Joey Barton is doing a remarkably good job at the moment in his first management role.
No doubt many expected and hoped he would instantly fail but currently Fleetwood stand in tenth place, four points off the League One play-offs and only five pints behind Sunderland.
Things could have been even better, as Fleetwood were the better team when they played at Sunderland, took the lead and were unlucky having to settle for a point in the end.
Joey Barton has managed this very decent start despite not paying out any transfer fees so far, instead relying almost exclusively on free agents.
He has just taken on another two, with former Sunderland player Ross Wallace joining, as well as Ryan Taylor.
Now 34, Taylor was last playing in India but after training with Fleetwood, he has now agreed to join.
One of the best free-kick takers you could possibly see, Ryan Taylor ensured NUFC cult hero status with that winner at Sunderland.
Joey Barton though has been amazed and surprised when Ryan Taylor has accepted a deal, considering how little money he could offer the player, saying ‘I almost felt embarrassed offering it.’
Good luck to the former Newcastle pair this season, interesting to see if Barton can sustain this early promising management form and potentially move higher in the future.
Joey Barton talking to the Blackpool Gazette:
“The most pleasing thing for me about Ross Wallace and Ryan Taylor is that they have shown an incredible desire to be part of this group.
“If I’m honest, the money we have offered them is not in keeping with their ability and standing within the game. But they have said, ‘Look, we don’t care about money. We are loving it and we want to be part of it’.
“That is really refreshing to hear when two top-level players are desperate to be part of your group.
“No doubt over the next few months they will be a massive part of our group.
“They both had really great careers and are still hungry to be part of a team.
“We have watched them for two weeks in training and they have enormous quality. We just need to get that bit of game sharpness and game time for them.
“We want competition for places and have got to do that on a budget.
“If you can’t have tens of millions to spend, then you have to be creative in the free transfer market. We have done that.
“It is not me or the finances that are attracting them here – we have a really good group.
“We are building a really good culture and a really good place to work.
“Hence the lads want to come in for money I never thought they would accept.
“I almost felt embarrassed offering it to them because it is literally the last couple of scrapes of the financial barrel with Financial Fair Play.
“It is testament to them as professionals and as people that they want to be part of it.”