Early Doors

‘It was a cold, calculated decision… I was a lunatic’

Early Doors

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Joey Barton is not the most measured, considered man when riled - this we know full well - but he has finally sought to explain perhaps his most crazy outburst.

When the hot-headed midfielder was sent off against Manchester City on the last day of the season two years ago it was seen as the end of his career - at the top level, at least.

He was dismissed with the score at 2-1 to QPR at the Etihad Stadium in the famous match before City went on and clinched victory and the Premier League title in incredibly dramatic fashion.

Chaos ensued as Barton clashed with Carlos Tevez before kicking out at Sergio Aguero in a crazed manner. He was subsequently banned for 12 games.

But why did he do what he did? To some it may have always been patently obvious, but now Barton has attempted to justify his actions.

"This is the weirdest, scariest thing about it. I’ve lost my head lots of times. That time I hadn’t gone," he admitted, speaking at the Oxford Union. "It was a cold, calculated decision to try and even it up.

"What people forget about the incident is, and I’m not trying to condone my part in it I’m just trying to put it into context, Tevez had punched me off the ball, for all intents and purposes he’s come round me and hit me with the side of his hand.

"So me being be thought I’ll wait and I’ll even this up so I’ve elbowed and the referee and the linesman have seen, well the linesman’s seen it, the referee’s never seen it.

"I subsequently get the red card, Tevez gets away with impunity and I’ve got a strong sense of justice and what’s right and what’s wrong and I’m not going to accept that, and Aguero had been telling the ref that I’d done it.

"And so I thought, where I’m from grasses, we call them grasses people who tell, so I’m like well he’s grassed on me so I’ll get him sent off, the snitch, he’s getting sent off, so he gets a knee."

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Barton admits that it was a 'mad scenario', and that only a 'lunatic' would have thought it was a rational thing to do.

"I thought if I can even the teams up and get one of their players sent off then that will make my sending off lesser, because he’ll have been sent off and he’ll have apportioned the blame.

"It was a mad, mad scenario, cold light of day I’m thinking that’s a lunatic who made that decision," he added.

"A lunatic wouldn’t think that was the rational thing to do but at the time I thought that it was the correct decision."

Perhaps some things are better left unexplained.

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