How many times this summer have we heard, this signing is going to be the one that is going to be the one that catapults the Reds into the stratosphere of the Championship top ten. However no member of the playing staff is going to be the one key for this if it were to happen even if they were to display stellar performances, for me it would be the man that sends them out onto the pitch and coaches them day in day out, and that man is Daniel Stendel.

When Herr Stendel took over from Jose Morais in the Summer of 2018, it was anyone's guess as to what he would be like. He spoke no English, and after the nightmare that was Morais' short but ill-fated reign as manager, many might have wondered, what if we have a repeat? However what followed was anything but that.

Transforming a team that had no identity and pretty much no plan has to be highly commended, never mind turning them into an incredible gegenpressing team, and getting the best out of players like; Alex Mowatt, Mama Thiam and Dimi Cavare. Finishing second in the division was also very impressive, and is another incredible achievement. You can read even more about this in my piece in the August edition of 'World Soccer Magazine'.

However, moving onto the future, I truly do not think we will understand how brilliant Stendel will be for us in the Championship. We can attack the Championship with a style of football that is very unique, and with Stendel at the helm I can see us doing something incredible. If you only cast your mind back to last season, Norwich won the Championship playing a similar way to Stendel, the gegenpress. Could we do the same? It truly is possible after all, a lot of our new players are unknown quantities, the likes of Bambo Diaby, Sam Radlinger and Mads Andersen really could become superb Championship players.

Tying him down would be a real statement of intent, and after the actions of 'Ecky and those who have preceded him, It is key so that he doesn't get poached. Singlehandedly, apart from the finance side of things, he will have attracted many a laiker to Oakwell this season, and if we get an incredible season in the Championship under our belts, who knows what calibre of player he may be able to attract come this time next year?

Paul Conway, you have one mission, tie him down!

What do you think? All feedback is appreciated, if you want to feed something back to me or merely want a chat about BFC you can find me on twitter, my handle is @TomOTPE.
After the recent departure of skipper Adam Davies, and vice Ethan Pinnock, the Reds are in need of a new captain and vice-captain, so today I ask: 'who deserves the armband?'. In this post I will look into a few candidates, and some of the factors that may help them become the captain at Oakwell.

Cameron McGeehan
First up it's Cam McGeehan. One of the more experienced members of the Reds side, in terms of EFL appearances, and a central midfielder who is very vocal, and a good leader. I would say Cam is quite probably the leading candidate for the role of skipper. After breaking into the side last season following the injury of Kenneth Dougall, he really hasn't looked back since, and stellar performances were rewarded with a new contract in the Summer.

Named as 'El Capitano' against Stalybridge Celtic on Wednesday night might also indicate that Daniel Stendel favours McGeehan for the armband,. Another element that may back up his claim to the captaincy is that he was Norwich City's youth cup winning captain, meaning that out of the Reds' current squad he is the only player with past experience of the position. McGeehan really could thrive with the armband on, in a similar way to Conor Hourihane, who after being given that amount of responsibility transformed into a different beast.

Alex Mowatt
Much like his midfield partner McGeehan, Alex Mowatt also has a multitude of EFL experience, having amassed over 200 professional appearances under his belt. However unlike McGeehan, Mowatt has never actually played a game as captain, which would mean that taking on the vacant role would be something completely new to him.

However, we saw last season that taking on more responsibility as the Reds' lynchpin in midfield saw Mowatt's performances drastically improve up to the point that many were tipping him to be Barnsley FC player of the season. He eventually finished second in the running for that award. However Alex made it into pretty much every Sky Bet League One team of the season under the sun, which begs the question, would he improve again if given even more responsibility by Herr Stendel?

Dani Pinillos
A bit of an outside choice for the armband, but due to him being a much more experienced pro in terms of the Reds' squad, could Pinillos take on the role as captain? Amassing over nine years worth of experience in the Pro scene, could Dani be the right man to be skipper for 2019/20? He is a very good pro, and I for one think he could take on the role and do it very well.

Kieffer Moore
Despite all of the current rumours circling around the target man's future, he captained the Reds on three occasions last term, and to very great effect, and against Accrington Stanley displayed superb leadership skills as the Reds won 2-0 and he bagged and assisted. If he were to stay then he would be a frontrunner for the post, and I for one would not be surprised if he took on the role.

