One swallow does not a summer maketh and similarly, one bright performance for your football team does not take away from the fact that you’re still a convicted criminal who would still be in jail if it wasn’t for the fact that you are a Premier League footballer. Sterner tests of this Newcastle midfielder’s ‘bottle’ lie in waiting before people can start to call him a reformed character.
Sky Sports reports that Joey Barton is nevertheless delighted to have helped his team win 2-1 against West Brom on Tuesday night. While backers of Obafemi Martins to score the first goal would have been sick to have seen the thug grab the ball and take the spot kick, the ex-Manchester City midfielder opened the scoring for the Magpies and has declared his intention of becoming a vital part of Newcastle’s recovery this term.
“It was important that we bounced back,” Barton told the club’s official website.
“Everyone sat together as a squad and said that the Sunderland game had gone and that it was important to focus on the future and the game against West Brom.”
“It’s great to get that backing,” he said. “I had a difficult patch when I first came here and I’m the first to admit that.
“But this is the start, I’ve got a long way to go to prove myself at this club.
“It was a nice start for me tonight but I’d prefer to be a vital cog in a very good team and we have to build on this win.”
Despite their victory, even the most diehard of Newcastle supporters can see that they’re very far from being a good team. Are the fans now prepared to forgive Barton for previous misdemeanours, or are there those that have a slightly longer memory span than a goldfish? At least the win against the Baggies has momentarily lifted them out of the bottom three of the Premier League.