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‘Poor man’s Roy Keane’ – Ex-Man City defender explains what it was like playing with Joey Barton

Roy Keane

Former Manchester City defender Danny Mills jokingly referred to Joey Barton as “a poor man’s Roy Keane” when asked what it was like to play with the famously fiery English midfielder.

In the Premier League alone, Joey Barton received no fewer than 78 yellow cards and six red cards, a record which earned him the reputation of a dirty player who never shied away from a scrap.

On more than one occasion, Barton found himself embroiled in controversy for his short temper and he was compared to a lesser version of Roy Keane by former teammate, Danny Mills.

Roy Keane

Mills was recently asked what it was like sharing a dressing room with Barton and he recalled how he was often the one tasked with calming the midfielder down.

Mills confirmed stories of Barton outing a cigar in Jamie Tandy’s eye and a fight between Barton and Ousmane Dabo during the pair’s spell together at Man City.

“Joey’s like a poor man’s Roy Keane,” Mills said on the Undr The Cosh podcast.

“When you look at Keane, there’s a switch that goes and then that’s it, there’s no coming back from it, Joey’s exactly the same.

“Something goes and that’s it. There’s no remorse, no sorrowfulness, or ‘I shouldn’t have done that’, it’s ‘deserved it’. ‘No Joey, you can’t just go and beat people up because he called you a twat.’

“(He’d say) ‘Yeah but he called me a twat!’ That’t not the point Joey!

“I signed for Man City and the first night out we had, he’s already stubbed a cigar out in Tandy’s eye. Started well, didn’t it?

Joey Barton

“I was the lad that pulled him off Dabo when he beat Dabo up on the pitch and nearly killed him. I had to sort of drag him off and drag him around the training ground.”

Barton was charged with violent conduct three times by the Football Association before hanging up his boots in 2017. He is currently manager of Bristol Rovers but, as always, he is never too far from controversy.

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