Tuesday, 28 October 2008

Joey Barton's long road to rehabilitation, starting when?

The text from my mate at St James's came in at 19:58. One word: 'Joey!'
Barton had just converted the early penalty that, one might say, made the difference tonight in Newcastle's first win since August, a shaky 2-1 over West Brom.
A non-football-following friend who was a guest at ours for dinner last Saturday night couldn't quite recall 'Joey''s name, but he did want reminding of who was that awful thug at NUFC who had just crept out of prison and had form for horrendously beating up teenagers and stubbing out cigars in people's faces.
My season-ticket mate at SJP has a keen sense of irony, so I'm not losing any sleep over that 'Joey!'. It's possible I have cheered on worse people who have worn black-and-white shirts - cheered them on after the fact, that is - after they've done the business for the Toon. Until then I reserve the right to stick wor nose in the air and say it's all going to hell in a handcart - football, manners, morals, you name it. But then I'm just your common-or-garden breed of English hypocrite.
Tonight was 'Joey''s second successfully converted penalty for NUFC, so who's to say how I'd react if, one fine day, he scored from open play - at Wembley, for example, against Man United, after 89 minutes of dogged stalemate...

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