Joey Barton has responded to Sam Allardyce’s claims that he was a ‘liability’ at Newcastle – and admits it’s hard to argue with his old manager.
The new Sunderland boss made the claim about Barton in his autobiography, which is out later this month.
Allardyce, who signed the midfielder during his brief in charge of Newcastle, said bringing the player to St James’s Park had been a mistake, and that he’s turned down the opportunity to re-sign him while West Ham manager.
In a series of tweets, Barton admitted his old boss had a fair point, and said he wished he’d had the chance to play under Allardyce when he was more mature.
Barton said: “Too (sic) be fair to Sam, I got arrested and ended up in jail. Can’t argue that at that time I wasn’t a liability.
“Huge respect for Sam as a man and a manager. Just wish I’d have played for him when I matured a while later.
“The disappointing thing is by the time I had got my act together, he had left as manager.”
Allardyce paid £5.8m to bring Barton from Manchester City in 2007, but was sacked after six months in the manager’s hotseat.
In his autobiography, Allardyce wrote: “I signed Joey Barton to liven things up at Newcastle and he did that – though not in a good way.
“Joey could blow anytime, anywhere. You couldn’t read him.
“He got injured not long after joining us and went into a decline.
“He was then arrested for assault, having asked permission to go home to Liverpool for Christmas because his nan was ill.
“He was sentenced to six months in prison.
“A few years later Kevin Nolan tried to get me to take him to West Ham, but I wasn’t interested.
“I won’t have anyone tell me Joey Barton is a character. He’s a liability.”