Joey Barton has been on Tyneside for three seasons now, but he still has only 47 appearances for the Tyneside club with 3 goals.
Joey Barton – celebrating with Newcastle fans
That’s not a good return, and is because Joey has so far had an injury plagued career at Newcastle, with three serious foot injuries.
But no doubt Newcastle manager Chris Hughton will be hoping to somehow keep the Liverpudlian fit next season, and if he can do that Joey could have major impact in the Newcastle team.
This is what Chris Hughton told the Evening Chronicle today:
“For us it will be a bit like having a new player, we hope. There has never been a question mark over Joey’s ability, just his ability to be on the football pitch.
“We are looking forward to Joey coming back fresh and strong.” “The biggest problem we have had with Joey is the fact have not been able to put him on the pitch enough.”
“After this summer’s pre-season work, he more than anybody will be looking forward to the new season.” “He will be looking for a good pre-season and the opportunity to play regular football.”
Barton has had a stormy past in football off the field, and we are all only too well aware of that.
But there were definite signs when he returned from injury earlier this year, that Joey is a much mature man and player, and he seems to have had a positive affect on some of our younger players – and of course he played very well for the team and scored one terrific goal.
There has never been any doubt about Joey’s skills, but it is his injury record that Newcastle which is the big worry.
When he was at Manchester City from 2002 through 2007, he played 153 times with 17 goals, and in his last four seasons at Eastlands he averaged 37 appearances in each season – not too bad at all.
So one challenge for Chris next season is to keep Joey fit, so he can ply his trade on the field.
Chris was asked about the potential new maturity that Joey has been showing this year and Chris answered:
“They are not things you usually associate with Joey!” “For him it has been frustrating, as with every player they want to be playing football.”
“He has missed an awful lot of football. It will be a happy period for him to get the boots back on.” “He did not have the involvement he would have liked last season.”
“But he accepted there were players in the squad who had played a much bigger part than him.” “They warranted the opportunity to finish the season.”
One thing that pleasantly surprised us about Joey this year, apart form his positive comments and maturity, was that he seems to have fallen in love with the Newcastle United club and their fans.
Joey has come out of a murky past, but the stars seem to have lined up to give him an excellent opportunity next season.
He has the chance to show he is still a very good player, and that he has matured as a man and can indeed become a leading force for the Newcastle United club.
We have to hope that is exactly what happens, and then the Newcastle club should be in great shape.
Howay The Lads!!