As you’re all fully aware of by now, Fabricio Coloccini is our new club captain and will have the job of trying fill Kevin Nolan’s boots.
Colo is naturally pleased, or at least he says he is, whilst Alan Pardew insists that it was an easy decision for him to make by appointing the Argentine international defender as captain. You can read more about it here (insert link)
I wonder if the decision would have been quite so easy had it not been for the Joey Barton contract saga? I doubt it to be honest and I could easily have envisaged Barton getting the armband instead.
Thankfully Barton has backed Colo to succeed in his new role whilst admitting that the decision makes sense in light of what is going on, or indeed not going on, between him and the club.
“I’m happy for Colo and it’s probably the correct decision given my precarious contract situation. It gives stability,” Barton told talkSPORT.
“I’ll be a leader without an armband and I’ll be there for Colo as will as all the lads regardless, selfishly it lets me concentrate on playing well every week.”
Now that is the kind of reaction I want to see from Joey Barton! I don’t want to read any sarcastic digs at the club by him on Twitter, although it is highly amusing I’ll admit, and I don’t want to see him sulking about losing out on something that could, and probably should, have been his.
It’s this kind of professionalism that is changing the perception of Joey Barton. He still has his fair share of critics thanks to his behaviour in the past, but last season he went a long way to silencing them with his behaviour and performances on the football field. Sure he slipped up against Morten Gamst Pedersen, but even in the aftermath of that he conducted himself with the utmost dignity and maturity.
I hope he continues in that same vein this season. I’d like nothing more than for him to sit down with the club and for both sides to sort things out. It probably won’t happen, so in that case the next best thing is for oey Barton to keep plugging away with his professionalism.
Just like he is doing with this!