Bristol news Gasheads deliver verdict on Barton's arrival and if he will avoid relegation PremierLeague-News.Com
PremierLeague-News.Com - Bristol Live asked six Bristol Rovers fans for their thoughts on Joey Barton's appointment by Bristol Rovers
PremierLeague-News.Com - Breaking Sport Transfer News ! Joey Barton's appointment by Bristol Rovers on Monday has certainly split opinion among Gasheads. Barton has inked a deal until 2023 and will lead Rovers from the Mem dugout against Wigan Athletic on Tuesday. Many supporters are excited by the the former Manchester City and England midfielder's arrival, confident he can steer the Pirates to safety, but others are equally concerned by Barton's past. To get a better feeling of the views of supporters, we asked six Gasheads what they thought of the 38-year-old becoming Rovers' next manager, the key issues he must address and how he will fare on and off the pitch. Read More Related Articles Every word Joey Barton said on becoming Bristol Rovers manager and convincing doubters Read More Related Articles Joey Barton’s biggest challenge lies beyond just winning games for Bristol Rovers Do you think Bristol Rovers have made the right decision appointing Joey Barton? Steve Hutson (@SteveHutsonCGE): It's tough to answer this just yet. On the basis that we need someone with his passion, intensity, and record with Fleetwood Town then I'd say yes this is a good appointment. Marcus Hudd (@TintagelGas): I don’t think that it’s the worst appointment. Yes, he comes with baggage but we need someone to get our players up for the fight to stay in League One. Simon Gray (@SimonGray95): think Rovers have made the right decision appointing Joey Barton and also bringing in his own staff in the form of Clint Hill and Andy Mangan. Between the three of them you have countless experience in all areas of the pitch which is the exact guidance this group of underperforming players needs. Nigel Adkins would have been my first choice however he clearly has his sights set on a Championship side so Barton is the best realistic candidate in my eyes. Tom Higgins (@tomhuwhig): On the pitch yes, but for the club, no. My gut feeling is that Barton will get the best out of players in the same way as GC did, through grit, discipline and a more unified purpose. I simply don't think there's a better footballing brain available to the board at the moment, but in picking the sharpest tool in the shed they have inadvertently severed a lot of people's affection towards the club/board. Tommy Widdrington appears to have been the logical option, but whether Barton is the talisman Rovers have been lacking? I'm not convinced. It's not surprising to see JB get the job, but the board have primed themselves for another classic Gas meltdown. A lot has to go right for JB both on and off the pitch for him to be deemed a success, and any shortcomings will be criticised heavily. Ed Lewis (@edwardthelewis): Yes definitely an exciting appointment. Sean Smyth (@seandsmyth): Absolutely not. Perhaps if he had a proven track record I could see why the board were willing to make such a controversial appointment, but given Fleetwood were so poor in the playoffs last season I have real worries. I would have tried to appoint Stendel or Pearson. Joey Barton took training for the first time at Bristol Rovers on Monday. (Image: JMP) Some supporters are concerned by his appointment. Do you understand or share those concerns? Steve: I share these concerns, as I would prefer the Gas to make headlines for purely footballing reasons. So if Mr Barton lets his tactics do the fighting, and doesn’t allow his passion to boil over then I'm confident he will bring the best out of Bristol Rovers. Marcus: Yes, of course I do but the decision has been made and it’s time to get behind the appointment and give them our support 100 per cent. Simon: I understand their concerns however I do not share them. Yes, Barton has the reputation as a hot head and has been known to overstep the mark on the odd occasion. However, the majority of these incidents the fanbase have memories of took place during Barton's playing career and I believe that this is down to how passionate Barton is about each role he takes on. Going forwards I suspect that supporters will soon see that Barton's reputation as a highly regarded coach will overcome the negativity surrounding his appointment. Tom: Absolutely - the reputation of the clubs JB has been at previously have been shaped and moulded by the man, inadvertently or not. The last thing Rovers fans want is to have the clubs legacy and reputation tarnished by our manager, his behaviour and characteristics. Already JB has become the clubs biggest commercial and media asset - you just have to look at his Twitter following to see the interest he garners, no pun intended. Ed: I acknowledge their concerns but the club needs action on the pitch and JB gives us the best opportunity to make things happen. Sean: Definitely. I for one won’t be giving the club any money for ifollow or going to games whilst Barton is manager if he is still in charge when fans are allowed back in the stadium. Especially as someone who is an openly bisexual Rovers fan who’s been delighted with the work of the community trust and the collaboration between Bristol Pride and the Gas Girls, I am upset that the club have appointed a manager who called an opponent a “fat ladyboy”, so as a result I will no longer give the club my money, be it for iFollow, game tickets or in the club shop while he is in post. Obviously I don’t want the club to lose games or be relegated, I just feel unable to support this particular manager. Read More Related Articles Wael Al-Qadi explains why Bristol Rovers have appointed Joey Barton as next manager Read More Related Articles Joey Barton vows to 'galvanise army' and give Bristol Rovers fans a team to be proud of Barton's appointment has divided the fanbase. Do you think he can reunite Gasheads? Steve: Unfortunately there will always be haters, but as above, if he brings us success then in this fickle world, he will unite the stands in singing the blues. Marcus: Unfortunately not. Not in this day and age where social media gives everyone the chance to shoot anyone with differing views down. Simon: I think that a run of games that diverts Rovers away from danger will quickly get some supporters back on board.
