Bend it like Barton

By Lee Ryder on Nov 9, 10 08:30 AM

Had David Beckham been serving up the delicious balls into the box that Joey Barton has in recent times - TV pundits across the globe would all have been foaming at the mouth.

Barton has been causing havoc in the last third of opposing penalty areas during a period he admitted was the "best of his career" thus far.

His calculated cross from near the halfway line against Arsenal - which left Łukasz Fabiański looking like somebody trying to catch a dropped tenner on a windy day in Whitley Bay - had been in Barton's head for sometime.

To be precise, just over half an hour after the the 5-1 win over Sunderland after having a hand in three of the goals over the auld enemy.

Barton had also been in the thick of things against West Ham, when he made goals for Andy Carroll and Kevin Nolan all possible.

Seven days before Arsenal, Barton had said: "Their weakness is dealing with balls into the box and dealing with physicality so we'll see."

And you have to say Barton hit the jackpot.

Barton has played in all 11 of United's Premier League games and is enjoying his best injury free run for years.

His cool and calm approach to life has been admirable, and it would appear his dark days are behind him.

And if he does end up being the Geordie faithful's version of David Beckham, then it would complete a comeback against all of the odds with the Scouser seemingly out of the door at St James' after his red card against Liverpool only in May 2009.

With Barton currently a tee-total, you have to raise your mug of tea to him after a superb start to the season.


spence said:

I despised the bloke up until a few months ago, but I'm very happy to have been proven wrong. I'd even trust him with the captains armband nowadays and he's becoming a positive role model for other players who may be led, or go willingly astray.
With the likes of Barton, Nolan and the spanish speaking lot it appears we have the stimulus for a hard grafting, fair playing team. I'm very impressed with their general attitude and work ethic. I didn't think I'd see this again after Sir Bobby's time, but I couldnt hope for more in terms of morale, motivation and camrarderie. Much of this is down to Chris Hughton too- yet another who has proven many people, including myself, wrong.

keir said:

agree with ever word of this blog
Barton has been superb
never doubted his quality but it was his head that let him down but he seems to have sorted that out.
What is lovely is we finally have a team talking in the papers about what they need to do in the pitch THEN ACTUALLY DOING IT (unlike Michael Owen)
Chris Hughton has been a miracle worker who has galvanised a team of failures (let us not forget that core of this team took us down) and turned them into a team of hard workers who graft for their fans and themselves.
Dropping Alan Smith has helped too
Who would have thought that after all these years of "big name managers" it would be someone like Hughton who would give us our pride back.
Surely Ashley has a new contract for him...although this was the owner who appointed Joe Kinnear...........

marcusTOON4LIFE said:

Totally agree, joet has been a revelation this season and long may that continue for him. It's incredible how has turned his life around and well done to him. He looks at life in a different pespective now and that has had a positve effect on the pitch for him. He talks the talk AND he is walking the walk - that's something to behold. FANTASTIC!!

toonagain said:

yes agreed he seems to have turned a leaf and out on the wing he seems to be out of trouble where all he can do is let his football do the talking and hes bang on at the moment. his passing is brilliant and he has not lost any drive or determination, stil wants to get forward and shoot. and yes maybe a future captain. however on sunday Collo was man of the match for me, it was like arsenal were crossing the ball for him, i think they forgot he was playing for us.. hahaha -sorry for hijacking you blog Lee with that bit.

edd Hogg said:

I always believed in his quality. He can win a game with just one superb pass and his general midfield work and movement has made our midfield one of the best in the league.
And we must also remember the special attention he has recieved from hatchet men as the result of his success; despite this he has never lost his cool and demonstrated the point that his temprement is spot on.
It's great to see a band of men who want to play for the club, are achieving results and getting the recognition they deserve. And not forgetting Chris who has qiuetly gone about his business with dignity and sincerity and brought the best out of this group of players.
We are all revelling in these days and enjoying our football again.

relton said:

Joey has been fantastic - and as one who would not have objected seeing the back of him a while back - I am happy to eat my words.
I think that Nolans captaincy and Hughtons management should be praised here as well as Barton himself.
Against Wolves - when he was took (and gave) some stick - it was Nolan who kept him talking to him and kept him on an even keel.
Were we - though - to lose Joey now - we would be kippered (until Hatem comes back at least).
I would be interested to see how Big Fat Sam tries to counter JB tonight. I hope it isnt 0-0 - but have a sneaking suspicion . . . .


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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