Joey receives seventh red of career
Joey Barton let his frustrations show when he received a seventh red card of his career during five frenetic minutes of Marseille’s 1-0 defeat to Nancy this weekend.
Barton, who wears his heart on his sleeve during games, picked up two yellow cards on the hour mark with the game still goalless as Marseille chased play against a tricky Nancy side.
Things weren’t going well for Marseille, who began the game as favourites on Betfair Football, with their opponents’ three-pronged strike force careering through the field on a number of occasions. Barton fell victim to two late challenges as he desperately tried to change the momentum.
“I am disappointed,” Barton revealed. “I am partly responsible for this loss.
“I apologise to my team-mates. The referee made his decisions, but I don’t think my tackles were too dangerous.”
Indeed, Joey will be disappointed he saw red so quickly after picking up a first yellow. His challenge on Djamel Bakar was committed and he was going for the ball, but tripped the forward as he slid low beneath him. In the Premier League that foul may not even have been given but it was nevertheless late enough for the referee to go to his pocket.
What is further galling is that this red card will do little to soothe Barton’s ‘bad boy’ image despite him only picking up two yellow cards in 10 previous Ligue 1 appearances. Since his ban lifted in the autumn Barton has been a model professional at the French club, earning his stripes in the middle of the park and finding his place as a man who leads by example.
That example is a committed midfielder not shy to back down from a challenge and sadly it’s cost him this time.
Barton will now miss Marseille’s trip to Evian next Sunday, although he will return in time to play Valenciennes at home before a crucial away game at Paris Saint-Germain, a match punters at Betfair.com believe could decide the future of the Ligue 1 title this season.