October 2011
Hopefully, everybody knows how passionately I and the rest of us feel about our beloved football club, but feel frustrated by comments from inside the club that claim we lack any "football education".

We are fully aware of the so called reality we are in, but basic standards were missing on Saturday, such as closing down the opposition quickly and reinforcing every effort with back-up. We were playing at a pace that was simply not exciting.

It provides no pleasure to anyone to criticise the team when our support is vitally needed, but let's be fair, it's a two way street.

Sometimes the fixture itself gives the occasion the edge, for example a clash with Leeds United or a strong ex-Premier league side and maybe one day again a lowly Sheffield team. But equally, when that isn't the case, the players have to demonstrate that it matters just as much.

Most fans will probably tell you, as they did to me, that four points from the next two games prior to the Bristol City game would be realistic. Now we need three points against Hull City and that might be a bigger ask.

Players will make mistakes, Barnsley FC will concede goals, fans will occasionally be nervous. But overall, if the effort is there, it will always be reciprocated.

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I'm going to burst my spleen with vitriol whilst I can still make sense of my feelings ...

Not Good Enough ... Against a team that has only recorded 6 points all season, making the trek up North, we simply didn't give them a worry!

Not Good Enough ... Butterfield voted as MOTM, when clearly McEverley appeared to be the only player who had woken from his slumber!

Not Good Enough ... The match announcer who must have forgot to go to Specsavers, when Craig Davies finally recorded his first goal, for it to be accredited to O'Brien?

Not Good Enough ... Ketchup in short supply at half time ... Sort it!

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Barnsley were soundly beaten by Cardiff City, at the weekend, in a showcase that saw the two sides score a combined eight goals. The game, played on Saturday, ended 5-3, in City's favour, with Icelandic player, Aron Gunnarsson, who joined Cardiff on a free transfer in July, scoring twice, to help topple the Tykes.

Cardiff took the lead after just ten minutes, with a Kenny Miller strike that left Barnsley goalkeeper, Luke Steele, grasping at thin air. Joe Mason, also at Cardiff, claimed the Welsh side's second in the 34th minute, just five minutes after replacing Miller at the front.

Undeterred, Barnsley's Danny Drinkwater found the net in the 36th, with a deflected free-kick, to put the game back within the Tykes' grasp. However, the Bluebirds were relentless; Gunnarsson's effort seven minutes from the break was a self-assisted volley from a Peter Whittingham cross making it 3-1 at half time. People looking at the Championship football betting will have been shocked by the goalfest.

Drinkwater came the closest to opening the scoring in the second half, but his strike collided with the crossbar. Cardiff's Don Cowie, a player who has drawn praise for his performance, on Saturday, scored his club's fourth goal on the hour mark, with a superb solo effort.

Gunnarsson's second put the match well beyond salvation for Barnsley in the 71st minute. However, two final goals for the Yorkshire team, courtesy of Jim McNulty and Ricardo Vaz Te, formed part of a rousing fightback for Barnsley. Vaz Te's goal arrived at the death, in the 86th minute. Anyone following the football betting will have known the game was all over.

The result means that Cardiff climb to eighth in the Championship, while Barnsley remain precariously balanced, in seventeenth. The Tykes now only have one point over Birmingham City, in eighteenth, and five over Watford, the highest-placed resident of the dreaded relegation zone.
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Young Barnsley winger, Reuben Noble-Lazarus, has received the hair-dryer treatment from his coach, Keith Hill, for spending too much time on social networking website Twitter.

Noble-Lazarus, who made his first start for the first time on April 25, earlier this year, in a tie with Doncaster tweeted about his ankle injury; more specifically, that he was on his way to meet a specialist. Anyone following the Championship football betting will know this is a blow.

The tweet was posted on October 19, on Noble-Lazarus' personal page, ReubenCNL. The 18-year-old posts regularly, on topics ranging from his activities at Barnsley, to his plans for the day.

"Reuben shouldn't be on Twitter for a start", Keith Hill told The Star. "Reuben should be concentrating on his career, unless he wants one in media. It's typical of youth today."

Hill suggested that Noble-Lazarus should "spend more time" with Barnsley's press officer, Mark Stokes, if he wants to "spend a lifetime Twittering".

Fortunately, for fans of Noble-Lazarus' commentary (all 845 of them), he has not stopped tweeting, despite his boss' apparent disdain for the player's pastime.

The youngster is currently one of a number of Barnsley players to have been ruled out of competition with an injury, Jay McEveley and Bobby Hassell becoming the most recent victims, last week. "We really are down to the bare bones", Keith Hill explained. Fans of football betting will be wondering how the side will get on in the coming weeks.

Noble-Lazarus, who has not had much of a season since scoring his first goal for Barnsley at the end of the 2010/11 campaign, said that his injury was "depressing", on his Twitter page
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After an impressive unbeaten run to match any top team, the Reds finally capitulated on Saturday in front of the Sky cameras after a long ride to Portsmouth saw David Norris and Luke Varney fire home only 90 seconds after one another to end the Reds' 7 game unbeaten triumph. There was no time for sulking however, as with a gap of only 3 days it was the turn of Burnley to visit Oakwell, where the Reds were looking to string together a run of impressive performances following the convincing win over Coventry City prior to the international break.
Burnley F.C.Image via Wikipedia
Eddie Howe named a former Oakwell favourite in his starting line-up, with former Manchester City loanee Kieran Trippier making his return to Barnsley little over 4 months after the expiration of his loan deal, which saw impressive performances at both Right Back and on the wing, in addition to key goals against Leeds United at Elland Road as well as against Doncaster at home. In addition to the appearance of Trippier, with former loanee (this time from Burnley themselves) Jay Rodriguez supporting Charlie Austin in attack alongside former West Ham youngster Junior Stanislas.

