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  • Is there more to being promotion certainties than just having a superior financial klout and fanatical following? We asked a group of Wolverhampton Wanderers fans for their views ...
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Friday, 28 November 2014
Grounds For Divorce

Grounds For Divorce

If football transfers were akin to divorce, then many Reds supporters will be filling out their decree nisi, following the recent news that the former Reds talisman Chris O'Grady has penned a loan deal with local rivals Sheffield United until the end of January.

Perhaps that's a bit of a strong statement? Let's face it, the marriage became less suited to our circumstances and it would have been expensive marriage to maintain anyway. It would have been folly to empty the family coffers to keep it going.

Before the first pair of socks went in to his suitcase, O'Grady said, "I have always wanted to play at the highest level possible, and I still want to play in the Premier League, but sometimes you have to go backwards to go forwards and staying with Barnsley in League One is definitely a good option". Any reasonable fan could understand those aspirations.

There was little surprise when the door closed behind him on 19 July 2014, when it was announced that our 2013/14 Player of the Season had eloped with the Seagulls in Brighton. We were certainly going to miss his goals, moreover we were going to miss his character and his ability to carry the hopes and desires of the Oakwell faithful on his shoulders.

The fee was undisclosed, rumoured to be modest amount for a striker with a tally of 15 goals in the Championship last season, somehow this just didn't feel like a fair settlement.

Maybe he would return? The rumour mill certainly suggested that this could be a possibility and the flames were fanned further in October, when Danny Wilson told BBC Radio Sheffield, "We didn't want Chris to go in the first place so if he was available then we would ask the question".

O'Grady stumbled at Brighton, failing to score in eleven appearances this term. The Blades turned his eye with an escape route and who would bet against the move becoming permanent next year?

Does that make us a jealous ex? Possibly. From opposite ends of the Jeremy Kyle show stage we could plead it was adultery anyway - despite us being "on a break". That's it now. Game over. It looks as though we've gone our separate ways for good.

It's time for the decree absolute. Does Judge Rinder do divorces?
Tuesday, 18 November 2014
Danny Wilson Said

Danny Wilson Said

The beautiful game can boast a pantheon of iconic football orators. The soundbites attributed to legends like Bill Shankly and Brian Clough are fondly recalled numerous times across the media. No doubt, they were the seed of the now common "alternative' pre or post match interview.

José Mourinho, Gordon Strachan, Ian Holloway and all have followed suit; demonstrating that they are faithful students of the genre by regularly serving up their own fair share of pathos and humour too. But they're not alone. Danny Wilson has enjoyed his moments in the sun too.

Here's a few of our favourite excerpts and quotes from Danny Wilson, said during his illustrious career in football management:

"I told my centre-backs that if they can keep their heads while all about them are losing theirs - they're out of position again" - (Danny Wilson, 1997) taken from Tell Him He's Pele: The Greatest Collection of Humorous Football Quotations Ever!
"I'm uncomfortable with all this fame and adulation. Before this I think I was just seen by most people as a little twat!" - (Danny Wilson, 1997) taken from Do I Not Like That: One-liners, Wise Words, Gaffes and Blunders from the World's Greatest Football Managers 
"If we were getting murdered every week, I'd be panicking. As it is, I'm not anxious" - Danny Wilson, Sheffield Wednesday Manager before losing 8 - 0 at Newcastle United."  
"I would go as far as to say that I don't expect the lads to lose again all season" - Wilson's upbeat message to Owl's supporters in The Guardian (13 March 2000). Eight weeks later, Sheffield Wednesday were relegated from the Premier League  - nice work Agent Wilson! 
“We’ve got nothing to fear at all and if we can beat them on Saturday then it would give me enormous pleasure for more than one reason.” - Wilson not bitter more than a decade after Hillsborough exit.

And who could forget this classic ...

"I used to be so careless, as if I couldn't care less. Did I have to make mistakes, when I was Mary's prayer?" from Danny Wilson's #3 UK Chart Hit in March 1988.

 Thanks for reading this latest offering. Do you have a favourite quote or two from Danny Wilson you would like to share? Then drop us a line in the comments section below. Plus, you can follow us on Twitter and like us on Facebook to discuss all matters relating to Barnsley FC.
Sunday, 16 November 2014
5 Things You Might Not Know About Sam Winnall

5 Things You Might Not Know About Sam Winnall

Nominated in the League Two Team of the Year 2014, Sam Winnall arrived at Oakwell in the summer, with a reputation for finding the back of the onion bag in England's fourth tier. Should there have been any doubts, from a cynical few, that the Reds new number 9 might not be able to replicate this success at a higher level - Winnall's stock is certainly on the rise at Oakwell.

