Barnsley made a very bold call in the summer when they decided to appoint the inexperienced Daniel Stendel as the new manager following relegation to League One.
We are delighted to announce the appointment of Daniel Stendel on a two-year contract as the Head Coach of Barnsley Football Club.
— Barnsley FC (@BarnsleyFC) June 6, 2018
The 44-year-old only had one job in Germany prior to that, although it was with Hannover 96, but he was sacked after just over a year in charge.
Therefore, giving him his first job in England in the notoriously competitive third-tier was always going to be risky, particularly as the Tykes were expected to win promotion.
And, it’s fair to say that scepticism was reflected in the fan base, who weren’t exactly delighted when he was appointed.
Disappointed about not signing mick McCarthy even as he’s a free agent don’t know this Daniel Stendel and feeing is he’s gone before end of season by this time the amount of money wasted in last 2 managers could have gone towards McCarthy ,but the new guy does get my support ????????
— Kevin Mackey (@K1ngsOfK1ngs) June 6, 2018
Excellent recruitment again @BarnsleyFC all of his year and a half experience in a completely different league will serve us well…..????
— James Goodale (@JamesGoodale) June 6, 2018
— Sam Williams (@samwilzrhcp) June 6, 2018
Well done @GGanaye – 100% behind you and Hr Stendel
— Clark Hodges (@cjh0672) June 6, 2018
However, the German has quickly gone about proving his credentials and he has built a Barnsley side that are extremely good to watch – and one that knows how to win.
Even though the race for automatic promotion will go down to the wire, they have collected 70 points from 35 games, the sort of form that would normally see you win the league.
With Luton, Sunderland and even Portsmouth similarly impressive, it may not be enough this season, although few would back against the Tykes the way they are playing.
Providing there’s not an incredible collapse, then Stendel deserves credit no matter what happens because he has transformed the mood around the club and got the fans back on side.
They see a team that loves to attack and one that plays with energy and style.
Obviously, promotion is still the main objective, but Stendel has already proven those doubters from last summer completely wrong.
Thoughts? Let us know in the comments below.