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3 issues Poya Asbaghi has to fix at Barnsley ASAP

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Poya Asbaghi has a lot on his plate at Barnsley in the short term with the Tykes currently four points from safety in the Championship.

The new appointment brings an air of optimism but one that could be quashed fairly quickly if their predicament in the relegation battle worsens over the next few weeks.

Asbaghi faces the unenviable task of visiting Fulham for his first game in charge on Saturday. The Cottagers have won their last six games on the bounce and are hot on the heels of league leaders Bournemouth as a result.

Barnsley have not been able to capitalise on their remarkable fifth placed finish in 2020/21 with Alex Mowatt, Daryl Dike and most significantly Valerien Ismael moving on in the summer.

Addressing those holes in January will be crucial to the Tykes’ survival hopes but Asbaghi has eight league games to contend with before that can take place.

Here, we have taken a look at three issues Asbaghi has to fix at Barnsley…

Central midfield

Be it Claudio Gomes, Josh Benson, Romal Palmer or even Callum Styles on some occasions, the Tykes have not been able to assert themselves in central areas with anywhere near as much authority as they did last term.

Markus Schopp’s style of play led to a lot of turnovers in possession throughout a game, such that Barnsley were not able to successfully adapt to.

Benson and Gomes arrived at the club this summer, the latter on loan, from Premier League clubs but have not been able to replace the energy and grit of Alex Mowatt. Whether it be moving to a midfield trio or simply demanding more in a similar system, Asbaghi has to fix Barnsley’s problems in midfield.

It is very hard to consistently grab a foothold in games at this level if you are losing the midfield battle and that is what we have seen at Oakwell so far this season.

Attacking combination

The injured Carlton Morris has been a huge miss at the top of the pitch so far this season with visa issues and selection inconsistencies leading to a lack of identity in the final third.

Aaron Leya Iseka has been amongst the goals in the last month or so but without enough support to claw the club towards safety.

Victor Adeboyejo, Devante Cole and Dominik Frieser are all capable at second tier level but have not had the confidence or chances to show their potency in front of goal as yet. Obbi Oulare also provides an option up front but is seemingly still getting up to speed in English football.

Cauley Woodrow

Quiz: Have Barnsley ever won an away game at each of these 20 stadiums?

1 of 20

Anfield

Woodrow is Barnsley’s best player.

The 26-year-old has scored just three times in 18 appearances this season and has often looked disillusioned with his team-mates.

The former England youth international has the experience from the club’s great escape in 2019/20 and quality to pull the Tykes away from trouble if Asbaghi can bring the best out of him.

Whether it be in a deeper role or in a different formation altogether, it is hard to see Barnsley pulling away from the relegation picture if Asbaghi does not get Woodrow firing on all cylinders.


Passionate Football League obsessive and long-suffering Charlton Athletic supporter.

ScoopDragon Football News Network

Article title: 3 issues Poya Asbaghi has to fix at Barnsley ASAP

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