Barton Devastated and Zheng Zhi Coming on Loan?

Joey Barton has met the fate of many a big signing at Newcastle by being unfortunately injured in a freak accident in Saturday’s game at Carlisle.

While initially feeling it was nothing more than a bruise – Joey tried to play through the pain but was eventually taken off and a scan revealed a broken metatarsal in his left foot.


Joey Barton

Not surprisingly Joey was devastated by his injury and said today:

“I am absolutely gutted and devastated and it is all extremely frustrating, but unfortunately this is all part and parcel of modern-day football.

“It would be foolish to set a date on any comeback and all I can say is that I want to get back as quickly as possible and when I do get back, make sure that I am 100 per cent fit.

“Obviously it’s a blow to me and to the manager, but I am more disappointed for our supporters than anything else.

“The fans have been fantastic to me since I came here from Manchester City.

“I was desperate to be part of the team on the opening day at Bolton Wanderers which, of course, I won’t be now.”

While this is obviously very unfortunate – Joey will likely miss only four league games and hopefully will make the game against Derby County – away on 17th September. That’s exactly eight weeks from today. Great to hear Joey talking so well of the fans and good to see the support out there for Joey.

Surprising news today that Chinese International captain Zheng Zhi has revealed both Newcastle United and Birmingham City are interested in his services on a loan basis.


Chinese Captain Zheng Zhi

The Shandong Luneng star was on loan for a while with Charlton Athletic last season and looked good at times as a central midfielder. In fact Zhi scored his first premiership goal and also got a penalty on his full debut against Newcastle on 18 March 2007.

He revealed while speaking to reporters in Kuala Lumpur last week, that two premiership clubs were willing to offer him another loan deal.
Zhi said:

“At present, two English teams are keen on signing me.”

“They are Newcastle United and Birmingham City,”

“Newcastle are a big club, so it is exciting if I could play for them.”

Zheng Zhi now plays in midfield but on the Chinese national side has played in central defense. He is known for his work ethic and ball control skills and at 5’11” is a solid defender, a capable organizer in midfield, and can also play as a striker.

He is thought to be the best Chinese footballer of his generation. Carson Yeung, the Hong Kong businessman who recently became Birmingham’s largest shareholder, would like to bring the Chinese international on loan to the St Andrews club.

Not sure Zhi is what Newcastle are looking for – but if Sam is after a utility player for the squad – who can play multiple positions – then maybe Zhi is a possible loan player. Sam has said he wants a number of additional players to guard against another injury crisis for the third season running at the club – so maybe that’s why he is showing an interest in Zhi.

From a pure business viewpoint – and with Mike Ashley’s determination to put Newcastle United on the world map in mind – Zhi would certainly help to sell a lot of our black and white shirts in one of the fastest growing football nations in the world. China has about 1.3 billion people, 20% of the world’s total. It would also ensure that Newcastle United get to be well known in China – which can only be good for the club in general – and gets us good name recognition.

Now while you are working out the number of our beautiful shirts we can sell in China – back to reality – where are those three defenders? 😀

38 comments so far

  • nightfall

    Jul 23, 2007 at 8:30 PM

    Comment #1

    Zheng Zhi – fu**ing marketing… do we really need a player to sale shirts? i thougt that we don’t have money problems…

  • TinFinger

    Jul 23, 2007 at 8:37 PM

    Comment #2

    so your saying the tv rights and shirt sales wont help nufc?
    thats why manu etc do it,just for the love of oriental cooking..

  • Ed Harrison

    Jul 23, 2007 at 8:39 PM

    Comment #3

    nightfall – don’t take my little business thing too seriously – he looks a pretty good player – watched him a few times for Charlton last season – a decent utility player for the squad – especially on loan.

  • Anon13

    Jul 23, 2007 at 8:53 PM

    Comment #4

    He seems to be able to cope with the Premiership, why not have a look while he’s on loan? To be captain of your country is no small feat, even in China. As Ed says, he’s versatile, which Big Sam is after.

    The business side shouldn’t be a point to be ignored, Mike Ashley is a stone cold businessman. It makes sense to buy a few players from regions with big potential for marketing, if the player is good enough.

    I bet we’ll sell more shirts in China than we do in Peru with Nobby’s name!

  • Mac

    Jul 23, 2007 at 8:55 PM

    Comment #5

    I say get him on loan,i’ve seen him a few times and he’s not a bad player but he’s not great. Selling millions of shirts in some far off country can’t hurt.
    I’m gutted about Barton he was my tip for a long overdue Newcastle mid field super star. But please Sam buy some defenders,we need them

  • Darryl Money

    Jul 23, 2007 at 8:55 PM

    Comment #6

    Nightfall obviously doesnt think things through before saying things.

