Joey Barton

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Barton perplexed at Hill-Wood denial

Midfielder and Internet philosopher, Joey Barton, has expressed concern at the running of Arsenal football club, after the Gunners’ chairman, Peter Hill-Wood, denied that the Londoners had an interest in signing the QPR man, shortly after he was made available for free by Newcastle United.

Barton told the Sunday Mirror that, in denying that Arsene Wenger had spoken to him, Hill-Wood “doesn’t know what’s going on at his football club”. The Liverpool-born player supported his claims of Wenger’s wooing by noting that “a club in transition”, namely, Arsenal, were more likely to search for an inexpensive player, such as Barton, than break the bank by purchasing a world-famous superstar.

“Peter Hill-Wood said they never had any serious interest in me”, Barton continued. “I just don’t understand.” The QPR captain intimated that Arsenal had a communications ‘bottle-neck’ somewhere between Wenger’s mouth and the boardroom, which was keeping Hill-Wood in the dark, regarding affairs at the Gunners

Arsenal struggled with selection issues, following the sale of Samir Nasri to Manchester City, and Cesc Fabregas, to Barcelona. Although the pre-season betting suggested they would cope without their two stars, thing have fallen apart somewhat dramatically.

The issue seems to be a matter of personal pride for Barton, rather than an attempt to rekindle his brief relationship with Arsenal. Anyone following the online betting will know how poorly the North London side have done this season and Barton clearly thinks he could have made a difference.

Speaking in September, Barton noted that he had been in talks with the Gunners until their ill-fated match against Newcastle, on the first day of the 2011/12 season. The altercation between Barton and Gervinho, which took place during the fixture, was ostensibly, the ‘straw that broke the camel’s back’, encouraging Wenger to cease his pursuit of the often-controversial midfielder.

Closer to the present, on Sunday, Barton intimated that he would handle the “Gervinho incident” differently, if he ever got the chance again, perhaps in a bid to secure the transfer to Arsenal. However, the 29-year-old says that he is content to remain at QPR, especially given their position in the league – above Wenger’s Arsenal.

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