Socrates, the Greek philosopher as opposed to the Brazilian midfielder, once proclaimed: “The greatest way to live with honor in this world is to be what we pretend to be.’’
It’s been a strange few days in Wolverhampton all right.
The slings and arrows of outrageous fortune were fired upon not just a manager and his hapless team – until midweek redemption – but also upon a former captain who did little wrong other than to reinstate his dislike of a villain.
It was a week where words overtook deeds.
A week of hot air.
“A man generally has two reasons for doing a thing. One that sounds good, and a real one,” said the American financier John Pierpont Morgan.
It’s almost as if he were casting an eye on Joey Barton’s ‘Twitter’ account, but he’d died 98 years previously.
Barton, who stubbed a lit cigar in the eye of young team-mate Jamie Tandy, who put team-mate Ousmane Dabo in hospital, and was jailed for six months for a city centre attack.
The hypocrisy of his assertion that Karl Henry is: “Always sticking his foot in and trying to hurt people,” appeared lost on most folk.
This is an age where in sports media it is not what you know, but how loud you say it.
“Hypocrite: the man who murdered both his parents... pleaded for mercy on the grounds that he was an orphan.”
Abraham Lincoln no less.
Mick McCarthy dealt with the issue with customary charm, discretion and wit.
Some folk these days just talk too much.
“Me? Get involved? Not at all. I won’t get involved,” he began before indirectly doing just enough to dip his toes in the icy waters.
“With this grey hair,” he says tapping his bonce, “I’d like to think comes a little bit of wisdom, and with age comes a little bit of common sense. Unfortunately common sense in football is not very common – but I’ve got tonnes of it.”
That’s not a million miles from one of Barton’s most memorable quotations of recent times when he told Radio Four listeners that: “Most footballers are knobs...
“Driving around in flash cars and changing them like you change your socks, wearing stupid diamond watches and spending money like it’s going out of fashion in the middle of a recession when some people are struggling to put food on the table for the kids – it’s not the way to do it.”
You see he talks a good game, at times, does Barton. And judging by half a million twitter followers, the public want to hear. But surely they’re laughing at him, rather than with him?
His latest quip re Henry is: “Not gonna call him KELVIN anymore, its now LENNY #comedygenius”. Pure playground stuff.
McCarthy clearly thinks there’s too much hot air in Rupert Murdoch’s once beautiful game.
“The reality is there’s too much goes on about it and it really is just gossip-mongering all the time and I don’t get involved in it.”
Rumour has it Henry is so irked by the blemish on his professionalism, that he is considering responding with a statement. McCarthy appears to prefer him keeping his counsel.
“You don’t have to respond, just keep playing and just be the nice guy that he is,” he added.
And you know what? Nice guys don’t always finish last. Research in Canada and published in the British Journal of Psychology shows that although good looks are still important, it is a kind heart that makes a girl go weak at the knees.