You cannot say that Joey Barton doesn’t have confidence in his own ability.
Joey Barton – with new mustache
And since the 27 year-old has returned from injury earlier this year, he’s been interviewed frequently, and has been as positive as can be about both himself and the Newcastle club.
Joey Barton talked to the Evening Chronicle yesterday and is obviously excited about the first game of the season at Old Trafford next Monday evening:
“If you aren’t up for going to Old Trafford to play ManU, you shouldn’t be in the job.”
“It’s what we get up for in the morning.” “Any lad should go to bed dreaming of pitting his wits against Man United – it’s as simple as that.”
“Everyone else out there and any of us would give our right arm for it.”
It’s good to hear Barton’s battle cry before what will be an enormously difficult re-entry into the Premier League for the Magpies.
And it turns out that Joey has had some success when he’s played at Old Trafford, and has scored there before, and he hopes to continue that good form for Newcastle in a game that if we get anything at all out of it, will seem like a big win.
“I’ve scored there before so it’s always good to go back to grounds where you are not exactly lucky.”
“I’ve not got a brilliant record there overall because it’s Man United.”
“But on an individual performance basis I think I’ve done all right. It would be great for that to continue.”
Barton is in line to start for Newcastle in central midfield next Monday night, and since he’s returned from injury, he’s looked what he is – a very good box to box midfielder.
And if Newcastle are going to shine this season, then Joey will need to have a good season and avoid the injuries that have interrupted and plagued his Newcastle career so far – so much so that he has just 47 appearances for the club in a full three seasons on Tyneside.
Because of injury, Joey did not play a major role in the Championship last season, but has definitely been one of Newcastle’s best players in the pre-season campaign, and has appeared in four of the five games.
And Joey sprayed the ball around nicely at Ibrox last Saturday, even though he was provoked by a couple of Rangers’ players putting in stupid challenges on Joey. But that’s somehting he will need to get used to because of his past behavior off the field of play – and he will still be a target because of that next season.
Joey talked about pre-season:
“It’s good to experience that side of the game in pre-season.” “And hopefully a lot of the young lads who haven’t played in Europe or the big games will get the chance to do that in the future.”
“That’s what it’s about, adapting to different styles of football.”
“We haven’t been all-out attacking in every game. We’ve had a game plan which the gaffer’s looking to work with maybe a few times in the season. We’ve limited teams to a relatively few chances.”
We are hoping for a number of things this season from Joey.
First, that he plays up to his potential and helps Newcastle get into a creditable position in the league by next May.
Second, that he avoids injury and is able to play many games for the side, and third, that he keeps up his good behavior both on and off the field, so that he can allow those leadership abilities that he has, to fully shine through for the many up-and-coming youngsters at St. James’ Park.
If he can do those things he will certainly become an even bigger favorite on Tyneside, than he is now.