Former midfielder Joey Barton has spoken out about Newcastle’s start to the new Premier League season, admitting that he ‘feared’ for the club at one stage, but has since been impressed following our run of three successive wins.
The controversial character was on Talksport on Monday and admitted that he saw it being a ‘very difficult’ season for the Magpies after our defeat at Huddersfield, but has credited the club for our response ever since.
“I feared for Newcastle after the Huddersfield game,”
“There were issues going on around Benitez – the transfer, no-transfer saga – I just feared after they got beat then and the way they performed, that it was going to be a very difficult season for them.
“Credit to Rafa and the Newcastle players though, great results.
“West Ham at home and at the weekend against Stoke (and at Swansea), they’re games that I think Newcastle’s seasons will be judged off. It won’t be judged off the likes of games against [Manchester] City and [Manchester] United, it will be against those teams around them.
Barton makes a good point. The last three fixtures are most probably the sort of games we’ll judge our season by. I don’t expect to be nicking 1-0 wins away at City or pummelling Manchester United 3-0 at home, but gaining those results away at Swansea and at home to West Ham is a real indicator of where we’re at – suggesting we’re more than capable of competing with our top flight ‘rivals’.
Joey then suggested we could continue that winning running, describing fixtures such as Brighton and Southampton away as ‘winnable’ fixtures for the team:
“There are three big games coming up, playing against Brighton then Liverpool at home and Southampton away, so a couple of winnable games there.”
I must admit, I agree with Joey. I was quite concerned after the Huddersfield game and i’m sure I wasn’t the only one. Our turnaround has been magnificent and much needed, sending us into Brighton on Sunday with our tails firmly up.