Joey Barton's future must be at Newcastle United

By Lee Ryder on Dec 23, 10 10:30 AM

Joey Barton has made it crystal clear that he wants to stay on Tyneside and that can only be a good thing for Newcastle United and the members of the Toon Army who appear to adore him.

It was pretty obvious how much United missed him when he was in the sin bin last month and if he can stay fit there is no reason why the Magpies can seal a bit more than just survival.

The Scouser was obviously deeply upset to see Chris Hughton leave as manager and his post-game "The King is dead, long live the King" line underlined his feelings for the Londoner who won over the Geordie nation.

Talk later was triggered that he wanted to leave St James' Park.

But I always found this a bit unconvincing.

Not long after Barton had told Toon fans to put him down when they tried to hold him in the air at Home Park after the Plymouth game, I had asked the Huyton lad about his future.

I asked him short-term and long-term, the short-term answer was to get fully match fit with the end of the season coming at a bad time for the player.

The long-term answer was a staggering response: "I'd stay, hopefully they'll be in the Premier League but knowing me I'd play in League One if they ended up there!"

The words of Barton yesterday were also heart warming for Toon fans when talking about talk linking him with an exit.

He said: "I was actually laughing about it this morning saying that I thought £1.5m was a little bit cheap and if I was them, I would ask for more, and we had a good giggle about it.

"People write what they write, it is silly season. I have always gone on record about the affinity I have got with the fans at this football club, and the football club and my fellow players.

"I have been on record as saying I want to stay here for the rest of my career. Nothing has happened and no-one has told me otherwise, and as far as I'm concerned, that's what's going to happen."

Barton - despite his mistakes - has proved to many to be a working class hero and this wonderful ability to entertain the masses (not to mention providing superb copy for the media) certainly seems to irritate those who feel they are near the top of the social hierarchy.

For me, and a lot of genuine Newcastle supporters, Barton is a key part of the future for Newcastle and with the likes of Andy Carroll tied down for the next five years, the next most important contract to be sorted out is for the ex-Manchester City player.

His ability on the field is one thing but without him Newcastle United are a lot less influential.


Tom said:

£1.5 million? He's not an average Championship player!

robert said:

I like many others was crying out for NUFC to get rid of Barton after numerous 2nd chances, im so glad they didnt. He has worked hard to turn his career around and even though still not the perfect role model he has come a long way. He has won over the toon army with his 100% committed performances on the pitch and long may it continue.

Steve said:

So glad Barton has said that Barton clearly loves the club and the fans and we love him too. I think he has come on leaps and bounds since he came here people have to remember as stated above he still makes mistakes with his conduct however I feel that these are alot more minor than people make out and only get highlighted because of his reputation. In my opinion he is one of our most important players.

auldgit said:

Hi Lee !!

IÂŜve been reading your column for years now and as a "Geordie" living abroad (military service then settling overseas), the online chronicle and journal is my real link with home:
Anyway to the point: Correct me if IÂŜm wrong, but a player who doesnÂŜt wish to join another club canÂŜt be sold, that would be like slavery and although IÂŜm not an expert, IÂŜm pretty sure slavery was banned a long time ago !!
Clauses aside and agents (in my opinion just a load of bloodsuckers)canÂŜt force a player to join another club !!!

I applaud the way you defended Joey Barton for the simple fact that without naming names there have been a lot of "Big name" players who have done a lot worse than him and after theyÂŜd served their time (or not in some cases) had been welcomed back with open arms.
You canÂŜt fault the players commitment to the club, it shines through in every interview and every time he pulls on the shirt of this great club !!
Sorry for waffling on a bit but itÂŜs obvious to anyone with half a brain that your column is written with a large portion of Geordie pride and feeling so next time they accuse you of cheap journo tactics tell them from me to try and write an impartial blog and see if they can manage it !!

Great job mate !!

Driver said:

May Joey's reign last till he retires altogether....his 'grit' is the epitome of NUFC....Merry Christmas and Howay the Lads!

Boxing Day result Magpies 3-1 over the City prima donnas!

