Can Joey Barton still play a part for NUFC in Championship run-in?
Given the life and crimes of Joseph Anthony Barton it was no surprise that the Toon midfielder was able to take a few cat calls and cheap shots that were intermittently spewed out by a handful of Hartlepool fans during his comeback from a foot injury.
In summary Barton's return from injury was one to forget for the ex-Man City man and one that for him was all about fitness with 75 minutes under his belt.
Barton donned the skipper's armband for a young United side that are currently experiencing a bad run of form.
He showed some tidy tackles and passing play and was keen to run things from midfield.
Indeed at one point young striker Phil Airey was roped in by Barton after drifting out of the game on the wing and being told to "work the channels" by the Scouser.
Newcastle lost 2-0 and it could have been more against a Hartlepool side that were oozing with confidence.
On a night when Barton was trying to avoid negativity, he found it when he spooned a penalty high into the Rink End at Victoria Park but this was a night when Newcastle were never going to score.
Indeed I was almost knocked clean out by a wild shot from sub Frank Danquah who managed to hit the corner flag early in the second half as I made my way back to the main stand.
Afterwards Barton, who had earlier vowed to stay tight-lipped, offered the gathered media almost 30 minutes of his time with a round of interviews and said: "I wasn't going to talk but you've taken the time and effort to come and see me play."
He then took the time to sign around 100 autographs and pose for photographs with local youngsters.
Whether he gets to play a part in this season's run-in remains to be seen.
And his reputation will always walk into a room before him, but as far as Barton was concerned it was a great advert at Victoria Park for the saying: "There is good and bad in everyone".
Over to you Joey to talk the talk on the pitch now.
Can Barton play a role in Newcastle's promotion run-in?