I’ve seen some ridiculous Newcastle rumours in my time, but this one surely takes the biscuit? Joey Barton to leave Newcastle and go to Arsenal? I’ll give you a bit of time to digest that, just in case it somehow passed you by in the Sunday newspapers, or you thought it was a dream; if it’s the latter I don’t blame you. We have the Sunday People to thank for this rumour, and boy is it a strange one.
It’s no secret that Joey Barton’s days at Newcastle may be numbered. Despite being one of Newcastle’s best performing players last season and being a key man in Alan Pardew’s squad, it seems like Mike Ashley and the rest of the board are not keen to extend the renowned ‘bad boy’s’ contract. It’s due to run out at the end of next season, so the fact that Newcastle are inviting bids for Barton this summer isn’t a surprise.
Just because Newcastle are inviting bids, doesn’t mean that Arsenal are going to make one. Aston Villa maybe, Arsenal just plain no. Described as potentially the most astonishing transfer of the summer; it wouldn’t be astonishing, it would be scarcely believable. Yes, Arsenal need a bit more bite in their midfield, but Barton goes against everything Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger stands for.
If the Frenchman did sign Barton he would be the biggest hypocrite in British football, if he isn’t already. Wenger talks continually about his disgust for the physicality of the Premier League and the overzealous tackles that some, mainly English, players are prone to committing. Then there’s the question of how Barton would fit in to the dressing room at the Emirates and given that Abou Diaby had him by the throat last season, the answer would have to be ‘not well’.
Now that I’ve given this the tag of being the most ridiculous Newcastle rumour yet, it’s bound to go and happen. So, this time next month Joey Barton will be wearing an Arsenal shirt? No, Barton may be disappointed about his mate Kevin Nolan leaving, but if he wanted to play with a load of Frenchmen he’d stay at Newcastle! In all seriousness, I hope Barton stays for at least another 12 months or a serious and significant bid comes so that Newcastle can make a bit of cash.