Mike Ashley & Newcastle United’s next appointment following Rafa Benitez is ‘crucial’ according to Joey Barton

Former Newcastle United midfielder Joey Barton has had his say on the latest goings on at Newcastle United whilst appearing as a pundit on TalkSPORT.

Thursday, 27th June 2019, 6:00 am
Updated Thursday, 27th June 2019, 7:00 am
Joey Barton has his say on the goings on at Newcastle United.

The Fleetwood Town manager is gearing up for his second pre-season in charge of the club, but took time out of his schedule to answer questions on Rafa Benitez’s Newcastle United departure.

“As someone who cares about Newcastle,” Barton said. “You’re disappointed because you know the affection in which the fans held Rafa Benitez.

“You want to see Newcastle continue to grow as a football club. On the flip side of that, it’s football.”

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The former England international was then pushed on who he thought should take over the reins at St. James’s Park for the upcoming Premier League season.

Barton said: “I don’t know all of the links but a club like Newcastle will always get linked with top managers. They’ll be no shortage of top coaches who are after the job.

“Rafa Benitez has left solid foundations so this next appointment is crucial. Any manager that comes in has a solid platform to go and showcase Newcastle United.”

When asked if Mike Ashley had become a problem at Newcastle, Barton responded in diplomatic fashion: “I haven’t been there for a long period but one of the reasons I left was that there was a bit of a disconnect between me and Mike Ashley.

“It wasn’t all hunky-dory but the club changes so for me to make a call on it would be incredibly difficult,” he concluded.