In the run up to Joey Barton’s home debut for Marseille, the controversial midfielder has asked French supporters to judge him on his performances, not the stories describing him as ‘Hollywood.’
The English midfielder is expected to play in Marseille’s Europa League clash with Limassol on Thursday.
“It’s difficult because of my bad reputation; I find it a bit unfair. They are stories like Hollywood, far from the truth,” the former Queens Park Rangers captain told the BBC website.
Barton joined the French club in August after signing from QPR, and has only played once before in the Europa League, due to the fact that he is serving a 12 league game ban which he picked up during his time in the Premier League, after being found guilty of two counts of violent conduct.
The midfielder however, is enjoying his new French life so far, and is happy to be away from the English press.
“The English media love to make headlines and dramatise as English football is the number one sport.
“I hope that people in France and here in Marseille judge me on what I do here and not in relation to what they read.”
Marseille currently sit top of Ligue 1 with 6 wins from their first 6 games, ensuring that it won’t be easy for Barton to step straight into the side.
“There are some very good players here, but when you want to be a big club you must have a team of 15, 16, or 17 players. All players cannot play every week and I hope to bring something different to the team and become an important member,” he added.