Joey Barton

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Joey’s latest tweet

QPR’s controversial Captain and compulsive Twitterer, Joey Barton, posted his first tweet for eight days yesterday – a photograph of a very stylish looking new haircut. It seems Barton has been taking a break from the Internet as well as football this summer.

On the 11th June he posted that he was reading Seth Godin’s “Linchpin”, a self help book all about being indispensable to your employer and striving to become the most important figure in the organization you work for; clearly Joey is taking his role as Captain seriously and it seems likely that we’ll see an even more focused and energised Barton next season.

The campaign begins on the 18th August with QPR facing Swansea at Loftus road, Joey will be hoping he can get on the score sheet as he did back in April when Rangers defeated the Swans 3-0 at home in the same fixture.

In fact Joey will be relishing the prospect of the opening fixtures as their second game is against Norwich City, one of the three teams that Barton scored his tally of three league goals for QPR last season (the other being relegated Wolverhampton Wanderers).

If Joey can come out of the blocks flying, there is no reason why he can’t register 10-15 goals for QPR; he’s always possessed an excellent long-range shot as well as his measured passing and superb technique. His best ever total was six goals for Manchester City in the 06/07 campaign, while the most assists for team-mates to score he has attained was nine in the 10/11 season for Newcastle United, statistics which prompted the new wealthy owners of QPR to sign him and promote him to Skipper of the club.

The Captaincy did seem to weigh heavily on his shoulders at times in the early stages of his QPR career, and it wasn’t until the last few weeks of the season that Barton really put aside his differences with the supporters who had been booing him up to that point. It took real strength of character to put all that to one side and play a pivotal in helping the club avoid relegation.

With Mark Hughes as manager, and all the heavy investment from the super-rich owners in top quality players, I can only see Joey growing into an even better player over the next few years. Of course, controversy will always surround Joey and I’m sure another thing he’ll want to improve on is reducing the total of eight yellow and two red cards that he received last season.

Phil Rushton, Football Betting Master
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