Plenty more miles left in Joey Barton’s tank

Burnleys Joey Barton takes on Wolverhampton Wanderers George Saville
Burnleys Joey Barton takes on Wolverhampton Wanderers George Saville

Clarets midfielder Joey Barton feels he has plenty of miles in the tank yet.

But he admits he has thought about a future in the game beyond his playing days, and he would like to go into management – if he can find a chairman to hire him!

I know I live football and that is the only thing I want to do for the rest of my life

Joey Barton

The 33-year-old wouldn’t necessarily want to be thrown straight into the deep end immediately, however.

Asked whether he would like to go into management, Barton said: “Most probably, I would like to.

“I know it’ll be swimming against your past, you have to convince someone to give you a job.

“I believe in what I am about. I am going to have to overcome a few more hurdles than other people.

“I would personally like to do it slightly differently, learn my trade.

“Being a footballer gives you the opportunity to be a good manager, but it would be prudent for me to work for someone as a coach first to understand what the job is about and what you are getting into.”

Having seen Gary Neville’s baptism of fire at Valencia, Barton would prefer to work his way up: “You see Gary Neville at Valencia and the jury is still out there.

“I know I live football and that is the only thing I want to do for the rest of my life.

“But I don’t want to take an opportunity ill-prepared.

“You have to put the hard work in and learn the trade.

“I will probably take the opportunity, I have probably I think I have the skill set to go into that.

“But at the moment I am focussed on playing. You pick things up from good managers, and I have worked for some characters.”

However, that day is some way away just yet, although he enjoys being able to pass on knowledge he has accumulated over his career, good and bad.

He feels molly-coddled young players nowadays have a lot to learn: “I don’t feel 33, you see some players in their latter stages and you can see it.

“I am not there. I don’t know why.

“When I see young kids, I don’t get self-righteous.

“Nobody could talk to me from the ages of 21 to 27, I was completely in my own world.

“It is a strange industry we are in.

“It is a very fearful time for them, they are thrown into the deep end, men’s football.

“They are scared little boys. You have to be mindful.

“If they ask me for stuff, I try to give the best advice I can.

“Don’t be drinking in city centres, stuff that is quite self-explanatory, but when the manager doesn’t pick them and their heads go down, I can talk to them, explain the managers might be testing them.

“The kids coming through academy systems, they don’t have skills to deal with life.

“They don’t know anything. I won’t name names,

“I had a conversation with a young pro who wanted to buy a house and thought you saved all the money and went into the estate agents with a bag and paid for it that way”

“This is a 20-year-old lad.

“The mind boggles. No, you get a mortgage.

“You think they would know that, I was a bit more streetwise growing up.

“But the reality is they live in a cocoon.”