Joey Barton was at the Emirates Stadium last night and asked to be part of the official Newcastle squad just to warm up with the first team, as they prepared for the game against Arsenal.
The former Manchester City player is so keen to be part of the action again that he did the same thing at Derby County on Monday night and attended the reservesâ€™ 2-0 defeat against Middlesbrough.
Joey Barton – not too far away from being available for selection
It will be great to get Joey back in the team and it looks from what he says he’s not too far away. He will need a few games to get match fit and then we’ll see how Barton can transform our central midfield with his creativity and knack for goals.
Barton talked today:
â€œThe lads are giving me a bit of stick for it, but I just love football.â€
â€œI love watching the lads and being part of it, even though at the minute you feel a bit removed from it because youâ€™re not joining in training.â€
â€œYouâ€™re on your own doing work in the gym, but traveling to away games makes me feel a part of it.â€
â€œI can give the lads a bit of positive talk, and hopefully get a feel for it and what happens on a matchday.â€ â€œIâ€™m nearing the end of a significant injury, which has been frustrating. I can see light at the end of the tunnel now, and I am champing at the bit.â€
â€œBeing around the players and in the dressing room, you feel more a part of it than you would normally do stuck in the gym somewhere.”
Barton broke his foot when he was captaining the Newcastle side at Carlisle in late July. He actually accompanied Lee Clark to Brunton Park for a scouting mission at Carlisle last weekend â€“ wonder who they were scouting?Â So he is obviously interested in everything going on at the club.
Joey went on:
“Iâ€™ll be there at the City of Manchester Stadium on Saturday too, without a shadow of a doubt. Itâ€™s just disappointing I wonâ€™t be playing.â€ “Iâ€™ve still got a little way to go in terms of match fitness, and hopefully Iâ€™ll get there sooner rather than later and Iâ€™ll get back to what I do best, which is playing football.â€
“Iâ€™ve been very fortunate to have a good medical team around me â€“ the doctor and physios have been first class in getting me to where I am.â€ “But Iâ€™m only young, and Iâ€™ll get a lot chances to play at Manchester City in the future.â€
“I still keep in contact with the lads there â€“ Iâ€™ve got a lot of friends there and theyâ€™ve had a great start to the season and it should be a good game.â€ “You always want to play against your old club, but at the same time this is just another Premier League game for me.” “I think Iâ€™ve proved what I can do to the fans there â€“ Iâ€™ve got nothing to prove to them.’
“Now itâ€™s a case of pulling on a Newcastle United shirt and enjoying a new chapter in my career.” “Hopefully this is the start of an exciting time for Newcastle United, and for me personally.”
Joey always comes across as very positive and it looks like he loves being at the club. As long as Joey can control those tandrums and get his anger under control he can become a top player at Newcastle – and we’re sure that’s what Joey and Sam are aiming for. Certainly he played exceptionally well during the close season.