According to The Independent, Joey Barton clashed with Sam Allardyce before the Magpies played at Wigan on Boxing Day. The Newcastle midfielder was seemingly unhappy with being left out of the starting XI, politely enquiring (!) as to why Geremi commanded a place in the team ahead of him.
Barton is understood to have disagreed with Allardyce’s decision not even to have him on the bench for the Wigan game.
The club said that Barton had an ankle injury from the game against Derby County three days earlier, but it is understood that it was never Allardyce’s intention to name the midfielder in the squad for the Wigan game. Having travelled with the Newcastle players, Barton told Allardyce he was unhappy he was being rested when the team was announced before the match. The incident was witnessed by some members of the coaching staff in the dressing room at the JJB Stadium.
Barton was understood to have picked out Geremi and expressed his disbelief that he had not been selected ahead of the Cameroonian midfielder. The dispute followed a tense few days in relations between Allardyce and his senior players, who expressed their opposition to a plan to fly from Manchester to London after the Wigan game and stay at The Grove hotel in Watford until today’s game against Chelsea.
The rest, as they say, is history. Joey Barton will at least not be giving his gaffer any grief from behind bars after being arrested in Liverpool in the early hours of the morning after the Wigan defeat.