Derek Davis' Football Chatter

I'M not sure what planet Joey Barton is on sometimes, and his decision to moon at Everton fans after Manchester City got a late equaliser there last weekend was maybe not the cleverest - but then again it was understandable, given the sickening abuse he was getting.

I'M not sure what planet Joey Barton is on sometimes, and his decision to moon at Everton fans after Manchester City got a late equaliser there last weekend was maybe not the cleverest - but then again it was understandable, given the sickening abuse he was getting.

He has escaped police action and that will probably upset those people who would have liked to have seen him brought back down to earth with a bump - or even hung from the nearest lamp-post.

But in all honesty, were fans really upset at his cheeky gesture or were they just looking to get him into trouble?

Yes, it was a bit crass and at the time he had them jumping up and down in mock horror, but while it is not dignified behaviour it is not the most offensive either.


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Certainly it was not as bad as the taunts he was getting for something his half-brother did, and has been jailed for - and that was inexcusable.

It is easy to say Barton should have just walked off and done nothing, so his reaction was stupid, perhaps, but hardly criminal and let's face it, I bet a lot of you who saw it on television later just laughed or thought 'what a prat'.

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What wasn't originally shown, or even mentioned, is that Barton had just handed his shirt to a disabled fan before walking off the pitch with his head held high.

It seems fans think they can hurl any sort of abuse at players, and managers, with impunity, and then get all hurt and upset when someone reacts.

It was similar at Rochdale last week when a fan with too much to say for himself overstepped the mark with abuse hurled at Steve Parkin for making a substitution. Parkin admitted he went to find the offender later, and it was probably a good job he didn't catch up with him.

Fair enough, go to football and scream and shout, but if the vitriol gets too personal, don't be surprised if these fellow human beings - gifted and richer than you or I, maybe, but fallible all the same - snap back.

GOOD to see that Manchester United fans have lost none of their arrogance.

Those little Red Devils have taken to gloating about the size of their stadium and decided to taunt Reading fans recently at the Madejski Stadium by chanting; “We have one stand bigger than your ground.”

But Royals fans took the biscuit with a riposte of: “We have one stand that makes more noise than your ground.”

And a Radio Berkshire presenter later joined in the banter by wishing all the United fans a safe journey home to Surrey.

IT will be interesting to see who the manager of West Brom is when they come to Portman Road next week, and if they can get on with chairman Jeremy Peace.

Bryan Robson, who left The Hawthorns last month, believes a personality clash between the pair did for him, even though he was actually quite good at his job.

Tony Mowbray, and current caretaker Nigel Pearson, who were both wanted by Ipswich, are in the frame for the job.

And if you want to see the game on Saturday week then I have two tickets to give away in another sparkling competition.

Just tell me which popular Danish defender was sold to the Baggies by the Blues and then helped them to Premiership promotion.

Send your answer to Championship Chatter, Sports Desk, EADT, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich. IP4 1AN or e-mail derek.davis@archant.co.uk. Competition ends 5pm, Wednesday, October 11.

BRIGHTON won another round in their battle for a new stadium when Lewes District Council sensationally stepped down just hours before going to the High Court.

Both parties were due in court today for a preliminary hearing but the council have now accepted a consent order which allows new Secretary for State for Communities and Local Government Ruth Kelly to hear all the evidence for the stadium at Falmer after John Prescott's original 'yes' decision was put aside after he stepped down.

With no new objections, the Seagulls can see no reason why Kelly will not reach the same conclusion as Prescott.

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