Big Sam – Barton Will Need to Fight For Place

Sam has talked about Joey Barton coming back from his metatarsal foot injury today. The injury was worse than people initially thought, and has taken longer than the 6 weeks most metatarsal injuries take to heal.

It was 8 weeks ago last Saturday that Joey sustained the injury at Carlisle United, and while Joey has resumed light training, it will still take him another 3-4 weeks to be fit for selection.


Joey Barton – back from metatarsal injury in 3-4 weeks

Sam Allardyce doesn’t seem too worried about Barton being out so long because the players that have come in are playing well and Joey, like most other Newcastle players this season, will need to fight for this place once he is fit again. That’s one benefit of having a strong squad of course.

This is what Sam said about Barton’s situation this morning:

‘Joey Barton is back in training on his own at the moment. The specialist has given him the all-clear to start a little bit of running. I would say it is probably between three and four weeks. The extent of the break meant that is wasn’t going to be the normal six weeks.”

“It appears to be a little bit longer than that. I would have hoped not. I’d be hopeful the present form of the players who are fit would mean that he might be fit to be unselected!”

“That would be a nice scenario for me – to get him back fit again and then have to say: ‘Sorry Joey, can’t put you in because these lads are doing that well. Glad to have you back, but you have to take your chance when it comes around’.’

While it is a boon for Sam to have such a strong squad it is also a challenge to his man-management skills as there have been reports that at least Steven Taylor and Shay Given may be unhappy at potentially not being in the team. These are just news stories right now of course, so we have no idea what the truth is.

But it’s very clear that with Sam now leading the club, nobody is really guaranteed a starting place. Sam has also shown in his time at Bolton that he has the strong character to ensure the policy. He has also shown, however, that players want to play for him so we’ll have to see how this new problem (if that’s what it is) sorts itself out. We don’t even think it is a problem at Newcastle, because competition for places is what all good and successful teams create.

That’s one step that’s needed on the way to Newcastle winning some trophies, so it can’t be that bad.

Comments welcome.

6 comments so far

  • Rich

    Sep 17, 2007 at 11:00 AM

    Comment #1

    Im glad he will have to fight for his place, but for me hed be the No1 Central miffileder we have got, will be him and geremi in the centre i think! cant wait to see him play, he will die for the Newcastle cause!

  • evil dick

    Sep 17, 2007 at 11:37 AM

    Comment #2

    howay! can’t wait for the lad to be back!

  • Toon Chicken

    Sep 17, 2007 at 11:43 AM

    Comment #3

    So long as that’s the only fighting he does though eh?

  • Willowtoon

    Sep 17, 2007 at 12:19 PM

    Comment #4

    I think this is not directed at Joey, but Steven Taylor and Shay Given.

    Good man management from SA basically telling the whole squad no matter who you are you have to fight to get back in the team. No tantrums or hissy fits will be allowed any more.

    This is his policy and he will enforce it. At Bolton he wasn’t afraid to leave out Okocha who in relation to his team mates at Bolton was a superstar.

  • lew Davies

    Sep 17, 2007 at 4:22 PM

    Comment #5

    More good words and common sense from the mouth of Big Sam:)

  • Dalston

    Sep 17, 2007 at 10:21 PM

    Comment #6

    this sounds like a joke after today’s match….


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