Barton was totally over the top when racing over to the Arsenal forward at St James' Park and hauling him off the floor. That wasn't picking him up - that was manhandling him to be perfectly honest.
The red card shown to Gervinho was the right decision - he raised his hands and referees will not stand for that - but I think Barton could have been dismissed as well for getting involved in something that had nothing to do with him. He should have left it for the referee to deal with it. If the official feels that Gervinho has been guilty of simulation then he will take the correct course of action.
Barton subsequently called Gervinho a cheat on Twitter. Well, can we call Barton a cheat given how easily he went down to exaggerate the contact? He is being a hypocrite.
If Barton is angry about simulation, then he has to practise what he preaches. Don't go down like you have been hit by an uppercut from Mike Tyson when instead you have been lightly brushed by a woman's handbag. To stay down and try and say that the guy has punched you is very poor, especially from a player who likes to think he is tough.
He is meant to be a hard guy, but during the early part of my career there were players that would stay on their feet if you hit them with a hammer. They wouldn't give you the satisfaction of seeing them go to ground. If someone got you with a bad tackle and you thought you had broken your foot, you were told to stamp it out. If it collapsed then, okay, you had broken something, fair enough.
The culture is entirely different now - players go down to exaggerate incidents and don't attempt to play them down. Barton's behaviour was embarrassing.
Steven Taylor also embarrassed himself with his conduct when he gestured to the referee that Gervinho had elbowed Barton. I don't know why he was getting involved at all. He was trying to deceive the referee on Barton's behalf when he knew only too well that it had been a slap at best.
We want to ensure football is a credible game so we need credible players as well. Barton doesn't go about football the right way. He is a very lucky boy to be playing at the level of football he is and is very lucky to be at a club like Newcastle United.
He is doing all his talking on Twitter and, a radio interview on Sunday aside, hasn't been brave enough to face up to the press. This Twitter rubbish is all about attention, it's all about him.
He hasn't learned anything. He talks the talk but doesn't walk the walk. He comes out with all these big words on Twitter, quoting philosophers and the like, but can he actually articulate himself, rather than quoting other people all the time? He needs to have a good look in the mirror.
He has got this delusion that he is this great player and he has just been unlucky recently. It's harsh, but he is what he is: a thug. It is as simple as that. He attempts to intimidate people and he will never change. He can try his best to change his image and it might kid some people, but it won't kid managers, and that is why there might be a shortage of clubs actually willing to take him on, despite his qualities as a player.
As far as I am concerned, Barton needs to be dealt with by Newcastle. I think they are right to allow him to leave for free. He has embarrassed the club with his behaviour.
This is not a good way to start the Premier League season, but sadly we will see lots of simulation as the campaign progresses. That is the way the current climate is, and I just hope football doesn't deteriorate too quickly into a farce.
- Joey Barton