One of the TV commentators yesterday afternoon, during the Newcastle 1-0 win at Arsenal, paid Joey Barton a huge compliment, and he didn’t even know it.
Joey Barton and Jack Wilshere battle for the ball yesterday
The commentator not only said that Joey had another excellent game for the Magpies, but that he’d never seen the Liverpudlian so calm and collected on the football field.
Newcastle fans know all about Joey and his dubious history, and this season we think Joey is writing another chapter of his football career and personal life, and it’s a good news story, as it seems that Joey is finally winning his fight against his many demons.
The player has been in terrific form for Newcastle this season – that’s for sure – and he has talked to the Evening Chronicle today, and says it is an honor and privilege to play for the Newcastle club:
“We’ve got to start believing in ourselves now.” “We are a very good side. Nobody else believes in us – but everybody believes in each other inside that dressing room.”“That’s not just in themselves, even though you have to have personal belief, it’s in each other and if somebody is having an off day there are enough lads to get them lifted.”
“We’ve got fantastic team spirit.” “It’s a privilege to play for this team.” “It’s the first time in my career I can say that – and I do mean it.” “A lot of the times before, I’ve been playing for myself or people have had different agendas.” “But it shows how together we are out there. A lot of people sacrifice themselves and run themselves into the ground.”
“It’s an honor and privilege to play in the team.”
The cross that led to the goal was from only about 7 yards inside the half way line, but Joey flighted the ball beautifully for Andy Carroll to head in a classic goal, that turned out to be the winner.
Joey was sending a lot of his crosses, as he usually does, but they were too long at the beginning of the game, and he explained the Newcastle strategy was to get the Arsenal keeper to commit to coming out for the crosses:
“It can be frustrating for me sometimes because you are trying to put a ball in and trying to get the keeper to come out to try to claim.” “You try to put it where he isn’t going to win it.” “We got one right for Andy and it ended up in the back of the net.” “It’s something we’ve worked on with Chris.”
“We tried to isolate the keeper, because both of Arsenal’s keepers have a habit of not being great at coming for crosses.” “They try to over-emphasis and come out for everything.”
“It was frustrating early doors because the window of opportunity is about two foot.” “If it’s too high, it goes out of play.” “Thankfully, we got one right and the big man does what he does best and put it away.”
The surprising thing about yesterday’s game was how comfortable Newcastle looked throughout the 90 minutes, even though they were under pressure, and for the first 10 minutes Newcastle had most of the possession, which is very unusual for a visiting side at the Emirates.
“It’s usually hard, and I’ve played at the old Highbury ground numerous times.” “But barring the first 10 minutes of the second half when we didn’t really come out the traps, we’ve had to weather a storm, but not a major one.”
“After that we cruised really.” “Every player to a man knocked the ball about when we got it.” “You know when you’re under pressure and we had to play percentage football at time.”
“But we still had chances and could have nicked another one and it would have been 2-0 and the result would have then been beyond all doubt.” “We kept a clean sheet and there won’t be too many teams that do that this season at the Emirates.”
Joey was right that near the end of the game in those last 25 minutes, with Arsenal pouring into attack, Newcastle had one or two breakaway chances, but couldn’t get the second goal.
But we are happy with the 1-0 win, a great win on the day, and luck favored the brave yesterday – that’s for sure.