We have said a few times that Joey Barton will be key player for Newcastle this season, but the Liverpudlian needs to somehow stay fit for the full season, and if he can do that he can make a tremendous contribution to the Magpies next season.
Joey Barton – when he didn’t have a mustache
Chris Hughton told the Evening Chronicle today:
“If he can keep performing the way he has done and stay injury-free – he can leave the ’tache on for the whole season if he wants.”
“He’s played very well in pre-season and we’re all really pleased with him.” “It was another good performance at Rangers from Joey.”
“He missed a big chunk of last season with injury.” “But now he is making up for lost time, and it really is for us like having that new player.”
Chris is right to say that this Newcastle team now has tremendous team spirit, and that will allow us to fight it out with the best of them in the hard fought games, and hopefully we will get enough points to avoid a relegation scrap.
But apparently one pundit we like – Sky Sports pundit Andy Gray – who reported in the US during the World Cup and was very good – has said he thinks that Newcastle will be relegated.
We may have to change our opinion of Andy after that prediction – Andy – what have you been smoking?
“This is a very good group here – there’s no doubt about that.” “We’ll need them to be a good group.” “There will be downs, perhaps more than last year, and when you get those downs, it’s about bouncing back from them.”
“If we get a couple of defeats on the spin, we’ll need to absorb them as a group.” “But I think we can absorb them, and we’ll be confident of staying upbeat for the season.”
We will get a couple of defeats in a row and more than once, but that’s when the fighting character and guts of this Newcastle squad will stand the team in good stead.
And the other thing that will help big time, is that Newcastle will get the best support of any club in the land next season, back in the Premier League.