The two-week international break has been a relatively quiet time on Tyneside with a lull in headline-grabbing events. On the back of the Kevin Keegan-Mike Ashley courtroom showdown and a hectic fixture list it has provided some much-needed calm and a chance to relax before the Championship starts up again. On the back of two consecutive home draws Newcastle remain top of the table with three and four-point leads over West Brom and Middlesbrough respectively. It might have seemed unlikely at the beginning of the summer, but the Toon are now in a position in which they want to remain. The main talking points from last week were some interesting comments from controversial midfielder Joey Barton on a number of issues. For a time they overshadowed the ongoing takeover rumours.
Joey Barton has ensured that, despite not playing through injury, he can still make the headlines after a number of candid interviews with the media. Although this writer is not Barton’s biggest fan, he does at least speak refreshingly honestly for a footballer and does not just come out with the usual clich