I didn't think my opinion of Joey Barton could get any higher after that quote about England's 2006 World Cup prima donnas - and the funny quip at Lampard's expense back in '07 - but he's gone and topped it in the past few days by quoting Orwell on his Twitter page:
It's not so implausible when you think about it: Barton's been at Newcastle Utd now for just over four years, and I'm sure during the course of that time he's been a regular reader of the North East's premier SPGBer blog, 'Class Warfare', which just happens to have Orwell's self-same quote on its masthead.
I hope the rumours are right, and that Barton does sign for Arsenal. Wenger's teams have lacked that midfield enforcer with a touch of footballing class since Grimaldi left . . . and SPGB's Enfield & Haringey Branch would welcome the infusion of fresh funds to the Branch collections.
Of course, this isn't the first time that an Orwell and Footie have been in the mix. Most people with a passing familiarity with Orwell will know that famous quote of his that football " . . . is war minus the shooting.” but it's only in recent seasons that Orwell scholars have discovered that Orwell's quote was specifically referring to those teams managed by Alex McLeish.