Has Joey Barton Finally Come Of Age?

This time last year it looked as if Joey Barton had played his last game for Queens Park Rangers.  He currently sits at the top of the Championship table with Harry Redknapp’s side, having helped guide them to four wins and a draw in their first five games of the season.

Although not the greatest footballer in the world by any means, Barton has the global reach of one due him having no problem speaking his mind over Twitter.  Controversial events on and off the pitch have seen him make headlines on the front and back of newspapers over the years, making him a familiar face amongst more than just football fans.

Now at the heart of a team that will be challenging for promotion back to the big time, will the midfielder be able to let his performances do the talking and show exactly how good he can be?  QPR supporters will surely hope the answer is yes, that is if they are able to keep hold of him beyond the close of the transfer window on Monday.  Having been linked with several top flight clubs, Barton has spent the majority of his career in the Premier League.  The only other two seasons he has spent elsewhere were last campaign in France with Marseille and, promisingly for the Hoops, 2009/10 as he won the Championship title with Newcastle.

Fresh off a hard-fought win at Elland Road, Barton will be happy with his side’s early progress.  Turning 31 years of age on deadline day, can he be the mature character that leads QPR to success?