Joey Barton seems all ready to put his career back on track in the Premiership next season with the returning Newcastle United.
Joey Barton – still loved by Newcastle fans
Since joining Newcastle in the summer of 2007, Joey has been injured seriously three times, and has only appeared 46 times (33 starts) for the Magpies with 3 goals over those three seasons.
We are hoping Joey can stay fit and hopefully start producing for the Tyneside club, that has been very loyal to him over the last three seasons.
Barton told the Daily Star today:
“As a player, it’s been a tough year, but, as a person, it’s been a good one, a bloody good one,”
“I am quite happy with my life right now and the people involved in it and that will be great for Newcastle because a happy Joey Barton is a decent player.”
And of course we all know of the troubles Joey has had off the field, and he was jailed for an incident in December of 2007, for assault and battery, while he was a Newcastle player.
That incident was clearly caught on CCTV cameras and was an embarrassment not only to Joey, but to the Newcastle United club too.
But Joey could be a changed man these days, and he’s certainly looked a happy man since he returned from injury a few weeks back:
“I’m aware that because of things that have happened, there will always be a target painted on my back,”
“When you have been through the trials and tribulations I have, you come out of it one of two ways. You either completely break down and self-implode or you say, ‘Yeah, I’ve screwed up, but there is a chance to come back’.”
“It’s about me finding things to fill out spaces and that makes me more productive as a person and once I am fit and get a sustained run in the team, more productive on the pitch, too.”
“A lot of kids won’t look at the Beckhams and the Owens as role models. Maybe they’ll look at Joey Barton and think, ‘He made lots of mistakes, he went to jail and he came back’.”
“That’s what drives me on – to be a shining light to people who messed up.”
Those are good words from Joey, and there have been glimpses this season that Joey has indeed matured, and we have to hope he keeps off the drink, and concentrates only on his football career in the seasons ahead.
Most of the Newcastle squad will be looking forward to next season, after putting in a magic season to get the club out of the Championship at the very first attempt.
And we have to remember when pre-season starts, the lads will not only have new Puma strips, but new training gear too. Let’s hope the club will introduce the new strips this week – since the wait is starting to get too long.
“Yeah, you could say I’ll enjoy this summer a bit better than the last two,”
“Twelve months ago, we were relegated and I didn’t know what the future held for me, and two years ago I knew I was facing prison.”
“That was scary and even now I wonder how I got through it. The flip side is that it was my own fault and I got what I deserved.”
“I took the punishment on the chin and have tried to become a better man since. For some people that will never be enough, but today I am satisfied with who I am and the journey I’ve had to take.”
It’s now up to Joey to learn from his mistakes and problems of the past, which were all self-inflicted after all.
But the vast majority of fans seems to be in Joey’s corner now, and only want to see him become a star for Newcastle, and from what we’ve seen of Joey these last few weeks, that’s exactly what he could become next season – he’s been playing extremely well.
It’s now completely up to Joey, as to what happens with his career on Tyneside – as it always has been of course.