Who Is Anthony Barry? Chelsea coach new favourite to return to Fleetwood Town as manager

Jack Kitson by Jack Kitson / 27 January 2021, 12:14

While Chelsea and Cardiff City took all of 24 hours to fire-then-hire managers, the same can’t be said for the likes of Sheffield Wednesday, Port Vale, and Fleetwood Town.

The trio of Football League clubs are each still hunting for a new manager, with Fleetwood’s own search dating back to Monday 4th January when they parted ways with Joey Barton.

Since then we’ve seen Tim Cahill linked with the job, caretaker Simon Wiles has been touted as a possible option, while in-form Carlisle boss Chris Beech has also been mentioned.

However, it’s Anthony Barry who now leads the way in the next Fleetwood manager market after bookmakers Bet Victor installed him as the odds-on favourite for the League One post.

Here’s all you need to know about the bright young coach...

A Familiar Fleetwood Face

In his playing days, midfielder Barry helped Accrington Stanley win the National League title in 2006, then featured in a League One play-off final during his Yeovil spell.

In 2010 he signed for Fleetwood, with whom he helped propel to consecutive promotions from the Conference North into the Football League, playing alongside future Premier League winning striker Jamie vardy during the triumphant National League title campaign.

Coaching Credentials

Barry’s coaching journey began in 2017 under Paul Cook at Wigan, who went on to win the League One title in his first season, which was followed by Championship preservation in 2018/19. The Latics then conjured up a superb comeback in the second-half of last season, only to suffer relegation after they were docked points.

“He’s an absolutely outstanding young man who conducts himself perfectly in everything he does,” Cook told The Athletic.

“He’s infectious with his enthusiasm, not just to get better at his job but for football in general. He’ll be a really good addition to Chelsea’s staff.”

“He’s a student of football,” added Cook. “He watches games, he’s very much into match analysis as much as coaching. He just lives for football.”

In the summer Barry, who has completed his UEFA Pro Licence, emerged as a contender to replace Micky Mellon at Tranmere Rovers, a job which went to Mike Jackson - who has since been replaced by Keith Hill - whereas Barry ventured off to the Premier League...

Working under Frank Lampard at Chelsea

At the start of his second season at Chelsea - before it was cut short this week - Frank Lampard added Barry to his backroom staff, as a defensive specialist.

“He’s been a real positive for the group dynamic, and in all senses,” Lampard said to Chelseafc.com.

“He’s certainly helped on set-pieces, but he’s very diligent, he pays so much attention to ourselves and the opposition in every part of the game, from what we do in the office, to studying opposition and working on the training field. 

“It’s very important you have balance within staff, and what Anthony has given us is another person and another level of expertise that I can call upon, and a work ethic that is outstanding.”

Barry was then thrust into the limelight earlier this week as Lampard’s sacking meant it was the coach who subsequently oversaw Chelsea’s training session, prior to the arrival of new boss Thomas Tuchel.

It will now be interesting to see whether the Liverpudlian stays at Chelsea - Chelsea journalist Nizaar Kinsella has tweeted that he’s been kept on following Tuchel’s appointment - where he’ll no doubt learn valuable nuggets of information from one of the most advanced managerial minds in the game.

Or, instead set out his own managerial stall for the first time.

Has there been contact with Fleetwood?

Barry, 34, is now as short as 1/4 in the betting to replace Barton, with Fleetwood keen on opening negotiations with their former player, as reported by the The Mail.

Fleetwood gave Barton his first opportunity as a manager, and Barry’s credentials as a coach, obvious talent and dedication to his craft plus his previous history at the club could make him an ideal appointment.

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