Joey Barton has been speaking (again) about his big opportunity to join Arsenal.
The 34-year-old has just joined Burnley, which not only means that he’s been in the media but that the Gunners will come face to face with the ‘physical’ player at the weekend when we host them in the Premier League.
Joey still insists that Arsene Wenger wanted to signed him back in 2011 but the whole embarrassing Gervinho debacle when we played Newcastle away apparently put the coach off, which, if true, is totally understandable. Although I still find it hard to believe that Wenger was ever seriously interested.
“No, intermediaries spoke on [Wenger’s] behalf,” the midfielder told Four Four Two.
“There was definitely some low-level interest, and before I got sent off against Arsenal, when the thing with Gervinho happened, I was due to hold some form of discussions with them. But then it never came to be.”
Tentative inquiries are probably made all the time in football. The difference is, most players don’t use them as a claim to fame or continuously bring them up for six years afterwards. Although I’m sure there’s some truth to the story, I’m skeptical that we were as eager to hold discussions with Joey as he makes out.
When asked if he would have liked to sign for Arsenal, Joey was pretty straight forward, saying, “Would I have liked to have played for Arsenal? Of course. Who wouldn’t?”
At least he’s honest about that.