Joey Barton's bold claim about Peterborough United's strikers about of Bristol Rovers clash
Joey Barton couldn’t resist the chance to try and rile up Posh’s forward line ahead of Saturday’s game by claiming that the best two strikers will be on show on the day but that neither will be playing for Posh.
Jonson Clarke-Harris may be League One’s leading goalscorer on 12 goals but Barton was in fact talking about Aaron Collins and Josh Coburn.
Collins scooped the League One Player of the Month prize for October and sits on ten goals- while 19-year-old Coburn is level with Jack Marriott on four but has scored three in his last four matches.
The comments appear to come in response to Grant McCann was claimed- after Wednesday’s win at Salford- that he had in his squad the best two number nines in League One.
Barton told Bristol World: ““There’s the best two strikers on show in League One at The Mem on Saturday and I don’t think either of them play for Peterborough.”
"I think Coburn is as good as anyone you will see. At 19, he’s going to have a big future in the game. Clarke-Harris is the top scorer, you’ve got the old established man and you’ve got Azza the new kid on the block and young whippersnapper in Coburn who I think as good a goal scorer. He’s 19 and he’s playing in League One playing against men.”
The match also sees Clarke-Harris return to the Memorial Stadium, where he really began to earn his reputation as a fearsome Football League striker.
After arriving at Rovers in January 2019, he scored 11 goals in 16 matches in his first season and followed it up with 13 goals in 26 matches in the farcical season that was ended by a vote
That form persuaded Posh to part with an initial £1.25 million for his services.
While Barton did praise the former Rovers man, he made clear his preference for Collins- pointing out that he does not take penalties (even though Posh have only had one penalty this season and even if Clarke-Harris would have missed, he still would have been on 11 goals, compared to ten).
Collins has though provided seven assists to just two from Clarke-Harris.
Barton also claimed he could have made Clarke-Harris even better if he had managed to sign him for Fleetwood.
Barton added: “You’ve got Jonno with his history with the club. He’s got a great goal-scoring record and you’ve got the new kid on the block in Aaron Collins.
"This calendar year, it’s only him and Jonno who are knocking goals in like that.
"The other side of that is the assists side of it and penalties, Azza doesn’t take penalties. When you’ve haven’t got the ball can you set a live press?
"I think Clarke-Harris is a hell of a striker and I’d like to have him in our team. I nearly got him to Fleetwood before Bristol, I think I would have got more out of him than people have got. I know power to weight ratio, he could be even better than what he is.
"When they look at Aaron Collins, he’s the real deal, he’s a proper athlete. He’s a 12k-a-game man, he’s no body fat and he is getting better."