One more for the road with Joey Barton in Hartlepool

By Lee Ryder on Mar 15, 10 06:29 PM

Joey Barton can't do right for doing wrong sometimes but the word on street is that the Scouse midfielder will opt not to talk to the media circus which will descend on Hartlepool when he makes his latest comeback from injury.

Newcastle's season is at a delicate stage and the last thing that anybody needs is something or somebody upsetting the apple cart.

And while the temptation for journalists is to get some good copy from Barton, whether it would do any good as far as NUFC is concerned is a totally different matter.

Like him or hate him, you can't ignore Joey Barton.

I'd say since Newcastle signed Barton from Man City three years ago, I've gone through all of the emotions when it comes to the lad from Huyton (aka Two Dogs Fighting).

When Barton first arrived on the scene at Newcastle he was desperate to get his career back on track after the training ground scrap with Ousmane Dabo, but then he went and broke his foot.

He made a comeback in the reserves at Kingston Park and told me that night he was only interested in challenging for trophies at Newcastle United.

Yeah, it might sound funny now, but at the time he meant it.

Perhaps the next thing I'm about to say is one of those "you had to be there moments" but here we go anyway.

After agreeing to talk to myself and one of the club's official media men, Barton had a bit of masking tape stuck to his foot.

In his struggle to get it off, somebody from the club tried to help him but clearly being somebody who wants to stand on his own two feet, he refused the help.

Anybody looking down from the stands must have wondered what on earth was going on as Barton fumed "I can't get it bloody off" but eventually he did so and my instinct at the time was, that Barton was just a working class lad blessed with a talent that could only benefit Newcastle United, at that time I simply thought "He's one of us".

The Wigan debacle followed that when he rowed with Big Sam and then some chav in McDonalds and then he ended up doing porridge because of it.

To cut a long story short, and some time after we'd endured Keegan-gate, Joe Kinnear coming and going and a terrible struggle in the Premier League, Barton then managed to get himself into even hotter water.

Falling out with Alan Shearer isn't advised.

And getting sent off at Anfield was hardly the best way to get on the right side of Big Al.

Club suspension followed for Joey but after Shearer wasn't offered the job by Mike Ashley, surely Barton couldn't mess up again?

Yes, on the eve of the West Brom game, he managed to fall out with Chris Hughton and Colin Calderwood in a bib chucking rage.

More injury agony followed with another foot problem and so back to the next chapter of the life and crimes of Joey Barton.

Tomorrow at Hartlepool he'll make a competitive comeback in the full glare of the national media and a pack of wolves after him to get a few words on just where next.

Doing his talking on the pitch might be the best way forward for the Scouser who knows the Last Chance Saloon better than anybody I've ever come across in football.


Mal said:

JB will always be popular with you press guys as he gives you plenty to write about -unfortunately for us toon fans it is never anything to do with putting in a decent performance in a black and white shirt. He has probably cost us around £15million so far in transfer fee and wages; what a waste of money.

Mike Brown said:

Good grief. I have been reading your by-lines, or blog as it’s termed these days, for a number of years now, and never really felt the need to comment, but this tosh where you refer to the chap that Barton beat up as a Chav is beyond the pale in my opinion. Barton is the Chav, and you have no confirmation as to whether the other chap is or isn’t. It’s as if by referring to the victim of the assault in such a derogatory manner, you are trying to justify it, and whilst I appreciate you will no doubt claim all innocence in this, it certainly comes across that way.

This whole article reads like some ‘buddying up’ between you and Barton. To be perfectly honest, and I appreciate it’s your personal opinion, but it does look sycophantic if you ask me, and I would have expected more from a professional journalist working for a reputable newspaper.

As you rightly say, Barton is no stranger to the ‘Last Chance’ saloon, but the sooner everyone realises that he should be plying his trade elsewhere, the better things will be for Newcastle United. We have done exceptionally well without him, and in my humble opinion, there is ‘no room for him in the inn’, to follow you in the use of metaphors.

Ryder's reply: Thanks for your viewpoint it is most welcome as ever.
So while you appreciate that it is my personal opinion, you expect anybody who is a professional journalist working for a reputable paper that they have to agree with your point of view - or you will expect better.
You could make a strong case that he should be kicked out of the club.
There's a couple of problems with your "no room for him in the inn" mentality (ignoring the fact that it's ancient mentality dating back to the Christian era and we're currently living in 2010), one, if Newcastle were going to get rid of Joey Barton they would have (and in some people's opinion should have) done so by now with his crime at the moment in your arguement that he is merely back from injury, he has stayed at United after much worse.
Two, the transfer window is firmly closed at the moment and Newcastle will have to find somebody willing to pay his £64,000 per week wages and pay a transfer fee.
And three, if nobody has been interested in buying him so far then why would they be now?
That leaves you with one option and that would be to release him from his contract with a hefty compensation fee to square up with Barton after that.

Mike Brown said:

Three excellent points Lee, and I concur with them. I believe the bottom line is nobody else wants’ to take him on. Why should they? He has still to prove himself, and I admit it’s difficult for him to do so when he is out through injury.

However, I stick to my view that it make little sense to rush to include him in the team at the moment when I believe he has little to offer that the current players don’t. Obviously, he should play if he is fit and we need him because of injuries of staleness, but I wouldn’t suggest he be included for the sake of it.

A return to the Premiership will result in a number of our present squad leaving the club, and I think this will be the time for Barton to leave as well. Onward and upward.

Gerry Madering said:

Ha-ha. I read about this on another blog and couldn't believe it. Shameful stuff.


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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