“Would Joey Barton come here? Well, I came here, so I can’t see why Joey Barton would not come, it is a massive club.
“The way he has been treated over the last couple of years, he is probably looking for an escape.
“He knows I’m here, he knows Sam (who brought the player to St James’ park in June 2007) is here and what we are about – I can look after him and he can look after me!
“It would definitely be good for me. Joey is a great player to play alongside and he is a winner.
“He tells it straight, as people know, but deep down he is a lovely lad and I get on really well with him.
“He would be a great acquisition to the squad if we got him here.
“I’m sure the West Ham fans would love him and the players would come to love him. They read a lot of things about him – some of them are true, but others are blown out of proportion.
“With Joey, you have got someone [who] when he puts on the shirt, he genuinely wants to win, and he wants to do the best for the club and the players.”
This message is one thing, but it begs the question, why in a national newspaper and not on the telephone?
The two players are good friends and surely in contact with each other by the usual means, so why say this in the full glare of the media unless there are other motives, or forces at work? Whether it be agents, Allardyce, West Ham, a motive for revenge on Nolan’s part, or even Barton himself. It just doesn’t seem right somehow. Is Nolan naive enough to just blurt it out without thinking, or speaking with Barton personally about it beforehand?
Nolan of course, was very angry because he felt he was “betrayed” by Derek Llambias. Of his departure from the club he spoke, like others before him, in the most disparaging terms about Newcastle united’s much despised Managing Director, saying:
“I envisaged spending the rest of my career at the club. I was settled, happy and I adored the supporters.
“I was captain of a huge club and played with a smashing group of lads I had untold respect for. But ultimately I was forced out because I lost trust in key people at the club and when you lose trust in people it’s almost impossible to regain it.
“From January and shortly following the sale of Andy Carroll to Liverpool, I was involved in ongoing discussions about signing a new contract between four and five years.
“I discussed the deal at length with managing director Derek Llambias and even shook hands on it. In my book when you do that man-to-man you expect them to see it through.
“But what we talked about and what they finally offered me was laughable. They did a U-turn on what we agreed They showed me no respect. I felt totally betrayed.
“Then they had the nerve to claim I rejected a new contract. What contract? A deferred option to increase my deal by 12 months with a bonus that hinged on the success of the team on the pitch the following season.
“Perhaps I was just naive. I thought I had a good relationship with the board. But when it all came to a head in the summer I knew my time was coming to an end.
“I had given the club everything but they didn’t want to give me anything in return, just broken promises. I simply couldn’t work with people like that. There was no way back for me.”
The plot thickens.