Barton A 'Role Model'? Who Knows, But We Must Back Him Tomorrow!

Last updated : 24 October 2008 By Footy Mad - Editor
Joe Kinnear: "It's hard. The fact is, it is there in black and white, what he did, but over the short amount of time since I met him, I find it hard to think, 'How could he do that?' because he is such a good-natured lad.

"If I do get him involved, which I am sure to at some stage on Saturday, the only way he can answer all his critics is to show it on the field and let his feet do the talking instead of everything else."

Barton wants to be a role model for kids ...

Barton: "Now I can be a shining beacon for kids who have been in trouble before like myself.

"Young kids look at the likes of Michael Owen, David Beckham, who are unbelievable professionals, who are squeaky-clean, and they can't relate to them.

"I have met people on the street and I have met people in prison, and they relate to you.

"When I speak, I speak from experience about the things I have done wrong in my life and how I have tried to change them. I think they respect that.

"Hopefully, I will be able to reach those people who have been unreachable. That's all I can do.

"People have reached out for me and tried to help me when I didn't deserve it. Hopefully, I can be there and be a role model that I haven't been before."

Former Man Utd defender Paul Parker is one man who wants to see Barton fall ...

Paul Parker: "How many times has Joey Barton been said to be in the last-chance saloon?

"These little things worry me. We're publicising someone who has proven to be not good for football. If he really wants to prove a point then don't talk the talk but show it on the pitch and off it.

"In time, as life goes on, people will give him respect for the way he has changed and how things have gone. He's got to stop going on TV and saying sorry all the time.

"I'm not interested in listening to it. I want to see and hear it from others how he has changed. Look at the likes of Roy Keane and Jonathan Woodgate, they didn't keep talking about things all the time when they had any issues off the field.

"It sets a bad precedent in football if someone can jump on one of their team-mates and only stop when he's dragged off and yet he's still out there playing now. I wouldn't feel too comfortable with him as a team-mate.

"How can you trust somebody who has turned so many times? A few words in front of the cameras doesn't make it right. People can manipulate lie-detector tests so it's only him saying it and that it's all changed but, only once that has been proven over time, is when people can say yes he has altered his way."