There seemed a deliberate tactic by Stoke City to try to get Joey Barton to lose his temper in last Saturday’s game.
Good shot of Joey Barton in action against Stoke
One blatant foul on Joey late in the second half, that went unpunished by the way, was when Ricardo Fuller kicked Joey off the ball.
Stoke are a physical side much like Wolves, and last year Wolves used the same tactics, as they tried to kick Joey off the park, but to give the Liverpudlian some credit he remained calm in both of those games.
Newcastle will expect Wolves again to try to kick Newcastle off the park a week on Saturday, as they are one of the less skillful sides in the league, and don’t want to let sides play football against them – that’s the last thing they want to happen.
So Newcastle should expect a very physical game next up at St. James’ Park, and anything but a win will be a huge disappointment to Newcastle fans, and the third game running in which Newcastle will have disappointed their fans.
This is what Alan Pardew said today about the treatment of Joey last Saturday:
“I think, if Ricardo Fuller had just run up to me and kicked me, I’d have been angry and Joey was, you saw that in his reaction last weekend.”
“I think the referee realized what was going on, he knew what Stoke were trying to do and he handled it very well, as did Joey really.” “There was provocation, but he stayed calm and spoke to the referee.”
“I’m sure other teams will try to do the same sort of thing between now and the end of the season. Joey is one of our key players and they want to stop him, but he knows what they are trying to do.”
Barton has only lost his cool once this season, when he punched Blackburn’s Morten Gamst Pedersen in the chest, even though it was not seen by the referee during that game at St. James’ Park.
He received a three match ban for that offense, based on video evidence the English gossip press were only too willing to point out after the game, and it’s the one time this season Joey let himself and the Newcastle club down.
But make no mistake, Joey is a huge player for Newcastle and did his very best in that second half last Saturday to try to get Newcastle back into the game, but just had no luck at all.
Joey joined Newcastle almost four years ago from Manchester City but has only played 74 times for Newcastle with 8 goals, because of so many serious injuries he has picked up in his time on Tyneside.
And this season he has 27 appearances with five goals, and is playing the best football of his career.
At only 28 years old, he still has at least five years left at the top, and we can see Newcastle a lot more successful if Joey stays on Tyneside, so we are hoping he will sign a new deal for the club this summer, when negotiations with Newcastle will open again.
Joey will hopefully remain fit before the game with Wolves, but as we’ve said before, over the last few weeks Newcastle seem to be getting too many injuries in training at the moment.
We have to hope that Barton, Ireland, Enrique and Best are all fit and available against Wolves, and if they are, the lads must have a good chance of getting only their second win in 11 games.
That would be a big relief to many Magpies fans, including us.