Well first off I was at work pretty much all yesterday so I’ve been following the news about Joey Barton and a proposed move to QPR from a distance.
As things stand Barton is understood to have had a medical ahead of a move to Loftus Road. The move would bring us in zero cash and would serve no purpose other than to shave the wagebill a bit more.
To be honest I can’t say that I’m really surprised. I mean Barton has been available on a free for a while now and I always expected that a bid would come in from somewhere. I didn’t expect it to come from QPR however. Well maybe I did as he is a good player and most clubs will no doubt want good players. What I am surprised about is the fact that he is seemingly choosing to go to QPR despite his claims that he had no interest in leaving Newcastle to join another team unless they happened to be in the Champions League.
Last time I checked, Queens Park Rangers were not in the Champions League. It’s funny what a shiny new four year, £60,000-a-week contract can do isn’t it?
Now from this point you’re probably expecting me to go into some tirade about footballers being “greedy” and how they are “only in it for themselves” but to be honest it’s all old hat. We know the score. If Barton can get the deal he wants elsewhere then I can’t blame him to be honest.
I’ve read a couple of Tweets from Barton. One of them said about his hands being tied. By whom exactly? Could he not just sit out the last year of his contract in defiance like he said he was going to do? Surely someone as strong-willed as Barton is not being forced to do something he doesn’t want to do?
The other tweet that interested me was the one about the lack of a new contract offer from Newcastle pretty much making his mind up for him. Fair enough, but surely someone as intelligent as Barton appears to be would have looked at the form book and seen that when it comes to contract brinksmanship there is only one winner. he could asked his buddy Kevin Nolan, or even Andy Carroll for that matter.
As unfortunate as it is, it looks as though the end of the road is near and Joey Barton and Newcastle United will soon be heading their separate ways. Barton is a good player, but the end has been nigh for a while now so I can’t say that I’m really shocked, angry, appalled or anything. Much like Jose Enrique’s departure, I expected it so I’ve been prepared for it.
Where does it leave us on the pitch though? To be honest I don’t think it leaves much worse off, if any. Dan Gosling is almost a carbon copy of Barton in the sense that he can play in the exact same positions. We have Gabriel Obertan who can play on the right aswell as Sylvain Marveaux and Jonas Gutierrez who can do much the same. We have Yohan Cabaye and Cheik Tiote in the middle with Danny Guthrie as a backup and even Dan Gosling as a backup because he can play in the middle, and we have Mehdi Abeid and Haris Vuckic looking to make an impact this year and…… Well, you get my point. If there is one postion we can lose someone from – it’s midfield.
Whether or not we’ll lose his influence, well who knows. Only time will tell on that one although you could argue that having him around the place for the last few months whilst voicing his “concerns” about the club and, indirectly, his new team-mates is an influence that we could do without. On the pitch though, where it really matters, is where we could miss him the most. His ability is replaceable. He is far from the best English midfielder as he once famously claimed, but he is a leader who gets others around him riled up. We’ll miss that.
It’s been coming for a while though, and whilst the debate will rage on about the rights and wrongs of Joey Barton you can almost be certain that he won’t be our Joey Barton for much longer. One wonders how he will cope with living in the backyard of the London press, but still, it’s his choice.
Obviously that famous bridge builder wasn’t that good after all.