They say a year is a long time in politics, but it’s also a long time in football. Just ask Joey ‘third Kray twin’ Barton. This time last year, he was telling anyone with a Twitter account that Newcastle would go down without him and Andy Carroll in the side. His agent claimed some huge clubs had been inquiring about his availability, and that Arsenal would have won the league if they’d had Barton in the side. How did that work out again?

And a year is also how long Barton has been banned for, or at least how long it will feel for him, following his involvement in trying to spark an impromptu WWF Royal Rumble at Eastlands last month.

The 29-year-old thug has been banned for 12 matches following his attack on anyone wearing light blue during QPR’s defeat to Manchester City, a suspension that even long-time Barton hater Robbie Savage felt was harsh.
“I disagree with the FA and the committee talking about the magnitude of the game … you could say nine or ten games would be fair,” said Savage, showing some solidarity with a fellow twat. “He’s let himself and his manager down. Knowing Mark Hughes as I do and how he handles disciplinary problems, I’d be surprised if Joey plays for QPR again.”

Apparently the FA were particularly pissed off that he chose that game to go batshit crazy because there was the small matter of the title being decided as a sub-plot.
“There are rules of conduct that should be adhered to, and such behaviour tarnishes the image of football in this country, particularly as this match was the pinnacle of the domestic season and watched by millions across the globe,” said the chairman of the regulatory commission.

Never mind Joey, we’re sure that call from Arsenal is just around the corner.