August 2008
Following the news that the Reds have secured their first 3 points of the new campaign. VS (Victory on a Saturday) parties, have kicked in to gear throughout `Tarn.

In tears of joy, Vera Braithwaite of Kendray commented, "No longer, will I have to endure, the tyranny of my husband on a Set'dy evening."

Described as Barnsley's worst start to a campaign in 22 years.


Jon Parkin, was a product of the Barnsley youth system, and made his debut at 17 against Hartlepool United. For the Reds, he was a strapping defender, his sheer physique suggested that this lad would be a scrapper for the Reds.

His early career at Barnsley was in the 2001-2002 season, during the ill fated management transition, between Dave Bassett and Nigel Spackman.

As favour turned towards new signings and incoming loans, Parkin spent a period on loan, making a handful of appearances for Hartlepool United and York City, before joining "the Minstermen" permanently.

Almost, out of sight - out of mind; Jon began to grab the headlines for the first time, at Macclesfield Town. In 2004, he was now playing in a converted role, up front, and was being hailed as "The Beast" by the Silkmen's fans. He netted 26 times, and set a new club record to boot. He was on the map.

In the following season, whilst restricted by injury, he scored a further 9 goals in just 15 starts, bringing him to the attention of Hull City, in the Championship.

Signing an 18 month deal with the Tigers, he netted 5 times in 19 games, assisting Hull in their survival to remain in the Championship. In the following season, he went out on loan to Stoke City, before his permanent transfer was completed in 2007.

Turning out 27 times last season, his tally amounted to just a couple of goals, but his impact on other play furthered other opportunities for his colleagues. Jon, celebrated promotion to the Premiership , with Stoke, at the end of the 2007 -2008 season.

In the last few seasons, he has developed his own brand. As "The Beast", his style is uncompromising and is a difficult opponent to defend against. His can link up play comfortably; not forgetting, he has a consistent ability to distress defenders at set pieces.

Now, firmly established as a forward, this lad can put the ball in the onion bag. Free of injury and fit, at only 26, Jon Parkin will continue to be a menace - for good few years yet.

I just wish it was with us !!

Barnsley welcome back striker Iain Hume and defender Marciano van Homoet from suspension for the game. Midfielder Gary Teale is ineligible to play under the terms of his loan from the Rams.

Radio 'Dee-Dar' interview here

Werling played for several clubs in Germany before moving to Turkey. In July 2007, he joined Barnsley from Turkish side Sakaryaspor.

Whilst this was initially on a 6 month loan agreement, certain terms and criteria had been discussed with all parties to make Dominik a permanent acquisition in January 2008.

To the Ponty End, he was a spectacle and a novelty. His fearsome free-kicks (a la Roberto Carlos) always added that extra magic and expectation on Match-day. Alas, all too briefly.

In January 2008, Werling appeared to be AWOL, with speculation that he was being touted around other clubs. His agent ultimately renegaded on the initial agreement that had been made with Barnsley FC.

Today, Werling plies his trade for FC Erzgebirge Aue, a German club relegated last season from 2. Bundesliga. Ironically, the city can only boast of a population of about 18,000 people, when clearly Werling had expected a bigger move.
OTPE, just couldn't resist the pun.

According to Andrew Lodge in the Barnsley Independent, Hassell hits right back at his critics.

Apparently, a small section of Barnsley FC supporters have got under his skin - after receiving some criticism for his performances as a defensive midfielder.

"I ended up having an argument in the street with one fan who was having a go"

Most regulars at Oakwell know Bobby better. His performances, in numerous areas of the set up, have been outstanding at times.

Like most, I look forward to De Silva's return in to this position. Even the unknown Colace might be a novelty in the meantime (pending resolution). But when this does happen, Bobby Hassell deserves his place. Right Back!

Dear Ol' Ear `Ole,

May I take this opportunity to praise, Ching-He Huang, for her fantastic BBC series, "Chinese Food: Made Easy".

I have been glued to the set on a weekly basis, in order to catch her regular guide to making these tasty treats. She has such a "sunny" personality and should be commended for her efforts to involve all areas of the community in her programmes.

She is an example to us all.

In this spirit, I recently contacted one of our local restaurants, to share some of Ching-He's tips. And I can tell you this: I will not bother again!

Not only did they decline my generous offer, but the lady who answered the phone, sounded very aggressive and pretended not to understand me.

To add further insult to injury; they recently posted "their" menu through my letterbox. In it, they claim that they "specialise" in cooking these types of dishes. Even though - they are identical to the recipes - I recommended to them.

Their so-called "Take Away" concept has really taken off, franchising similar services in every high street across the UK. Many of my friends & neighbours tell me that they regularly enjoy meals cooked by these charlatans.

I am inconsolable. I have been left feeling hurt and abused by these people. I'm sure Miss Huang would not approve!

FIFA have issued Argentinian club Newell's Old Boys with a deadline of Thursday to release the papers necessary for Barnsley to register Hugo Colace.

The former Argentina Under-21 captain, who is yet to feature for the Tykes, signed a two-year deal from the Rosario club in June.

If Newell's Old Boys do not comply, the matter will go to a tribunal.

Barnsley club secretary Don Rowing told the Yorkshire Post: "This has been frustrating for everyone at the club, especially Hugo.

"He is working hard and raring to go. We have had a letter from FIFA which says his old club now have until Thursday to submit the papers, otherwise it goes to a hearing."

I recall it was a heady, early summer evening in the year 2011.

Barnsley FC, had qualified for the Champions League after successfully navigating to the Premier League in 2009 and securing fourth spot - in their first season there.

We were ecstatic.