In summary, if Kieffer Moore were to stay, I would give him the role of vice-captain and Cameron McGeehan the role of 'El Capitano'. However, I may be wrong and it may be that nobody I've mentioned gets a look-in or the armband.

Maybe Stendel will bring in yet another new face and captain elect?

What do you think? All feedback is appreciated, if you want to feed something back to me or merely want a chat about BFC you can find me on twitter, my handle is @TomOTPE.

In my last blog post I touched upon the rumours of Kieffer Moore leaving Oakwell, and in this one I will take a look upon three players those high up at Oakwell should look at, if the 6ft 5 target man were to leave Grove Street.

Bright Enobakhare

A quick young forward who spent the latter half of last campaign on loan at the play-off chasing Coventry City built up an excellent partnership with Jordy Hiwula up top for the Sky Blues. If the Reds were to be looking to change style of play then Bright really should be someone who we should be looking at. He possesses pace, technical flair, strength along with much more, never mind the fact that he scored an impressive goal every 242 minutes in League One last season.

I could really see him being a player that gets the Oakwell faithful off of their seats and onto their feet, and you can see by the excellent rapport he has with Coventry fans that he is a fan favourite.

Whilst also knowing Luke Thomas, who was also on loan at the Sky Blues last term, I believe he could also strike up a terrific partnership with Cauley Woodrow, who together would have the perfect blend of; strength, pace, creativity and goals. Definitely one to look out for if Kieffer leaves.

Scott Hogan

Possessing bags of Championship experience and goals, could a season long loan deal for Scott Hogan, with a view to buy be a very good deal for the Reds? After struggling for game time at both Aston Villa and Sheffield United over the past two seasons, he may just be looking for regular game-time and a loan move for him may just be the perfect solution for Hogan to get his career back in track.

All of this considered and Daniel Stendel's want for Championship experienced players, a deal for Hogan may be a high priority for the Reds' hierarchy, and I for one would certainly look into it. Of the three however, this one may be the most problematic as the rumours are that Hogan is on £45,000 per week at Villa Park, thus without a huge subsidy from the Villains this move would be undo-able.

Tom Eaves

Like for like replacement for Moore in every sense of the word. Both netting seventeen goals in the league in 2017/18, both 'target man' strikers and both turning 27 in 2019. To be honest a move for Eaves is probably highly unlikely, but if Herr Stendel were to feel that he wanted a striker with a surplus of height, he's your man.

With the age that is Eaves is at, a two year deal would most likely be the length of contract the Reds would look to sign him at, and with his stock never being higher, I'm sure he would want a longer deal. Nevertheless, Eaves would be a decent Moore replacement, and I'm sure could do an equally as good job.

With talks for Conor Chaplin, Moussa Kone and Sam Lammers reportedly underway, realistically of the three I have mentioned, feesibly only one would be considered, who would you want the most in a red shirt at the start of 2019/20?

What do you think? All feedback is appreciated, if you want to feed something back to me or merely want a chat about BFC you can find me on twitter, my handle is @TomOTPE.
In recent weeks the future of Reds striker Kieffer Moore has come under scrutiny, and with Millwall, Bristol City and an unamed CSL club set to swoop in for the 6ft5 target man, I ask the question 'should he stay or should he go?'.

It has to be said that only 5 months ago he suffered a career threatening injury, sustained in an aerial battle with Gillingham centre-half Gabriel Zakuani, and if Kieffer were to land heavily or collide in the air with a player again, which is quite likely due to his style of play, that could be the end of the road. So when we speak like this, let's say hypothetically an offer of £4,000,000 were to come in from Bristol City, would it be for the best, as a precautionary to sell him?

Another point that supports the view of him possibly heading out of the back door at Oakwell is the age that he is at. In recent years since Barnsley have adopted the 'Moneyball' strategy, the Reds don't tend to keep players above a certain age, 26, and with him turning 27 this month, could this signal the end for him?

Lastly on this front, along with money already generated from player sales in this window alone, and the money from a potential move for Moore, would it make 'Moore sense' for him to leave and for the Reds to bring in two strikers, with emphasis on the fact that it would be '2 for 1', and having more options is never a bad thing, right?