  • ADAM

    Jul 23, 2007 at 9:04 PM

    Comment #7

    Newcasted United need to sign Joseph Jobo for £5million, Shaun Wright Philliphs £1oMillion, Alan Smith £4Million, Nicky Shorey £8Million, hanngland £3Million. = £30Millions +Mark Viduka free, Joey Barton £5.5Million, David Rozenhal £2.7 Million and Gerimi free.=£38.2Million.

  • rich

    Jul 23, 2007 at 9:08 PM

    Comment #8

    im seeing a very bad pattern here…

    West Ham buy Faubert class winger for 7 mil, he gets injured they are supposedly looking at Dyer as cover… Barton gets injured and where linked with a chinese nobody? come on guys this isnt exactly Hidetoshi Nakata.

    Sam, Mike Ashley what is going on?

  • TOON1

    Jul 23, 2007 at 9:31 PM

    Comment #9

    Totally agree with rich .Dyer will not be leaving as whfc have signed ljungberg from arsenal,unless spurs come in 4him,which i cant see because he wouldnt get in the spurs team.Some of you only welcoming this chinese guy as there has been no transfer activity at toon at moment .We dont need this fella ,we need defenders and GOOD ones at that.Shorey, bergagli,diarra from chelski is what we need!!

  • Richard

    Jul 23, 2007 at 9:37 PM

    Comment #10

    I totally agree we are meant to be moving forward to challenge the big 4 how on gods earth is signing a china international who played for charlton gonna get us there? this talk of a utility player is nonsense he can maybe play every position but not in a good enough class. we need skillful players who can bring the club forward, come on sam dont disappoint us we deserve some real players ..

  • Stami

    Jul 23, 2007 at 9:41 PM

    Comment #11

    Utility players are always useful, and are a requirement in every squad! Remember that Mike Ashley is a business man, and if there is money to be made, aswell as strengthening the squad, then it would be a win win situation! I have every faith in BSA. he knows what he is doing, although the fact that we have not yet signed anymore defenders is worrying, i am sure we will see some new faces at the back before the close of transfer season!

    thanks for the great site Ed. Much enjoyed!


    Cape Town – South Africa

  • Obafan

    Jul 23, 2007 at 10:03 PM

    Comment #12

    Are these the top quality players who will make us a strong forse in the EPL; I don’t thinks o?

    I don’t know what’s going on in Newcastle, but it doesn’t look that good. If those players have to be our class signings which BS said, then I don’t know what to expect anymore. My optimism is shrinking again.

  • Mac

    Jul 23, 2007 at 10:16 PM

    Comment #13

    Yeah Obafan i am starting to agree with you. As everyday passes i grow more and more uneasy. The Joey Barton transfer dragged on,through no fault of NUFC but it did take a while as did the Rozehnal transfer and with only weeks remaining before the big kick off we need some action in the defensive areas and we soon,very soon my optimism is almost gone.

  • Outlaw

    Jul 23, 2007 at 10:23 PM

    Comment #14

    This is a f***ing joke! Ppl must think we’re the circus.

  • Watson

    Jul 23, 2007 at 10:33 PM

    Comment #15

    f*&%k me, are we all taking the word of a Chinese nobody this seriously! Jesus some of us are already starting to question Big Sam and Ashley already. Come on ppl lets get behind our beloved Toon.

  • Raffles

    Jul 23, 2007 at 10:44 PM

    Comment #16

    If Zheng signs for Newcastle my c*&*ck will fall off.

    I said that about Sibierski and my testicles last season, just prior to his signing for us. At least it won’t be quite as big a shock to me when Zheng does eventually sign. Still, not the greatest news.

  • Mac

    Jul 23, 2007 at 10:45 PM

    Comment #17

    Watson i agree i want to get behind them as much as anyone but surely you must admit time is getting short, we need to act on our defensive problems and act now.

  • Watson

    Jul 23, 2007 at 10:56 PM

    Comment #18

    Mac – I totally agree with you, I wish our defensive problems would have been sorted out by now, but I have complete faith in Big Sam and we still have until Friday 10th August to sort it out. I know its not ideal as they will not have had as much time with there team mates as Sam would have liked, but im hoping the quality of players that are brought in won’t need 10 games to fit in and start playing as a team.

