What Joey Barton really said about Newcastle and England

By Lee Ryder on Oct 10, 07 08:20 AM

He'd just played 65 minutes of Newcastle's reserve game against Wigan, spurred on the rest of his young team-mates in the second string and then stayed to sign autographs for some kids until every one of them was satisfied.

However, the reserve scene was nothing new to Barton - after all he had been to the rest of Newcastle's second string games to cheer on the future of the club and had played in their last game at Man City at the start of his comeback.

Then in his only interview with a newspaper - because none of the others bothered to turn up - Barton speaks of his hopes and dreams as his return to Premier League action gets nearer.

His words were exactly what Newcastle fans wanted to hear but clearly met with disapproval from the rest of the country.


Today Barton woke up to headlines of Stuff England and how the interview was a rant over Michael Owen's fitness situation.

What Barton actually said to the Evening Chronicle was: “England is on the back-burner for me without a shadow of a doubt.

“I haven’t been bought to play for England – I am here to play for Newcastle United.

“People get carried away about playing for their country.

“It is always nice to be selected, and it is always a privilege and an honour.

“But the thing I have to do first and foremost is to do what I have been bought to do and that is play good football for Newcastle.

“If England comes then so be it, but I have played for them once now and that’ll do for me. I am more interested in winning domestic honours.

“This is my bread and butter and at the minute, hand on heart I would much rather be successful for Newcastle United than I would for England.�

At no point did Barton say he didn't want to play for England.

At no point was Michael Owen's name mentioned.

Barton was merely nailing his colours to the Toon mast.

And unlike some of mercenaries (Luque, Marcelino, Kluivert, Jenas etc) that Newcastle have paid ridiculous amounts of money to Barton has shown more commitment to the cause at United before he's even kicked a ball in the Premier League.

And even before he gave the Chronicle an interview we knew:

*He'd been to every first team game to cheer on his team-mates, even when he was on crutches at Bolton

*Been to watch the club's Academy kids come through the reserves on a chilly night at St James' Park when he could have put his feet up and watched the Champions League matches

*Had even turned up to help Toon coaches on scouting missions.

In an era when anything anybody says in the public domain can be twisted and twirled until the heart's content, perhaps Barton's "rant" is no surprise.

But as far as Newcastle fans are concerned the truth will always out and if that is Barton showing his promise on the football field to Newcastle United's advantage then there won't be too many complaints about England or lack of first team opportunities.

And in any case as far as most Geordies are concerned winning even the Carling Cup would mean much, much more than watching the likes of John Terry and Frank Lampard kissing each other after helping England to winning the World Cup, if that ever happens.



Bill Stickers said:

What makes Newcastle such a threat that the London Press sees a need to create difficulty by misconstruing stories? And who are Newcastle a threat to? The obvious reason for the Barton story is to get at Owen in the sneakiest underhand fashion in order to sow the first seeds of a rift with Newcastle

The London press do this sort of thing relentlessly and to such a degree that it has become tediously predictable. Do other clubs inside the M25 get this constant snide assault? No! This is a political battlefield, it’s about time we folded up our white flag and entered the war with them!

The Club should seek apologies from the Newspapers, and the so called Journalists involved should be banned from the ground permanently, as there can be no doubt that the real reason for this goading is to help their own clubs, isn’t this the basis of divide and rule?

Dan said:

Sometimes I wonder if this is the same Joey Barton we are all talking about, all I ever heard from the national press was how he was a complete thug, who battered his own team mates and probably didn't know what the word team meant, the epitome of the modern footballer a selfish spoilt brat who picks up his wages and doesn't give a damn bout the fans, the manager and especially the club.

So i'm glad that this blog has proved those southern hatemongers wrong, Joey has proved not only to be a determined, loyal member of the toon, but before he has even kicked a ball for us in the league he has proved he has got what it takes to become a brilliant player and what i admire about him most is his honesty, he won't sneak out the back door when he and his team mates put in a bad performance, i'd probably actually put him in the same category as Roy Keane, or at least a Roy Keane thats better at going forward. I personally can't wait for the Spurs game, even if Joey only gets a cameo appearance. Hooray for Joey Barton, Boo to the southern tabloids!

Randall S said:

Is this not just the tabloid press running the name Joey Barton through the rags in order to sell a few copies? Shamefully, they've targeted his name given his past indiscretions.

As Bill said, this is 'tediously predictable'. At least we get to hear a bit about Newcastle's Joey Barton.

