Magpies boss left to move on

BY foxsports • August 26, 2011

The controversial midfielder severed his ties with the club on Friday afternoon when he signed a lucrative four-year deal with promoted QPR and ended a colourful spell on Tyneside. Managing director Derek Llambias said: "On behalf of everyone at Newcastle United, we wish to thank Joey for his on-field contributions to the team, and we wish him every success for his future at Queens Park Rangers." While Barton prepared to pitch himself into the fight to keep Rangers in the Premier League having given up on his hopes of winning either a last-gasp reprieve at St James' Park or a higher-profile move, Pardew was keeping his fingers crossed that the vacancies in his squad will be filled. There is little doubt that the former Manchester City midfielder's departure on a free transfer leaves a sizeable gap in Pardew's team, although few on Tyneside will miss the circus which has accompanied his stay, a sentiment reflected obliquely in Llambias' comments. However, with the Magpies already trying desperately to sign a left-back and a striker ahead of next Wednesday's transfer deadline, the 50-year-old manager knows there will be further disquiet if another significant gap is not plugged. Pardew said: "To a degree, I inherited some history here between Joey and the Board and I have tried to mediate and tried to get to a situation where Joey might stay at the club in some form. "I am a football manager and I want my best players if I can keep them. But if there's a situation I can't resolve, then I have to get on with my world. "Obviously, we are in a period now when fans are looking for the Board to bring in players to replace the ones we have lost, as I am. "My job is to put pressure on the Board for the fans to try to get these guys over the line, and that's what I am trying to do." PSV Eindhoven full-back Erik Pieters is understood to be closing in on a move to St James' after a lengthy pursuit, but Pardew was giving little away about the identity of his targets. Barton's stand-off with the club was always destined to end uncomfortably with the player having made little secret of his disdain for the regime after having the offer of a new contract withdrawn, and his criticism of the club's summer transfer policy led to him being made available on a free transfer. Pardew had made it his mission to keep the 28-year-old as well as Kevin Nolan and Jose Enrique at the club, yet all three have now followed striker Andy Carroll through the exit having decided the grass was greener elsewhere in the face of the rigid financial constraints under which the club is now operating. Pardew will hope owner Mike Ashley and Llambias can now land him two or three of the names on his wishlist, and the removal of Barton's £3million wages for the final year of his deal will free up further cash. Fans who have been dismayed at the apparent lack of investment from the proceeds of those sales, which amount to in excess of £45million, are unlikely to be easily placated despite an encouraging start to the new season, and the atmosphere for Sunday's home clash with Fulham is sure to be lively. But for Pardew, it will simply be more of the same as he steels himself for the latest episode of the long-running soap opera into which he was cast in December last year. Seven days ago, he was facing a derby clash with arch-rivals Sunderland he could not afford to lose. Victory on Wearside lifted spirits markedly, but the gloss quickly started to fade when news of Barton's trip to London emerged. However, Pardew has become used to the drama and it was business as usual for him today. He said: "It's the same every week here. I just look forward to the training ground and the matches, and everything else is tough. But I love it." Meanwhile, Pardew has saluted teenager Sammy Ameobi after seeing him fire the Magpies to victory at Glanford Park with a stunning individual effort in extra time. He said: "With the ability he has, he is going to be a big player for us. We are really, really happy for him. "He's a smashing lad and everybody in Newcastle should be proud of him today."

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