One of the things that we’ve been impressed with Alan Pardew, is that his man management skills seem very good.
Joey Barton – a leader on Tyneside
My former best man is a Southampton supporter back in England, and he said as much when Newcastle signed Pardew to replace Chris Hughton, and Pardew has done well since coming in.
And Alan seems to have struck up a good relationship with many of the Newcastle leaders at the club – captain Kevin Nolan, Alan Smith, Steve Harper and of course Joey Barton, whom he’s given massive support to since December.
Joey is a very important player for Newcastle, and we expect very soon – this week even – for Kevin Nolan to sign his new contract at Newcastle and Joey to follow suit shortly after that – that’s the hope anyway.
The goal now at Newcastle this season is to try to finish in the top half of the league table, and that may even be possible if Newcastle can beat WBA at home in the last match of the season.
This is what Joey told the local Newcastle press corps today:
“We have not surprised ourselves.” “We believed in the squad and the group that we could achieve what we have achieved and maybe if one or two things had gone our way we might have done a little bit better.”
“Next season is going to be as difficult a season, if not a lot more difficult because teams will respect you a little bit more and the Cup final atmosphere of every game goes.” “It is going to be a lot more difficult that what it has been this season.”
“The test is on us to improve individually and as a collective to move forward.” “Individuals win nothing and achieve nothing – thankfully we have a good squad mentality and a good rapport between ourselves and we have been able to propel ourselves up the table the last few months.”
“We have a tough game against Chelsea and then a difficult game against West Brom.” “Listen, the most pleasing thing for us is achieving survival, which was our goal at the start of the season. We have mathematically achieved that now.”
Things have been made even tougher at the end of the season with all the injuries Newcastle players have picked up, but there was news in the last day or two that both Leon Best and vice-captain Alan Smith may be able to return before the end of the season, and that would be very good.
It was two weeks ago that captain Kevin Nolan said he would sign his new contract either last week or this week, and that it was almost done and dusted, so that’s a big event we are looking forward to.
Once Kevin signs along the dotted line, we have to hope that Joey will commit long term to Newcastle, and those would be two big signings before this summer’s transfer window even opens.
Maybe Newcastle will even announce the two contract signings of Kevin and Joey together – that would be something.