has delusions of grandeur- assuming for himself almost divine omniscience (how on earth do you know what Dan's feedback is ?!!?).
    So in preparation for tomorrow, & the events down under, I will go for Rascum the Red- you know the slightly jollier light hearted guy who did not get heated up about the great things of the realm, but enjoyed a good blogg and did not read too much into a FF production.
    How can we make character judgments of footballers or interviewers based on a 'staged' (don't mean faked) interview and a blogg?
    ALSO CAN WE BLOGGERS BAN SET UP A VOTE SYSTEM TO BAN OTHER BLOGGERS WHO SLANDER & LIBEL US OR THE BLOG MASTER?

    Yours,
    Rascum the Red for the WRU

  • Comment number 68.

    Sorry typo in last entry: ALSO CAN WE BLOGGERS SET UP A VOTE SYSTEM TO BAN OTHER BLOGGERS WHO SLANDER & LIBEL US OR THE BLOG MASTER?
    # 62 onlyoneglory makes a good point,

  • Comment number 69.

    Hello good people of the blog.

    Thanks for your continued comments. I have to hold my hands up and say perhaps I went a little too far in my response to thewhitewizard.

    He got me in 'Bermuda triangle' of not having had any chocolate for ages, being tired & writing opinionated untruths in a very annoying fashion.

    I would like to offer him the right hand of appeasement and also state that if Thereisonlyoneglory #62 ever runs for prime minister - he's got my vote. Wise words, softly spoken.

    Anyway. TO NORWICH... AND BEYOND!

    Ethelred The Unready

  • Comment number 70.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 71.

    "There is no doubt that he's done some reprehensible things - all of which he is repentant over and all of which were alcohol fuelled."

    All were alcohol fuelled? Was he on the ale during Man City training when he nailed Dabo?

    I've never been been a massive Joey Barton fan, but I think a little bit of respect is due to him for the way he has got his career back on track despite the odd moment of lunacy he is still prone to. However to pin the things he has done in the past as being "alcohol fuelled" is a bit of kop out- if someone crashed their car and injured/killed someone because they were alcohol fuelled does that mean we should look at them in a slightly better light??!

    Or maybe this glowing tribute to Barton is a cunning ruse to get him back on the show asap?

  • Comment number 72.

    there is no such thing as role model's, i direct you to go governments, president's, people at the top of the tree are worse. we are animals that can speak......deal with it.

  • Comment number 73.

    I vote to ban 'blaenorynyclwyd'
    Who's with me?

  • Comment number 74.

    Solid work as ever Dan, keep fighting the good fight.
    Not a massive fan of Barton but I certainly agree he's an interesting guest/person. I don't like controversy for the sake of it though, I'm thinking of a certain dancer now embarking on his second stolen career.
    Marmite Barton's full of quality but I've seen him drift out of the action and not control a game the way he could and indeed has on occasion. My view is that he needs a fully-clear head to play well as he's not the most instinctive of players - a little like me when I grace the local astro.
    His England career has been frustratingly limited so far but I seem to remember him being the best player on the park during his brief cameo at OT...
    http://scottssportsandsocial.blogspot.com/

  • Comment number 75.

    #73 You're in a party of one there.

    Michael Foot

  • Comment number 76.

    Wanted to apologize for my previous comment (#20). Though I do have strong feelings about Joey Barton, I was getting a bit ranty. And also, what's all this about Dan Walker being a bad writer? None of its true at all, as much I just happen to disagree with him on this occasion.

  • Comment number 77.

    More Dan Walker lurve i see. I approve.

    But don't listen to the damp squibs in here, go with your instincts and lay in where necessary. It is a refreshing change to hear someone fight back against stupid comments. Don't apologize, this is sadly the nature of internet forums and you oughtn't be ashamed :)

    Dan Walker for presenting MOTD 2 i say! Who knows, maybe Colin Murray might wake up with one morning with a hideous growth on his neck and have to stick to entertaining us on the wireless... And no, his face is not a hideous growth ;)

    Then we can see a return of the stylish fluorescent green boots, those were well bad (in a good way). Speaking your mind will get you there, you have my vote.

  • Comment number 78.

    Bless all those who dislike a man they've never met. I follow him on Twitter purely for his opinions on stuff you wouldn't normally expect of a modern day football player.

    If he is scum, then so am I - and I love.

    #HKRAWAYDAYS

 

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