Joey Barton will be out of action until at least February, with his new foot injury, and he talked to Sky Sports yesterday at length.
Joey Barton – can he really rehabilitate himself?
Joey is one of the players at Newcastle, who has fully supported Chris Hughton in what he is trying to do this season, and Chris has had only good words to say about Barton’s influence in the dressing room this season.
We all know that Joey has done some awful things over the last few years, and many think he ius just a thug and always will be, plain and simple.
And he even spent time in jail a year last summer, for beating up a youngster on December 27th, 2007, at 5:15 am in the morning in Liverpool, after a night of drinking, which was caught fully on CCTV cameras. Joey pleaded guilty to that charge.
So he is very much still on trial, so to speak, at Newcastle, and Newcastle supporters are split down the middle on whether he will come good or not.
Barton told Sky Sports News about the anew positive attitude of the Newcastle players this season:.
“This isn’t a case of having a mourning process and being like, weren’t we unlucky to go down because of X, Y and Z,”
“That would have been easy to do because of what was rumbling on in the boardroom. Thankfully as a group of men we got together and said we are going to do things differently.”
And after a couple of very ineffective displays, no doubt due in part to the foot injury he was carrying, Joey talked to the club about getting it fixed.
“I eventually sat down with the club and said this isn’t fair on anyone, the lads who aren’t playing because I’m playing, to the people who pay to come and watch and you, and most of all myself.”
“You try and run off injuries sometimes, but when you get a bit older you think this isn’t possible.”
“I have had the operation now and I’m looking forward to getting back fit and coming back and being an impact player for Newcastle in terms of winning the Championship.”
We have to hope the lads keep up their sparkling form thought early next year, so that when Joey returns, hopefully fully fit and raring to go, he can indeed be an impact player for the club, and it will be like having a new signing at the club.
Certainly there’s no doubting Joey’s skill and he can score goals as well, but has hardly had spells at Newcastle when he has not been injured since Big Sam signed him in the summer of 2007, when no other club would go near him.
And Joey suffered a pre-season training ground bust-up with current interim manager Chris Hughton, but it seems like both men put that behind them rather quickly – and from what we heard, Chris Hughton managed the situation with coolness and complete professionalism, according to players who witnessed the altercation.
Joey continued and talked about the bust up with Chris, which came after he learned he would be dropped:
“I will be the first to admit that I was in the wrong. I shouldn’t have said what I said when I said it,”
“I’m not saying what I said wasn’t right. But for me and Chris it was over in minutes. For everyone, the team, it was over in minutes and it was rectified.”
“Chris made the decision, he put me on the bench (for the next game), and that was the right thing to do. I didn’t question it and make a fuss out of it.”
“In the past, when I was younger and a bit more hot-headed and not as mature as I am now, I could have handled it differently.”
And of course Barton also suffered a massive falling out with Alan Shearer towards the end of last season, after he was sent off at Liverpool, and called Alan names during their argument in the dressing room after the game, which were not too complimentary to the Newcastle great.
Joey was banned from the training ground for the rest of the season and wouldn’t be a Newcastle player today, if Alan had got the manager job permanently in May.
Joey talked about that big big mistake he made last May:
“Alan is a guy I have got an awful lot of respect for as a player and as a man,”
“We had a much publicised disagreement in the dressing room. It got out to the public domain, which isn’t ideal, but the reason I didn’t comment on it or try and put my side across is because my thinking is, what goes on in dressing rooms should stay in dressing rooms.”
“It never happened in this instance, but I didn’t get drawn into it because I have a lot of respect for him as a footballer and as a man, and I still do.”
Just to insert some hard reality on this – there’s a 99% chance that Barton will be on his way and out of Newcastle, if Alan Shearer comes back as manager of the club – fact.
But who will own the club and who will be manager in the coming weeks and months at Newcastle will remain uncertain, as long as the clueless Ashley remains owner of the famous club.
We have to hope that Joey can come through, and that he is more mature than in his younger days.
After all we all like to hear stories of those who have been successful in overcoming their demons – and we all have them – whether you admit to them or not.
Seems Joey’s demons are massive, so if he can overcome them – more power to him – so here’s hoping.
Joey, it’s all now up to you.
Note – you may know we love funny football quotes – so take a look at this today and get a really good laugh. They are so funny.