I previously penned an article stating why I didn’t believe Joey Barton would be a big loss to our side during the contract debacle of a few months back. You can read it by clicking here.
Once everyone has calmed down, decided to put the bed sheet down (going to run out of things to sleep on soon) and decided the battle of being an internet warrior is a futile one, Joey Barton leaving may be seen as a fair and reasonable decision.
We currently have a burgeoning midfield. As it stands we have Hatem Ben Arfa, Cheik Tiote, Jonas Gutierrez, Sylvain Marveux, Haris Vukic, Dan Gosling, Danny Guthrie, Alan Smith, Shane Ferguson and Yoahn Cabaye. We also have youngsters such as Sammy Ameobi, Michael Richardson, Yven Moyo and Mehdi Abeid that are looking to push through. That’s 10 senior midfielders alone discounting Joey.
There is also his attitude and temperament which has recently been called into question again. If you believe reports in the papers and listen to his agent you’ll hear that Barton was upset at not being able to take free kicks and corners and was upset at not being made Captain for the Leeds game.
This for me is just childish and disrespectful. It was a friendly and Cabaye took Lille’s set pieces last season, what’s the harm in him having a go? On the captaincy, less than a month ago Collocini was handed the armband and Barton was quoted as saying ‘I’ll be a leader without an armband and I’ll be there for the lads regardless’ what’s changed from this standpoint?
His twitter crusades have also done nothing but harm to him and the club. We all know Ashley is a tight-fisted git/financial saviour (delete upon opinion) so Barton knew exactly where all of these tirades would lead. I don’t care what anyone says, if you constantly undermine and verbally abuse your boss you’re going to be out on your ear. Just because your boss is the boss from hell doesn’t mean you can say it. A footballer is no different.
With his contract rightly or wrongly not getting renewed maybe it’s better for both parties that we ‘mutually part ways’ now. Barton is a top player, who will probably go to a top side but he hasn’t done himself any favours recently.
I’m not sure whether the style of play Alan covets accommodates Joey Barton either. He can pick a pass but for me works better with a Carroll type striker he can put the ball on the head of. We don’t have or seemingly want that type of player. He also is a far better CM than RM and with Tiote, Cabaye and Ben Arfa taking these roles maybe it would be better letting Barton go and bring in an out and out winger instead?
In conclusion I think the decision to let such a talented player leave on a free transfer baffling although this may be down to the fact that we have yet to field an enquiry for him, the handling of the situation was also terrible, but then again I wouldn’t expect anything different on that score.
The baggage that seemingly comes with Barton outweighs positives for me however. I know a lot has changed in the last two years but at the time many were incredulous that we hadn’t sacked him after his indecencies. He has turned down a new deal, he acted like a child at the weekend and I’m not sure his style of play fits with Pardew’s.
I think letting Barton go is also the final nail in the Hughton era and we can put a lot of nonsense and rubbish behind us. Barton is a top player and a big character but there have been plenty over the years and someone has always come in and shown the quality to allow us to forget them so hopefully Barton will be gone and hopefully forgotten.
Or to steal one of Barton’s own twitter ramblings “the king is dead, long live the king”.