  • Mac

    Jul 23, 2007 at 11:02 PM

    Comment #19

    Watson you’re bringing a smile to my face,i love the optomism. I hope you’re right,i think you are i really do think big sam is the man for us but hi s inactivity is alarming,i’m getting the feeling his hands may be tied and the money might just not be there for him. Baines a good player and what we need but the Makems seem to have him wrapped up,Shorey another one that clearly wants to leave,but again no sign of a move from the big fella,the list goes on, Lahm,Heinze,Davies,

  • Watson

    Jul 23, 2007 at 11:16 PM

    Comment #20

    Mac – Again I have to totally agree with you. I’ve the same feeling about the money not being available just yet, but im certain it will be before the season starts. I think Ashley is just getting everything in place and then boom, everything falls into place. I would be gutted if we missed out on Baines, especially to the m*****s, but there are still plenty of top quality defenders out there, and there hasn’t been too much activity from other clubs in the defensive market. A wishing, a hoping, a praying.

  • Mac

    Jul 23, 2007 at 11:27 PM

    Comment #21

    Watson i hope you’re right. I’m starting to get the feeling that Ashley may be setting big sam up for a fall so he can get his own man in. I hope i’m wrong and i hope come the start of the season we’ve spent a few million on a few quality players and i’m forced to eat my words,but only time time will tell.

  • michael

    Jul 23, 2007 at 11:32 PM

    Comment #22

    There just aren’t the top players out there unless we prise a good one of a biggish club (i.e. Not Copenhagen) a la Woodgate. I for one would like to see John O’Shea from Manyoo, Kevin Nolan from Bolton, and Sol Campbell or Sami Hypia. But it’s a sellers market at the moment and Allardyce has his hands tied until this internal review is done. Don’t rate most the players we’ve been linked with, but they may be necessary for six months to get us to the Jan window not in a relegation dogfight. I still think the squad is improved from last season though.

  • Mac

    Jul 23, 2007 at 11:37 PM

    Comment #23

    Yeah i agree,I do like what Sam has done,he hasn’t bought world beaters but he has bought better thatn we’ve got. I’ll just be happier if those defensive holes are plugged,On paper,how many years have we been saying that,but on paper if the defence is sorted out,we have a good team,atleast a team good enough to be up there with the likes of Spurs,Everton and even blood Reading. Come on Mike and Bis Sam get a move on and give us something to be proud of.

  • Watson

    Jul 23, 2007 at 11:38 PM

    Comment #24

    You talk alot of sense Mac. To be honest that scenario hadn’t even entered my mind. Without trying to sound rude and condesending I hope I am right and you are forced to eat your words, but I think I’ve been so wound up in my perfect little Newcastle world as it were, I may have distanced myself from reality and not actually seen whats actually going on. Why can’t anything at the Toon ever be straight forward and simple. Look how relativly easy its been for Tottenham to establish themsleves as a big club, and they were way behind us.

  • michael

    Jul 24, 2007 at 12:05 AM

    Comment #25

    We aren’t that bad. I expect Huntington and Edgar to play around fifteen to twenty games this season through ability rather than injury. Left back is a problem throughout the league not just at SJP. A wise head in the middle and i think we’ll cope alright. In an ideal word MA would spend 20million pounds in the next fortnight but that is not realistically going to happen. And really who would you really want? Not who is likely but who would you want?

  • Tetsuo

    Jul 24, 2007 at 12:09 AM

    Comment #26

    Just because half of you don’t know anything about him doesn’t make him a bad player, one thing we have lacked as a club over the years is squad depth (how many titles has that cost us) and i think bringing in more useful utility players would help our consistancy over the long and gruelling season. It’s obvious at this stage that we need at the very least three quality defenders but with the Barton hitch i feel it would only benefit us to have some solid utility players to plug these unexpected gaps, something we have had to do every single season. Let’s be realistic and understand that pushing ourselves back into the top five is not going to happen overnight, i know the prospect of greater funding and a clear out of alot of deadwood roused alot of optimism but this is only the beginning for us in terms of a move in the right direction and i think it would pay to be as patient as possible over the next few months especially. The bottom line is that in the games i did watch him play for charlton, Zheng Zhi was a very consistant performer who from what i can recollect kept things very neat and tidy and never seemed to shy from getting stuck into challenges and i personally would welcome him as a good addition to the squad especially as a free….we can’t make the same mistakes have we have throughout our history so its time to see some depth.

  • Mac

    Jul 24, 2007 at 12:36 AM

    Comment #27

    Again i agree Watson,the giant steps the tottenham have taken over the last few seasons has been nothing short of amazing. NUFC seemed to have sttod still,infact i may have to say we’ve gone backwards,but being a Goerdie i’m the eternal optermist and i hope Sam and Mike can pull it round,build from the back back and make us a force in football again instead of the laughing stock we’ve become

  • michael

    Jul 24, 2007 at 12:59 AM

    Comment #28

    Why not give ZZ a shot? He can’t be any worse than K. Dire’s one average game every 3 weeks and he’ll be a hell of lot cheaper.
    I can’t decide if Kerion Dire was a victim of overhyping or just unrealised talent? Currently the first option is where the safe money lies.
    Besides if you want to make money sign a Beckham. Madrid and Galaxy have done it.

