On Tuesday, Sam Allardyce used his first Sunderland press conference to give a very distorted account of his time at Newcastle, with the actual facts of his time there clashing with his unique take on it.
Now he is making news again with his Newcastle connections, using them to promote his upcoming autobiography which is being serialised in The Sun.
Thursday saw the newspaper feature comments from Sam Allardyce about Joey Barton.
Allardyce’s account is that he brought Joey Barton in to liven things up, only for him to belatedly find out that he was a different person/personality to what he imagined he was getting. That is Sam Allardyce’s claim anyway…
What the new Sunderland manager is saying in the quotes below, clearly appears to be that he was somewhat conned by the signing, with Barton’s later arrest being somehow out of character.
However, once again the facts tell us a very different story.
Joey Barton had already built up an unenviable track record of trouble in his career in the years before he moved to Tyneside. For Fat Sam to claim he didn’t know that he was buying a potential massive problem is ludicrous.
The story of the Joey Barton transfer is surely that it was gross stupidity by Sam Allardyce to go for such a player.
I remember a lot of neutrals being amazed when Newcastle bought Barton, for all kinds of reasons to do with his disciplinary record.
By far the biggest though was that when Sam Allardce signed him, Joey Barton was already awaiting a court case for assault occasioning bodily harm.
On 1 May 2007, only weeks before his move to Newcastle, Joey Barton assaulted his Manchester City teammate Ousmane Dabo on the training pitch. This assault was over seven months before the one that happened in Liverpool after Newcastle took him on.
Sam Allardyce clearly knew about this as it was headline news and Joey Barton had been interviewed by police and clearly the matter was going to go to court.
What nugget then goes and buys such a player, a player who could even end up on jail…that would be Sam Allardyce.
As it happens, the case was eventually heard in court whilst Joey Barton was in court for the Liverpool incident and received a four months suspended sentence after admitting assault occasioning actual bodily harm.
Sam Allardyce is one of a number of English managers who seem incapable of holding their hands up to gross errors of judgement.
Joey Barton eventually did some decent stuff for Newcastle but it would be crazy to say that he proved to be a good signing for Newcastle, just like almost every single one of the other players Sam Allardyce landed us with – Viduka, Cacapa, Rozehnal, Geremi and Smith to name but a few.
“I signed Joey Barton to liven things up at Newcastle and he did that, though not in a good way.
“Joey could blow anytime, anywhere. You couldn’t read him – he got injured not long after joining us and went into a decline.
“He was then arrested for assault, having asked permission to go home to Liverpool for Christmas because his nan was ill – he was sentenced to six months in prison.
“A few years later Kevin Nolan tried to get me to take him to West Ham, but I wasn’t interested. I won’t have anyone tell me that Joey Barton is a character. He’s a liability.”