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. On the other hand, if this appointment does not work and Barton is unable to drag us away from the relegation scrap then I can see the voices of some supporters getting louder and louder in the other direction. Whatever happens, Barton certainly has a job to do both on and off the pitch. Both are large tasks that I think he has the ability to complete. Tom: It's a results driven business, and if he can secure our L1 status then I think we should give him a clean slate next season. But until then I don't think he can reunite the fanbase, and neither should anyone be forced to not be vocal about their grievances. He is one of the most contentious figures in league football, and he will have to change if he wants the full backing of the fans Ed: Yes, through hard work and by bringing an identity to the club. Sean: No. While I’m sure we’d all love it if Rovers turned their fortunes around, I think the appointment of someone as toxic and divisive as Barton will have an effect, whether that is just a vocal minority on Twitter or has a noticeable impact off social media remains to be seen. What are the key playing issues he needs to address quickly at Rovers? Steve: Clearly we have a problem at both ends of the pitch. He needs to quickly inspire our strikers to fulfil the potential that Mr Widdrington believes they hold. Equally he needs to inspire the rest of the team to give their all for the badge in every moment. Marcus: Joey needs to instil a lot more grit and fight into the Gas. Simon: All season we have looked fragile from set pieces, even when winning the first aerial battle, we seem to lose the second ball. I think Clint Hill will play a major part in this. The man has nearly 600 professional games under his belt including three seasons in the Prem. He also has the task on getting us firing on all cylinders going forward. We've scored the joint second least amount of goals this season and it's one of the reasons we're in trouble in the first place. His Fleetwood side knew how to score goals, whether that's due to the high profile strikers they had in Ched Evans and Paddy Madden, the coaching or a mixture of both. Let's hope it’s the coaching and he can get Hanlan, Daly and Ayunga firing. Tom: Beyond the shortcomings up front, he needs to decide on how the wing/full backs are utilised. Ben Garner's flying wing play was quickly overturned by Paul Tisdale, yet a lot of quality in the squad is locked up in Tutonda, Leahy, Hare and Rodman (to an extent). This shortcoming is amplified by the lack of an aggressive ball winner in front of the CBs, but I'm hopeful that the additional coaching team can distil some grit into Grant. Ed: Confidence. We have a great squad with little to no confidence. Sean: We need to be taking our chances and tighter at the back.
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Do you think Barton will steer Rovers to safety this season? Steve: Yes. If our squad is as strong as we're lead to believe and have demonstrated in flashes this season, then Mr Barton will ensure the team matches what's expected of them. And that not only means league survival but also ensure we are scrapping at the right end end of the table into next season. Marcus: I’m not 100 per cent sure if he can keep us up but I certainly hope that he can. Simon: I personally believe Barton will get Rovers out of trouble this season. I think this is an underperforming group of talented players and some of them really need to have a long hard look at themselves. Some individuals are in need of the 'hairdryer' treatment whilst some need to get better at the 'dark arts' of the game. On the occasions I've watched us against Barton's Fleetwood, they've been very good at the latter. Barton is sure to also provide a vast knowledge of the game to the younger players at the club and here's hoping for a successful final third of the season for us! Tom: Yes, because I think he has the duality of data driven and personality fuelled football nailed, and will create a rapid shift in the atmosphere around the squad. The team certainly has elements of quality, buy depth is a severe concern - a flurry of injuries could cost us vital points. I'm hopeful that JB will give some youth players the opportunity to step up should the squad be depleted by injury, and I think that he will be a strong motivational force for them Ed: I think JB gives us the best chance to stay up. He is a character and that is what BRFC need. We will gather enough points to stay up (just). Sean: 50/50. I worry his style could backfire badly, he could definitely give the players the kick up the backside the squad needs but equally he could quite easily push it too far and lose the dressing room, which would be catastrophic.
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