Bristol Rovers’ Joey Barton aims jibe at Bristol City’s Nigel Pearson after both teams made the announcement on their appointments.
Ex-Magpies player Barton, who was recently sacked by Fleetwood, couldn’t resist making a cheeky joke aimed at Pearson, who used to be his first-team coach back in the day.
We all know how heated the relationship in between the two Bristol clubs and their fans, however on this occasion, there was no malice in what was said.
The two first worked together when Barton was in his playing days and Pearson was coaching him and it seems that they’ve managed a close relationship ever since then.
Speaking to Cari Davies from ITV News ahead of Pearson’s appointment, the Rovers boss discussed his relationship with Pearson and it seems he couldn’t resist aiming a jibe at the new manager of his rivals.
— Cari Davies (@CariDaviesTV) February 22, 2021
He said: “I texted him last night actually. It looks like that’s imminent about sharing a flat together or something like that. Nah, I’m only joking.
“He was obviously a first-team coach when I was at Newcastle. A great guy, someone that I became good friends with and someone that I’ve kept in touch with over the years on the coaching journey.
“Hopefully, at some point I get the chance to stand on the touchline in a competitive fixture and we get an opportunity to see what goes on tactically because I’ve always had Nige’s number whenever I’ve spoken to him. I know a lot more about football than he does, I think he’d be the first to admit that. I’m only joking he’s a great guy.”
Bristol City and Bristol Rovers haven’t played each other since the Robins’ 2-1 win in the EFL Trophy (back then known as the Johnstone’s Paint Trophy) in 2013 and are currently one division apart, with City mid-table in the Championship table and Rovers struggling down in League One.
Any hopes of meeting each other anytime soon looks off the cards however, with Barton’s new side 20 points off the top six, while the Robins are mid-table having lost seven on the bounce and won just three of their last 14 league games.
STATEMENT ON JOEY BARTON:
Speaking about Barton’s appointment, Club President Wael Al Qadi said: “We are delighted to welcome Joey to Bristol Rovers and look forward to working closely with him to progress our football club forward.
“Joey’s experience in the game is matched by his passion for coaching and delivering results, which made him a standout candidate for the role.
“He’s got a good knowledge of the league already thanks to his spell at Fleetwood and has shown his credentials at delivering results and getting the best out of the players he works with.
“We are confident that he will be able to continue the ongoing development of the younger players coming through the ranks at the Club and speaking to him, I know his ambitions align with what we want to achieve as a football club.
“I want to wish Joey, the staff and the players the very best of luck for the coming games, as we look to cement our safety in Sky Bet League One and build for the future.”
“I think it’s better that action does it rather than words,” Barton said to Bristol Live.
“Maybe nothing I can say at the moment will change their mind, but if we go and put a good team together and move the club where we want to move it, naturally they will be more receptive to me.
“But I understand. I’ve polarised people since I was in high school, so it’s natural when I come into anything, either being signed as a player or coming to the job as a manager, that there is a bit of scepticism.
“That’s healthy and it keeps you on your toes, and with a point to prove, but also I was shocked and overwhelmed by the amount of support. I’d seen all the tweets to Wael (Al-Qadi) and I’d seen all the tweets to me about coming to take the job.
“It felt like 98 per cent positive, and obviously I did see some people who didn’t want me. I can take an opinion on someone that is not positive, but I always remain open and if they show via action they deserve support.
“This is their football club. I’m only a custodian, I’m here to drive standards in a short period, whether that’s one, two, five, six or seven years, who knows, but it’s not my football club.
“I’m here to give everything I’ve got and my staff and the players will be the same.
“Hopefully those Rovers fans will be prepared to give us the time of day, give us an opportunity to show what we’re about and make that judgement.
“I totally understand it, but I’m confident with our actions that they will be believers before my tenure here is out.”
Barton added: “It’s our job to galvanise this army, this fanbase. It’s not their job to get behind the team, it’s our job to make them believe, and I’m convinced, with the talent we’ve got, with hard work and dedication on the training pitch, we’ll mobilise this army and get the blue side of the city rocking.”
STATEMENT ON NIGEL PEARSON:
City Chairman Jon Lansdown said: “Nigel gives us the leadership and direction we need to lift the players’ confidence and to turn our form around. The initial appointment is until the end of the season, when we will re-assess the situation, hopefully with a view to the long term. However, the immediate priority for Nigel and the coaching team is to stop the current bad run and move us back up the table.”
City Chief Executive Mark Ashton added: “Nigel is a highly respected and experienced manager with a proven track record of success and we are looking forward to welcoming him to the club.”
Pearson posted: “Good evening, all. Thank you for the kind messages and warm welcome.
“I’m delighted to be back in management and working for @BristolCity, a proud, progressive football club.
Fans reacted as Bristol Rovers’ Joey Barton aims a friendly jibe at Bristol City’s Nigel Pearson…
@Alsouthgloucs: I think city and rovers should organise a game for the fans at the first opportunity when the grounds can be full again , these two managers can be like Roy Keane and Micah Richards.
@joannab2015: Gonna be entertaining with JB in the hood.. And that’s from a City fan!
@RobinRaving: I actually like Joey Barton a lot. I know he’s had a fair bit of controversy in the past but when you read his book and understand a bit more about his background and his personality he’s more likeable and genuine than a lot of people give him credit for.
@blueygood: Didn’t he intentionally stub a cigarette out in a trainees eye and knock a fellow managers teeth out? What sort of back story justifies that? A thugs a thug.
@betdaqsports: ” maybe we can share a flat together…” make a hell of a sitcom
@NTT20Pod: Nigel Pearson to Bristol City. Joey Barton to Bristol Rovers. Still think there should be a sitcom where they’re forced to live together in a Harbourside flat while managing the city’s rivals teams.
@NeilMaggs2: And so it begins….love it!
@ARWBS3: Tbf I think they maybe both good for Bristol… Definitely shines a spotlight on the city with these two names !
@maceyjust: Our guy 🤣🤣
@Harley1883BRFC: City gaffer in the mud love it joey lad
@ChrisFordTV: Joey Barton getting the Frank Lampard serious-joke-serious ALL WRONG here. You’re doing Frank wrong.
@J_Green46: @NTT20Pod looks like the sitcom could be a goer!
@DavidLaney: “than what he does” 🤣🤣🤣