It looks like Joey Barton will get his first start since his six game FA ban tonight, when Newcastle play one of their most important games this season against WBA at St. James’ Park.
Joey Barton – almost certain to start tonight
Joe Kinnear said today:
“I will probably say to him that you can only kiss the badge again if you score a hat-trick. I said to Joey, ‘what you are going through, if it is any help, I have been through a hundred times myself with opposition fans’.”
“Because of the stick that went with the club and the Crazy Gang, and the stigma that went with Vinnie Jones and John Fashanu and the like, we lived with it and decided to create a siege mentality and we were very successful at it.”
“Fashanu had horrendous publicity and I told him the only way to silence his critics was to score plenty of goals.” “I had similar players at Wimbledon. They were characters. I’m not saying what Joey did was right and he would be the first to admit that.”
“I’m not going to push that under the carpet, but judge him on his football and he’s a decent footballer.”
The Newcastle crowd are usually very forgiving, although about half of our readers think he should have been handled much more severely by the club. But his official punishment is now over, although he will continue to be harassed all season by opposition crowds.
Hopefully the Newcastle faithful will be willing to forgive him and support the player, as he tries to rekindle both his career and his life.
He has been given yet another opportunity and we’d by lying if we said we didn’t want him to succeed – but it’s 100% in his hands, and Joey shouldn’t underestimate just how difficult it’s going to be.
Joe Kinnear added:
“I hope there are no protests from fans who don’t want him here. What I say to Joey is the only way he can win over these people is to show what he can do on the pitch – just get on with it and let them make their own assessment.”
“Just remember Kevin Keegan was very supportive and gave him 100 per cent backing. I’ve only been here a few weeks but he’s been a model of consistency.”
We expect both Barton and Gutierrez ro start the game tonight, and we also expect we’ll get all 3 points by the end of the 90 minutes.
It would be nice to play well and win by a few goals, but we’ll take the win however we can get it.