Manchester City 3 Queens Park Rangers 1
Last week was a week of exciting and confusing transfer news which culminated in a trip up to the Etihad stadium where we last met City 111 days prior..in circumstances, thankfully, much less dramatic. The neutrals and commentators were hoping for a game just as exciting, whereas most QPR fans were hoping for, whatever the result, a more positive display of skill and tactics on the pitch from their team.
I was unable to make the trip up, given the cost and distance. It's just too early in the season to be spending all my money...but made my way home after a day at the Olympic Park to watch the match on TV. While the first half showed our team outclassed by City, the second half showed glimmers of the football that we've been dying to see since the Swansea game and we signed all these 'amazing' new players. Granero looked sharp, Fabio seemed to come of age, Faurlin still looked solid...and even Dyer looked useful together with Park. There was plenty of hope after all. So a score line of 3-1 really didn't feel like a scoreline of 3-1 to me. Like many fans, our subconscious expectations were low. It was unfortunate that we didn't try to take a point having equalised. On the other hand, one might perceive that intention to try to win instead of take a draw was a more positive attitude to take...risky as it was.
So, apart from a handful of doubters, for the most part QPR fans live in some hope. Like embers at the beginning of a lovely charcoal barbecue we may start cooking up a decent flaming burger sometime soon.
But before I look forward to the future. I want to get one thing off my chest once and for all. And after this I promise to write of him no more.
As you may know, I stopped following Joey Barton on twitter a month after the end of last season. Like many fans, the City debacle was one step too far, and the ensuing reaction and behaviour made me feel manipulated and fooled by the man. I had even written highly of him after he appeared in a documentary about gay footballers, and I took him for a man misunderstood by society. I don't think I ever considered him a 'reformed' character like many, but I did think that perhaps people hadn't given him the chance to just be the odd person that he is. But while one of my favourite mottoes is 'it's better to be weird than boring,' I probably ought to add an addendum to that and say 'but it's better to be boring than self-centred.'
Some of my friends in the twitter world stuck by him as #teambarton throughout the internal investigation, but even they, after seeing his interview at Sky Sports News last week about his potential Marseille move, got a sour taste in their mouth as he mouthed off openly about his thoughts on QPR, not exactly negatively...but not nicely either. He is now, thank heaven, in Marseille. But like dying embers his ghost lives on in my twitter feed as QPR fans continue to retweet him whether to show how annoying he is, or just how cool he still is. Like advising your friends not to go back to a bad boyfriend or girlfriend, you can only say so much...sometimes, it's just better to completely cut those ties because his style of ranting simply eats at you.
I tell you, even when he was interviewed by the Guardian magazine and talked about launching a social network site a few months ago, I thought he was quite clever. I thought, maybe he's going to create something new in the social media space that's going to rock the football world and change a few things. I look at the site and I see nothing but a self-centred homage to himself, and everything only he cares about. I remember reading that he said he wanted to make a site where fans of his could interact with each other in a different way. But today I looked at the Have your say page which has been live for a few months and all I find is a discussion board for the Hillsborough Justice Campaign. There's another section for 'New Discussion Topics Launching Soon'. While it is admirable that he supports this, I am afraid that the other topics will have nothing to do with what other people want to talk about related to football, or to him. They will simply be topics that interest him and him only. Dull dull dull.
And another thing. I was a fool. I started picking up the Big Issue again when he started his column. A couple of columns in, I'm thinking maybe he can really write, and he touches on SOME interesting points. I admit, I was pushing it. I was hoping to find a real intellectual there (what a fool). The one good thing is that it has rekindled my mini-affair with the magazine and I enjoy reading other articles in it. But when I see his column now I feel like I'm meeting for a drink an old pal who I don't really like because she only talks about herself, and I'm only meeting her because I feel bad I've turned her down a few times already. In this week's issue, he talks about Internet 'trolls' and inadvertently, freedom of speech. But yet again, he is scraping the barrel because there seems no real message in what he has to say. I know his topics inside out and I don't really fancy having him for dinner at my house if I could invite anyone I wanted. His topics are: Prison, The Smiths, Hillsborough, People who rant at him and ...wait for it...himself!! As they say, 'Enough about me, let's talk about me.'
OK, I'm being unfair. He's got his section Joey On where he waxes lyrical about everything from Politics to Sport..oh...actually wait it's Politics and Sport AND Culture. Wow. Then again, the title page says 'I'm going to be true to myself.' Sorry everyone...he isn't going to be true to you, nor is he going to necessarily be inclusive to his fans. Make no bones about it, this is not a social networking site. This is a glorified Facebook page for Joey Barton.
I know some will disagree. Most probably won't. I just had to get it off my chest because like a dying embers of that fabulous barbecue we're going to have I'm going to chuck that crap right in my grey bin away from the compostable and organic items.
Cheerio! Cheerio! Cheerio!