Why Joey Barton’s West Ham signing could be awkward


Joey Barton appears to have been handed a Premier League lifeline by West Ham but the controversial midfielder could be in for an awkward welcome at Upton Park.

The former Manchester City, Newcastle, Marseille and QPR battler was released by the Loftus Road outfit at the end of last year’s relegation campaign but the 32-year-old looks likely to remain in the capital after having a medical at West Ham earlier today.

News of Barton’s arrival will be met with mixed reviews around the Boleyn Ground partly due to the player’s colourful past and partly because his signing is likely to rule out any chance of a permanent deal for Alexander Song.

Endearing himself to the fans could be the least of Barton’s worries, however, with a number of eagle-eyed twitter followers highlighting co-chairman David Gold’s views on the one-time England man.

The situation echoes that of Neil Warnock who once described El Hadji Diouf as a “sewer rat” before going on to sign him at Leeds United.

With Premier League survival ahead of a move to the Olympic Stadium a must for the Hammers this season, Gold and co. will be hoping Barton can have a bigger impact at West Ham than Diouf did for Leeds, with the Senegal man now plying his trade in the Malaysian football league after at so-so spell at Elland Road.

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James Curtis

After studying for a degree in journalism and gaining his NCTJ, James contributed to a wide range of papers, online publications and broadcasters including the South London Press, Press Association and Sky Sports News before joining the Ladbrokes News team.