Allardyce Speaks at Length about Joey Barton

Sam Allardyce has talked at length about his first acquisition at Newcastle – Joey Barton. While Joey is a good player his past antics have put a big question mark over this signing.
We had so much trouble with players acting stupidly during the Bobby Robson era we certainly don’t want to see any more of that nonsense again.

Sam Allardyce – Mark Him

This is what Big Sam told Luke Edwards of the Journal last night:

“The bottom line is I’ve got a great player,” “The quality of the player is the most important thing. Sometimes they come with difficult characters and can be difficult to handle.
“But I’ve had players with worse reputations than Joey Barton’s and I never found them to be a problem because of the way I communicate with them and the way they communicate with me.
“He came here because he wants to win things and that is why I’ve come here. We’ve got the same ambitions. I’m here to improve his career. He has my respect and he won’t let me down.”

Well – we’re with both of you on that one – that’s what the fans want as well. Sam went on:

“I’ve spent a fair amount of time talking to him, trying to persuade him to come here because there was competition,”
“We used my persuasive powers as a manager and the persuasive powers of Newcastle United as a football club to get him to come and, after a long, hard negotiation, we managed to do that. He was due to talk to the other club that had an offer accepted, but we managed to persuade him not to do that.
“We told him we were the best place for him and we have got a young, exciting midfielder with great attributes who is coming into the prime of his career. He is nailed on as one of the top midfielders in the Premiership for me.

“He is a character, sometimes in the wrong sort of way, but he is a strong character who has strong opinions on how the game should be played. Those sorts of players excite me because they have got something to say and they are not afraid to say it.”
“My side of the job is to temper the other difficulties he has run into in life, not so much on the field, but off the field,”
“I’ve asked him, as a maturing young man in his mid-20s, to curb that side of his life and make sure he focuses on what he loves best.
“We want him to progress rapidly as a footballer at Newcastle and hopefully in the England set-up again because that’s where he wants to be. He’s good enough, but he has got to do a lot of work off the field to get back to that.

“I’m confident I can handle him. People’s characters and where they are brought up bring different qualities and different things you have to manage.
“I’ve been doing that all my managerial career, not just difficult characters, but different nationalities and cultures. The skill is knitting them all together and making them all a family. You have to build a culture which is a good, happy working environment which encourages players not to step out of line.

“They have to be aware they are representing the club, not just themselves. They are professional footballers and they have to conduct themselves in the proper manner.
“That applies to everybody, not just Joey. You will always have disciplinary problems with players along the line, but you deal with it and you get on with it. The player has to accept that, but man-management is a particular skill I think is top of my asset list.”

Sam always seem to come across speaking so much sense – and if I was a lot younger ( a lot younger) and was a good footballer (dream on) I’d certainly want to play for a guy like Sam. We’re sure Sam demands – and gets – the respect of the players. You just have to read what Gary Speed and Diouf say about him to realize just how he is held in the highest esteem by his players.

This is what El-Hadji Diouf said to the Bolton News about Sam – when it was announced he was leaving Bolton.

“I do not know what I am doing next season.”I need to talk with the gaffer, with the chairman and my manager as well.
When I saw on TV that Sam had left I was very sad.”I will never forget him.
He did a lot of things for me and that is why I have played better here than at Liverpool. Sam gave me confidence and respect.
“But, whatever I do next season, whether I stay or go, I will never forget Bolton.”

It’s that sort of respect that will help Big Sam build the team of the future at Newcastle – and help us attract top class players to the club.

Comments welcome.

10 comments so far

  • Pete

    Jun 7, 2007 at 12:19 PM

    Comment #1

    Barton is a twat.

    It’s that simple.

    Do we really want that kind of player at Newcastle – he is a thug and is still on bail (surely we have clause in his contract about that?) and could still go to prison.

    People keep saying how talented he is, but think about it. He played for Man City who’s team is crap which makes him look better than what he is. I saw an interview with him on Soccer A.M. a while ago and they asked “Who chooses the music in the dressing room” he replied “Well we have a discussion about it before agreeing that we put on what I want”.

    He is used to being the top player – imagine the above in our dressing room, a little scouser telling Shay and Nobby what to do !!!

    I know everyone has great admiration for Big Sams skills and if he does manage to tame barton then he deserves mucho respect.

  • lee

    Jun 7, 2007 at 1:53 PM

    Comment #2

    Barton is a good player, otherwise Big Sam would not have signed him. That’s what counts…. a good football player.. in the end you want a winning team, not a non-performing angel face.

  • Pete

    Jun 7, 2007 at 2:52 PM

    Comment #3

    I am not asking for an angel face, what I am saying is no matter how good he is as an individual it is a team game, if he starts throwing his weight around here like he did at manc then morale is gunna suffer.

    I am not denying that barton is a good player – but he is very over rated.

  • lee

    Jun 7, 2007 at 2:58 PM

    Comment #4

    Give Big Sam and Narton a chance… that’s why the club got rid of Roeder in the first place. If we are to interfere with Big Sam, then he may as well leave the club now and let the fans run the club ala Keegan Days.

  • lee

    Jun 7, 2007 at 3:34 PM

    Comment #5

    p/s for someone who chips in 7-8 goals a season from midfield, Joey Barton is hardly over-rated.

  • Paul

    Jun 7, 2007 at 3:45 PM

    Comment #6

    Barton is exactly the kind of character we need at newcastle no matter how big a twat…we need someone who is gonna be the big man and get stuck in, did you see newcastle in there last 10-15 games especially second leg against AZ when we whimpered out again?!? we need someone who will stand up and be counted man, not just shy away in the background

  • soso

    Jun 7, 2007 at 3:55 PM

    Comment #7

    how come viduka gets signed before barton. i thought barton was supposed to be the first signing

  • Ed Harrison

    Jun 7, 2007 at 4:42 PM

    Comment #8

    soso – think the paperwork on Barton has not been completed – that’s all.

  • AndyT

    Jun 7, 2007 at 5:26 PM

    Comment #9

    soso – probably because Viduka is a free agent and Barton is a transfer.
    Viduka just has to sign and it sorted. With Barton He has to sign the personal contract and then the contract between the two teams also has to get signed. The more Lawyers are involved the longer it takes – they get paid by the hour 🙂


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