Joey Barton

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Barton tussles with captaincy issues

Joey Barton has been overlooked for the captaincy role at Newcastle following his comments in the aftermath of Kevin Nolan’s departure from St. James’s Park.

Barton was inspirational for Newcastle last season as he helped the side finish the Premier League well clear of the relegation battle but a series of outbursts look to have jeopardised his future on Tyneside.

The fiery midfielder took to Twitter to air his grievances after the former Bolton midfielder signed for West Ham last month, and suggested he would leave the club along team-mates Jonas Gutierrez and Jose Enrique.

“Great player, leader, captain, person, trainer and mostly a friend for life. Devastated to see him SOLD! #mejoseandjonasnext” he wrote on the social networking site.

Instead Fabricio Coloccini was handed the skippers armband by manager Alan Pardew- who explained earlier this month that he let Nolan go because he felt the five-year-deal the player was seeking wasn’t in the best interests of the club.

“My opinion is that we couldn’t give Kevin a five-year contract because, if Kevin isn’t playing first?team football, he isn’t going to be the leader we want, I’m convinced of that,” said Pardew.

“In four or five years’ time Kevin needs to be doing the business in the first team and we couldn’t – and I couldn’t – see that possibly happening here at Newcastle so we had a decision to make.”

Now with former captain Nolan out of the picture, Barton was expected to take up the leaders role, but his future will surely come in for even more speculation now Coloccini was picked over him. With a new deal with the Toon not forthcoming, the chances of him begging the new season in a Newcastle United Shirt are becoming increasingly slim.

Barton seemed far from pleased when he spoke to the media ahead of returning to pre-season training, saying: “Contract negotiations not re-opened. Back to Newcastle United on Tuesday. Happy days.”

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