Big Sam Must Control Barton’s Negative Aggression

The Times today has a piece today on Sam Allardyce and how he thinks he will handle Joey Barton from Manchester City.
We were a little surprised yesterday when new singing David Rozehnal mentioned Barton – and that he wouldn’t get into a fight with him.

Barton’s personality certainly goes before him – let’s take a look at what Sam had to say.


Joey Barton

This is what Sam Allardyce had to say:

“I always live dangerously, I like living on the edge,” “Why do you think I’m here?”
“There’s nothing wrong with Joey’s football, but the off-field situation is something we have to work on and it has to be better,”
“On the pitch, he’s a tremendous player and he’ll be a terrific asset. He’s a big character – someone who likes to say what he thinks [Barton famously criticized the glut of autobiographies after last summer’s World Cup finals]. That’s getting slightly rarer in today’s game, but he goes out and proves he can do what he says.”

“He does a lot of talking on the field exceptionally well and hopefully he will continue that at Newcastle. His midfield play and goalscoring ability is paramount to our success.”

“It’s between me and Joey, but that side of it had to be a consideration, of course,” “I had to convince the board that myself and Joey would be able to deal with that side and not let it come out yet again.” “If he wants to be successful here – and he has ambitions to play again for England – then if he continues with those sort of situations off the field, that’s not going to happen.”

As we’ve said before we think Joey will be a challenge for Big Sam – but he seems willing to take the chance – given the footballing and goal scoring ability of Joey. News also is that Sam is starting to bring in good people for his back room staff. Allardyce has recently admitted he had to convince the board that Barton was a risk worth taking – but it’s risks like this that Sam has always taken throughout his career – to his credit. It’s also obvious – the way Sam has thrown himself into the job at Newcastle – that he is almost maniacal in his will to succeed in the job – the best he’s ever had. That hard work and drive has not gone unnoticed by Newcastle fans – who generally seem pleased at Sam’s work at Newcastle in his short seven weeks tenure.

Other good news is that Mike Forde and Mark Taylor – who were with him at Bolton – will be joining him soon at Newcastle. Those moves seem to have been arranged for some time. We think they will need to work with Joey fairly quickly once they arrive. But Sam has been successful in the past with players who have dodgy characters – so in a positive light there’s no reason to believe he cannot do it with Barton – but it’s going to be crucial he is successful. Sam probably has only one season at Newcastle to show he can turn the team into a force to be reckoned with – after the disasters of last season.

Joey -as Sam says – can be a tremendous asset to the team – but he has to control his anger tendencies. It also looks like Joey doesn’t suffer fools gladly. If he can control his fighting and negative aggression at Newcastle – with help from Sam, Forde and Taylor – we’ll all be in good shape – and Joey will become a successful member of Newcastle’s revival under Sam Allardyce.

Your comments are always welcome on this site.

5 comments so far

  • Stephen

    Jun 30, 2007 at 7:37 AM

    Comment #1

    Barton will be a class signing for us.He scores goals and has the determination and desire to win things with us.Yes he has a bad temper and is in the headlines for alot of bad things but with Big Sam in charge i cant see any problems to be honest look at Anelka he is nicknamed the sulk have we heard any problems from him??No we havent.Barton is alot better than Parker he scores more goals and is alot more useful Parker works hard but for me he just runs around in circles and cant make good passes which Barton can and Owen Martins and Viduka will benefit from that kind of player in midfield

  • Murvar

    Jun 30, 2007 at 9:15 AM

    Comment #2

    We’re always optimistic at this time of year; that’s what the close season is for. But the signs are that at last we have a manager with a strategy, not just a knack of bringing on players or a motivational expertise (or a loud Scottish voice) who relies on intuition more than anything else. Sam knows he has the chance to establish a footballing dynasty at Newcastle – he could be to us what Shankly became to Liverpool and Busby/Ferguson to Manyoo. He has strengthened the spine of the team (Rozehnal-Barton-Viduka) and the calibre of the backroom staff – especially the medical side. He’s clearly working to improve the defensive flanks as well – the man has a plan. My only reservation is about the new owner’s reported view that if Sam doesn’t show suffcient improvement over next season, he’ll be replaced. That isn’t a strategy – it’s a blunt intrument which will only increasse the chances of short-term panic buying if things aren’t going well enough fast enough. We are seeing the consequences of that kind of policy now ie the uncertainty about Owen and Martins’ futures because of the buy-out clauses in their contracts. Ashley’s empire didn’t happen over 12 months, so why should he imagine that a football club can turn virtually overnight into a sustainable winning machine? Chelsea had a platform before Mourinho arrived; we don’t have a solid base to build on – just a bunch of mixed talents and professionalism that needs to be enriched with more of both and moulded together. The next priority for me? A pair of full backs – ever since Nattrass and Kennedy we have struggled to find reliable effective full- backs. That would liberate Dyer and Solano to do what they do best (if they’re on the pitch at all) – open up opposing defences. Geremi, Heinze would do; Carr and Babayaro won’t.

  • Ed Harrison

    Jun 30, 2007 at 11:20 AM

    Comment #3

    Murvar – we like Heinze – but lots of Newcastle fans don’t. Given Sam’s talk about height at the back – not sure he will go after Heinze – but he’s quite a character – and good player with great left foot.

  • Ed Harrison

    Jun 30, 2007 at 11:21 AM

    Comment #4

    Also think the writing is on the wall for Carr and Babayaro – and hope Babayaro doesn’t just see out his contract – for the money.

  • Ed Harrison

    Jun 30, 2007 at 11:21 AM

    Comment #5

    Stephen – agree Barton is good player – and we expect him to push into the England squad a lot more – now he is at Newcastle.


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