According to the popular press, it now seems almost inevitable that Mark Robins will be unveiled soon as the new boss at Barnsley FC.

Presently it seems that this appointment will receive a mixed reception, with many soothsayers likening this appointment to the doomed tenure of Steve Parkin et al from Rochdale in the earlier part of this decade.

It's worth pointing out that as first team coach at (Premier League) Hull, Steve Parkin was cited by Sir Alex Ferguson, alongside Phil Brown and Brian Horton as being a key component in that success.

Whilst I appreciate that there may be some similarities in appointing a young Manager from League Two, there are many more positives to note.

Championship Managers

Firstly, amongst those Championship managers who have retained their position in excess of two years at their present clubs, only Dave Jones and Gareth Southgate have worked at a higher level than the Championship. More often than not, dues have been paid first at lower league level.

Gary Johnson, one of the most charismatic Managers presently in our league, served at Cambridge United, Kettering Town, via Latvia and Yeovil Town before finding his role at Bristol City. Would any Reds fan have turned up their nose at that appointment?

Sean O'Driscoll at Donny, spent six years at Bournemouth before taking the reigns at Rovers. Brian Laws served an apprenticeship of sorts at Grimsby, spending almost a decade with Scunny before moving on to Hillsborough. Nigel Adkins has done a fair job at Scunny too, with the only prior experience of football management gained exclusively at Bangor City.

Mark Robins may be arriving from Rotherham United, but the experience seems to have served him well over the last two and a half years, winning nearly 43% of the games in which he has been in charge, losing just 43 games out of the 128 on his record.

Player Network

Robins is often noted as the player who scored the goal which "saved Alex Ferguson's job" in 1990. Perhaps Sir Alex may now feel at Championship level, he may now be in a position to reciprocate.

Currently both Steve Bruce and Mark Hughes also manage at high profile clubs respectively. Robins was an integral part of the same squad for a large period in their playing days at Old Trafford. On that level alone, appointing Robins has to be good if this improves our player network and scouting reach.

As a fan, it feels good in my opinion to be on the cusp of bringing a winner in to the ranks at Oakwell. Especially for the youngsters who should aspire to reach the top of their game, what better example could we realistically have?

Mark Robins has the credibility, the honours (FA Cup, League Cup, UEFA Cup Winners Cup) and the experience to make this potential appointment a success. I look forward to hearing the club confirm this news soon.

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Ian Wilkinson

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Mark Crossfield said...

Very good comments, I totally agree. Hopefully Robins can get the very best out of our better players such as JCR, Anderson, Colace etc. Also giving players such as Sodje a good run out, he has already shown what he can do with the likes of Ruben Reid.

I too look forward to hearing the announcement of Robins at BFC.

thebudred said...

Lets hope your right as we can not afford another mistake. Patrick Cryne as put his heart and soul into barnsley fc and its time he got some reward out of it. So if Mark Robins is appointed as manager we (barnsley fans)have to get behind him and the team 100%