Newcastle midfielder Joey Barton has made his mind up: he’s going to leave the club. This is just the news that Newcastle didn’t need after starting the 2011/12 Premier League season with two clean sheets and four points on the board. With Newcastle right now it seems like one step forward is followed by two steps back, and this most definitely is a step backward.
Just like most news concerning Barton recently, Joey posted the update on his future on his Twitter account. First this evening he said: “Going for a medical now, still no contract offer from NUFC…….think that just about makes my mind up.” This illustrates that Newcastle failing to offer him a new contract has forced his hand, and that to secure his footballing future past this year he has had to find a new club.
Shortly after Barton said: “Don’t want to leave Newcastle……..I’ve made that clear but my hands are tied.” This really is a sad state of affairs. If one of Newcastle’s better players doesn’t want to leave, then he shouldn’t effectively be pushed out of the club by the hierarchy. Barton should be reprimanded for his rants against the board, but it should be left at that and the importance of the team’s results on the pitch should be viewed more highly than a personal fall-out.
I won’t miss the circus that comes with Joey Barton, this season there has already been the whole Gervinho affair, but I will miss his performances and commitment when he pulled on the Newcastle shirt. We need more players with Joey’s desire and will to win, not less, and to lose him is a big blow to Alan Pardew. I can hardly see a replacement being brought in during the next week, we’re making hard work of bringing in a left back or a striker, so Newcastle will go into the next few months a weaker team and one missing a huge character, albeit a troublesome one.
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