Newcastle manager Kevin Keegan has confirmed this afternoon that Joey Barton will return to the Newcastle United substitutes bench, for tomorrow night’s league game at Arsenal.
Joey Barton – on bench tomorrow night at the Emirates
The Liverpool born midfielder is currently awaiting trial over an alleged incident in Liverpool on December 27th, but it looks like there has been a change in Barton’s bail conditions, which now means he is able to play at the Emirates.
Previously, Joey had to report back to the Hampshire Clinic every night by 7:00 pm, where he is receiving treatment. That made it difficult for Joey to play in any games, although he has been training with the Newcastle squad in Newcastle every day, for at least the last week.
Kevin Keegan explained the situation today:
“Joey is in the squad for the Arsenal game and will start on the bench.” “We are very low on numbers at the minute and we might need Joey and I’d have no problems with bringing him on.”
“He has worked really hard in training and I do believe that we will make a plus out of a minus.”
“It’s not been a good time for him but if we can draw a line under this we can turn this into a positive.”
We think it’s almost a certainty that Joey will get some playing time tomorrow night, and if he does well, don’t be surprised if he could even be a starter against Middlesbrough.
We feel a bit uncomfortable with the position the club is taking with Joey, and while from a playing viewpoint we need him playing – Joey hardly deserves the chance he is being given by the club.