Joey Barton’s Rangers career has looked over for some time now, after some ill-advised interviews following his suspension saw his period away from Auchenhowie extended to three weeks. Since then, we’ve had some car-crash interviews to promote his book appear in the press, and all bridges look to be burnt. Barton himself, however, does not agree.
Speaking today in a series of posts on Twitter, Barton said: "People are far too quick to write the team off. Celtic game was first competitive loss since 28th December. Thirty-plus games."
"I'm not going anywhere, happy to be judged after the season. Can't wait to get back and show what I'm about. Came to be successful. Nothing's changed."
"Never ran from a challenge in my life. Not about to start now."
A few fans on Twitter seem ready to welcome Barton back if he can show his best form and his committment to the cause, but we question why he would suddenly start now, particularly after an absence of three weeks. We’d still put our money on Barton leaving, as this doesn’t really undo much. For other things, there’s online betting with Realbet.eu.
However, there’s always the chance he could turn it around. If he is selected, we’ll support him and hope he can play well. If he’s patched, then we’ll support the manager in his decision. For now, perhaps his bigger worry is how much better the team look without him clogging up the gears.
Aberdeen will be a big test for the new-look, younger side. If they pass that, then Barton’s hopes of finding a way back might have more to do with his feet than his mouth. He’s not used either of them particularly well so far.