Taylor: Barton should be punished
Professional Footballers' Association chief Gordon Taylor believes Joey Barton deserves to be punished for his recent behaviour on and off the pitch and admitted "it is not getting any easier" for the players' union to deal with the QPR captain.
Barton was sent off against former club Manchester City on Sunday after elbowing Carlos Tevez in the face, but is likely to face further action having subsequently kneed Sergio Aguero in the back and attempted to headbutt Vincent Kompany.
The midfielder was later criticised for his actions by former England strikers Alan Shearer and Gary Lineker on the BBC's Match of the Day programme but did not react well, launching a Twitter tirade against the pair.
Barton has until 1200 BST on Thursday to decide whether to appeal two FA charges that could potentially land him with a combined ten-match ban.
The PFA has previously supported the troubled midfielder through a number of off-pith indiscretions but having defended him in the past, Taylor says Barton deserves to have the book thrown at him on this occasion.
"If you come out with stuff like that you are going to deserve to be heavily sanctioned,'' Taylor said. "He is his own worst enemy when he says stuff like that and he has been upsetting a lot of people in the game with good reputations.
"We try to deal with Joey Barton and it is not getting any easier. I just feel sometimes like it is pushing a boulder up a hill, it slips back and you decide whether to go again. It has certainly been a backward step for him and his future in the game.
"There are people that seem to be improving and then slip back, it is a human condition. No one is perfect but you only have one career.
"There has been quite a bit of counselling for him in the past which no doubt needs to be there in the future as well. People ask us about his future but, regarding football, he is the biggest influence over it.
"He has spoken at different meetings we've had and speaks very well at times and for the most part is very convincing. At times, call it red mist or whatever, something there happens that triggers off problems.
"It's back to square one again and that's where we and here we go again to start to try and rebuild. I have not been happy with some of the things that have been said by him or about him.''