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 â€“ and that he wouldn’t get into a fight with him.
Barton’s personality certainly goes before him â€“ let’s take a look at what Sam had to say.
This is what Sam Allardyce had to say:
â€œI always live dangerously, I like living on the edge,â€ â€œWhy do you think Iâ€™m here?â€
â€œThereâ€™s nothing wrong with Joeyâ€™s football, but the off-field situation is something we have to work on and it has to be better,â€
â€œOn the pitch, heâ€™s a tremendous player and heâ€™ll be a terrific asset. Heâ€™s a big character â€“ someone who likes to say what he thinks [Barton famously criticized the glut of autobiographies after last summerâ€™s World Cup finals]. Thatâ€™s getting slightly rarer in todayâ€™s game, but he goes out and proves he can do what he says.â€
â€œHe 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.â€
â€œItâ€™s between me and Joey, but that side of it had to be a consideration, of course,â€ â€œI 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.â€ â€œIf he wants to be successful here â€“ and he has ambitions to play again for England â€“ then if he continues with those sort of situations off the field, thatâ€™s not going to happen.â€
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.
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