Joey Barton was a member of the Newcastle squad for 4 years, joining from Manchester City for the 2007/2008 season. He featured 20 times in his first season on Tyneside and his form ultimately led to a call-up to the England squad. The next two years, however, he made a total of 14 appearances, 6 in the relegation season and a further 8 in the promotion season (7 as a sub). He featured only 34 times out of a possible 122 in his first three years. By the numbers, it feels like his overall contribution to the side may be overstated.
The Sunday fixtures have concluded and as expected, Chelski have taken care of business and supplanted us in third place in the table. The Twitter chat, however, is centering on a different fixture. Today at Craven Cottage, a Fulham side that has struggled to find its best form took Joey Barton to the woodshed, posting a 6-0 thrashing. Rather, they defeated Queen's Park Rangers comprehensively. The difference between the two statements is hot conversation amongst Toon fans.
I do not want to make light of his importance on the pitch last season. His presence and form were important factors in our achieving what we did last season. On a personal level, I never really identified Joey Barton as any sort of embodiment of Newcastle United in any form, and as such, I wasn't necessarily crushed when he left. . . my disappointment was more with the way it looked system-wise. For me, it was the accumulation of Carroll leaving, then Nolan leaving, then Enrique leaving... Barton was just another departure.
I believe that his history and his being a polarizing figure - his personality- is the root cause of this, and as such, I come down in the camp that this result for QPR today shouldn't even register on our radar. I know that there was Twitter-gate and some hard feelings towards the upper management with Joey, but I don't think that he ever said anything disparaging against the club or the supporters, so I guess I just don't get the camp that is dancing in the streets with joy, so to speak. I throw it to you: what is your feeling? Are you in the "not even on the radar" group, or are you "HAHAHAHA JOEY BARTON LOST BY A LOT!" side?