Just when you think our summer couldn’t get any more farcical, former Mag Joey Barton is now saying he’s find the Toon job ‘tough to turn down’ should Mike Ashley come calling.
Barton, who has been surrounded by yet more controversy this season as manager of league one side Fleetwood – allegedly assaulting his Barnsley counterpart following their league fixture last season.
Here’s what Joey’s had to say when asked if about the vacant manager’s job at Newcastle:
“I had four great years there as a player so it is a club that is very close to my heart. But on the flip side, Rafa Benitez going out, it is a tough act to follow. He did an incredible job there and the Premier League is a tough league.
“If Newcastle ever come calling, for any manager by the way, it is tough (to refuse). But I am happy where I am. I do feel I need a period of time to really learn my trade. We cross those bridges when we come to them.”
Barton was successful in the main for Newcastle on the pitch but his career continues to be hindered by off field issues. He doesn’t have the experience to take over a Premier League side, despite the current trend of ex players landing top jobs, like Lampard, Gerrard, Solskjaer et al.
They however don’t come with the baggage Barton does and Joey also has been a critic of Ashley in the past, citing he was replaced simply by ‘younger, cheaper players’ when he left for QPR – so I think this one is a none starter.
Barton is right though in that whoever takes over from Rafa faces an almost impossible task with getting fans on board as, for many, the news this week is the final straw under the Ashley regime. It is impossible to predict Ashley and Charnley and who they will turn to next but it is clear they will continue to follow their own agenda, with no regard for the fans.