Having parted company with manager Daniel Stendel last week, Barnsley find themselves second from bottom with only one win in the league.
They have struggled to find form since returning to the second division, with their only win coming on the first weekend of the season. Since then it has been mostly disappointment for the Tykes.
With a tricky run of games coming up, many will be fearing the worst for the South Yorkshire side, but the international break could have given Barnsley some much-needed respite and chance to reflect on what their issues are so far this season.
They need to improve at both ends of the pitch
Barnsley currently hold the worst offensive record in the division as well as the worst defensive one, having only scored eight goals in 11 games so far and conceding 22. With a large number of acquisitions in the summer, Barnsley have added depth to their side, but not as much quality as they had lost in the summer.
Barnsley notably lost goalkeeper Adam Davies, centre-backs Ethan Pinnock and Liam Lindsay, and striker Kieffer Moore, and since then they have been struggling to find form without them, replacing them with largely unproven talent.
They must act quickly to replace Stendel
With the departure of Daniel Stendel, Barnsley face a dilemma of how to replace him and who with. Adam Murray is currently taking caretaker charge of the club and has overseen training over the international break, with the club seemingly working in the background to find a replacement.
Barnsley should be looking to act fast in the managerial hunt, by appointing their man before too long, to avoid their situation worsening.
Tensions are already running high at Oakwell with many fans (including the Supporters’ Trust) disagreeing with the board’s decision and the manner at which they handled it. To appease the fans and ensure the performances of the players improve, Barnsley will need an adequate replacement sooner rather than later.
They need to recruit more experienced players
Before his dismissal, Stendel’s Barnsley fell to a crushing 5-1 defeat away at Preston. Following the game, Daniel Stendel commented on the lack of experience his side showed throughout the game. Stendel had this to say to the Lancashire Evening Post following the defeat: “You can see today over the 90 minutes that both in the small things and the big situations we played like a youth team – bad touches, fouls and mistakes.
“Preston had enough chances to scored five goals, we didn’t have so many chances.
“At half time I thought it wasn’t our best half but we were at 1-1 with one chance for us and that was a good result; so maybe we could keep going for a bit longer and make more chances.
“But the second half was the worst I can remember since coming to Barnsley.”
Stendel’s comments on his Barsnely side add up when coupled with the fact that Barnsley’s average age in their squad is around 22, and when they played Leeds at Oakwell, they fielded the fifth-youngest Championship side in history.