Kevin Keegan was a little surprised there was so much controversy, when he brought on Joey Barton in the 89th minute of the game on Saturday at the Emirates.
Joey Barton – controversy certain to follow him
Kevin said yesterday:
“You saw every player that I have got. That was it. That was why I decided to put Joey on the bench. It wasn’t to do with anything other than that,”
“Joey went on and, for five minutes, did well. He is going to have to play somewhere.” “As a manager, you look at the situation when you look around your bench.”
“Habib Beye has had an Achilles problem and Jonas (Gutierrez) had run every blade of grass on the pitch. I’m scared of him pulling up.”
“So I put Joey on because I looked at my bench and, to be honest with you, if you’re doing your job properly he is the next player to put on as opposed to a 16 or 17-year-old kid.”
We think it was a little strange to bring on two players in the 89th minute (David Edgar was also brought on), but we think it was just to give the two of them a taste of the first team again.
But there’s little doubt that Barton will be booed heavily, once he eventually returns to action for Newcastle, whenever that may be.
We should know the answer to that question this coming Friday, when he will appear before an FA Disciplinary Committee, with his manager Kevin Keegan there to support him.