Kevin Keegan has today sung the praises of our troubled midfield star, Joey Barton, after he put in a good second-half display against Middlesbrough last Sunday.
Joey Barton – troubled midfielder still not out of the woods
Barton was asked by Kevin in the first half, to play in a right-sided position and he blocked out the threat of England winger Stewart Downing in that first half. He switched to central midfield after the break, and played very well.
Kevin praised Joey for Newcastle World TV today:
“Joey was asked to do a little bit of a job for us first-half and to get Emre in the team he had to cover the right side,”
“While he wasn’t outstanding first-half he did it in an effective way and he stopped Downing being a threat.â€
“But once we changed it and brought Emre off and put Milner on, it allowed him to go in the middle and he was able to go and do the things he can.â€
“That’s his best position and he caught the eye because he was allowed to do what he does best.”
But letâ€™s not get too carried away with Joey right now, and letâ€™s keep our feet firmly on the ground regarding the player. Joey is in a mountain of trouble because of his off -field antics.
While it is probably very good for Joey to be playing for Newcastle, and doing something constructive, the possibilities following his two trials coming up, may not be good.
Itâ€™s admirable that his old boss Keegan at Manchester City is supporting Joey, as did Big Sam before him, but we still have doubts about whether he deserves that support. Joey has very few chances left, and heâ€™s in the proverbial last chance saloon right now â€“ at least as far as his professional football career is concerned. Make no mistake about that. And it would be criminal if he wasted away his immense football talent (excuse the pun).
Yes, we hope Joey pulls out of it, because everybody likes to see somebody in trouble straighten themselves out. It’s just great when that happens, and if Joey can do that in the next year he will get loads and loads of support from Newcastle’s fans, bless their hearts.
But if he doesn’t, he’s only got himself to blame, because Newcastle United Football Club are supporting him to the hilt, whether he deserves it or not.