If Joey Barton Is Ready To Play Then Play Him

Joey Barton is raring to go, and may even be included in the Newcastle squad for the game at Bristol City on Saturday, and Joey will be hoping he can get at least a seat on the bench.

Joey Barton – raring to go

But Newcastle manager Chris Hughton remains cool on bringing him back anytime soon, as Chris told the Evening Chronicle today:

“I think he will play soon, but Joey’s only had 75 minutes of a reserve game.” “We have a lot of competition for places at the moment.”

There’s a lot of competition for places to be sure, but when a £5.8M player on £ 3M/year wages, who has been out over four months, is available and seemingly playing well – he needs to be put into the squad.

Joey is after all, only trying to earn this wages after he’s been out for so long vital season for the Newcastle club.

It may also be of course, that Chris wants to give Joey the extended break he may need, so that his foot really heals properly.

Joey, by his own admission, has often come back too early from his injuries, simply because of his natural enthusiasm to play football, and maybe, just maybe,  that’s why he’s had three foot operations since he’s been on Tyneside.

So if that is what’s at the back of Chris mind – that’s fine too.

And maybe it’s because Joey’s not fully match fit yet, but then Chris should ensure Joey gets some games, either behind closed doors or in the Reserve side, like last Tuesday night at Hartlepool.

But if it means Joey is really ready, then play him, and if that means a player like Nicky Butt doesn’t make the squad, then so be it.

That’s what strong squads are for, and there are only 18 players who can make the squad for any one game, but don’t delay a good player’s comeback simply because of competition for places.

Surely Joey is good enough to get back into the side once he’s fully fit.

Comments welcome.

10 comments so far

  • Pradajames

    Mar 18, 2010 at 3:49 PM

    Comment #1

    Why force a player back in to the lineup just because he makes a large salary? The squad is playing extremely well together at the moment, maybe Hughton doesnt want to upset that.

    How do we know he is “playing well” from 75 mins of a reserve match?

  • Robby Bobson

    Mar 18, 2010 at 3:50 PM

    Comment #2

    The only time hes had a real run in our team is under keegan at the end of the season and he was formittable. He always takes several games to get to his best but when he is there its worth the wait.

    However, Nolan somehow got the championship player of the season and has scored 13 goals, Guthrie is getting assist after assist and running games, so where does Barton fit in.

    It will be good to get promotion ASAP so we try out different players and formations and introduce players like Barton, Kadar, R.Taylor, Vuckic and Ranger into the starting line up.

  • chuck

    Mar 18, 2010 at 4:09 PM

    Comment #3

    Five him a start, see how he holds up, take him out if he begins to falter or is not cutting it, this aint brain surgery !

  • ksmit

    Mar 18, 2010 at 4:25 PM

    Comment #4

    Not too concerned if he moves in for Nolan as he does need a rest. He’s played well this season but I don’t think he’s as influential as Guthrie is. IMO Barton should be on the bench to replace Nolan at around 70minutes. This is a much much better choice than throwing Butt onto the pitch in place of Guthrie or Nolan… Barton can also come on for one of the wingers (Routledge having just come back from injury and Jonas always getting tackled poorly because of his skill level) with Guthrie moving over onto the right wing for the close of the game.

  • geoff777

    Mar 18, 2010 at 4:25 PM

    Comment #5

    Not so sure all these foot injuries have been “accidents”.

    Easy to target some ones foot in a tackle if you want to.

    He’s made a lot of enemies with his violence on the training ground and elsewhere.

  • boater

    Mar 18, 2010 at 4:26 PM

    Comment #6

    chick- you say that but who can you drop in all fairness without it affecting theirs or the squad morale?

  • ksmit

    Mar 18, 2010 at 4:27 PM

    Comment #7

    My opinion above is of course assuming that Smudge is out injured still

  • nden85

    Mar 18, 2010 at 4:34 PM

    Comment #8

    In every interview he’s given I think its notable how well he comes across, he says the right things and makes the right noises, now he just has to prove himself with positive and sustained actions both on and off the pitch. I think we should definitely keep him and give him a chance back in the prem next season.

    players that i would consider getting rid of this summer would be:

    Butt (Release)
    Pancakes (release)
    Best (sell)
    Ameobi (sell)
    Hall (end loan)
    Ranger (loan)
    Lua lua (loan)
    Tozer (loan)
    other youngsters (loan)

    That would leave us with:

    GK – Harps, Krul
    RB – Simspon, R. Taylor
    LB – Enrique,
    CB – Taylor, colo, williamson, kadar
    RM – routledge
    LM – Gutierrez
    CM – Barton, Nolan, Guthrie, Smith, Vuckic
    ST – Carroll, Loverpants

    all of which means that we’re going to be short of a couple of strikers, a left full back, and a winger or two.

    i think belhadj from pompy would solve a few problems there for a small fee. spending a decent chunk on a good striker should be a priority in my opinion.

  • Captain Beefheart

    Mar 18, 2010 at 6:52 PM

    Comment #9

    Robby has the right idea. Let’s get promotion sealed and then let the injury prone and perennial bench-warmers have a run out for a few games while chasing down the top spot.

    If they can’t cut the mustard in the Fizzy they are no good at all to us in the Prem, and nden85 will need to extend his summer jumble sale list (which looks hard, but on current form, fair, with the exception of Best who I suspect might be useful once he hits his stride). After all, Hughton must have seen something in the lad to bring him here?

  • Paul P

    Mar 18, 2010 at 7:01 PM

    Comment #10

    There is no argument that Joey Barton is probably the best centre midfielder on the books at the club, although he is yet to prove that in a black n white shirt. when we first signed him from man city, in pre season before he got injured at carlisle, he was superb in the 2 games i watched him in, but due to injuries, off field antics, he came back and was never the same player again. He has been out of the first team picture for such a long time now, i am hoping the long lay off has sorted his head out and b his game. if so, then we may have a good player on our hands again. need to see the joey barton, who was once an england player. surely he can not be that bad of a player, so yeah, i would put him on the bench for the forest game and nothing before the forest game, bring him on with 60 gone, win that game and we are virtually promoted. i would play him but i don’t know who would be best to partner him in the middle after that game.


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