This article is part of Football League World’s ‘The Verdict‘ series, which provides personal opinions from the FLW writers regarding the latest breaking news, teams, players, managers, potential signings and more…
Barnsley have finally ended their managerial hunt and they have made the decision to appoint Poya Asbaghi as the replacement for Markus Schopp in what is a crucial appointment for the Tykes.
Schopp’s reign at Oakwell did not go according to plan to say the least and the Tykes ended up managing to claim just one win from their opening 15 games of the campaign in the Championship. That has plunged them deep into a relegation battle this term after they were fighting it out at the other end of the table trying to secure promotion last season under Valerien Ismael.
Asbaghi is not set to take over for Barnsley’s clash with Fulham this weekend, but he should be in the dugout for their following fixture against Swansea City. He faces a very tough task to turn around the Tykes’ form and try and move them away from the relegation zone.
So, with Barnsley having appointed Asbaghi as their next manager, we asked some of our FLW writers whether they feel it is the right move for the Tykes and whether he can keep them up…
I trust the Barnsley hierarchy are well informed in making these kinds of left field decisions. Granted the Markus Schopp experiment did not pay off but Gerhard Struber and Valerien Ismael brought such resounding success we should still have faith in the Tykes’ decision making.
It is very hard to predict how Asbaghi’s previous experiences could correlate to success in the Championship. Schopp has set the bar low, keep Barnsley up and Asbaghi will be seen as a hero even in spite of the fact they finished fifth last season.
Change was needed, if Asbaghi can get his ideas across where Schopp could not then they have a great chance of staying up. The Tykes have a much better squad than the likes of Hull City, Peterborough United, Cardiff City and potentially Reading who will be competing around them.
I fancy Asbaghi’s chances of maintaining Barnsley’s Championship status.
Quiz: Have Barnsley ever won an away game at each of these 20 stadiums?
I cannot lie and tell you that I know too much about him, and how his managerial experience will fare up in the Championship, but it is an appointment that does have a lot of promise.
Barnsley have seen excellent success in their clear European-based recruitment strategy when it comes to appointing a manager, and for that reason, it seems that this could again be a success.
Markus Schopp was unable to replicate the positivity that the three managers before him saw, but this is fresh start for all involved with The Tykes.
Barnsley still have a talented and youthful squad, who are more than capable of turning this season around.
Poya Asbaghi is a young, progressive manager who did well in his role with Sweden U21s, and his experience in Sweden could bode well for Barnsley when it comes to recruitment.
This appointment will either be a stroke of genius or a complete disaster.
You have to give credit to Barnsley for sticking with their managerial recruitment strategy in recent years, because the additions of Gerhard Struber and Valerien Ismael worked out well.
The one advantage Ismael did have is the fact he had worked at a big club in Wolfsburg before his eventual move to Oakwell – but Asbaghi’s CV is still reasonably impressive considering he’s only in the early stages of his managerial career.
Establishing himself as one of the more capable managers in the Swedish top tier and already has a trophy under his belt from his time at IFK Goteborg, winning the country’s domestic cup competition last July and before his sacking a couple of months later.
Still, he was working in Sweden’s youth international setup up until his appointment at Oakwell, a ringing endorsement of his abilities. Taking time to adapt back to domestic football will be needed for the 36-year-old, but he was only involved in the national side for just under a year.
It does make you wonder whether he kept tabs on the Tykes ever since he was approached by the South Yorkshire outfit in 2019, something that could help in making an instant impact. More than anything else, he’s a fresh face with some new ideas, something that will be needed to get Barnsley out of the relegation zone.
They may be able to rely on a potential managerial bounce to do that in the early stages, but sustaining that form under the young coach after that is a different kettle of fish.