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17th Aug 2016

Joey Barton starts his Old Firm mind games early with Brendan Rodgers “mid-life crisis” joke

Barton's certainly noticed Brendan's tan and teeth

Simon Lloyd

The first Old Firm derby to take place in Scotland’s top flight in four years is a matter of weeks away, and Joey Barton has stoked the fire nicely by jokingly suggesting that Brendan Rodgers is having a mid-life crisis.

The September 10 meeting between the two Glasgow giants will be the first fixture of its kind for Barton, who joined Rangers from Burnley in the summer. Similarly, Rodgers also made the move north of the border at the end of last season, with the former Liverpool boss signing a 12-month rolling contract with Celtic.

Appearing on TalkSPORT on Wednesday morning, Barton was asked if he’d bumped into the recently-appointed Celtic boss since his move north.

“I’ve not managed to run into him yet,” the 33-year-old replied.

“The places he goes and the places I go probably differ, y’know, with the tan and the teeth and all that. They’re not the kind of establishments I rock up at, I’m not having a mid-life crisis. I might run into him he goes up to Loch Lomond and I play golf up there.”

Although such comments about Rodgers might remind us of this *completely fictitious* interview he gave to TalkSPORT, on this occasion, Barton *did* actually say these things.

Having taken the piss out of Rodgers, Barton explained how taking part in the Old Firm was one of the main reasons he agreed to join Rangers.

“I spoke to the gaffer (Mark Warburton) when I came up here and one of things about it was the experience of playing in an Old Firm is a once in a career opportunity. You know what I’m like, I like the tongue in cheek stuff and I like having a little bit of a joke about it. When it comes down to the game, I can’t wait for it and the history and tradition that’s gone before it and the competitive element of it.

It seems that Scottish football was in a bit of lull, to say the least, before this season and it seems everybody is excited and there’s a little bit of a buzz back in the city.”

We get the impression we’ll be hearing plenty more from Barton about his Old Firm experience throughout the season.

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