After Andy Carroll’s travails over the last year, it’s good to put some attention on Joey Barton at Newcastle, who seems to have turned both his life and football career around, over the last couple of seasons.
Joey Barton – in great form for Newcastle
We all know that Joey has missed lots of playing time since he joined Newcastle in the summer of 2007 from Manchester City, and the Liverpudlian has had three serious foot injuries during that time.
And Joey was played out of position on the right wing on Saturday, to accommodate captain Kevin Nolan in a 4-4-2 formation at West Ham, but it worked very well and Joey put in some excellent crosses from the right, two of which led to Newcastle goals by Kevin and Andy.
Joey talked about his injuries today:
“I was never injured at Man City. Then I came to Newcastle and was never fit. That was frustrating, and any player who has injuries over a couple of seasons will struggle to recover their best form.”
“It has taken a while, but hopefully I am getting back to my best. The most important thing for me is to be fit and available.”
Joey gave a great interview after the game on Saturday to Newcastle United TV, and it’s not surprising Barton was the captain at Manchester City, as he comes across as a leader, but refuses to get carried away with just one win.
And along with Kevin Nolan and the great Cheick Tiote, they were simply too good for the Hammers on Saturday – it was really as simple as that – well at least after that first lack-luster 15 minutes.
Joey doesn’t think he has the speed or the trickery to play on the right wing, but he is willing to play anywhere Chris puts him in the side, and that’s good to hear.
“I have played out of position. I was surprised to play there – I haven’t really got a trick and I’m not known for my electric pace.”
“It was just enjoyable to play in a victorious team, and I said to the gaffer that I would play left-back or in goal as long as we win and its right for the team.”
“Its important for me to repay some debts to this football club with my performances on the pitch. That is what I want to do.”
Joey has of course played in the Tyne Wear derby before, and he knows Steve Bruce has made Sunderland into a side who are difficult to play and hard to beat.
But Barton is certainly looking forward to the derby with Sunderland at the weekend, and he is likely to get a rest tomorrow night against Arsenal, so the lads are fully fit and ready to go on Sunday afternoon.
“Sunderland have a good team ethos and are a good side. They have a number of exciting players and the form book goes out the window in the derby.””We aren’t looking at that – we have Arsenal on Wednesday and that is important right now.” “After that we will switch our attentions to the derby.”
“I’ve played in a few derbies and there is local bragging rights and pride at stake. It’s intense and there will be a few challenges going in.” “It’s a great game and one you are always honoured to play in. It will be fantastic if we could get three points.”
Sunderland have a decent side and it will not be an easy game for the Magpies, but if the lads are inspired enough on Sunday afternoon, Newcastle can get their second league win running, and that’s certainly what we are hoping for.
And this game of course means an awful lot in terms of bragging rights, to the Newcastle fans.