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.â€
â€œIt 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!â€
â€œThat 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.