Date: 29th January 2009 at 2:01pm
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Vital Manchester City regular, butty1 sent us the following article.

As City completed a fairly comfortable win against a beleaguered Newcastle United yesterday, my thoughts were drawn sympathetically towards an ex-City player, Joey Barton.

That may surprise some, but I think we can all recall in the past when a lacklustre City performance needed a bailout via a solid Barton performance. His attitude to life off the pitch was to put it nicely, unorthodox, he needed guidance and by the looks of things he either didn’t want any, or listened to the wrong people i.e. his agent Willie McKay.

But he always gave a 110% for the City cause, we needed him most during Stuart Pearce’s dire tenure when we looked set for the drop, and the team looked constantly to him for a get out of jail card. Ok he did miss the end of that season after his infamous spat with Dabo. However, by then we had signed Emile Mpenza and Michael Ball, players who undoubtedly help us escape the drop.

The point is really, now that a large amount of water has passed under the bridge since his departure, maybe it is time now to not think about a city academy graduate with malice but hope that he does not destroy a career that started out with so much promise.

I’m not trying to glorify Barton, but merely attempting to point out that he did have his fine moments for City, like the 2003/4 season which saw him named young player of the year.

There are times even this season where I feel Barton’s tirelessness in midfield has been missed, though this has been more than addressed now with the signing of De Jong.

Another new signing, Craig Bellamy didn’t exactly get the warmest welcome either prior to yesterday’s game (when he got a good reception at the match and better one after it, deservedly as well). I must be honest when we were linked with him in the summer I wasn’t exactly thrilled by the news, but now he’s here I am starting to look at his move less dispassionately.

He definitely bore the brunt of ‘Kaka-gate’ along with his slightly inflated transfer fee (which he has already begun to pay back), it left all the papers in hysterics that we set out to get Kaka and get Bellamy instead.

Bellamy’s past, like Barton’s is littered with rumours of clashes with managers and teammates. Nevertheless, if there was one manager who got the best out of him in his nomadic career it was Mark Hughes. Bellamy was that good in his season at Blackburn it prompted Liverpool to sign him, giving him a taste of Champions League football, where I seem to remember him scoring away at Barcelona.

I think now more than ever Bellamy wants to settle down, that might sound na├»ve, but at 29 this is probably his last chance of success with a club of City’s size. Consequently, I think we may just see the best of him whilst he is here. He certainly looked hungry enough for the challenge yesterday.

Therefore, I think we should forget Bellamy’s mistakes in the past or at least leave them to one side for the time being, and focus and what could be a successful stint at our club for him. Along with finally laying the ghost of Joey Barton’s acrimonious exit to rest.

Many thanks go to butty1.