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Will Joey have the last laugh at QPR?

It’s fair to say that Joey Barton has not had the calmest of careers. Controversy has surrounded the once capped England player everywhere, and even his move away from St. James Park was not short of controversy. After a fantastic season for the toon, scoring 5 goals in 35 appearances, talks over a new contract soon broke down. The manager and fans were desperate for Joey to stay but Mike Ashley transfer listed Barton at the beginning of August. Ashley decided Newcastle no longer required the services of the talismanic midfielder after Barton’s ‘outburst’ on twitter.  

After Mike Ashley sold Andy Carroll last January for a record £35m, Alan Pardew was assured funds to strengthen the squad, but at the beginning of the transfer window Barton saw close friend and Newcastle Captain Kevin Nolan leave for a relatively small fee. The fiery midfielder who formed a superb partnership with Nolan tweeted; ‘great player, leader, captain, person, trainer and mostly a friend for life. Devastated to see him SOLD! #mejoseandjonasnext’. This was the sale that sealed the Joey Barton’s fate and after showdown talks he would be allowed to sign for another club, and was definitely not going to extend his contract at Newcastle. The ‘old’ Joey Barton may have not bothered with the club anymore, but after two seasons of decent behaviour, he still turned up to training, and even started the new season for Newcastle. Pardew did strengthen the side bringing in some decent young players such as Santon as well as Obertan and Demba Ba but it was not enough to keep Barton at the club.

Whilst Barton was looking for a new club, Queens Park Rangers were looking for a new owner. Previous owner Ecclestone decided he wanted to cash in on promotion and on the 18th August Tony Fernandes brought the club. On his takeover he promised to spend money and make sure the West London club stay in the Premier League. His arrival at Loftus Road was welcomed very warmly by Neil Warnock. Warnock straight away was on the market for a tough centre midfielder, a gritty player in the middle of the park, who could also provide flair and craftsmanship for the side. There were two names put into the hat, Scott Parker and Joey Barton.  Fernandes and Warnock bid for Parker but after the bid was rejected they turned their attentions solely to Barton. After lots of talks between the players’ representatives and Queen Park Rangers, Barton put pen to paper on a four year deal.  QPR had made a fantastic signing for a free transfer, not only will Barton help to keep the hoops up, he will help to give the fans a season to never forget. Joey Barton arrived at the club too late to play in the 2-0 loss at Wigan, so in typical Joey Barton controversial style, his first fixture was against Newcastle.

There was no love lost between Barton and Newcastle in Monday night’s fixture as on Joey’s exit he made sure he had the last word and tweeted; “Nice to see MA [Ashley] and DL [Llambias] come through with their promise to reinvest AC [Andy] money, 59m net profit from transfers in last 5 seasons…..ambition???”..  . It’s clear to see Joey has a special place in his heart for the Toon Army and before he left the club thanked the fans and said they deserve better, he has also vowed not to celebrate against them. However after a summer of feuding with owner Mike Ashley, Joey lined up against his old club and take the war of words onto the pitch, and he will be desperate to have the last laugh come the end of the season finishing above Newcastle.

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