Benton Bob said:

Bill Stickers is spot on and I couldn't agree more. Lee, isn't it about time that you supported Bill's comments? I realise that as a member of the press fraternity this may be difficult for you and we don't want you ostracised in any shape or form. Over the last 20 years I'm sick to the back teeth of the London press using NUFC as their cannon fodder and all it does is cause unrest between the Fans, Players and Management and to a degree undermines our local reporters efforts.How does it look to you as a local reporter when you read a London story in the Comic Sun about NUFC that you haven't heard about? It's not because you haven't heard about it, it's because 9 times out of 10 it's total fabrication. So for your own good and the regions good, start fighting back and defend your corner and the Toon's corner.Joey Bartons comments are in direct contradiction to the "alleged" Owen comments, so how does that look to the rest of the nation. Start fighting back Lee.

Beardo said:

Nice comments on Joey Barton and I am very impressed to hear that he has been to reserve and Academy games. Sounds like a potential captain?

Not so sure I agree with the other comments re Newcastle being victimised by the press. It is the same ofr all clubs. We just notice it more as we read more about us. You can hardly blame the papers for running with this story given that Owen specifically said he would only listen to the doctor re whether he played, and Barton questioned those who wanted to play so much for their country. Both comments may be understandable, but in this day and age neither was exactly a wise thing to say.

mag in boro said:

Yet again our club and players are an easy target for gutter press hell bent on whenever they get the chance to slate our club or players(the slating of ex members of the board completely justified)
stories about the club now being in safe hands or players with tarnished reputations actually wanting to put in the hard graft just dont sell papers
joey barton has his critics and knows he steps out of line so many are waiting to pounce so since signing he has done everything right as pointed out being at games reserve games trips with clarky to carlise,so they have to make things up but the toon army are used to it by now
when fully fit barton will provide a creative dimension to our midfield as well as a fair goal return and as long as he stays out of bother second rate sports writers will move on to someone else ronaldo being public enemy no1 seems a long time ago
if as expected he makes his debut against the yids dont be surprised if he pops up with a goal just to shut a few people up


Duncan Baines said:

Who cares if Barton has been to reserve games? Did Pele go to Santos reserve games?

Ryder's reply: Are you saying we should not report one of Newcastle's senior players putting something back into the club for a change?
Or would you rather injured players just sat and picked up huge wage packets like Marcelino did when he had his broken finger in a sling!

Paul Patterson said:

I think a lot of people are leaving out one vital point of this topic.

Owen has a column in The Times, surely he has creative control over comments and opinions and even headline? I know I would have it as part of the deal, or no deal.

I’ve never realised why players have columns in papers anyway, which idiot wants to read a regular column by a footballer. (They aren’t educated are they!!) Hee Hee.

Baring in mind that The Times is London based and therefore looking after England first, the England issue will always be thrust onto the headline, and Ooooh, how saucy would it be if we manufactured a rift between our star writer Owen and that pathetic, nonsensical excuse for a football club, Newcastle United?

That’ll sell papers won’t it lads and lasses around the writers room? Yes Editor, lets start a rift!!

The alarming comments from Owen that’s he’s not happy with the fact that a rift has been suggested is laughable.


Either that or refuse to write for them. Just a thought eh?

I agree that Joey Barton should be Captain and at 24 he could lead the side for a decade or more, giving us the creativity we crave in the middle, he’s certainly showing loyalty and a self driven determination that will get himself legendary status if nurtured and a team built around him.


Geoff Cairns said:

G'Day from Downunder

New owners
New Manager
New Players

Stop bickering and get on with it....Win something!!!

Peter Harper said:

There is no doubt Barton is a very good footballer but he appears to have the same self destruct button as Gazza
I hope Barton will control himself and mend his ways but the likelyhood
is that he will not.
Over to Owen and the fear he may leave in the January transfer window.If that does happen,as appears quite possible, then we will have a big problem as Martins will be playing in the African Nations Cup, and we will be bereft of strikers( please do not include Ameobi as he never has been, nor never will be Premier League class).Michael Owen may need a transfer in January to recoup some of the losses incurred buying slow racehorses.Whoever is his bloodstock advisor should be sacked forthwith before Michael incurs any more losses.

Mark Scott said:

Well, once again (not that it's any surprise) but our club is apparently fair game when there is a lull in real stories to print. No one can blame Allardyce for being slightly twitchy about his star striker playing for england after all the injuries he's picked up while playing for them. The fans have a right to question committment to their club when England is clearly a priority and no mention has ever been made of Owen talking up his place at the toon.

As for Barton, I hope he proves his critics (and there are a lot) wrong, and his attitude since joining newcastle has been first rate. I think part of his turning up to reserve/youth games and constantly going to first team games to cheer everyone on is him trying to make up for his admitted mistakes in the past.
I am looking forward to Spurs...and his comments?? Well, they wouldn't have been out of place as a go at a certain Mr Owen but i feel he was simply trying to make himself Mr popularity with the fans...well done!

