Pearce Puts Joey’s Comments in Perspective

Stuart Pearce has talked about Joey Barton’s statements earlier in the week that honors for his club, Newcastle, would outweigh success for England.

We really didn’t see too much wrong with what Joey said but it’s been twisted out of context to mean he didn’t care about playing for England, which is not what he said.

But Pearce believes they are comments from a player desperate to prove himself after missing the start of the season with a foot injury.

Let’s see what Stuart said about his former Manchester City captain Joey Barton.


Stuart Pearce – passion personified when he played for England

The England Under-21 side plays a European Under-21 2009 qualifier against Montenegro this coming Friday and Pearce was speaking at the Walkers Stadium helping to launch the FA Tesco Skills Program in Leicester. He was joined at the coaching sessions by Under-21 players Michael Kightly, Matt Derbyshire and England Under-21 captain Steven Taylor.

Pearce said:

“Reading between the lines and in support of Joey, I would probably think he was trying to say ‘I need to play for Newcastle before I can think about playing for my country.”

“When he got the call-up, he was absolutely made up. I’m sure that was the nature of his comments.”

Pearce was justifiably annoyed during the summer when David Bentley pulled out of the European Under-21 Championship squad saying he had fatigue.  Gabriel Agbonlahor of Aston Villa couldn’t be contacted to confirm his call-up. That does sound rather strange – was he avoiding Stuart’s calls? These are actions which show these players are not too interested in representing their country.  We thought it was a very bad precedent and message that Bentley was immediately called up by McClaren for the last international break.

Of course Stuart Pearce epitomized the England bulldog spirit when he played for his country, and he was on Newcastle’s books and appeared 37 times for the Magpies.  Then Ruud Gullit came in as manager and basically ignored Pearce, saying he was too old. Pearce left Newcastle in 1999 to go to West Ham United.

We were really pleased to see Stuart finally get the England Under-21 manager job, because he’ll set a great example to the young boys.

Stuart went on:

“It’s a great honor to play for your country.” “It should always be there. Quite often it comes from the individual.”

“I make sure that is passed on to my set of players – if you are fortunate to be called up to the seniors, take it with both hands because it is a real honor.”

“You probably only realize what a real honor it is when you retire.”

If Joey Barton does as well for Newcastle as we think he will, there’s no doubt that he’ll get a call-up to the England squad. His comments on Monday were meant to signify just how committed he is to Newcastle, and we just cannot wait to see him again in a black and white strip. England honors are down the road for the 25 year-old, of that there is no doubt.

Comments welcome.

8 comments so far

  • Lull

    Oct 10, 2007 at 6:35 PM

    Comment #1

    Ed, do you think Owen’s comment on Joey’s statement is intended to be offensive or is it the media made it like one?

  • Lull

    Oct 10, 2007 at 6:39 PM

    Comment #2

    Damn the media! Fortunately, Stuart Pearce is here for the rescue. Poor Joey 🙁

  • Craig Allen

    Oct 10, 2007 at 6:52 PM

    Comment #3

    Jeez, doesn’t anyone prep these lads before they speak to the press on behalf of the club? I mean this is a professional era. Don’t hint about or get baited into commenting on your teammates unless you saying something positive don’t say nothing.
    Where’s PR when you need them? Taxi for the PR people.

  • Ed Harrison

    Oct 10, 2007 at 6:53 PM

    Comment #4

    Lull, no not really – but the papers made such a big thing of what Joey said. We’ve found out they are very mischevous and will try to engineer frictions between people. There’s no way Sam will let this get out of control. Owen is too important to us – as is every other player in the squad.

  • Bill F

    Oct 10, 2007 at 7:33 PM

    Comment #5

    I would be amazed if there is bad blood between Owen and Barton or Sam for that matter, I reckon it’s all hype. They probably have a right laugh in the dressing room over all the media bullsh*t.

  • Lamesley Mag

    Oct 10, 2007 at 9:11 PM

    Comment #6

    As Pearce will be a witness in the upcoming Barton court case, let’s hope he provides the same support to Barton (while stating the truth) as to what happened that day between the two players during that training incident.

  • leo

    Oct 10, 2007 at 11:53 PM

    Comment #7

    nah there isnt no conflict, i can just see barton reading the paper after giving the interview, and texting MO saying how funny it was, and them both having a chuckle. because that is all the newspapers are worth

  • Chris F

    Oct 11, 2007 at 12:42 AM

    Comment #8

    frankly, i never believe a single word i read in the tabloid press these days, it’s pretty much all a load of complete shite. (scuse the language)

    the london tabloid press have, and always will have it in for us. i’d love to know why, exactly, but they do.

    just today, the Express are claiming Mike Ashley is trying to sell up for a quick profit at £220m, despite that amount being LESS than he has invested in the club to this date. it’s just absolute garbage. if he was so intent on selling up, why is he showing up at the games in a replica shirt looking like he’s having the time of his life?

    if anyones looking disillusioned at like they’re wanting to sell up it’s a certain russian oligarch in london!

    any chance to have a dig at Newcastle, and they’ll do it and i’m sick of it.

    despite what the press wish to portray, i 100% doubt there is any rift at all between owen, allardyce, barton, nufc and england AT ALL.

    they just love to use us to sell papers, and can’t get over the fact that we don’t really have as many troublemakers at the club at we used to.

    but then, they’re not going to go and have a go at west ham, are they, they’re good “suvvern bois”

    *rant over*


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