The three strikers, of which realistically 2 of them would sign, that are being touted to join Stendel's Red Army are PSV Eindhoven's Sam Lammers who bagged an impressive 18 goals in the Eredivise last year, averaging one every 169 minutes. Along with Lammers, the Reds are being heavily linked with a move for Dynamo Dresden frontman Moussa Koné, and last summer’s main transfer target, Coventry City’s Conor Chaplin. If any, who of these three would you like to see join the Reds?

However, many fans believe that we may be shooting ourselves in the foot, and that the sale of Moore would drastically weaken the team, after all losing seventeen goals in any side is never a good thing, never mind the ridiculous rate 'King Kieff' was scoring them at, averaging one every 138 minutes! Not bettered by any player in the division with more than fifteen goals! So when you add all of this up, it's easy to understand why some may be dismayed.

To conclude, I really don’t believe that Kieffer should be sold if the player wants to remain a Red. However, if the rumours are to be believed and the frontman has handed in a transfer request, then no way should we stand blocking the door for a player who doesn’t want to be here, and could command a £4,000,000 fee.

What do you think? All feedback is appreciated, if you want to feed something back to me or merely want a chat about BFC you can find me on twitter, my handle is @TomOTPE.
Last evening the Reds completed the signing of Mallik Wilks from bitter Yorkshire rivals Leeds United, and it's fair to say that the Red Army were particularly overwhelmed and elated with the arrival of the winger who bagged seventeen and assisted a further ten for Doncaster Rovers last term. Yet it got me wondering about the future, and more in focus who may be starting on the left and right of midfield for the Reds against Fulham on the 3rd of August.

Mallik Wilks

The new man. It truly is an understatement when I say the signing of him was a huge coup, so fair dues to Paul Conway for financially pulling it off, and Daniel Stendel for no doubt impressing Wilks with the style of play he wants his Barnsley team to pull off. But more tactically, how will he fit in with Barnsley's midfield four?

Wilks, from what I gather, is quite the flair player much like a young Adam Hammill in that sense, whilst also having the pace and power of a much more experienced pro. When you put all these factors together it is most likely that Mallik would line up on the left, where he will have free reign to go on the outside of players on his favoured left foot. However, due to his versatility we could very much so still see him line up on the left. Lastly, if the Reds were to opt for a plan B (4-3-3) he is very much so capable of playing as an inside forward, a role which he played regularly for Leeds in his younger days in their youth set-up.

Browny - the Reds' 'Starman on the Right'

2018/19 really was the breakthrough year for Jacob Brown, despite in the first half of the season him really taking up the role of an impact sub, with his route in to the team blocked by Brad Potts on the right and Kieffer Moore and Cauley Woodrow up top he still amassed outstanding numbers for his first full year in the EFL. He scored eight goals and got six assists, with a goal on average every 258 minutes. Numbers not to be sniffed at. Let's talk about Browny's role tactically now. I expect him to resume his role on the right in 2019/20, however it is not a certainty as it may well be that he goes back to his role of 'Trequarista' this season due to the Reds' new found depth on the wings.

Either way I think Browny will continue to thrive this season, whatever role Herr Stendel decides to operate him in. Big things ahead.

Magic Mamadou

Whatever you think about Mama Thiam's 2017/18, his 18/19 certainly won over the large majority of Reds fans, and secured his status as a somewhat cult hero at Oakwell. Goals against Fleetwood, Charlton and Luton just to name a few where absolutely sensational, and in the case of his goals against the Addicks and Hatters secured vital points in our race for promotion.

Personally, I believe that despite the wingers we have at the club, the aforementioned duo of Jacob Brown and Mallik Wilks, and the yet to be mentioned double act of Jordan Green and Luke Thomas, Mamadou is the most technically gifted winger at the club, and thus if he adds more stamina and tactical awareness to his game could become an incredible player.

If he is given the nod on August the 3rd he would resume the role of the left winger who at times becomes an inside forward, very similar to the role that Mallik Wilks would likely take on for the Reds, and with him very capable of pulling something out of nothing, you need them type of players in the Championship so I wouldn't be surprised if he does start against Fulham.

The second wide arrival of the summer, Luke Thomas.

