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…
After the departure of Gerhard Struber from Barnsley in October, many Tykes fans were disappointed to see the enigmatic Austrian leave.
Struber had instilled an attractive blend of football with a young and progressive side and his departure left an element of concern among the Oakwell faithful in-terms of who could come in and fill the gaping void.
In stepped Valérien Ismaël.
A relative unknown on these shores but a man who may have been known to Crystal Palace fans after he signed for the south London club for a £2.75m fee back in 1998, in what ultimately turned out to be an uninspiring stint for him at the side.
Ismael has since gone on to manage 12 games for the Tykes so far and his record is impressive it has to be said, winning eight of them 12 league games in his spell so far.
So, what have you made of Ismael’s impact at Barnsley so far?
The team here at FLW take a look….
I think the term that Ismael used is that this is more than a good start now?
That’s probably on the money too.
Barnsley have a real eye for a manager. They make pundits and onlookers look really foolish with their shrewd decisions at boardroom level.
I’ll be honest, I was one of those people writing off Ismael, just like Struber. However, he’s proving me wrong and Barnsley look like they are really moving in the right direction now.
Personally, I don’t see things aligning for a promotion push this season, but this could be a great platform for the Tykes to build in 2021/22.
Did these 25 players make more or less than 100 Barnsley appearances?
t’s hard not to be hugely impressed with the way he has started.
When Struber left I was concerned for them and felt that they’d be in for another relegation battle this season but so far, Valerien has proved they can hope for more than that.
Beyond just running hard and showing fight, the Tykes have proven that they have the quality to win games and I think that stands them in good stead moving forward.
If Barnsley can hold onto some of their better players in January, I think this could be a fantastic season for the Yorkshire club.
What a masterstroke this is looking like.
Once again, the hierarchy at Barnsley have managed to source a manager who fits in seamlessly into the project left by the former boss and continue to play football in a particular way, that is reaping rewards.
Much like Gerhard Struber, Ismael likes to employ a high-press and the players have once again bought into this philosophy of playing football that way.
It could be argued that Barnsley are one of the best teams in the division at playing football at a high-tempo with a high press.
Four wins from the Tykes’ last six league games is no mean feat and Ismael has had a really positive impact at Oakwell with what is an exciting, young and progressive squad.
It’s all looking set to be a strong season for the Yorkshire outfit under the tutelage of Valerian Ismael.