Picture: Martyn Harrison

In an auction of Barnsley FC shirts on eBay, featuring the official Football League poppy design, the strikers shirt attracted bids in excess of £400. At the time of writing this post Winnall's is the most popular lot on offer. As his devotee count climbs, here are five facts you might not know about our Super Sam:

  1. For those of you partial to the sound of the Panpipes; on the day Sam Winnall was born, 9 January 1991, German new age music combo Enigma topped the UK Pop Chart with their less than uplifiting single 'Sadness Part 1'. Check it out!

  2. Barnsley legend Mick McCarthy provided Winnall with his first senior debut on 24 August 2010. However, it was to be his only first team appearance for Wolverhampton Wanderers before a succession of loan moves ensued.  Ultimately his contract at Molineux expired at the end of the 2012/13 season, leaving Sam as a free agent.

  3. Winnall scored his first senior goal on 22 February 2011 whilst on loan at Burton Albion. Although the sense of occasion was no doubt blighted by the final scoreline; as the Brewers were thrashed 4 -1 by opponents Wycombe Wanderers, away at Adams Park.

  4. Despite his growing reputation in the football league, you might be surprised to learn that Winnall had to wait until 9 November 2014 to bag his first-ever professional hat-trick, as the Reds thumped Burton Albion 5 - 0 at Oakwell, to book their place in the second round of the FA Cup.

  5. Sam saw red for the first time at Gigg Lane. Representing loan club Burton Albion, Winnall received his marching orders for a foul on Bury midfielder Steven Schumacher. The Brewers were once again defeated that day (1-0) in a game which might be remembered for the sheer amount of referee confetti on display. Bury players Damien Mozika and Efe Sodje were ordered to take an early bath too from the man in the middle, Nigel Miller.
Saturday, 15 November 2014
Reds Top Yorkshire League

Reds Top Yorkshire League

It's back ... providing more good news for Reds supporters, as the unofficial Yorkshire League reveals that Barnsley FC are the current 'Kings of God's own County' in League One.

Despite Sheffield United playing one more game, their ten-men triumph at the Kepmoat Stadium earlier today, Danny Wilson's men remain undefeated in their local encounters and have been bolstered by an in-form Sam Winnall - who has so far scored in each derby fixture.

Looking ahead, Barnsley's next match with Doncaster Rovers takes place at Oakwell on Tuesday 2 December (19:45) and will be the last game of any team in this group in 2014. Let's hope we can keep this parochial success going, hand in hand with our climb up the third-tier.

Friday, 7 November 2014
Hemmings Ready to Wait for Opportunities at Barnsley

Hemmings Ready to Wait for Opportunities at Barnsley

Barnsley have been going through a very rough patch since September. The team had managed just two wins, against Rochdale and Bradford City, during this period. Just when it appeared that a 3-1 win over Bradford would put the team on the right path, they have since gone three matches without a win. This run finally ended after a 1-0 victory against Sheffield United on Saturday. League One promotion odds from Betfair places Barnsley at a distant 11/1 to get promotion this season.

Despite the long odds, the simple fact is that they remain just nine points from the last play-off spot and we are not even at the halfway stage yet. One of the reasons for Barnsley struggling to maintain a consistent run has been their lack of goals. Despite having numerous strikers including former Reading star Leroy Lita, the club has struggled for goals. Averaging just over 1.5 goals per game is certainly not enough for a club that has promotion aspirations. This statistic would have made for grim reading had it not been for the flurry of goals in  the last few weeks, which certainly show that the club is heading in the right direction.One striker who has especially struggled is Kane Hemmings.

The 22-year-old was scoring goals for fun in his spell at Cowdenbeath. He may have spent only one season at the club, but a return of 24 goals in just 39 matches is an impressive return. Barnsley boss Danny Wilson would have expected Hemmings to carry this form when he signed the player on a free transfer in the summer. However, he has struggled and has managed only one goal in the 10 appearances. This solitary goal came a month ago against Bradford City.

It appears that Hemmings is struggling to settle at the club and the manager’s lack of confidence in his abilities certainly does not seem to be helping matters either. Acknowledging that his performances have not been good enough for being a regular starter, Hemmings says that he is prepared to bide his time. It is probably the worst possible time for a reserve striker at Barnsley. The current first choice pairing of Devante Cole and Sam Winnall have been doing extremely well in recent weeks.

Winnall has netted in his last two appearances, while Cole recently scored against Notts County and Peterborough United. Their performances have been much superior compared to the rest of the squad.

Since promotion remains an achievable objective even at this stage, there is a possibility of Wilson resting some of the players in the weekend’s cup match against managerless Burton Albion. Barnsley are one of the clubs to have lifted the FA Cup, but promotion holds a bigger draw. Hemmings got around the Burton area and he says that he was a frequent visitor to the Pirelli stadium as a youngster.

The club has enjoyed some great FA Cup runs in recent years including the memorable 2008 season. Barnsley managed to reach the semi-finals after beating some great club like Chelsea along the way. There was no fairytale after a defeat against Cardiff in the Millennium Stadium.

