OPINION: Derby County, Sheffield Wednesday should seriously consider ‘wildcard’ L1 appointment
The Sheffield Wednesday hotseat is available. Phillip Cocu’s Derby County sacking is imminent. Potential names are plastering social media and yet, nobody is looking at genuinely, one of the best up and coming managers in the Football League.
Not everyone’s favourite name in the sport – Joey Barton. Once of Manchester City, Newcastle United and QPR amongst others, Barton entered management at the same time as fellow Englishmen; Steven Gerrard and Frank Lampard.
Clout inevitably went the way of the former England captains and few paid much attention to how Barton was fairing in his newfound role at Fleetwood Town.
A wildcard appointment, Barton guided Fleetwood to an 11th-place finish in his debut 2018/19 season and a 6th-place finish in the previous.
His side were knocked out to eventual winners Wycombe Wanderers and in this new season, his side sit 10th in League One.
Next up for Barton is his 120th game in charge of Town. He boasts a win percentage of over 40% and yet, for all his successes at Fleetwood – highlighted in last season’s unexpected promotion bid – no clubs from higher in the pyramid seem keen on him.
Sheffield Wednesday are being tipped with the usual suspects – Tony Pulis is a leading candidate, whilst Sol Campbell has seemingly come out of nowhere – and Derby could yet be burdened with John Terry should Derby go through with Cocu’s sacking as expected.
Barton for all his previous flaws and such, is proving himself as one of the best, up and coming managers in the Football League, certainly in League One.
His prior reputation may well be holding him back from these roles but the hard evidence of his potential is right there at Fleetwood – his future appointments will always be met with caution, but should he continue his form at Fleetwood then sooner or later, clubs are going to have to take him seriously.