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Fleetwood Town boss Joey Barton signs Ross Wallace, Ryan Taylor

Thursday 27th September 2018

It was interesting to see Joey Barton appointed as Fleetwood Town manager this summer, now, the Englishman has had his settling-in period. The former midfielder has recently made the move to bring in some much-needed experience to the Cod Army; with Ross Wallace and Ryan Taylor joining the club.

Firstly, we must mention the deals that Barton has already completed. Since Fleetwood's 14th placed finish in League One last season, the debuting boss needed to bring in a few new faces. Players such as Craig Morgan, Chris Long, Paul Jones and Dean Marney were added. Most bring great experience to the club. This is now followed by Wallace who joins after being released by Sheffield Wednesday. The Scottish midfielder also appeared for Burnley where Barton also spent some playing time. The link between player and manager will be key for the 33-year-old to succeed at Fleetwood.

Ryan Taylor also joins on a free. He too possesses a link with his boss as a former teammate at Newcastle United. At 34, Taylor is still capable of putting out performances even in League One. The primary purpose to bring in veterans is to bring depth and leadership to the squad. Over the season's course, there will be multiple games in short periods, so rotations could be key to promotion aspirations. Injuries will inevitably come into play, it's why football is now more of a squad game than ever.

Although without a win in three games, Fleetwood's start to the season isn't the worst. They currently sit in 10th place with 13 points from nine fixtures. One positive note is that the club possesses the joint second-best defence in League One. Conceding just seven times. Being six points ahead of relegation at this point is a guideline to stay clear. The Fleetwood boss will be aiming not to fall further down the league.

Joey Barton plays a traditional 4-4-2 which Wallace and Taylor are comfortable playing with. Wallace's main position is right-midfield. But he has also been known to play left-midfield and left-back. Barton knows he is best on the right-hand side and we should see him make an impact in future games despite being up there in age. Taylor plays as a right-back and will be featured most likely in that position. After impressing on trials, perhaps the duo could feature sooner than expected.

The next League One fixture takes place at home against Barnsley this Saturday. Fleetwood fans will be intrigued at the Highbury Stadium, waiting to see if one, or both, could make their debuts. Daniel Stendel's side is looking to bounce back from a 1-0 loss away to Coventry City. The Tykes have only let in five goals with the joint best-defence. With 15 goals scored they are also dangerous in attack. Especially if Kieffer Moore makes an appearance. The 26-year-old has six goals to his name already.

With the two newest additions to the squad, Fleetwood should find future games slightly easier than before. With Wallace being a good, technical player he can pass the ball in between the opponents' defensive line. He can also deliver quality crosses. Ryan Taylor has the defensive know-how and can work well on the right-hand side with Wallace which could form a decent partnership. He also likes to shoot from distance so don't be surprised if you hear that he has scored one or two goals from long range.

Joey Barton's job when it comes to team selection has become harder as he now has two more players to work into the line-up. However, he needs the right balance between his squad. Younger players and more experienced ones can't be outweighed which will be crucial to results in the near future. Fleetwood does have a promising time ahead and the boss needs to get the best from his newest signings as quickly as possible.

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Jamie Kynaston

For my sins, I'm a season ticket holder at Stoke City, I have been proud to watch them for over 20 years. I follow most of the UK leagues and the major European ones too, and I've been told that I talk way too much about football.

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