Barton keen on more Sunderland attention
Following Sunderland’s 1-1 home draw with Fleetwood Town last week, Joey Barton mocked the home team for celebrating an equaliser that was scored with the last kick of the game, and claiming Phil Parkinson’s side were a much worse footballing outfit than his team.
Ahead of the Cod Army’s trip to Ipswich Town last night, Barton again brought up Sunderland, claiming the club’s fans do not support or care about their team and only attended the clash at the Stadium of Light between the two to support him.
Talking to the Fleetwood Weekly News, the ex-jailbird claims he has not decided to be a bad guy, that is just something others have painted him as:
I’m box-office wherever I go.
Sunderland fans are not bothered about Sunderland. They don’t care about Sunderland.
They were there to support Joey Barton. I’m so happy, I’m so grateful to them.
There’s nothing worse than having nobody care about you. There’s nothing worse than having no attention. It’s actually horrible.
I do it to loads of people when they try and get my attention, I ignore them.
I love when I go to a stadium and the opposition fans aren’t focusing on their team, they’re not focusing on their players, they’re not focusing on my players – they’re focusing on me.
That means energy – and energy is powerful if channelled correctly – is being wasted. Our players can focus on their performance.
Why don’t they just ignore me? Leave me alone. I’d just go away and I wouldn’t have the same impact. But once they take me on, it’s like an endless energy source of inspiration.
Like the Sunderland fans, it was like a solar panel, absorbing the energy thinking ‘I’m going to need this for the next 12 games’.
Thanks for charging my batteries, thank you very much. I love it, I absolutely love the role.
In every great story there is a good guy and a bad guy. For me, I haven’t decided to be the bad guy, but no matter what I do, people have decided to paint me as the bad guy.
“I’m cool with that, there’s got to be the yin and the yang so I’m cool with that.
Maja still has Premier League dream
Sunderland academy product Josh Maja has acclimatised well to life in France, playing regularly for Ligue 1 side Bordeaux.
His displays have already attracted attention from the likes of Everton and Chelsea but the 21-year-old told beIN Sports that he is hopeful of one day playing for his boyhood team, Arsenal:
Obviously growing up in London, it’s one of my dreams to play in the Premier League and hopefully in the future that opportunity comes.
My team’s Arsenal, so hopefully one day I get the opportunity to play for them and, if not, then I’ll keep supporting.
Maja also discussed the Netflix documentary Sunderland ‘Til I Die and how he was lucky to be featured so heavily:
The documentary was about the conditions in Sunderland, going behind the scenes, seeing how we train, seeing how we work and it was focused on players as well. I was luckily filmed quite a bit, so that was good for people to see.
QPR star may leave in the summer
Queen’s Park Rangers director of football Les Ferdinand has admitted that his club may lose some of their young talents in the summer, with the likes of Ebere Eze and Bright Osayi-Samuel in-demand.
Eze had a spell with Sunderland in his youth but - like a few different clubs - was released due to the club questioning his desire to make it, something the hot prospect told The Independent that he always disagreed with:
The reason was always that it didn’t look like my desire was there, the same thing again and again. All I could think was if you only you knew in my head how much I want this.
It’s probably a bad thing but I didn’t think I needed to change. I probably should’ve tried to adapt, not play two different systems in one team, but I just wanted to get on the ball and enjoy myself.
With numerous Premier League clubs interested in the England under-21 international, could this be another case of ‘what could have been’ for Sunderland?