Barnsley are back in the third tier after a brief foray into the Championship, but once again they’ve plumped for a foreign manager with little experience of the English lower league.
Jose Morais led them down the path of relegation after they earned Championship football under Paul Heckingbottom, but they’ve now plumped for German Daniel Stendel for the upcoming League One season.
Stendel arrived in a blaze of publicity on June 6th, promising a new style of football for the Tykes.
He’s heavily influenced by Jurgen Klopp’s pressing game at Liverpool, but whilst that make great reading for the neutral, it does not win points in League One. It isn’t the Premier League and he doesn’t have Mo Salah to bang in the goals.
Still, Stendel was absolutely sure his way is the right way, telling the BBC after he arrived; “Over the last couple of days I got the feeling that the responsible people within the club have the same vision about playing the game as I have. I get the overall feeling that everything is fitting together, we’re all thinking in the same direction and that was a main reason for me signing.”
Barnsley are a big fish in League One, they should be one of the heavyweights vying for a top six finish, but style alone will not earn them that right.
Coming up against sides such as Sunderland, Charlton, Portsmouth and Plymouth will give them a sharp indication of exactly what is required of them, not just tactically but also in terms of quality.
The main problem appears to be personnel, or an ever-decreasing lack of it.
Jack Walton has signed a new deal, but a keeper alone won’t get them into the play-offs, especially not one with three first team appearances to his name.
There’s plenty of time between now and the start of the season, but surely a new manager coming into a club would want to have recruited someone, a striker with an eye for goal or a midfield general likely to impress the style of football on others perhaps?
Instead, Barnsley fans are left with promises about the style of play but, as yet, very little indication as to who is going to be carrying out the manager’s orders.
That could see them stutter in the early part of the season, whilst better prepared rivals steal a march in the promotion race.
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