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Barton Masters The Art Of Handbags
Footytubeblog (Blog) 5 years ago
On Saturday Arsenal’s new signing Gervinho was sent off for slapping Newcastle’s Joey Barton (although it is something that a lot of people would like to do it’s not actually allowed on or off the pitch). It was this season’s first example of handbags and certainly will not be the last. Barton used his Premier League experience to his advantage, antagonising just enough to incense without getting himself into too much trouble. Poor old Gervinho took the bait and he had to go. He’ll learn soon enough though.

In the modern game, footballing fisticuffs are becoming increasingly rare, largely due to severe respective punishments and the benefits of replays. Whilst there is no set rule governing all altercations, it is commonly accepted that raising your hands to an opponent’s face will earn you a red card.

As a result, an exchange of blows has been replaced by brinkmanship, known as handbags. The most common form of handbags is the rubbing of foreheads. Originally pioneered by mountain goats in the mating season in Attenborough nature documentaries, it has now been adopted as the go to stance for combative Premiership players. This fight foreplay is enough to get both players in the book providing their jostling looks convincing enough. Should one player make a sudden lurch, some form of one-inch head-butt, this will guarantee them a red. It’s a thin line but jostling an inch away from another man’s face to look tough is one thing, showing any intent to actually hit him is another thing entirely. The new skill to master as a midfield battler in the premiership is the art of squaring up without pushing forward too eagerly or taking a step back or raising your arms. The result is like a boxing press conference, both men straining forward, staring into each other’s eyes, hands behind backs. The crucial difference is that in football both players are coiled like a spring and ready to drop to the floor at the flutter of an eyelash.

Joey Barton played his role to perfection on Saturday. Having manhandled Gervinho, he shouted in his face while relying on his team-mates to keep them apart. Gervinho was unable to force his way into the mountain goat stance and Barton was still there baiting him. He went for the slap and Barton went down like only a footballer can. (The finest example in Premiership handbag history is Drogba and Lehmann’s embarrassing ‘altercation’ in December 2006).

It is never a pleasant thing to see but it is increasingly becoming an element of the game and being able to channel your fury into a stare and a head-rub is an important skill. That’s now twice in a row that Joey Barton has infuriated an Arsenal player.

Should Barton have been sent off for his part? Was it a red despite Barton’s crumpling to the floor?

Blog by Philip Wroe
Tony (footytube staff) 5 years ago
I blame alex songs cowardly stamp on the back of bartons leg for setting the precedent in this game, barton was always going to explode after that.
I'm no lover of joey barton, I think he's a decent player, but I don't blame him at all for loosing the rag after the stamp by song, I think I would have throttled alex song had he did that to me, so cowardly, at least barton faces you when he's kicking the s**t outta' ya
Hardstone (NE Revolution) 5 years ago
I agree that the stomp on Barton was low, the worst kind of sportsmanship. However, I don't think Gervinho dove. He went down real easy, but close to the box like that and most players go down on any light contact. Lampard going down real easy in Chelsea's game is a good example. Why did Barton go over and pick him up? He didn't need to do that, just play on! I can't help but think of Joey Barton as a lovable clown with more personality than skill
Tony (footytube staff) 5 years ago
Not sure about the personality mate.... Lol
Tobes (Liverpool) 5 years ago
Barton could have come out of this looking like the good guy if he didn't pick up and man handle Gervinho and instead just non physically ridiculed his diving attempt after being shafted by Song earlier in the match.
Song's stomp was malicious and deserves any punishment (likely 3 weeks) that is given to him, but it doesn't give Barton the right to take the law into his own hands later in the match when he feels he has been done wrong by again.
In my opinion what Barton did was worse than getting up in someone's face (hand bagging) because he went out of his way to escalate the situation from a man (diver) lying on the ground to involve the whole 22 players on the pitch when it should have been him standing over Gervinho giving him a verbal barrage for "diving" while at the same time brining it to the attention of the ref. In the end it did work out for Barton somehow, but his acts to throw petrol on the fire should warrant some punishment too, because as far as I'm concerned the game is tarnished by those sort of "All In" shirt grabbing dramafests which outshine the initial wrongdoings by the divers who sadly go unpunished.
Tony (footytube staff) 5 years ago
I'm not defending barton in any way, I can't stand the bloke, but what song did was criminal, and I would ban cowards like that for a long time, that's the lowest of the low
Buuuurak (Galatasaray SK) 5 years ago
He "reacted" to Song's stamp almost 15 minutes later.... In a way that could be presented as assault in a court room. That's just him being a cowardly bully. And the ensuing nonsense is the FA's embarrassing bias. Shame on all of them
Goooner04 (Western Sydney Wanderers) 5 years ago
I agree totally.
If joey wanted to get back at song do it on the pitch and smash him in a fair challenge.
Joey is pissed off because song acted like a twat but he is too stupid to realise that by doing what he did he is being just as bad.
In the end they all look like dicks and they should all be punished. Gervinho song and barton
Tony (footytube staff) 5 years ago
They were all dickheads, but a sending off, is a sending off, fair enough you will miss a few games, but stamping on the back of a prone players leg....come off it, its career ending material, a sending off doesent even come near that.... Lol
Soundslikefail (Arsenal) 5 years ago
Gervinho deserved to go. As should have Song. But Barton should have too. If he was more focused on the game, and less on being an aggressive moron, he would have played on with the game, not gone back and manhandled Gervinho.
Should have been three red cards, not one
Fromtheisland (Toronto) 5 years ago
Gervino and song both suspended but not barton. Absolute bull, I must say that barton should be suspended for provoking gervino and basically asking for a fight. The guy yells in his face then grabs him by the scurf and pulls him up. Considering bartons track record should be enough, but this blatant inconsistency must be havin barton laughing it up with his chums. This will only perpetuate bartons arrogance and mentality that he can get away with what he wants as long as the ref doesn't see

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