Joey Barton quotes Orwell and Dalai Lama on Twitter
The Newcastle midfielder, who was once jailed for assault, has declared war on his club using Twitter
While most Premier League footballers probably think the Dalai Lama is a Barcelona wing back, Joey Barton has been quoting the Buddhist leader recently, along with George Orwell, Nietzsche and Charles Darwin and has become something of a Twitter legend in the process.
The 28-year-old Newcastle midfielder has turned to the great men for inspiration during his increasingly bitter row with his employers that culminated on Tuesday with Barton being ordered to train alone. Already fined two weeks wages, around £120,000, and put on the transfer list, Barton reacted to his latest punishment by telling his 200,000 followers: "Made to train alone today, how predictable..."
That was one of his more commonplace tweets. Earlier in the day Barton reacted to allegations that the Newcastle board had been bad-mouthing him by reminding the Twittersphere what George Orwell had once said: "In times of universal deceit, telling the truth will be a revolutionary act."
Barton fell out with Newcastle last month when he criticised owner Mike Ashley and his board for their transfer policy. Since selling striker Andy Carroll to Liverpool in January for £35m, the Magpies have not made any notable additions to their squad and when they sold captain Kevin Nolan to West Ham United in June Barton's ire increased, particularly when he learned the club wouldn't offer him an extension to his existing contract that expires in 2012.
"If only we as players could tell the fans exactly how it is, without them above fining us lots of money. There will be a time and a place," tweeted Barton on July 31, followed by: "And again it would be left to those magnificent fans to pick up the remnants of their once great football club. #hadenoughofcertainpeople."
Ashley's patience ran out and Newcastle placed Barton on the transfer list. "We will be looking for a new club for Joey now and I'm sure there will be plenty of takers," confirmed his agent, Willie McKay.
Arsenal, Spurs, Stoke and Aston Villa are some of the clubs already being linked with Barton, though whoever signs him will most probably have to tolerate his love of Twitter, even though he only signed up to the website at the end of last season.
In recent weeks Barton has not only taken Newcastle to task in the Twittersphere, he's also had a pop at America ('Land of the free, home of the brave' only George Bush and his idiotic subordinates believe that sh*te), the British government (Why are British troops in conflict zones risking their lives, on America's behalf? Supporting a fascist regimes ideologies? Bring them home) and the Labour party (Well I'd vote for David M over Ed M, everyday of the week. I can't believe he's the most appealing labour politician??? David for leader).
Then there's his quotation of the Dalai Lama, an incongruous choice one might think for a footballer who once served 77 days in Strangeways for assaulting a man in McDonalds. "To control negative physical and verbal actions, it is necessary to get at their root, the mind, and tame it," tweeted Barton last month, proving that at least one footballer reads more than just the back pages.