Anthony Barry arrived at Chelsea from Wigan Athletic in the summer, joining Frank Lampard’s coaching staff. Barry did not have any previous Chelsea connections, unlike the rest of the group, but he had been acquainted with Lampard and Morris and was quite highly rated.
Barry, alongside former Chelsea youth coach Joe Edwards were the two coaches who did not leave with Lampard at the start of this week — and conducted the interim training session before Thomas Tuchel’s appointment. However, that might be changing.
According to multiple reports, Barry’s set to take over League One (third division) side Fleetwood Town, whose previous manager, Joey Barton (!) had left at the start of the month after 2.5 years in charge. Barry had spent several years at Fleetwood as a player, and they apparently extended the job offer earlier this week.
Yes. Expect it to be announced very soon. Offer was on the table from earlier this week.— Training Ground Guru (@ground_guru) January 28, 2021
Since arriving, Barry has been credited in improving Chelsea’s set pieces but also in adding more diligence to just about every coaching and management function, as Lampard revealed just a couple weeks ago.
“He’s been a real positive for the group dynamic, and in all senses. 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.”
-Frank Lampard; source: Chelsea FC
This could be a big loss for us — Tuchel had already spoken highly of the team’s set pieces and opposition analysis/scouting — but a big opportunity for Barry to make his way into full-time management. Fleetwood are apparently trying to wrap this up quickly since they haven’t had a manager for almost a month, and sit in 14th position on the table.
It’s unclear if Tuchel would move to replace Barry. Tuchel’s own set-piece specialist, Zoumana Camara, has stayed with PSG but working with the youth team rather than as part of Mauricio Pochettino’s staff. Meanwhile, Joe Edwards is still expected to stay and maintain the Chelsea connection.