Barnsley will be looking to retain their status as a Championship club once again this season, although they’ll have to achieve it under new management.
The Tykes confirmed their survival in the second-tier on the final day of the 2019/20 season last term, as they beat promotion-chasing Brentford at Griffin Park.
Gerhard Struber was in charge of the Tykes during that season, but left the club early into the 2020/21 campaign in favour of a move to American side New York Red Bulls.
Barnsley could have opted to go with a manager that has experience of managing in English football, but instead, they opted to appoint Valérien Ismaël as their new boss.
Ismaël has previously managed the likes of VfL Wolfsburg and LASK, and certainly came as somewhat of a surprise, given that he has no experience of managing in the Championship.
Barnsley’s supporters will know that they’re in for a tough season in the second-tier, and they needed to appoint a manager that can make an instant impact with the Tykes.
The club aren’t able to compete financially with some of the other teams in the Championship, and it’s important that Ismaël can get the best out of the current first-team squad.
Ismaël got off to the ideal start in charge of Barnsley as well, as they beat QPR 3-0 at Oakwell in midweek, and his team-talk caught the eye, as he was seen motivating his players in the dressing room.
𝙎𝙩𝙖𝙧𝙩 𝙮𝙤𝙪𝙧 𝙒𝙚𝙙𝙣𝙚𝙨𝙙𝙖𝙮 𝙧𝙞𝙜𝙝𝙩.
🗣️ "Be ready to sacrifice everything to win the game…"
— Barnsley FC (@BarnsleyFC) October 28, 2020
The early signs are certainly promising with Ismaël in charge, and he seems as though he could be the ideal manager to take the club forward this season, especially if he can keep his side grounded and motivated at the same time as the season progresses.
His passion and drive is clearly making an impact already with the Barnsley squad, and the club’s supporters will surely be more optimistic than they originally were when he was appointed as Gerhard Struber’s successor.
Ismaël went on to switch his focus to their next match, and was pleased to see his side create opportunities against Mark Warburton’s men on Tuesday evening.
“It’s good if you have the possibility to create a lot of situations and this is the way we want to play football.
“It’s a good feeling that the team has the feeling to know that we can do this – that we can have a lot of possibilities to score goals. Now we have to concentrate on our game; it doesn’t matter which opponent comes, we have to play our game.
“It’s the perfect start, but the next task is on Saturday against Watford.”
We’ve already seen the likes of Cauley Woodrow and Conor Chaplin impress in front of goal at this level, so the resources are there for Ismaël, and he’ll be eager to build on this impressive recent showing against the Hoops, when they return to action in the Championship this weekend.
Barnsley are set to take on promotion-chasing Watford, in what is certain to be a tricky test for the Tykes, against a Hornets side that will be looking to get back to winning ways after being held to a draw with Wycombe Wanderers in their most recent fixture.