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Newcastle midfielder makes good on his promise to prove the naysayers wrong: Is he Tyneside’s missing link?

Ah, you’ve got to got love Joey Barton and his fearless personality sometimes. We all know Barton is still a thug until he proves us wrong otherwise, but his moment of sheer brilliance during yesterday’s match against West Brom has to be noted.

Perhaps remembering that Kinnear had cautioned him against kissing the badge on his shirt until he completed a hat-trick, Barton made do with pointing at his heart and repeatedly thumping his chest. “Obafemi Martins was supposed to be the penalty taker but Joey just grabbed the ball,” said Kinnear whose side moved out of the bottom three. “Joey’s on fire in the dressing room now.”

Even if such theatricals were not to everyone’s taste, the midfielder’s first start in a six-month period featuring a stint in prison followed by a Football Association ban had coincided with some of the most stimulating football Newcastle have played in ages. (Guardian)

It’s not every day that you see a player who just came back from suspension so that kind of fearlessness. Instead of letting Martins take the penalty, Barton put his name and his reputation on the line right from the start. He’s already treading on thin ice with the supporters at the moment, and a missed penalty would have only added to the anger and frustration. Instead Barton coolly slotted the penalty that ultimately ended up being the decisive goal in the match. Not only did Barton score a massive goal, he also helped inject some new life into the club by adding some much needed width to the field.

Are Newcastle supporters impressed with Barton’s first start for the club? Did you expect him to help the club out from the start?

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