Campbell backs captain Barton
Former Newcastle midfielder ready for a new chapter in career
By Soriebah Kajue. Last Updated: 13/09/11 7:05pm
Joey Barton will go on to become a successful captain at QPR - that is the verdict of team-mate DJ Campbell.
Barton has earned a reputation for being something of a controversial character during his career and was a surprise choice by Neil Warnock to lead the team.
The former Manchester City academy graduate has been involved in several high-profile unsavoury incidents and served with a custodial sentence in 2008 for an assault.
In fairness to Barton, a veneer of maturity now seems to encapsulate his performances on the pitch, while his off-field misdemeanours now appear extinct.
"He's a good person. A lot of people say bad things about him but, in the time I've known him and spoke to him, he's been superb. The lads took to him straight away and I'm sure he took to the lads straight away."
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Signed from Newcastle this summer on free transfer having been made available following his frequent gripes at the club via Twitter, Campbell now feels he can lead the club into a new era.
"He's a great lad and I'm delighted if the gaffer named him captain," he said of Barton's appointment.
"He's a good person. A lot of people say bad things about him but, in the time I've known him and spoke to him, he's been superb. The lads took to him straight away and I'm sure he took to the lads straight away.
"Joey is Joey. He has been there and done it before."
Barton - who has just one England cap to his name - is aware of the effort that Rangers went to in order to recruit him.
Forced out of Newcastle, he has now found solace in West London, and perhaps tellingly, he has a manager that not only understands his abrasive traits but may even share them.
"I'm here to showcase what I'm all about," Barton added.
"I've got a manager who worked very hard to bring me to the football club, as well as the chief executive, the chairman and the vice chairman.
"As a football club they made me feel really wanted. I'm quite a loyal person and I'm hoping to reciprocate that and more. I've not just come here for a season. I've come here for the long-term."