On The Ponty End has teamed up with Savile Rogue to give you the chance to win one of the world’s finest cashmere football scarves in Barnsley colours.

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For your chance to get your hands on a Barnsley cashmere scarf simply Sign-Up to our Newsletter to enter before midnight on 31st October 2011. One lucky subscriber will be selected entirely at random and will be notified via email, no later than Friday 4th November 2011.

Read: Full Competition Terms & Conditions

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Taking a breather during the International break, we thought we would bring you bang-up-to-date with the latest news from On The Ponty End's Fantasy Football League.

It's been 2-3 week's since we last visited the stats, but a new Leader is in place with Richard Wordsworth (Tarby's Tykes) now taking top spot from Kieran Bestall.
Enter Your Team in to OnThePontyEnd's Private League
  • First register at Texaco Fantasy Football 2011/12 and pick your squad.
  • Click "Private Leagues", scroll down to "Joining Private Leagues"
  • Enter Pin Number 1431 in to the box below and hit 'Find League'. If you are sure you have the right league, you must then click 'Join This League' to apply.
  • Once the League Chairman has accepted you in to the league, you will be able to view your table by clicking on the relevant Private League name on your team screen.
You can now keep up to date with the brand new iPhone App here
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Since Barnsley's return to the Championship in 2006, the team has clearly lacked in defensive options. Year on year, the Reds have ended the season with a negative goal difference, often only just staving off relegation from the league.

It was perhaps Mark Robins, the Reds' former manager who departed in the summer, who was the first to give the defence any credibility, when for two seasons in a row under his stewardship the Reds finished well clear of the relegation places. However under Keith Hill, the Reds have found arguably some impressive defensive form, with Barnsley currently on a zero goal difference for the first time, even at this stage of a season, for a long time, which has gone a long way in the eyes of many to push the Reds on for what has been a rather impressive unbeaten run.

This brief report will analyse exactly what the Reds are doing in order to close the floodgates of seasons gone by.

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Ten games is the traditional benchmark set by fans and pundits around the country to see how their team had progressed. As yesterday's match passed the important marker and signalled the start of the international break, it felt only appropriate to take an early insight into how the Reds' season has gone so far. We'll take a look at the early stats, analyse all the results, as well as assemble an early dream team, star player watch and take a look around the Championship at the early pace setters and at the teams flagging behind.

Early Struggles
It goes without saying that the Reds had a mixed start to the season under their new management team of Keith Hill and David Flitcroft. After earning a great point in their opening game on the road to fancied Nottingham Forest, the Reds came home to Oakwell and lost their first three games. The first was a League Cup tie to League 2 opponents Morecambe, who are currently flying high in the division. Perhaps it was not the result which disappointed many fans, but an inherent lack of effort which was contrary to what manager Keith Hill had set out as one of his expectations for the season. Following the game, Hill admitted he should have rested more players and given some different players a chance, which perhaps contributed to the Reds' downfall in the game.

Following the Cup exit, the Reds faced two league games at home on the bounce, with Southampton and Middlesbrough being the visitors. The Reds kept the current Championship leaders to just one goal, although came out the wrong side of a 3-1 result with Middlesbrough. These relatively poor performances signalled booing from a minority of Reds supporters, met with an equally angry reaction from manager Keith Hill, who asked for more time, saying that Rome wasn't built in a day.

In hindsight these results might have been expected, as Middlesbrough and Southampton are now flying high in the division, and have done so all season. Perhaps it was unfair of Reds fans to criticise the team so early into the season, as sometimes it is important to just accept you were beaten by a better side, an accolade that could be easily prescribed to both the Saints and Boro. Thankfully, these losses were to be put behind the team, and both the manager and fans would warm to each other... eventually...

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Fans attending yesterday's match could have been excused for expecting a draw before a ball was even kicked. Both Barnsley and Coventry prior to the game had become the draw specialists in the division, with the Reds drawing 5 of the last 6 and Coventry drawing 4 of their last 6 games.

Despite beating high flying Derby 2-0 at home recently, the sky blues have struggled to find form this season, with only 1 win all campaign, as well as only a point on the road thus far. The Reds however came into the game again searching for their first home win, although arguably the Reds have deserved much more at home, if only had they been able to cut out slight defensive errors.

The Reds again made just the one change due to injury, with Nathan Doyle coming in for the injured David Perkins, who has achieved somewhat of a following in his short stay at Oakwell. Miles Addison and Cameron Park made returns to the bench, with Addison ineligible to face his parent club on Tuesday, and Cameron Park having his loan deal from Middlesbrough renewed. Debutant Paul Digby and his academy teammate Jordan Clark dropped out of the squad as a result.