By Alan Duffy
He’s gone native he has! I bet he spends his free time sipping a café crème and gesticulating wildly for no apparent reason. Yes, the latest fine example of the Entente Cordiale, Joseph Du Barton, wants to extend his stay in Ligue 1 after enjoying a fine start to his Franco-adventure.
He’s already become something of a hero to the Marseille fans (they’ve yet to experience his fag-stubbing out tendencies, apparently) and the feeling, according to the man himself, is trés mutual.
When asked (by the BBC) about the likelihood of his returning to Queens Park Rangers, Barton said:
“I haven’t closed my mind to it although I would really like to stay here. I’m in a good space mentally. I’ve held preliminary talks with Marseille about extending my stay here. “
“They have asked me whether I would stay beyond the loan period. The likelihood is, unless there is a massive turnaround in fortunes, QPR will be in the Championship next season.”
“What it seems to me as a neutral – and I am in France, no matter that I am contracted – is that they (QPR) have got a big case of a lot of good individuals, a lot of good quality individuals, but not a good team.”
Barton has always fascinated me. A mix of good intentions and nasty actions, progressive thinking and regressive behaviour, I sincerely hope he can find some kind of peace of mind in France.
Indeed, surely the English national team (not that Barton is anywhere near that) would benefit from a few more homegrown players experiencing football, and life, in a foreign country?