Warren Barton: Newcastle will miss Nolan
Speaking exclusive to FourFourTwo.com earlier this week, the former full-back, who is now head coach of American lower league side San Diego Flash, said: “I think you have to be careful. Kevin [Nolan] is a player like Rob Lee or Gary Speed, he’s good around the changing room, and good around the community.”
The Hammers confirmed that Nolan had passed a medical and completed his move to Upton Park on Thursday, with the 28-year-old signing a five-year-deal.
The transfer will see him reunited with his former boss Sam Allardyce, who he worked under at Bolton Wanderers. He will also be joined in East London by another his former team-mates - Abdoulaye Faye.
Barton continued: “I think you’re going to need people like Kevin come November or December when times are hard, the chips are down and things maybe aren’t going your way. Newcastle will have to be careful they don’t miss out on his influence.”
Joey Barton has also been strongly linked with an exit from St James' Park following a breakdown in talks over a new contract, but his namesake - who is doubling up as a pundit for Fox Soccer in the USA - believes his departure would be less detrimental to the side.
“I’ve got a lot of time for Joey. I think he’s started to prove to people what a player he is, but I think when Joey gets a bee in his bonnet, he’ll want to leave," he said.
"You have to deal with players like that sometimes as a coach, you can’t force people to stay.
"I think Newcastle would love to have him stay, but if he’s made up his mind and the club can get good money for him then things have to move on.”
By Kris Heneage