The group games had been tough and had produced some memorable victories away at the San Siro and the Nou Camp. At the knock-out stages, Barnsley valiantly overcame Bayern Munich at home and battled to a draw at the Allianz Arena. In the Semi's, the Reds strode out deserved winners after a dogged 2-Leg affair against the English Premier League Champions - Manchester United.

Now with the final at a knife edge; the Stade de France was electric.

88 minutes played - and Barnsley were stoicly defending their goal once again, against the mighty Real Madrid, part of a constant wave of chances the opposition were gaining.

After a feeble shot, Heinz Muller safely collected the ball.

Aware that less than 2 minutes of standard time remained, he decided to carefully roll the ball out to his right back. Keeping possession in this zone appeared to be easier; with "the Galacticos" preferring to sit just arround the half-way line, waiting for Barnsley to make their next move.

The ball moved to Brian Howard, who played a quick one-two with Diego Leon to penetrate the oppositions half. Taking one, then two and finally a third Madrid player on; Howard approched the final third of the pitch, flanked by two opposing players.

In an instant; a chink appeared in the Real Madrid defence and Howard played the perfect through ball to an oncoming JCR.

89 minutes and counting... JCR, timed his run perfectly. Madrid had been caught napping. Barnsley fans gulped for air, not daring to dream the impossible dream.

With only moments to spare, JCR controlled the ball and took a further step in order to strike the ball.......


Bloody typical !

Real Madrid won on penalties. Woe my life, even as a Barnsley dreamer!

I recently called a helpline, advertised in my local newspaper, claiming to assist people with "Erection Problems".

Imagine my surprise, when the operator asked me a variety of questions regarding my penis and my general "Bedroom Olympics" activities.

Alas, my new garden shed arrived last Tuesday, and I'm still struggling to get the bugger up!

Barnsley head to Gresty Road tonight to face Crewe Alexandra in the Milk, er no Littlewoods Challenge, sorry... umm... the Rumbelows or is the Coca-Cola, ahm... no it's... the er .... Worthington's, erm .... the erm ... Carling Cup. Yes that's it, the Carling Cup.

Whatever it's name, Barnsley - at this stage, are still in the hat.

Only 450 minutes away from Wembley !

Blog Updated on 13 August:

"Taxi for Mr Davey!"

There are mixed views as to whether the introduction of a "wage cap" across the Football League would be the antidote to the crippling finances within in the English game.

I would force all the squad into wearing one!

If players had to ask the fans personally to "tip-up" at full time, then surely we would see more guts and effort put in over the whole of the 90 minutes.

I wonder sometimes, just how much "brass" would the fans be prepared to put in it?

Please, could the management orchestrate the atmosphere at Oakwell - against the opposition.

It would have to be before the start of the second half, once The Reds have emerged from the tunnel, well in advance of their opponents.

The club would then have the perfect opportunity to herald the away team's arrival.

How about the theme tune from "Steptoe & Son" anyone?
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The cause of the England B set up requires a re-think.

Let’s suppose that the demise of England, at international level, is due to the high influx of foreign talent. If this is the case, why isn’t the FA looking outside of the top tier and at the player development occurring elsewhere?

The first official England B team match took place 1949. This was proposed to be the method of bringing through new talent to the National side. The Under 21 system came to fruition much later in the 1970’s.

Commercially, the FA has had little incentive to consider the alternatives. The record home attendance for any B international was back in 1950, when just over 43,500 fans descended on St James Park to see England B play the Netherlands.

Whilst the Premier League is justifiably the best league in the World, why can’t the FA break-out of its myopic view that English football and its mainstream support does not exist outside of that sphere.

Last season, of the 30 most supported clubs, entries appeared from both the Championship and League One. Clubs from the Premiership, including Portsmouth, Bolton Wanderers, Reading, Fulham, Blackburn and Birmingham City, could not muster more support than Leeds United of League One.

Perhaps it’s time for a different England B experiment. Staged exclusively at Football League grounds, with players selected from Football League Clubs. Surely this was the purpose it was designed for.
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The sides relegated from the Premier League last term - Derby, Birmingham and Reading – will bounce back at the first attempt.

Is this owed in part to the parachute payments; which are paid to those clubs relegated from the Premiership? These sums have recently risen from £6.5m, paid over two seasons, to their current level of around £11.2m for those clubs that were relegated in 2007 – 2008. The average Football League Championship club only receives around £1m.

Does a manager’s pedigree matter?

At this level, Paul Jewell has previously won promotions for Bradford City & Wigan. He also retained their Premiership status once this had been achieved.

Right from his early managerial career at Motherwell and Hibernian, Alex McLeish has always shown himself to be a shrewd operator. His record at Rangers is impressive too, winning five trophies in five years for the Scottish giants.

Steve Coppell has gained promotions before from the Championship. With Crystal Palace, he has gained two promotions in 1989 and 1997. At Reading he has a formidable track record. Gaining promotion in 2006, he achieved a top eight finish in the first year in the Premiership.

Why should any player bother lacing-up their boots at all?

Of the 22 inaugural members of the Premier League, only ten still remain there. Of the rest, there have been consistent meanderings season upon season. Clubs including Oldham Athletic and Leeds United do not even feature in the Championship this season and Wimbledon are now defunct.

Ian Dowie coined the word “bouncebackability”. In the past five seasons, the only teams that have demonstrated this, at the first time of asking, have been Sunderland and Birmingham in the 2006 – 2007 season. Even after one season in the Championship, only West Brom, West Ham and Sunderland have achieved promotion within the life of the parachute payments.

Last year’s Championship proved to be unpredictable.

This year, everyone will be chasing the Premier League scalps and this year’s pretenders to the “Big League” crown, Queens Park Rangers.

Nothing in football is won, without it being earned first.
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