I've gone through a wide range of emotions since it was revealed that Joey Barton was on his way down to Loftus Road to discuss terms with newly promoted QPR on Wednesday afternoon. They're still a bit confused, so here we go.....
Anger and (begrudged) understanding.
At first I was furious. Less because we were letting Barton go, more because he is another very good player that we have let go. You could build quite a side from the players that have departed the club during Ashley's quite ridiculous ownership:
I'm bound to have missed others and more will follow Barton out of the wide open door - that is guaranteed.
Perhaps the pull of playing alongside Clint Hill, Shaun Derry and One Size Fitz Hall in front of 15,000 at Loftus Road was just too good to turn down? Or maybe it was the passionate home crowd of 4,755 that watched QPR crash out of the league cup vs Rochdale earlier this week? Or maybe it's for security of a long contract. I keep hearing Newcastle supporters questioning his ambition but let's face it, it's hardly Barcelona that he is leaving.
In his defence the club made it painstakingly obvious that he was not wanted - they wanted to GIVE him away to a league rival without even asking for a penny in return. His next contract (the one he just signed at QPR) is his last big contract. It's easy to say "yeah but he should have played out his last year at Newcastle" - what if he opted to do that, broke his leg in January and struggled to find any contract at any club when he recovered? Sure, he's not paid peanuts and probably would be comfortable even if he didn't earn another penny in his life, but in his situation, all things considered, I'd have left too and I'm Newcastle born and bred.
This is when I get even more confused.
Why all the patter from Barton? The 'loving the club' and 'loving the area'? Absolute balderdash (expletives not allowed).
Joey appears to view himself as some sort of revolutionary character. He has vaguely aligned himself with all sorts of revolutionary figures from history over his past few mental Twitter-months. He said no one could force him out and that he would stay and see it through:
"Just because ur told to jump, it does not necessarily mean you have to. I may choose to stand perfectly still. It's my right...just a thought"
What he neglected to add to that was "until any club comes along and offers me some mega wonga".
He quoted Orwell in tweeting "In times of universal deceit, telling the truth will be a revolutionary act." Hmmmm.
He also tweeted "if only we as players could tell the fans exactly how it is, without them above fining us lots of money. There will be a time and a place."
Well Joey, surely that time and a place is now?
What we will miss is his presence on the football field. Last season we won 34% of the games that he played in and 0% of the games that he missed. The amazing Arsenal comeback was driven by him.
We can't just keep shipping these players out and expect to challenge for anything other than Premier League survival.
Confused of Tyneside
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