Best players' exit reactions

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Joey Barton’s feelings over his departure from Newcastle have long been made clear through his Twitter account, but the midfielder insists he won’t say a bad word about the club or the fans.

Barton will face the Toon on Monday night as he makes his debut for QPR, and while the long running saga over his future has finally come to an end, he’s still talking and giving his opinions on the matter, for better or worse.

Just last week he insisted a player exodus is on the cards for Newcastle next summer, tweeting: "Nice to see Ashley and Llambias come through with their promise to reinvest Andy Carroll money. That's a £59m net profit from transfers in the last five seasons. Ambition?"

But now the midfielder insists he would never be negative towards the fans.

"In my last couple of seasons there, they've supported the football club through thick and thin. I'll always have a relationship with them,” he said today.

"We had a journey with them - not just me but a number of players in the squad, when the club dropped out of the Premier League.

"What's gone is gone. I'm never going to say a bad word about the football club or the fans. I wish them every success."

And in honour of Barton providing us with entertainment at the very least with his comments, GMF looks at how dignified players have been with their exit speak.


Dignity: 4/10

Snippet: "City fans are really passionate and it reminds me a little bit here of Marseille. Arsenal have good fans but they are not that passionate since they moved from Highbury to the Emirates. I remember we played City in 2008 and lost 3-0 and the crowd was amazing. That is what I want.”

Comment: Often players leave a club because they don’t particularly like the atmosphere, or the fans, and Nasri had a reason to be annoyed at Gunners fans for booing him in his opening match of the season, but there was no need to say what he said.

When he faces Arsenal: December 17


Dignity: 10/10

Snippet: “All I can have is gratitude. I will never forget what [Arsenal] did for me and I was very, very sad to be leaving – I spent one third of my life there. Wenger was like a father to me. He did so much for me and without him I wouldn’t be here now. I spoke to him on Friday and it was so hard. At one point I couldn’t even talk because I was so sad. It was hard to say goodbye and hard to leave. He has done more for me than anyone and he is the best person I have met in football.” 

Comment: Fabregas has wanted to go to Barcelona for many years now, but the playmaker kept his mouth shut, despite the endless questions from reporters on a possible move, and played his heart out for Arsenal. When a move finally came through, Fabregas hasn’t said one bad word, and continues to tweet and talk about his love for the Gunners and their fans (a love Nasri didn’t seem to share).

When he faces Arsenal: Possibly in the Champions League knock out stages.


Dignity: 8/10

Snippet: “The people think that I wanted to leave [Liverpool] and it is only because Chelsea wanted me. For Andre to want me, that is why I wanted to go. I made the right choice last year to come to England and to come to Liverpool and this year was different because I knew that I didn't want to leave Liverpool. I know that Chelsea is a great club, one of the best clubs in the world, and it is not too difficult to convince me to come. “

Comment: While Meireles insisted he didn't want to leave, Liverpool fans won’t exactly be pleased that he was so easily convinced to move. But, all the same, he never commented during the transfer window, and his reasons for wanting to be reunited with Andre Villas-Boas are understandable.

When he faces Liverpool: November 20


Dignity: 9/10

Snippet: "I don't want people blaming the [Everton] manager or the chairman [Bill Kenwright]. That was the best solution for everyone, I am 100 per cent sure. Some people will disagree, but I 100 per cent believe that it was the best solution for everyone. I know the chairman really well and he doesn't want to sell anyone. He is a big, big fan and he has put his life into the club.”

Comment: He took the blame onto himself, and while Arteta has let out hints all season that he wants Champions League football, the midfielder has expressed sincere sadness at saying goodbye to the Everton club and fans. Nasri could learn form him.

When he faces Everton: December 10


Dignity: 2/10

Snippet: "I spoke with Steve Bruce as the deal was done and it was all about putting the day behind us. He knew that it meant a lot to me to leave Arsenal so it was a great relief for me to get this done. I still aim to leave Arsenal once this loan deal runs out. It means the world to me that I won't be at Arsenal this coming season. I hope never to return. But there is no 100 percent deal on what will happen next summer." 

Comment: Bendtner’s father and agent put a valuation over his head of €11 million. Signing for Sunderland at the last minute on deadline day would appear a little lacklustre for the striker who said clubs throughout Europe wanted his services, but Bendtner was clearly too busy talking about hating Arsenal to think about that. And considering he laughed in the face of a journalist who suggested a move to Stoke (who finished just three places below Sunderland last season), he hasn’t exactly handled the situation like a gentleman.

When he faces Arsenal: October 16


Dignity: 6/10

Snippet: "I want to come to England to win trophies — and that's why I accepted Chelsea's offer. It was also a question of sporting achievement, not money. Arsenal and Tottenham were both interested in me but they did not compare with the Blues. I want the Premier League title and this is possible at Chelsea.”

Comment: What player doesn’t want to win trophies? If we hated every player who said he did, we’d hate a lot of footballers. But while Mata insisted that money didn’t come into his decision, Harry Redknapp thought differently, and told reporters: “Obviously [Chelsea] can blow you out of the water wage wise, and then he changes his mind and they get him. It’s all about wages.” Personally, we think Redknapp was probably on the money with his claims.

When he faces Valencia: September 28 (though playing Tottenham may be just as interesting)


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