Tuesday 27 September 2016

Joey Barton: What Juan Mata did was dumb, even by my standards

Published 07/03/2016 | 17:50

Joey Barton
Joey Barton

It has been a tough 24 hours for Juan Mata.

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The Spaniard somehow managed to receive two yellow cards in 158 seconds of madness midway through the first half at the Hawthorns, where Manchester United were beaten 1-0 by West Brom yesterday. The reaction to Mata's indiscipline was swift and merciless, with the midfielder shipping a lot of criticism online.

If Mata did follow any of the reaction to his two yellow cards, he might have been a bit dismayed at Joey Barton piling on. The notoriously aggressive midfielder, who has regularly cost his team by getting sent off throughout his career, took a pop at the Manchester United attacker after a Twitter user brought a newspaper article to his attention.

The article gave Mata a rating of three and summarised his performance succinctly: 'Mr Nice Guy played as if possessed by Joey Barton'.

The 33-year-old, who is currently playing with Burnley in the Championship, shot back.

"Where was that? Another sloppy, lazy, rude piece of journalism. What Mata did was dumb. Even by my old standards."

Mata's sending off means he will now miss Man United's crucial FA Cup quarter-final against West Ham next weekend, although he will return for the Manchester derby the following week, which could decide which of the clubs qualify for the Champions League next season.

And as for Barton's comment, it is rich for him to call any footballer's actions stupid given some of the incidents on his CV.

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