LN2MAG said:

Great news that he wants to stay as he has definately turned his career around especially this season and all the fans (well the vast majority) are now warming to him. I was one of the ones who criticised him for his idiocy in the past and a couple of years ago would have been quite happy to see him leave, but he is now a really important part of the team and seems to have learned from his mistakes. Not too sure about this working class hero tag you keep trying to stick on him Lee, although the words to the John Lennon song of the same name could easily apply to Joey Barton!!

kingstoon said:

How quaint - people that believe what comes out of professional footballers mouths. Has anyone told you that the tooth fairy doesnt exist - santa too ! ! ! !
I expect you feel a surge of pride when you see them kiss the badge as well !!!!
Barton is a slave - just as we all are - a slave to money. Dont be so niaive to expect him to pin his colours to the mast if another club offers more money. The funny thing is - none will - cosas was proved against blackburn - he can still be a liability. Unfortunately - Hughton built the team around barton- barton got banned for a sensless act of stupidity - Hughtons game plan fell away - and he lost his job.
If pardew has any footballing nous (which he doesnt - think tevez or harewood) he will look to expand the game beyond pinning our attack on Joey - so the next time he falls off the wagon - we wont be hit like we were at Bolton etc etc

toon4life said:

Great article Lee about Barton.

Great comments from the above blogers as well. It's no secret Joey has had some serious knockers from almost everybody and that includes most newcastle fans as well. But i never doubted Barton's ability on the pitch because one thing i will always remember when Joey joined Newcastle, he said this is the only massive one club city in the country. When he was interviewed on sky sports after the liverpool win, he looked absolutely gutted with C.H sacking he couldn't look at the camera. Now if that is someone who wanted to leave the club he would've just shrugged it off knowing he would be leaving the club anywhere. And when he scored that goal against liverpool, u could see joy and passion and i bet u, the hairs at the back of his neck must have stood right up when he saw the reaction of the 50 000 fans to him. Surely he can't get such love adulation from in this country. So i say WE SALUTE YOU BARTON!!!! LONG MAY YOU REIGN IN TOON!!! MERRY CHRISTMAS TO YOU LEE AND ALL MY FELLOW SUPPORTERS AND A HAPPY NEW YEAR!!!! SEE YOU ON THE OTHER SIDE!!!

Saint Sid James said:

First let me wish all the people down below a merry Christmas from me and the other RADA members now resident up top.

Little Joey is certainly a great entertainer on his good days, but like quite a few other dramatic artists he does tend to get a little carried away when off stage and occasionally while on it. Him wanting to stick around may be a good festive present for the fans who regularly sit in the bleachers of My Theatre, but I think he needs a little present himself. My wish for Little Joey is therefore that on Christmas morning what he finds under his tree is a restraining device that he can wear during stage performances (and when off duty too if he like) that will limit the swinging range of his fists and feet. I'm not hoping that his lips can also be restrained because the device might then prove too heavy for his little frame.

I'll be tuning in on Sunday to watch the Beer Belly Dancing Sonatas and to find out whether Little Joey and his balack and white striped thespians friends can manage to be good for 90 minutes.

Carry On Being Merry Until the Toon Pubs Close. Your eternal Saint Sid.

Santa said:

Lee, Are you sure you have not been naughty recently?

Faustino said:

Barton has been matchless in our midfield this season, it really is great to do what he gets paid for well. I.e. play football and let us forget about the shame he dragged the club through earlier in his career.
Joey has been quoted as saying he owes the toon and all us geordies and that he wants to stay for the rest of his career. I'll be more than happy if he does stay and continues to perform so exceptionally as he has done since his return from his injury woes.
The cloud on the horizon I can see lies with his contract being up in 18 months. Currently it is speculated that Barton is on a wage of around £65k a week, a pay packet we surely wont match - let alone increase - when negotiations turn around.
I can see the fat man disregarding team chemistry, spirit and quality and taking an offer for our midfield dynamo in the summer.

Andrew said:

Barton is class but Jose Enrique is younger and is certainly very important to our future as it's hard to find a left back as good as him for Mike Ashley's prices.


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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