Early Doors

Barton bang on over Nolan

Early Doors

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Say what you like about Joey Barton, but he has a knack of
getting straight to heart of issues other footballers skirt diplomatically
around.

Take his withering putdown of England stars Wayne Rooney,
Steven Gerrard and Ashley Cole publishing autobiographies after the 2006 World
Cup:

"England did nothing in that World Cup, so why were
they bringing books out? 'We got beat in the quarter-finals. I played like
s**t. Here's my book.' Who wants to read that? I don't."

And how about this zinger aimed at Manchester City's
transfer record:

"I know (Bolton) paid a lot of money for Nicolas Anelka
but we paid a lot for Georgios Samaras. You have to face facts. We have not
brought quality in. One or two have done all right but not enough to take the
team onto the next level. We can't gamble on players who have scored six goals
in six games in the Pontins League or in Belgium."

Zing!

That's why Early Doors was so excited to see Barton join
Twitter, and so disappointed to see him populate his feed with nothing but
pictures of racehorses.

But Barton came good yesterday, expressing his disbelief at
Newcastle's frankly baffling sale of Kevin Nolan to West Ham.

"Just on my way to Ascot, feel sick," Barton
tweeted. Just to clarify this was on account of the Nolan news, not the
previous night's dodgy kebab, he added: "#whatgoinonatthetoonffs"

Barton's next hashtag was even better: "Great player,
leader, captain, person, trainer and mostly a friend for life. Devastated to
see him SOLD! #mejoseandjonasnext"

Me, Jose and Jonas next? ED wonders how Leon Best feels
about his omission from Barton's shortlist of Newcastle's best players.

Yet again, though, Barton hit the nail on the head.

This is not like selling Andy Carroll for £35 million -
which is what Noel Edmonds would no doubt describe as 'a life-changing' sum of
money.

They are set to lose their talisman for what amounts to
loose change in today's game.

Newcastle stand to make somewhere between £3m and £5m from
the sale of perhaps their most important player - just so they don't lose him
for free in TWO YEARS' TIME.

Talk about a false economy. How much would they have to
spend to find an adequate replacement? How much would they stand to lose if the
loss of their top scorer causes them to get relegated? How bad a sign does it
send to the players and anyone who might sign for Newcastle - you're joining a
club that sells its captain to a lower-league team for peanuts. It's madness.

On the face of it, the move makes no sense for Nolan either.

Why would the captain of a Premier League side, aged 28 and
at his peak, voluntarily drop divisions?

He and Sam Allardyce must have some REALLY good banter
together.

No doubt money is a factor - Nolan last week rejected a new
deal from Newcastle - but is the cash really enough to make those trips to
London Road and the Keepmoat Stadium worthwhile?

If he wanted to force Newcastle's hand by rejecting a
contract, why not wait until a better club came in for him? Pretty much every
team outside the top six would be boosted by Nolan's presence.

ED just doesn't understand the world any more...

QUOTE OF THE DAY: Cesc Fabregas on his future - nice to know he spoke to Arsene
so recently: "I talked with Wenger last year. Did he promise I can
leave? It was a private chat, what has been said will stay between us. When
will people definitely know if I stay in London or join Barça this summer? I
don't know because not everything depends on me. I don't like to be in the
press every day. I'm just a player who tries to do his job. I'm not Maradona,
Messi or Zidane."

FOREIGN VIEW: Farewell Bebe, we hardly knew you. It's only a
loan, but we suspect we have seen the last of the Premier League's biggest
misfit since Marco Boogers.

From Reuters: 'Turkish club Besiktas have announced the
capture of Manchester United's Bebe on a year-long loan deal on their official
website.

The club had earlier informed
the Turkish stock market of the deal, which revealed to be worth 1,000,000
euros (£875,000).

There has been no official
confirmation of the deal yet from Manchester United.

Bebe, 20, has had a muted first
season in English football after being signed for a reported £7m last summer.

United boss Sir Alex Ferguson
admitted that the deal was done for the Portuguese U21 international without
him ever having seen the player first-hand.

Opportunities have been limited
for Bebe, though he did score on his Champions League debut - netting in a 3-0
win over Turkish side Bursaspor in the group stages.'

'Muted first season' - glorious
understatement.

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