Joey Barton was full of praise for Newcastle for putting in such a performance against Liverpool, full of character and everything else that has been missing in recent weeks.
However, the former Newcastle midfielder says that there is one player in the United team who adds that ‘little bit of class’.
That player being Gini Wijnaldum.
Joey Barton says that when teams are struggling then it automatic for the players to hide and not want the ball, fail to take responsibility.
With Wijnaldum though he has been at the heart of anything positive this season and was responsible for the two goals that beat Liverpool.
Barton was full of admiration for the ‘hunger and desire’ that the former PSV midfielder shows to get in the box and take that responsibility to try and do something to win the game.
The player/pundit referenced Steve McClaren talking about the player ‘crawling’ off the pitch after their efforts on Sunday and he says that this is what fans look for more than anything ‘to give everything for the shirt’.
Joey Barton talking on MOTD 2:
“They (Newcastle team) were under the cosh and they certainly turned up and put a performance in.
“They have got the little bit of class that Wijnaldum brings. I thought he was really really their star player and has been for a lot of their games this season, especially at home.
“He has a real desire to get into the box, he’s wanting to get goals and when you are in a struggling side, usually the first thing levelled at players is that they don’t want the ball when confidence is low.
“Players try to avoid the ball, or putting themselves in positions, and he (Wijnaldum) has come to the forefront when his team have needed him.
“Whilst it wasn’t a great game full of attacking flair, at the key moments, the moments when your team need you, when you need to make those dying runs …and certainly doing that up the hill at Newcastle.
“A shot come cross (first goal) and that luck is what you really need down there and fighting for your lives. The second goal he shows a real hunger and desire to get in the box and he times it and finishes it like a seasoned pro.
“He got 18 goals in 44 games for PSV Eindhoven last season, he has got 7 for Newcastle already this season and if Newcastle are going to do well, you know Wijnaldum is going to be at the heart of it.
“Steve McClaren talked afterwards about the players crawling off the pitch. I think the Geordie faithful will a lot of time….that’s all they expect at Newcastle, to give everything for the shirt. You turn up and do that, they can almost forgive you for getting beat by the bigger teams.
“When you go to St James Park as an opposition player, there is a real buzz about the place, particularly when the team is at it. Hopefully now, Steve will get a lot more of that from the Newcastle players.”
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