On The Ponty End extends a huge welcome Lee Johnson to Oakwell and wish him every success in his role at the Reds, in the immediate future and beyond.

The cat is finally out of the bag. Following thirteen days since the departure of Danny Wilson, which included seemingly endless hours of  debate, speculation and rumours, Barnsley Football Club have identified their brand new 'Head Coach'.

On The Ponty End extends a huge welcome Lee Johnson to Oakwell and wish him every success in his role at the Reds, in the immediate future and beyond.

Whilst every appointment is likely to stir a range of emotions an opinions amongst supporters, I am convinced that a brighter future awaits us under the stewardship of Johnson. The former Oldham Athletic Manager has developed an enviable reputation as one the games brightest young bosses - in just under two years at 'the other side of the big hill'.

He has been tested often. His successes have shone through.

Managerial Record

In 103 games in charge at Boundary Park, Johnson has won 36, drawn 32 and lost 35 proving a win percentage of 34.95%. His first game in charge was a 3–0 victory against Hartlepool United on 19 March, which lifted Oldham out of the relegation zone, before eventually guiding them to survival.


Following his short introduction to the hotseat at Boundary Park, a total of eighteen players were out of contract before the start of the 2013/14 season. Adding to this, financial constraints have been par for the course, at a time when investment has also gone in to the demolition of the old Broadway Stand to make way for their new North Stand.

Operating in this environment, Johnson has proven to be a shrewd operator. Often emulating some of the better qualities Keith Hill had in fixing broken toys and getting a bargain. There are many examples, but most Reds fans cannot fail to have seen the performances of Genséric Kusunga and George Elokobi in our recent encounters with OAFC.

Media Scrutiny

After the whole sorry 'Ched Evans' saga at Oldham Athletic, few people who could have exited this drama with any credit. Lee Johnson was one individual who did.

Against a back drop of threats against staff, sponsors threatening to pull their support and with the media remained camped outside Boundary Park, politicians also took a stance, including the Prime Minister, Deputy Prime Minister and Opposition Leader. 70,000 people signed an online petition. It was a period of intense scrutiny, more than that experienced by some of highest profile Premier League Managers. Johnson calmly and respectfully took it in his stride.


As one of the few gaffers in the football league with an active Twitter account, Lee Johnson will have to get used to the banter and direct feedback he will get from the Barnsley faithful. But it's also clear from this community how highly he is regarded.


Whilst most players would take international breaks as a chance to enjoy relaxation on the beach, Johnson would travel across the continent, observing training sessions at some of Europe's top clubs.

Perhaps one of the most famous tales relates to his interview at Oldham (arranged for him by an admiring Kenny Dalglish), where an eager Johnson arrived armed with reports on the club's last three matches. All had been attended unannounced and undercover. This level of detail had obviously inflated his credentials with the Latics board and signalled the death knell to the hopes of other 'established' candidates.

Johnson is ready. No doubt he will have observed his new charges many times before. At Glanford Park, the planning for Saturday against Gillingham will have already been in motion. The new Reds boss will have done his homework.  While the mathematics still support a push for the play-offs, that will be the immediate goal.

As fans, let's get behind this appointment. In Lee Johnson we trust. We would love to hear your views. Get in touch with us on Twitter or Facebook, or leave your comments on this post below.
Share To:

Ian Wilkinson

Post A Comment:

1 comment so far add yours

Anonymous said...

At least we now know why Barnsley have signed so many young players recently. It is so that none would be older than the manager.