Writer: Andy Leggott
Date:Thursday April 26 2007
Joey Barton will not face disciplinary action after Saturday`s outburst that questioned the commitment and ambition of many at the club.
Speaking at today`s press conference, Pearce was guarded in his response to what Barton had to say.
'You will have to ask Joey about his emotions and the words he used. He had plenty to say for himself after the game so he is probably the best one to talk to,'
'Let us hope what he had to say came from a care for the club.'
'He doesn't face internal discipline but I will speak to him in respect of my thoughts about what he said. The reason I cannot go into detail in respect of what Joey said is that there is so much of it I would be here all day!'
The fact remains that whatever your opinion of Barton, and whether or not he was correct to air his dirty linen in public, he was spot on with most of his comments.
Not many would want to 'pay` to see Manchester City at the moment (a fact displayed by the 10,000 drop in attendances) and that is mainly down to the poor style of play displayed by Pearce`s men this season.
The players Pearce has brought in have been substandard, as far as this club is concerned, and those that say that is because he hasn`t been given the funds to play with simply cement the belief that the club lacks ambition.
Rest assured that if Barton is saying what he is then there must be a degree of discontent within the club and he is simply the spokesman for airing dressing room opinion. Barton`s comments follow those of Richard Dunne who also criticised the manager`s buys.
We as supporters are perfectly entitled to air our opinions, the players are expected not to. However it must be ultimately frustrating to be part of something that just isn`t working and that is why I believe Joey spoke out as he did.
Top marks to Stuart Pearce for not responding with knee jerk disciplinary action. I do feel however that he is aware that Barton`s remarks are a little too close to the truth for comfort.
First the supporters, now the players and predatory buyers: All is far from comfortable for the manager and board at the moment.
Date:Thursday April 26 2007
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