Joey Barton has been one of the real leaders on Tyneside this season, along with captain Kevin Nolan, both Liverpudlians strangely enough.
Joey Barton – an eccentric leader at the Newcastle club
And you just have to watch the second half of the amazing comeback against Arsenal several weeks ago, to see who the two players were who were running the game.
Both Joey and Kevin, after every Newcastle goal, just wanted to get that ball back asap on the center circle to get on with the game, and their leadership on the field of play was there for all to see.
And Alan Pardew has come out today in the Evening Chronicle and said some weird things about Joey – like he’s eccentric and not normal a normal footballer – but maybe that’s true.
Joey is still a wonderful footballer and always has been in fact, even though his career has been inundated with very bad press, due to his angry outbursts, although there has been precious few of those over the last two seasons, and great credit to Mr. Barton for that.
This is what Alan Pardew said today about the top 28 year-old Newcastle midfielder:
“Joey is not a normal footballer, he is quite eccentric.” “His eccentricity extends to his game too and he does things on a football pitch that are eccentric at times.”
“That’s what makes him the player that he is.” “He has been consistent on the pitch because he’s been consistent off it with his behavior.”
“And Joey’s behavior is a reflection of where he is at.” “He carries his heart on his sleeve a little bit still and there have been games we’ve played when I can see he’s been upset.”
“When he’s upset it can affect him. At Fulham he was upset about something – and I won’t go into reasons why – and he didn’t play well.”
“Nobody understands it better than himself, and no one has worked harder at it than him.” “You have to pay him full tribute for that.” “From where he was not that long ago it is a tremendous feat.”
It seems almost a certainty that Joey was upset about Andy Carroll leaving the club, as were a few other players, not to mention the Newcastle fans, who were simply dumbfounded by the news.
When Joey is mentioned these days, the main issue that comes up with Newcastle supporters is whether he’ll sign a new deal in the summer, and stay at the Newcastle club, whom he joined back in the summer of 2007 from Manchester City for just £5.8M.
It’s not good news that he’s waiting until the summer before he talks again to Newcastle about his new contract, because that suggests he may want to see if some other clubs are interested in him.
And since his deal will run out at Newcastle a year come June, he could be a bargain buy for another club.