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On Joey Barton

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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.

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.

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?