We expect Joey Barton to make his first start at St. Jamesâ€™ Park on Saturday against Portsmouth.
While itâ€™s going to take a couple more games for Joey to get back to his best the Newcastle fans have already taken to Joey and big things are expected of him at Newcastle.
When Sam first came he said he wanted more goals from his midfield and Joey has always been a good goalscorer from the middle of the park.
Joey Barton – looking forward too his first start at St. James’ Park
The 25-year-old midfielder scored seven goals for Manchester City last season, and in all has 15 Premier League goals – a decent record.
Sam started both Emre and Barton last Saturday but his surprising team selection paired them with Geremi and Butt. All central midfielders so we wondered where the width would come from. We expect youngsters Milner and Nâ€™Zogbia to get the nod on the wings on Saturday. We have to attack Portsmouth at home and weâ€™ll need an attacking side out there from the first whistle.
No doubt Joey will be excited about his starting home debut after receiving a fantastic ovation from the Newcastle faithful when he was brought on against Tottenham during the second of our last home game.
Joey told the Evening Chronicle today:
â€œHopefully I will bring some goals to the team.â€ â€œI didnâ€™t really have a target last season, but I would be disappointed if I didnâ€™t get between eight and 10 goals a season.â€
â€œBut I donâ€™t think thatâ€™s the main thing â€“ the main thing is to win as a team.â€
Barton is not just looking to top his tally of seven goals at Eastlands last season, but also to improve on what was really an outstanding time for him when he was easily Manchester Cityâ€™s top performer. He has just one England cap but we’re sure he will be good enough to force himself back into the England squad. he’s certainly a lot better that Jermaine Jenas, for example.
â€œYou always need a challenge in football.â€ When I signed for Newcastle the gaffer said he could get an extra 25 per cent out of me.â€
Sam’s seems a big believer in Joey and if enthusiasm and drive have anything to do with it – Joey will be a top performer for Newcastle United this season. A good time to start will be on Saturday, because Portsmouth are certainly no push-overs and we’ll need to be so much better than we performed at Reading last week to take all 3 points.