I didn't think I would ever say it, but I actually feel sorry for Joey Barton. God only knows what is going on behind the scenes but, on the face of it, Newcastle have over reacted to Barton's relatively restrained criticism of the club. Clearly the club don't want him, so much so that they are willing to let him go for nothing - making him a very attractive prospect indeed!
This involves quite a turn around for me as I have twice used this blog to call for Barton to be banned from football for life. When Curbishley expressed an interest in signing him I ran a thread entitled "Fight Club United" - we already had Bowyer, Bellamy and Dyer on the books!
But now? Well Nolan seems to be able to manage the guy and you would fancy Doctor Evil to keep him under control. I doubt we are going to get £8m for Parker - Chelsea are no longer interested - so this would be a good way of softening the blow: picking up a player worth £4m for nothing and letting Parker go for a knock down £5m as part of the bargain.
It would be controversial but with Doctor Evil already in charge, foibles seem out of fashion at Upton Park.