Arriving from Derby County who have recently had a name change after the departure of Frank Lampard, RIP 'Frank Lampard's Derby County' 2018-2019. Drafted in after a very good season with Coventry City, many Cov fans believe his numbers didn't fairly represent his performances last term, so despite his mere four goals and five assists, he actually had quite an impressive season. Blessed with bags of natural pace, Thomas is exactly the remedy that the Reds have been crying out for with many on the Oakwell terraces believing that we have looked pretty devoid of pace ever since the departure of Harvey Barnes almost eighteen months ago, and Thomas has bags of it, ready to burn. In my opinion, Luke will be used as a right-winger if selected against Fulham and really could expose Joe Bryan who will be low on confidence after a poor year in England's top tier.

Lastly, Jordan Green.

We haven't seen much of 'Greeny' since his arrival from Yeovil in January, but i for one think he could be a real asset for the Reds. Barring an impeccable pre-season which to be fair started pretty well against Stalybridge Celtic on Wednesday, he will most likely be on the bench against the Cottagers on August the 3rd. However were he to come off the bench he has lots of pace which in the latter stages of games can come in clutch, I for one will be keeping a looming eye on his progress throughout the summer.

To conclude, having weighed up all the possible options that Daniel Stendel could go with against Fulham on the opening day, I would go with Wilks on the left and Brown on the right, but it is only the 6th of July and 4/5ths of pre-season still remain and my opinion could be very much so swayed depending on how a player may do in our next four fixtures.

What do you think? All feedback is appreciated, if you want to feed something back to me or merely want a chat about BFC you can find me on twitter, my handle is @TomOTPE.

This week The Reds sold star centre-half Ethan Pinnock, and it's safe to say the reaction from the Oakwell faithful was mixed. Many were annoyed at Paul Conway & Co, for yet another 'flog it' moment, where a key player in the Reds' squad was sold at what they believe to be a 'minimalistic price' for a player of 'Snoop's' calibre. Whilst on the other hand many just saw the sale as a progression of the club's 'Moneyball' approach, and not seeing the sale of Pinnock as the club losing quality, but as the club merely selling a player with one year left on his contract, and seeking to cash in whilst his stock his high. With the people who sit this side of the fence obviously perching on that side, under the proviso, that the money be re-invested into the playing staff.

However, whatever side of the fence you do sit on, we can all agree that in 18/19 we saw a Rolls-Royce of a centre-half dominate many a League One attack, and on that note it is obvious that we have lost a player of quality, who had significant passion for the crest he wore. I'm sure I speak for many a Red when I say this, good luck Ethan. Brentford are a terrific club and I'm sure he will thrive there under the stewardship of Thomas Frank.

In amongst the chaos of this all, I recognised something that really made me want to write, and that was the arrogance of many Reds and the lack of understanding of the club's position, both financially and in its pulling power. Ever since I can remember, Barnsley has been a selling club, and with 'Moneyball', it is obvious to me that the owners are accepting our position for the time being, but steadily making marginal gains, at the same time making a steady monetary gain.

The Now

Barnsley are quite possibly in the healthiest position that we have seen the club in, in modern times. Financially stable, under the stewardship of a terrific coach in Herr Stendel, and making progress it seems up the football food chain. Yet with the sale of just one player, many are seeming to forget how good a situation we are in, and in the few days that have followed Pinnock's sale it's evident how the mini breakdown of many Reds was in fact a huge overreaction.

The drafting in of young defender Toby Sibbick, Finnish colossus Aapo Halme and 'Big Bambo' Diaby are a real positive step in rebuilding the heart of our defence. Not to mention the early summer arrival of Mads Andersen, who I gather made quite the impression on Wednesday night against Stalybridge Celtic. So when you have fan reactions like this one, post Sibbick's signing, it really grinded on my gears and inspired me to start typing.

One thing we can all agree on is that Pinnock will be missed, he truly was a quality centre-half,  despite this we haven't yet seen what the next generation of Barnsley centre-halves will be like, and indeed all of the four new recruits in a year's time may well be held in higher esteem than 'Snoop'.

What do you think? All feedback is appreciated, if you want to feed something back to me or merely want a chat about BFC you can find me on twitter, my handle is @TomOTPE.