Joey Barton will officially take over at Fleetwood Town tomorrow and one of his first recruits, Steve Eyre, expects him to hang up his boots.
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The media will meet Barton on Monday when the question of whether he will pull on a red and white jersey or follow in Eyre’s footsteps and hang up his boots should be answered.
At 35 Barton’s playing career was prematurely stalled due to his suspension from all football activity in April 2017 after he was found to have breached FA betting regulations.
He was released by Burnley that summer but, just over a year on, the question still looms as to whether he will be a player-manager.
One man who may have insight is Eyre, who coached him at Manchester City and joins the backroom staff.
Having watched Barton’s rise from the youth ranks, Eyre is certain Barton will be a success.
Eyre said: “It looks like he will become an ex-pro and probably retire and go into management.
“His love of the game, his knowledge, his personality belongs in football.
“It is a great opportunity for him in the North West where he is popular, where he is based.
“I think it is a great appointment by the club.
“Immediately it brings energy and hope, I have to say this he has overachieved at everything he has done.
“He was a good schoolboy footballer and made himself a youth player; he was a good youth player and made himself a pro.
“He was a good pro and made himself a first team player; he was a good first team player and made himself an England international.
“He has overachieved at everything he has done, his knowledge is obvious and I think he is tailor-made for management.”