Nicky Butt had a really solid game on Saturday against Fulham, and showed all his skill and experience. Nicky has been talking today about his midfield partner Joey Barton, and his struggle to find his best form, amongst his other off field struggles.
Nicky Butt – had the same on field problems as Barton when he first arrived
Nicky told the Newcastle Journal today:
â€œI thought Joey played well against Fulham and showed what a talented footballer he is,â€ â€œHe was a top player at Manchester City, but it has been tough for him here.â€
â€œI know how he feels because things didnâ€™t go very well for me in my first year here either. I struggled for form and it was a difficult time in my career. It plays on your mind when you are on the pitch and at home. Joeyâ€™s a good lad, he interacts well with the rest of the squad. People might have an outside perception of what he is like, but heâ€™s a good lad.â€
â€œHowever, as much as anyone tries to put a brave face on it, when things arenâ€™t going well for you at a new club it is extremely hard to deal with. You do hear things in the crowd, but the good thing about Joey is that he is strong and he is starting to come through it.â€
It’s true that Nicky had the same problems when he came to Newcastle and he just couldn’t find his best form in that first season. Of course Nicky was sent on loan to Birmingham and a deal for Â£2M would have been struck had Birmingham not been relegated that season.
But Nicky came back and stuck in and won his place back and has been in the side ever since. So Nicky can perhaps help Joey, because he’s been through the same stuff.
But of course Barton has his odd field problems too and was charged with assault following an incident in his hometown of Liverpool over the Christmas period. And he still has to answer the charge that he assaulted his former Manchester City team-mate Ousmane Dabo during a training session in May last year. 🙁
With this type of thing hanging over his head it’s not hard to see how it could have affected his form on the pitch.
â€œItâ€™s been doubly hard for him because heâ€™s had things off the pitch to deal with as well, which I didnâ€™t have. All in all I think heâ€™s done okay and if, like the rest of us, he can build on his performance against Fulham, then he will be happy.â€
â€œHe was a good player at Manchester City and there were massive expectations on his shoulders when he came, but heâ€™s starting to show what he can do. Like the rest of us, he just needs to get this season out of the way now and then start afresh.â€
â€œThere are seven games left and there is a lot of pride to play for. Weâ€™ve got to use those seven games to give ourselves a bit of respectability by climbing back up the table. We canâ€™t think thatâ€™s it, weâ€™re safe now.â€
Of course Joey’s problems are of his own doing, and we just have no idea how his trials will come out. But we know there has to be some possibility of jail time, and we just don’t know what Newcastle United’s reaction to that will be , if it indeed happens.
But the fact he is playing at all is good, and the best Joey can do right now is stick in and try to do some good for Newcastle United.
That will at least help offset a little the stupid things he has done that have landed him in all sorts of trouble. To Joey’s credit that’s exactly what he seems to be trying to do.
What do you think about this?
Comments always welcome.