Newcastle midfielder Joey Barton gave the Guardian’s Louise Taylor a full display of his axe-grinding skills this morning, though keep in mind, the comments below came prior to Barton’s side losing 3-1 at Blackburn earlier today. Presumably, the Rovers fans weren’t very supportive, either.
“The fans want success and they want it straightaway,” he said, “but unless they change that mentality and start supporting the side through poor results, then things won’t change. It’s the easiest thing in the world to shout a negative comment but I would like them to just try to be positive. Unless there’s a massive change it’s going to be the same for this manager, the next manager and whoever comes in after that. And if it continues, when the manager goes for players, they will go somewhere else rather than jump in the frying pan.”
Barton has been urged to tell the truth at all times in his regular sessions with counsellors helping him with anger management. As with Roy Keane, such candour does not always make him popular but, like the Sunderland manager, Barton often makes sense. Where Chris Mort, Newcastle’s chairman, has taken the view that “the paying customer is king” and insisted that supporters are within their rights to vent their spleen at poor performances, Barton disagrees.
“Without people behind you, you can’t achieve anything,” he said. “People have talked about a fear factor up here and you sense it the minute someone gives the ball away and it’s greeted by jeers. You look at the calibre of the players who’ve been at Newcastle over the last 10 years and there are a lot of top, top ones – Patrick Kluivert, Jermaine Jenas and Scott Parker – who didn’t do so well here.
“This crowd has been vicious enough to eat players up.”
The draw for Euro 2008 will be shown live on U.S. television tomorrow at 6am EST. The harsh thing about the Swiss having 4 national languages is all the extra work for someone merely wanting to get their “Corso Sucks Donkey Dick” sign on TV.