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.
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.
“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 5’11â€ 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 â€“ and with Mike Ashley’s determination to put Newcastle United on the world map in mind â€“ 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 â€“ where are those three defenders?