We all saw the video of Queens Park Rangers midfielder Joey Barton speaking with a French twang during a recent press conference at Marseille and enjoyed a good chuckle at the thirty year-old Liverpudlian’s latest attempt to come across as a highbrow intellectual.
Barton’s gaffe bore a striking resemblance to Steve McClaren’s effort to speak in Dutch-English after taking over at FC Twente back in 2008 but was arguably even funnier than the former England manager's linguistic clanger. As expected, current R’s boss Harry Redknapp heard the speech and, unsurprisingly, was as amused as the rest of us.
Speaking at an exclusive charity event, the veteran manager said: “It was funny. It was quite strange to hear Joey trying to talk in a French accent, that is for sure. But I don’t really know Joey and he is out on loan from QPR, so I am hoping he keeps learning French.”
It is possible to detect in that remark a hint that Redknapp expects Barton to sign for Marseille permanently. The volatile midfielder was handed a twelve match ban for three accounts of violent conduct during Rangers’ 3-2 defeat at Manchester City on the last day of the 2011-12 season and has not turned out for the West London side since. A move to the French giants followed and the former captain’s future at Loftus Road remains in doubt.