  • Dave

    Jul 24, 2007 at 1:08 AM

    Comment #29

    Forget the marketing potential of signing a Chinese player. I live in China. Signing a Chinese player would just mean a lot more fake shirts sold here. The club wouldn’t get a penny.

  • Ed Harrison

    Jul 24, 2007 at 1:37 AM

    Comment #30

    Dave – you are so right !

  • apan

    Jul 24, 2007 at 4:38 AM

    Comment #31

    Come on lads doesnt mean you havent heard of him or his an asian he cant play well (park ji sung,nakamura to name a few) watched him played for charlton and china before, his a very consistent performer, not error prone like bramble and yes he can play practically everywhere and a very good utility player and for loan, i think his worth it as a backup player, plus we know that asian player have a high work rate and determination on field! but i still want BSA to sign in more defenders and at least one more DM! Trust his judgement lads!

  • Lin

    Jul 24, 2007 at 6:44 AM

    Comment #32

    I am a Chinese student. I have to agree with Cave. China is still a developing country and only riches can afford the shirts culculated by pound which is 15 times to Chinese circulation yuan. And unfortunately NUFC is not famous enough in China and can’t compare with Man U ,Arsenal and so on in reputation. People in China are so disappointed by the performance of the international team, and we won’t pay a lot for a loan player. However, I welcome Zheng Zhi. First, I know Zheng Zhi is a good player and he can adapt in EPL as he played well at Charton last season. Second, he can play many position in the midfield which is good for our squad. Third, his signing may not boost the shirt sales in China immedeately ,but will undoubtedly enchance the reputation of NUFC which will only result in the increase in TV rights and shirt sales eventualy. Once NUFC can achieve its potential and challenge the top four, I think more Chinese will buy shirts. Besides, for myself , I hope Zheng Zhi join NUFC because it means I can watch more matches of NUFC in TV as the local TV channels prefer to choose clubs within Chinese.

  • Stami

    Jul 24, 2007 at 7:40 AM

    Comment #33

    this is exactly what i am saying, BSA has proven his worth in the EPL, with a whole lot less talent! he has also discovered a few ‘unknowns’, well to the fans atleast, who have turned out to be great players. we also dont know whats been going on behind closed doors, there has been investigations at the club, can you imagine trying to do your job, at a new club, with the Police in your hair all the time! cant be easy!
    have a little faith in BSA lads! he is the man

  • Oleg

    Jul 24, 2007 at 9:20 AM

    Comment #34

    What about the 45M that was promised ?
    can’t we put some money on the table?

    A chinese dude on loan, ok, but what about the D ???

    CONSENTRATION ! that’s what we need, stop thinking about the shirts, and strikers, and start thinking about prayer whos gonna stop the strikers of the other teams ! (Defenders !!!)

    Good Day !

  • Ivan

    Jul 24, 2007 at 10:07 AM

    Comment #35

    since we re in this asian mood, we should buy players like park chu young, nakamura, takahara, or lee chun soo who are quite well known alr.

  • Andy T

    Jul 24, 2007 at 10:28 AM

    Comment #36

    Dave – even if they are fake shirts, I would love to have a raft of Chinese youngsters growing up dreaming of pulling on the black and white shirt and running out at St James Park.
    Transfers dragging – I think the money is there, but Sam has to do a lot of explaining as to why – At this point I’m sure Ashley and Mort are learning quickly, but still learning and you can be sure if someone was spending a few million of my money I’d want to ask a few questions and understand how it was going to make me money going forward. I also think that the calibre of player we are after is very difficult for Newcastle to pick up this season with the lack of European Football.

  • KL

    Jul 24, 2007 at 11:27 AM

    Comment #37

    they are alll in it for the money.. it seems every top player we get gets injured and fails to stay fit…. owen out for 2 years (nearly) with his broken toe (please far out) and yeh i no he had his knee injury.other than that same injury now barton has got (any bets more than 6 weeks) ill be rich… got a feeling our big 6 foot defender may do the same get injured. luque (ok roeder was a idiot not playin him when he was fit) but now he is struggling to get fit.. 9.5 mil for what… i just hope big same and the new owners no what they r doing.. i dont want newcastle to become a leeds united.. top english side.. now in div 1 and can be bought for 3mil …. think guys

  • Len Smith

    Jul 24, 2007 at 12:38 PM

    Comment #38

    Zheng Zhi is a good player and well worth a loan deal. I would sooner have him than Subuteo Wright Philips and way sooner have him than Dyer. On the shirt front there are Chinese all over the place and not just in China. When my lot visited last season they bought the shop to bring back to Singapore.


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