Even though the prospect of another great cup run seems mouth-watering, Wilson is experienced enough to be aware that such great cup runs do not come around often. It would make sense to focus on the league. This may result in names like Winnall and Cole rested for the match.

Betfair places Barnsley at 3/4 to get past Burton in the FA Cup first-round.

Even though Barnsley have been scoring consistently in the last few matches, it seems that Wilson is keen to strengthen the team. The club has been linked with a move for Carlisle United’s teenage striker, Kyle Dempsey. Barnsley are reported to have made an enquiry about the 19-year-old, but any potential deal is yet to progress because Carlisle recently confirmed that they are yet to receive an offer. Dempsey’s potential arrival could strengthen the strike force even more, but it could also hamper the opportunities for players like Hemmings.
Saturday, 11 October 2014
Messi, the DOG and an overseas bonanza

Messi, the DOG and an overseas bonanza

Crazy days! Who could deny that it was Danny Wilson's greatest moment ever at Oakwell? We were all living the impossible dream. That day was 26 April 1997 and Bradford City AFC were our opponents. The dimunative Clint Marcelle twisted his way past the Bantams defence to fire home the winner and secure promotion for the Reds to the Premier League for the first and only time in our history. A brand new era of local football folklore was born.

Sadly, the reality is that football fortunes have changed tremendously. A roller coaster of relegations, promotions, administration, cup adventures, TV finance and overhaul is not the exclusive collective experience of Barnsley FC supporters. Tomorrow's guests, trekking over from Valley Parade for the 'Live on Sky' fixture, will no doubt testify to that too.

Perhaps then, we're all looking for a fortunate stroke of serendipity to happen. A future where our substance and notoriety is assured. A different plan.

Then let me share my little secret with you.

I think I've spotted the opportunity.

It's been right in front of our eyes all along.

It's really simple.

It's all about the DOG!

You've seen the DOG. Countless others have too. Otherwise known as the 'score bug'. It's that 'digital on-screen graphic' you immediately reference whenever you see a live game being televised. It's your faithful friend arriving to the rescue, the reference point you immediately check in a bar on holiday / on a night out / while shopping, when your partner complains - "I thought we were getting away from the bloody telly!"

Okay, it may be true that you didn't know the game was on. Now, with your initial curiosity satisfield and rubber stamped by the DOG, you're fully aware that this fixture has gravitas. It's now time to embellish a backstory and come up with a reason why you simply can't miss the action. Do your job well enough and your other half might just relent and let you savour the whole thing!

We Are BAR

BAR is the key to attracting transient viewers and overseas Sky Sports onlookers. We may not be FC Barcelona, but why let that small detail get in the way of this football fantasist's blog post.

We witnessed the attempt in the spring by the Oakwell heirarchy to try and usher in a brand new mage for Barnsley FC. Perhaps they had the wrong strategy? Why reinvent the wheel when recognising the DOG brings guaranteed fame and fortune around the world? With a little dash smoke and mirrors, we would be a TV hit.

You only have to see that the art of the movie 'remix' works very well at the box office. Taking an established success story and remaking it for a new audience.

Incidentally, have you heard the rumour that our beloved 'Kes' is due a remake? With Daniel Craig in line to play 'the fair-haired, slightly balding Bobby Charlton' aka the overbearing sports teacher Mr. Sugden.

Anyway, back to the main fabrication ...

To succeed and convince the world our TV fayre is essential viewing, we've got to look the part. The first change has to be with next year's away strip. Get rid of the rainbow full of colours we've seen over the last twenty years, in with a close imitation of every future FC Barcelona strip and with it a new club crest to deceive even the most discerning worldwide soccer observer.

Voila, I submit my effort.

Then for your eagle-eyed aficionados you're going to need that star name in your squad too. But don't worry, I've sorted that out too. I strongly recommend that you check out the very latest edition of 'The Phone Book' that began landing through our letter boxes recently. There you will find exactly what you desire.

A box office name to send shirt sales in to the stratosphere (through a future 'club-owned' merchandising operation), a certain Lionel Messi, based on George Street in Cudworth could be just what we need. Despite an impressive goal ratio in his youth, Leo (67) suffers from frequent and delibitating episodes of gout, meaning he will rarely turn out for the Reds. But when has common sense stopped us in the past? Let's reach for the stars!

It's the perfect recipe for success and boy do we need a plateful of it soon.

Will the world be watching tomorrow? I seriously doubt it. Fantasies aside though, whilst a victory tomorrow will not herald a new era in our club's history, it could help us turn a corner in our fortunes at home this season. No tall tale or fantasy can equal real success. Let us know your score predictions or your views on the seaon so far. Get in touch with us on Twitter or Facebook, or leave your comments below. Thanks for reading!

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