So Mike Ashley and Derek Llambias have decided to continue the trend of letting Newcastle United’s best players to leave the club. Joey Barton has been placed on the transfer list and told he can leave the Magpies on a free transfer this summer. Newcastle had the makings of a good side, with the likes of Andy Carroll and Kevin Nolan performing very impressively last season. Unfortunately for the Newcastle fans, the board has not even put up a fight to hold on to their best players and will now going to allow Barton to follow Carroll and Nolan out of St James Park. And with little investment going into the playing staff, it’s likely that their odds for relegation will be shortening right about now.
Barton’s problems off the pitch have obviously been well documented but there’s no doubt of his footballing ability and there will be several clubs interested in signing the former Manchester City midfielder. Spurs, Everton, Aston Villa, Stoke, Arsenal and Manchester United have all been linked with a move for Barton and whoever ends up signing him can consider the deal an absolute bargain. Barton popped up with four goals and 9 assists for Newcastle last season and proved to be a leader in the eyes of the fans. Mike Ashley should really have kicked up some of the £35million Liverpool paid for Andy Carroll to Joey Barton because he was largely responsible in making Carroll the player he is.
The board seem to have lost patience with Barton though, after he publicly hit out at the club’s transfer policy. Fair enough, if he was the only one. But several players have criticised the club recently, including Jose Enrique and Kevin Nolan, while the response of the Newcastle fans towards the board has not exactly been sugar coated. Once again, it will be the Magpies hierarchy that will come out of this looking bad, even if they seem to be doing all they can to prove they don’t care. The fans will probably agree with Barton’s comments and let’s not forget, he was even willing to agree to a pay cut in order to remain at the club. Unfortunately for Barton, and the supporters, those running things at Newcastle don’t appear to care for the club in the same way.
Even if you do get the odd problem with Joey Barton, he will almost certainly be a net gain to any team. His deliveries from free kicks and corners were superb last season and he offers some steel in the midfield. Capable of operating in the centre or on the right wing and will chip in with goals as well. Don’t be surprised if Barton is playing in a team challenging for the top six next season. The Toon Army’s loss is certain to be another club’s gain.