Many of you will have seen Joey Barton's tweets this week about him playing Football Manager 2012, taking the QPR job, and then falling out with his virtual self. This has probably been the highlight of my week.
If you didn't see the tweets in question then here they are for you:
As one wag pointed out to him on Twitter: "Hey Joey, you must be the first person to manage Joey Barton on Football Manager and not immediately transfer list him!"
Anyway, this got me wondering how Joey Barton's Football Manager equivalent might look if Barton had been allowed to edit himself. His stats in the game are already very good - more than generous, I'd say - so he might not change much at all. Although I'm sure pussycat Joey would tone 'Aggression: 17/20' right down. Surely no more than a '3'... I think it's more likely he'd change his personality traits rather than his playing attributes.
The realisation that this version of Football Manager uses a font as basic as Arial for its body text (thus opening up rich pickings for mediocre Photoshoppers who think they're mildly amusing - like me) meant it was fairly simple to create an imagined profile for Twitter's great Smiths-loving, Orwell-quoting philosopher of the people. The game's Joey Barton 'Information' page seemed to lend itself best to a little doctoring.
Naturally I took care to ensure I got the Place of Birth correct, but here's what else I came up with (click to enlarge). Or click here if the text is too small to read!
Anybody else with an idea for some Football Manager Photoshopping for the purposes of mild distraction and childish amusement might be interested to know that the font you need is simply Arial (11pt).
If anything, I like Joey Barton a little more for knowing he plays Football Manager. I like any footballer that plays FM over FIFA or PES. It shows a bit more nous. And if Barton should happen to read this blog himself, I imagine he'll take it in the spirit it was intended.
I'll leave the final word on this subject to a Twitter user with the excellent username @sexyactionsteve. He sums up most people's feelings rather nicely.