Five things we learned from Joey Barton's first press conference as Fleetwood Town boss

Joey Barton, 35, took the reins as Fleetwood's new head coach on Saturday and will steer Town into the 2018/19 League One season in his first managerial role.

Monday, 4th June 2018, 4:30 pm
Updated Monday, 4th June 2018, 4:37 pm
New Fleetwood Town head coach Joey Barton

So what did we learn from his first press conference on Monday?

The ex-Burnley and Manchester City man certainly has a sense of humour!

It was inevitable the opening question would address Barton's 13-month ban from football for breaching FA betting regulations.

It was a corker of an opening line from Sky Sports: "How much of a gamble is this?"

But his answer was measured and humorous.

"I don't know. I suppose we could contact some good bookmakers and they will probably give us a price on what it would be for me to come out of a betting ban and into a managerial position.

"It is one of those weird idiosyncrasies that tend to go on the rollercoaster journey that has been my life and professional life in a football space.

It is something I have always wanted to do. I'm thankful for the opportunity. It is a fantastic football club, obviously on an upward curve and an upward trajectory. It's a great place for me to start a coaching journey."

He understands people might have questioned the appointment.

Barton said on taking on the role: "I get that some people will have questioned this appointment because I am somebody who is coming out of a 13-month ban from the FA.

"It is down to me to show the faith that Andy (Pilley, Town chairman) has shown in me by giving me the opportunity. I intend to pay that back 100 fold over the next three years."

And he will not be pulling on a Fleetwood Town shirt anytime soon as he confirmed his retirement as a player

He said: "I think I have to if I am serious about being the best possible version of myself in a coaching space. I think I have to put Joey Barton the player to bed.

"The take-out for you is probably the death of Joey Barton as a player. Some people will argue that is a very good thing but it obviously opens up Joey Barton the coach. You close one chapter of your career ...

"I love playing. It is something that I have dreamed about doing from as long as I am consciously aware.

"I was fortunate to achieve everything I dreamed of doing: playing for England, playing in the Premier League for some phenomenal football clubs.

"Certainly since the age of 28, 29 I always wanted to coach. I thought I'd really love to coach, stay in the game and give something back to the game after I wasn't able to play.

"The way that happened, I probably would have liked to have gone out under my own steam as opposed to getting an FA ban to put the final nail in the coffin.

"The world works in mysterious ways. I've got a fantastic opportunity in an exciting period in this club's history and I'm really looking forward to everything that brings."

Barton confirmed it is a time of change in his career and in his approach to social media.

He said: "I think he definitely has to alter the way he has used social media in the past.

"I don't like talking about myself in the third person. I'm starting to sound a bit like Zlatan (Ibrahimovic), which I should never really do!

"It is like everything in life: stuff that works for you in some regards doesn't necessarily work further down the line.

"The way I used social media initially, probably being one of the first modern day players through the wall, was not the way I would use it today, knowing how that landscape has changed.

"At the time it was a new technology and you have to use it the way you see best.

"It was not always used in the right reasons and purposes but if I look at the Joey Barton journey on Twitter - again, the third person thing is freaking me out a bit!

"But if you look at what it was used for with the Hillsbrough campaign, I'm incredibly proud of what it has been used for but there are things I probably could have stayed away from on social media. That is life. You try and use that skill going forward.

"I don't think I will be a massive communicator over the coaching journey and period because you have to use all of your energies in the right way - on the football pitch, the training ground, certainly with the player.

"I don't think to use it the way I did as a player would be the right way going forward."

Barton joins other ex-England team-mates Steven Gerrard (Rangers) and Frank Lampard (Derby) in taking on their first managerial roles.

All three were midfielders and Barton believes they make the best coaches.

He said: "I tip my hat to them because they are taking a huge risk. I'm aware of how volatile the industry is. Yyou only have to chart the course of a managerial merry-go-round during the season to see how many people come in and out of jobs.

"It is a huge leap of faith by them. They must believe supremely in their talent to get off the punditry chair and step into the rigours of being a modern day manager, with all the risk attached to that.

"For me as an aspiring young coach, I think it is as important to select your owner as it is to go to a club.

"You will face pressures. No doubt they (Gerrard and Lampard) will have a wealth of experience based on good and bad managers, and players they have played with and clubs they have played for.

"I would expect them to show the same amount of rigour and everything they did as players in a managerial space. I think they will be excellent, the pair of them.

"Usually slow, plodding midfielders tend to be good managers!

"They really do, when you look at it - Pep Guardiola, the best coach in the world was a midfielder with no pace and no skills. You look at Mauricio Pochettino - very similar profile.

"I think if you look at any great manager, they have tended to be of a certain type.

"That is not saying, Zinedine Zidane would probably buck the trend but he was a midfielder!

"I took great refuge in the fact midfielders tend to make really good coaches. If you think about it rationally, we are in the middle of the park, we are communicating at all times.

"If I'm playing central midfield I will be talking to the left midfielder and right midfielder.

" I keep my defensive line and keep us connected to the forward line.

"I'm communicating because I am at the hub of a team,

and I think that is why probably midfielders tend to be able to transfer those skills from playing to coaching because we see all the pitch.

"I'd laugh at players and say that to be a central midfielder you need to have 360 degree vision.

"If you are a centre half you see the world ahead. If you are a centre forward you see it with your back to goal but as a midfielder you have to see everything at all times.

"Especially when you were one, like me, who had no skills, was not really quick or strong.

"To survive as long as you can, you have to be able to scheme and think about things differently.

I think that will help me certainly to be a manager."