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Can Joey Barton still play a part for NUFC in Championship run-in?

By Lee Ryder on Mar 17, 10 12:23 AM

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?

4 Comments

bob harvey said:

I have always argued that Joey Barton should be playing for Newcastle United as soon as possible and I see no reason to change my view. Hopefully he will have a big part to play in the Premier League.
If they win tonight, promotion is sorted, but it will still be a failure if they don't lift the Championship trophy.

bob harvey said:

PS Thursday.
They are trying everything to stop us now. West Brom dodgy penalties and now we've got caretaker manager syndrome to beat on Saturday

toongonebad said:

I'd like to see JB back at his best, i hope he is sorted mentally and can just play some good football. I wouldn't like to see him straight back in the team, i think that would give him and all the other players the wrong message. let him cover for injuries from the bench and see where we are next season. the last time he came back he was way off the pace, lots of effort but gave the ball away almost everytime he had it. its going to take him 5-6 games to get back up to scratch and by then he could of cost us promotion. I think CH has a grip on his own position now and will take it slowly with JB and not unsettle the team. he certainly should not sacrifice Guthrie or Nolan for him. but lets stop talking about his past it does nothing for nobody, let him play his football when the chance comes along, he is a newcastle player afterall...

evision said:

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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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