When Joey Barton returned from injury earlier this year, he said he knew he would not be an automatic choice for the Newcastle club.
Joey Barton – delighted with the fans at achieving promotion
But he also said something that we found very interesting.
Joey said he still had all the confidence in the world in his own ability on the football pitch, and that he knew he was still a very good player.
After all the travails Joey has been through these last few years, all of his own making by his stupid off-field activities, it was good that Joey recognized he has indeed been blessed with enormous football talent.
And now’s the time for Joey to use that talent, and put the troubles of his past where they should be – behind him.
And with most of his interviews this year, Joey seems almost a changed man, and when he did get a start for the first team in a few games near the end of the season, he played very well indeed.
And when he scored from that great free kick against Peterborough on 3rd April, he showed his admiration and respect for both Hughton and Calderwood by jumping all over them on the sidelines. 😀
By the way that was only Joey’s 3rd goal ever for the Newcastle club, and Joey seems keen to prove to Newcastle’s many many critics out there in the press that they were wrong and are wrong about the current Newcastle team.
Joey Barton told the Evening Chronicle today:
“There are a lot of critics out for Newcastle United, everybody is aware of that, but we just draw strength from that and become bigger and stronger – that is mentality we have.”
“We will play anybody. That is the feeling in the camp.” “After any game we played in the Championship, the feeling was let’s move on to the next one.”
“Chris and Colin Calderwood have been magnificent at doing that. They deserve knighthoods for what they have done at this football club.”
“They have kept the lads together, and it has not been a smooth path.” “As far as the Premier League is concerned, we are on the threshold of it and looking forward to it.”
Those are great words from Joey about Newcastle’s top two coaches, who still haven’t received the respect or praise they deserve for the phenomenal job they have achieved since last July.
“There were a lot of levellers in this division, especially for us ‘pampered’ Newcastle United players.” “We were the big club and we had a target on our backs.”
“We have had that all year.”“The lads have risen to the challenge, and it has been a privilege to be in this squad.” “I don’t think the mentality or focus has split all season.”
“We have had aims and goals within the camp and it will just be a case of re-assessing those goals.”
Barton will have to endure plenty of stick whenever he plays because of his past record off the field, which let’s face it has been a disgrace. He would agree with that.
But last season, to his credit, Joey coped very well with the hassle, and seems to be on the right track when he says he’s just going to concentrate on his football from now on.
If anything it will be much worse for him next season in the Premiership – but the Newcastle fans have shown they are right behind him – if he makes his football do all the talking – we were going to say his boots do the talking, but that wasn’t really what we meant. 😀
Joey continued and talked about the baggage he still carries with him:
“There is a lot of baggage which goes with me.” “I know all about that, and there always probably will be.”
“However, there is nothing better than to hush your critics by playing and scoring goals.”
“You want to play well and help your team win games.”
We have to admit that Joey has been just great this year, since he returned from his injury, and we are backing him to finally beat his demons.
You can never be sure of course, because these recoveries by their very nature can be fragile, but we are right behind the lad, and hope he can put his life and career back on track.
If Joey can do that, he could then become a success story rather than a train wreck – and a good role model for the Newcastle youngsters.
That’s what we are hoping for – and it starts next season.