Daily Mail rejoices as 'arrogant' Joey Barton quits Twitter

Joey Barton

The QPR midfielder takes 'sabbatical' from the website, as journalists twist the knife

LAST UPDATED AT 09:45 ON Tue 27 Mar 2012

WITH QPR caught up in a desperate battle to stay in the Premier League and after being booed by his own fans and losing his place in the team, Joey Barton has taken drastic action and announced that he is taking a "sabbatical" from Twitter.

The outspoken footballer is one of the stars of the social networking site and, despite his relative obscurity as a player, has garnered almost 1.4 million followers. They read his views on everything from music to politics and football, which are usually delivered with little grammar and a slightly-menacing edge and frequently include quotes from Nietzsche.

However, this weekend, after finding himself relegated to the bench by QPR manager Mark Hughes, understood to take a dim view of Barton's Twitter activity, he appeared somewhat downcast.

The former Newcastle midfielder showed a flash of attitude as took a dig at Sunderland, where QPR were playing, saying the city reminded him of the film Deliverance.

But after realising he had been dropped from the team he expressed his disappointment, and later on Saturday announced: "Going to take a little twitter sabbatical before I say something I'll end up regretting. Have a good few weeks people."

The news has been greeted with something close to glee by football writers.

"Presumably he didn’t intend this to be a joke, but it is very funny. After 4,598 tweets it’s a bit late for that, Joseph," chuckled the Daily Mail, before launching into a 1,300 word attack on the "arrogant" and "sanctimonious" midfielder.

The Times was slightly less incandescent. "As a result of his growing fame, Barton landed a book deal, a column for The Big Issue and wrote for the op-ed pages of The Times, which must be a first for a QPR midfield player," wrote Matt Dickinson. But he added that Twitter had turned him into a "absurd self-parody".

"Twitter seemed a harmless medium but it has created a monster, with Barton as famed for his rants as his football. Now he does neither." · 

For further concise, balanced comment and analysis on the week's news, try The Week magazine. Subscribe today and get 6 issues completely free.