‘He will surely be gone’ – Is time running out for Joey Barton at Bristol Rovers? The verdict

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Football League World

This article is part of Football League World’s ‘The Verdict’ series, which provides personal opinions from the FLW writers regarding the latest breaking news, teams, players, managers, potential signings and more

Bristol Rovers have picked up a mere seven points from their opening eight games of the new League Two season.

The Gas currently occupy 22nd place, and are only avoiding a place in the bottom two because of goal difference.

Joey Barton arrived at the Memorial Ground in late February, but he was unable to steer the south-west club away from relegation from the third-tier.

In what was a summer of change, Barton waved goodbye to 20 first-team player, replacing them with 17 fresh faces for the rigours of challenging for League Two promotion.

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Five defeats later, and with just two wins on the board, it is a testing time for The Gas.

We asked three of our writers here at FLW for their thoughts on whether time is running our for Joey Barton at Bristol Rovers…

Marcus Ally 

Definitely, the aim for this season for Bristol Rovers was promotion so to be languishing in 23rd place with seven points after eight games is substantially below par.

I think there is a positive run around the corner for Rovers given the depth of quality in the squad but for now it is looking bleak, and given how recently the club dropped into non-league, they will be concerned.

Joey Barton needs to start picking up results and climb towards the top half of the League Two, all the time while the Gas are in the bottom half he will be under pressure. It is not a surprise to see a slow start given the poor end to 2020/21 and the turnover of players in the summer but if Barton cannot turn the tide in the next month or so they are due a change.

George Harbey

I’d say so.

It hasn’t been a pretty start to life back in League Two, and despite bringing in some decent players in the likes of Brett Pitman and Luke Thomas, Rovers have struggled.

It’s hard to get out of a rut and pick yourselves back up once you start the season poorly, and that’s the task Barton has on his hands now.

He’s got to show mental strength and resilience and guide the Gas out of this rut at a time where supporters have already lost patience.

If results don’t pick up, he will surely be gone.

Chris Gallagher

He has to be!

People seem to forget that when Barton was appointed the side still had a real chance of staying in League One, and they were even outside the relegation zone when he arrived.

Yet, they went down in poor fashion and Barton seemed to convince everyone that major changes were needed over the summer. Now, whilst it would be unfair to expect everything to click immediately, there’s no getting away from the fact that the results haven’t been acceptable. To be in the relegation zone in League Two is simply not good enough.

Barton is obviously going to know this and he will be aware that things need to improve rapidly. The expectation at Bristol Rovers this season was to push for promotion, so he is underachieving massively and he can have few complaints if the board want to make a change.

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