Joey Barton says he intends to become a role model for kids who can’t relate to the squeaky cleanliness of David Beckham. Leaderswederserve reveals an overheard conversation
Leaderswedeserve recently happened to overhear a mobile-phone conversation on a train heading for Newcastle.
Hello, yes this is Max. Is that you Joe? Listen. I’m on my way now. You’re a lucky boy. But if you want me to manage this for you, no press interviews until I say so.
O.K. So here’s the story. You’ve done your time. You’ve been lucky. Given more chances than Man U against Celtic. So now you want to give something back to society.
No, you can’t say that you can do a Heineken reaching those kids David Beckham can’t get to. Why? because you don’t want to draw any attention to Becks. That’s why. And even if you do you don’t call him squeaky bum clean. I don’t care if that’s what bleeding Sir Alex said. From now on, you’ve got to have a pure mouth.
Never mind what Joe Kinnear said. He doesn’t want to be a frigging role model. And he definitely doesn’t want to be your role model.
No, I wouldn’t say that either. Stubbing out that cigar isn’t just the same as what Eric did. And don’t start going off about Eric, either. You’re a smart kid. Work it out for yourself. No Beckham, No Cantona. That’s why you mustn’t do interviews until I say so. Shtum.
Yes, as it happens I do have a plan. First you would have to …
[at that point a train announcement drowned out the conversation. The next thing I heard was]
…got that? Say you won’t be speaking to the press for a long time. Grateful for Kevin’s understanding. Lessons to be learned. Repaying the debt …
[Max listened for quite a while, becoming more agitated]
…be a shining beacon? No. Giving up alcohol? No! Role model? Role model! No, Joey. Just wait until I get there. Joey? Can you hear me? If you say those sorts of things I can’t be responsible.
At that point Max muttered something which he may have heard in the interview with Joe Kinnear last week. Then he snapped his mobile shut, and charged off in the direction of the buffet, shaking his head in despair. I thought I caught a glimpse of him leaving the train at the next stop.
The next day
The next day I heard another conversation. This time it was recorded by the BBC, and the man interviewed was Joey Barton. I wonder if Joey had listened to Max’s plan?