Originally Posted by BDI
Joey Barton demonstrated once again on Saturday he has a habit for attracting controversy, even when he has been dropped to the bench.
Barton, who captains QPR, lost his place in the side after a terrible performance against Liverpool in midweek and was not called upon as Mark Hughes's team lost 3-1 to Sunderland.
However, that did not stop him from being the subject of criticism.
The midfielder, who later insulted Sunderland fans on Twitter before declaring he was going to take a "sabbatical" from the site, could face FA action after involving himself with opposition fans.
Our video shows how Barton enjoyed the attention he received from home supporters when warming up, and it is reported that he could be in trouble after allegedly making gestures that referenced Newcastle's 5-1 victory over Sunderland in October 2010 - a game in which he played for the Black Cats' local rivals.
The Daily Mirror claims a Sunderland steward reported Barton's behaviour to stadium control at the Stadium of Light and that "the QPR bench were requested to ask him to stop inciting supporters."
Furthermore, Barton also managed to anger his own fans with his antics on the bench.
After QPR scored a late consolation, Hughes and his staff were still stony-faced given the club had no chance of overturning a defeat which left them in the relegation zone.
However, as you can see at the end of our video, Barton was spotted laughing and joking, which did not go down too well with some fans on Twitter.
Thomas Parsons tweeted: "See Joey Barton laughing on the bench then on MOTD while QPR are getting battered and he's been left out? #doesntcare"
Naka added: "BARTON embarrassing us all on twitter and sat laughing on the bench when we went 3 down. Enough"
There is absolutely no doubt that Barton is an obnoxious individual and a player who has been cynically and deliberately violent. It is my view that he should have been excluded from the game once his contract at Newcastle came to an end, with no other club being prepared to have him.
However, "... a Sunderland steward reported Barton's behaviour (making gestures that referenced Newcastle's 5-1 victory over Sunderland in October 2010) to stadium control at the Stadium of Light and that "the QPR bench were requested to ask him to stop inciting supporters" ..." Really ? That is the best thing that a steward (who is primarily responsible for contributing towards the management of off-the-field activities) has to do in the lead up to a game ? Again, really ?
Presumably this is because some fans complained to the steward about Barton's gestures (and one can only conclude that Barton must have the mime abilities of Marcel Marceau to convey an insult about a match played 17 months earlier with such devastating effect).
"Oh please, kind sir, make it stop ! Never have our finer sensibilities been so offended. My friend, Miss Smith has already fainted and Miss Jones is going to need long-term support to overcome the pschological trauma of what we have witnessed. Miss Brown has already indicated that she won't be able to get more than four expeletives into her every comment and she can normally be relied upon for at least six. I am also in need of the aid of a physician, as I am about to have a fit of the vapours. Please, for the love of all that is right and good, make it stop !"
At which point the complainant dropped her parasol, clasped her white cotton gloved hands before her eyes, allowed her bonnet to slip to a provocatively jaunty angle and fell into the arms of the steward. A flunkey was then dispatched to advise the QPR management to remind Mr Barton that he is an officer an a gentlemen and that he should curb his behaviour accordingly or prepare to give satisfaction at dawn, with either sword or pistol.
And as for QPR fans being offended by Barton 'laughing and joking' with others on the bench, this presumably is because the appropriate behaviour should have been for him to be snarling and screaming his team-mates onto greater efforts. Although this would have probably been provocatively offensive to the Sunderland fans. The poor lad just can't win, can he ?
I think football fans that complain about this sort of stuff are invariably looking to be offended. Barton has, throughout his career, regularly demonstrated that he is an idiot. Can you imagine how pleased he was to be advised that his antics had got under some Sunderland fans' skins ? Fans need to ignore his idiocy, otherwise he will be encouraged all the more.