Karl Henry v Joey Barton

Henry bites back in Barton feud

September 19, 2011
By ESPNsoccernet staff

Wolves midfielder Karl Henry has continued his war of words with Joey Barton, labelling the QPR captain "embarrassing" and claiming that he taunts other players about how much he earns.

Karl Henry and Joey Barton Wolves v QPR
PA PhotosKarl Henry has never been one to mince his words

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Henry accused Barton of "whining" when the pair met in Wolves' 1-1 home draw with Newcastle last season, but after inspiring new club QPR to a 3-0 win at Molineux last Saturday, Barton went on the offensive.

After describing Henry as a "Sunday league player" on Twitter, the former Manchester City man launched a scathing attack against his nemesis on the Goals on Sunday programme on Sky Sports.

"Kelvin (sic) Henry is always trying to stick his foot in and hurt people. He's been chirping up all week saying he's going to do x, y and z to me and then he let himself down by not showing up on Saturday," Barton said. "I really don't like him. I'm going to go on record and say that. Judging from his tackles on me, he doesn't like me either."

But Henry responded to the latest volley of abuse, and pulled no punches in his assessment of Barton's behaviour on the pitch.

"[Against Wolves] Joey Barton was telling everyone he is on 80-grand a week as usual," Henry said. "That is him. He always does that during the game. Always.

"He riles a few people up when he says those things and tells everybody how great he is. It is just embarrassing really. If that is what he wants to do, he can carry on doing it but that is why a lot of people dislike him."

And Wolves manager Mick McCarthy came out in defence of his midfielder, in particular Barton's accusation that Henry "is always sticking his foot in trying to hurt people".

McCarthy said: "Karl is one of the best pros I've ever worked with in terms of his attitude and conscientiousness to his profession. He has earned himself the right to play in the Premier League by his guts and determination and made himself a better player.

"I've got nothing but admiration for him and never, ever, has he gone out to hurt anyone. In defence of my player, who has been with me for five years, I'd hang my hat on him all day long. He is a great guy.''

In response to Barton's claims that Henry is a "Sunday League player'', McCarthy said: "Not unless Wolves are in the Dog and Duck League! He is a Premier League player. He captained us to the Championship, and has been instrumental in our success over the last five years.''