Betfair blogger Gareth Freeman wonders where Joey Barton goes from here.
When Joey Barton burst on to the scene at Manchester City he looked a
hot-prospect and a possible future England international. Since then
we’ve seen him stub out a cigar in someone’s eye, seriously assault a team-mate
and do jail time for another assault. Newcastle United gave him a second
chance after City grew tired and decided to get rid and how does the troubled
Barton repay them? True to form he goes and gets himself sent-off against
Liverpool ruling him out for the remaining three games of the season and
Newcastle’s relegation battle.
What makes it all the more annoying is the fact the Liverpool game was a
game Newcastle probably weren’t expecting to get anything out of anyway.
The up-coming home games against Middlesbrough and Fulham are far more
important in the fact that Newcastle should be able to beat both of them and
pick up six valuable points, at Liverpool the best they could have really hoped
for was to nick a point.
I’m not suggesting Barton would make all the difference in these
games. He is a good player though and has the kind of battling style that
can really push a team on in these circumstances. Barton has been out of
action since January with an injury and his return at such a crucial time
could, and probably should, have given the side a lift. Instead his
reckless and unnecessary tackle on Xabi Alonso has ruled him out for the season
and given Alan Shearer another headache he just didn’t need.
Newcastle are expected to hand Barton a two week fine for his actions but
I’m betting the punishment will go a bit
further. Whether or not Alan Shearer is in charge at St James’ Park next
season I think the management will look to move him on, if they can find a
buyer. Who exactly will be willing to take the ‘troubled’ player
on? In January Bolton Wanderers were linked with him but I’m not so sure
a Premier League side will want such a liability on their books. He may
have to find a Championship club and it will be entirely his own fault if his
career takes this negative turn.
If Newcastle United are to defy the betting odds and
stay up this season they really needed everyone to pull together and put in the
effort. Barton has derailed their chances of doing this with his rash
challenge and their midfield is an area that really does need improving.
Granted his actions were nowhere near as bad as some of his previous
indiscretions but he has let his team and himself down. The phrase ‘one
last chance’ has been used more than once with Barton but I think it could be
time for all this touchy feely, Tony Adams, Sporting Chance business to end as
far as he is concerned. It can only be up to Barton as to how he reacts to his
latest mistake but I’m not sure anyone should take him on and it is surely only
a matter of time before he ends someone’s career with a rash challenge or