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Joey Barton can still play for Newcastle, says Alan Pardew

Over the last few weeks Joey Barton has been himself an outspoken critic of the Newcastle United board, criticising their transfer policy and the way in which they deal with the players. The fact that he chose to do this on Twitter – in-between posting about The Smiths and Nietzsche – made the situation even worse, and for a while it looked certain that the Scouser would be on his way out of the club as soon as possible.

However manager Alan Pardew has said that there is still a way back into his good books, if he wants to be in them. Pardew says that he is still considering putting Barton in the starting line-up for the match against Arsenal at the weekend, but he wants to be sure that he's not on his way out the door, and that he's putting in 100% for the team. It's an interesting form of management, that's for sure.

'It's my decision,' the manager said. 'I'll probably talk to Joey before the start of training on Friday but I'm not sure whether he'll start on Saturday, whatever answer he gives me.

'I've said to Joey that he won't play for me and I won't include him unless I think he's pulling for us. He's in the process of weighing up what he needs to do.

'I've offered Joey an olive branch – to me his crime wasn't that great – but my dressing room has to be united, we have to fight as one. I think Joey's in a better frame of mind. I think he's beginning to get his head around that it's a difficult decision for him.'

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