Peter Mon said:

Perhaps the manager and players at newcastle should stop talking to the national press. big sam refuses to speak to the bbc so perhaps he should do the same with the tabloids.We have the local press as well as the nufc website perhaps the players should do there talking there

Snapper said:

Duncan Baines, tediously mentions yet again Marcellino, in doing so he falls into the journo trap of believing everything that is printed, provided of course, it is, dergotary.

IamSpartacus said:

Quelle suprise !, the national media are stirring up trouble where Newcastle are concerned, Leonard "Oz" Osbourne had the right idea where tabloid rags are concerned, "Ah usually keep that one wedged behind the bog", quite.

Ronnie Lambert said:

My blood boils when EX-GEORDIES like Geoff Cairns in Oz send flippant remarks like his '...stop bickering, get on with it '. Mr. Cairns, it's not bickering, it's called constructive criticism. We live everything Toon and Geordieland, rain, snow and cold. To you it's coming indoors when it's too hot, to slag-off the ' mugs ' back home who didn't run to the sun with softies like you. I'm honestly tired of Geordie Sheila's like you thinking that your condescending comments are worthy of a post in serious blogs where our passion is sincere. Blow your didgeridoo Bruce! and get back in your pool.

toonrooster said:

I don't buy all this them and us stuff in terms of hidden agendas etc. What is true is that outside of the North East the journalists just don't understand us. What's more very few other so called footie "fans" understand us. Quite often so called "fans" of other clubs ask why I support the Toon,(I mean really support as in wear the shirt, have the season ticket do away games etc etc), when we rarely win anything? I just smile and tell them that they just don't get it, (what it is to support a real football club in a real football city that is). Actually Liverpool, and Glasgow do come close to this as cities but London and the South, they haven't got a clue that's why they will never understand us. I tell some people that the atmosphere in the Toon on matchday, or to be in the away end at any other ground, cannot be experienced with any other club. They never really understood or forgave Big Al for choosing us over Manure and they're still trying to puzzle out why MO is with the Toon. In case anyone from down south is in any doubt let's be clear that Toon supporters (not "fans" please), are only mildly interested in what happens to England, that's why we want to hear MO like Joey come out for the Toon first not the other way round. By the way - whilst I'm having a rant, "fans" are those who like talking about football but don't actually pay anything in the way of support, and I don't count a Sky subscription as support! It's now clear from what Joey Barton said that he is in the same camp and I would just like MO to come out and say the same sort of thing (and he's had plenty of opportunities!). It's no suprise therefore that it's taken Joey Barton to say it, because whatever else he's done, there is nothing to suggest that he isn't 100% a footballer who wants to play, and I believe he wants to play first and foremost for a club with real supporters.

Davey G said:

iamspartacus, how on earth can you mock the press. All you have done re Michael Owen is Quote and re quote what was written in the press in your fervent ante Owen stance!

Duncan Baines said:

It wasn't me who mentioned Marcelino!

To answer the question:

Suprisingly, no I wouldn't prefer Marcelino to Barton.

Eddie (the real) McCoy said:

Why do people buy The Sun If ever a paper want to call itself a News paper ie Sports then it must base it story's on facts,
This paper has more close source (Micky Mouse,Batman even Fater Christmas)a Football club,and useing this you can print any thing

Example the so called bust up between Micheal Owen and Big Sam
How Micheal will play for England no matter what i dont think this story was based on facts,
A managers has to show concern for his players it his job at the end of the day,you just need to understand the nature of Sam and Micheal to know the truth, if there were a problem Im sure they phone the Sun up to sort it out. (not)if the Sun want to publish a story by adding 2&2 and cuming up with 6 they must think many of it readers are dummies.(How often Has the sun been up in court for miss information)
If you think about it The Sun and sky tv has ruined football as a tradition. By Dictating when matches played also those greedy grey men in the FA who are slave to the big money. we are getting to the Stage when we will no longer see Football on a Saterday.
Not so long ago we worked a week slept in on a Saterday morning Had dinner and went to the Match and in the evening went doon the Club or Pub Had a skin full.
Sunday you would top up again or down the allotment to tend to the Plot or the pigeons, sleep it of after sunday roast, and you were set for the next weeks work.
Sadly this is slipping away Football should be given back to the fans and not the money people who dont know the difference between a Hunchback & halfback.
What is best for Football is not best for the supporters witout these there would be no Football

I Feel better

Ryder's reply: Somebody buy this man a pint!

ScandyCheenny said:

Can aynyone tell me where I can find good tires fo my car??
I live in New York.


Lee Ryder

Lee Ryder - Proudly born and bred on Tyneside, the Chronicle's chief sports writer has followed the fortunes of the club over the last three decades as a Toon fan and football writer.

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