From a recent invite we received, OnThePontyEnd was asked to provide our "Half-Term Report" on Barnsley FC for The Guardian's excellent Football League Blog.

Whilst the structure of the article and its content are brief, we would love to hear your reports, styled in a similar format, in the comments section to this post.

Read the Barnsley FC Half-Term Report

Related Post: Championship season 2010-11 preview
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6 comments so far,add yours

Barnsley Matchday Drinker said...

Despite three home defeats in August, most of us retained faith in the Hillcroft philosophy of team ethics and attractive, possession football. On a tiny budget, as part of the Club's plans to break even a season ahead of its requirement, time and time again the faithful and have been able to see The Reds compete against the rest, leaving many of the 20+ 'bigger' clubs, throwing the kitchen sink at us to get a point.


With a record number of seasons in the second tier under our belt, we continue to thrive in this league as others get richer, but not necessarily wiser.

How's it going?

I always knew there was a lot to be said for this particular style of football on our particular budget. Of course top players cost millions, but surely entertainment shouldn't? All a Barnsley fan can ask for is commitment, determination and hard-work and Hillcroft's squad certainly haven't disappointed on that front. We've had some good runs of results and shown we've got character. If we could have turned some of those early draws into wins, who knows where we'd be?

Who's been the star?

It would be easy to look at the obvious choice in Jacob Butterfield, but I fancy plumping for Luke Steele. He's finally eliminated the mistakes from his game and has become the top Championship 'keeper that we all knew he could be.

Biggest Disappointment?

Naivety, and the crowd. Perhaps it's a bit harsh to criticise the squad's naivety as afterall it is a rather young squad, but with a bit more experience and vocal leadership in midfield, I think we could develop into real play-off contenders. As for the crowds, also understandable to a degree, the current pricing structure just doesn't work and the categories don't make sense. All I can suggest to the stayaways would be to get a half season ticket, or risk missing out on some of the best football at Oakwell in years!

Grade B+/A-

Anonymous said...

I agree , sadly I live away from the town in the Midlands but got to see us pass a Derby side (who at the time were gunning for to spot)to a standstill for 45 minutes.A few months on we are finally seeing a threat up front that we haven't seen in years and if (or when) we adjust the bite in midfield up a notch then not many sides will want to play us home or away.Great to watch!!!

Lee Bradford said...

Despite not being ale to see every game this year through work commitments I have to say that I have seen some of the best football played at Oakwell in a long time this season. I'll admit to being worried after the Boro game thinking the players were not up to the standard of football Hill was looking to play but they have proved me wrong with some wonderful performances home and away.

Butterfield and Steele have stood orr but for me McNulty and more importantly Perkins have been real star buys.

It is disappointing that the crowd levels have dropped but that seems consistent across all clubs and I'm sure our pricing policy does not help this matter either..

It's been a great start to life at Barnsley for Messrs Hill & Flitcroft despite a less than spectacular opening few weeks of the campaign.

A reduced budget, aquisition of lower league players for a relative pittance and a total overhaul of footballing policy were never going to be easy for the new management team, but with five months of the season already behind them the future looks bright at Oakwell.

Despite dividing the fans, I personally think Keith Hill is a breath of fresh air and his brutal honesty in both victory and defeat alike set him apart from his predecesor not only in his off the field interviews but also with the football produced on it.

I can only see the reds going from strength to strength this season and for the first time since regaining their Championship status, they should be comfortably looking upwards rather than nervously looking over their shoulders as May fast approaches.

Despite a more positive philosophy compared to that of setting out not lose rather than going out to win seemingly employed by the previous regime, the amount of goals being leaked is a great concern and is something Hill should look to improve on.

Key Players: Luke Steele has been in sparkling form, Jacob Butterfield has stepped up to the pressures of Captaincy with aplomb and Jim O'Brien has been a revelation from the frustated figure he cut through out his debut season. The cream of the crop for me however has to be David Perkins. His energy and willingness is exemplory and its a wonder he has never been given the chance at this level before now.

Overall: C+ very much a 'work in progress'

John Meara said...

I agree with your assessment of the season so far and, to be honest, I have not been so optimistic for years. My only words of caution would be that if Steele is playing out of his skin, and he is, then the opposition are getting too many shots on target

As for the crowds, £30 to watch an old 2nd division game is, frankly, arrogant. All over the country, fans are voting with their feet and the sooner Football wises up the better