Joey Barton is happy to be back playing regularly for Newcastle United, and is even looking forward to the huge competition for starting places that has already started at Newcastle.
Joey Barton – huge competition for places
Newcastle have new signings Ben Arfa, Cheick Tiota and Sol Campbell all now fit and ready to play for the Newcastle first team.
Add to that the fact that Danny Simpson and Danny Guthrie are expected back soon from injury, and center-back Steven Taylor is set to return in about 4 weeks time from his long term shoulder injury, and there will be even more competition for places in the Newcastle side soon.
Joey turned 28 on September 2nd, and will face competition from Ben Arfa, Danny Guthrie and Cheick Tiote in midfield, in addition to Alan Smith and Kevin Nolan, but Joey has so far started in every league game so far this season.
But of course, so have the other 10 players that started the game Saturday, because Chris Hughton has started the same side in all 4 league games this season, but we expect that to change on Saturday at Everton, simply because the lads didn’t get the job done against Blackpool, and lost 3 valuable home points.
Chris Hughton has made it clear that not one player is guaranteed a starting place on Tyneside, and that goes for Joey too.
The Liverpudlian talked about the competition for starting places on Tyneside:
“We have competition for places and it’s up to the lads who get the starts to hold on to that shirt,” “And that’s the same for everybody here.””
We’ve got new players coming in and they are coming into a strong squad.” “I’m fully fit now and had the full pre-season under my belt. I’ve got the chance to prove it in a good team.”
“My disciplinary record isn’t that bad on the pitch, I’ve only been sent off with straight reds twice,” “I’ve had a few second yellows, but that comes with when you’re a midfielder – it is part of the territory.”
“I told Wolves boss Mick McCarthy I thought they had targeted me, and he told me I was no shrinking violet myself.” “That’s part of the game and Mick is a good football man – it’s by the by, it’s gone.”
That was a comical conversation after the game at Wolves, because Mick had Joey laughing when he told him he was hardly a shrinking violet himself, when Joey was complaining about the rough tactics of the Wolves players, at the conclusion of the 1-1 draw.
But we are pleased there will be tough competition for places at Newcastle, because the good thing is that when the team doesn’t produce, as they certainly didn’t on Saturday afternoon, then other players can come come in and be given their chance.
We have to hope there are at least two new players starting for Newcastle on Saturday afternoon, because if Chris Hughton doesn’t shake up the side after losing at home to Blackpool, he never will.