In this series we are celebrating the 11th anniversary of OnThePontyEnd, and to do so we decided to set up a number of Twitter polls, to well and truly decide once and for all, what is the greatest Barnsley FC XI of the last eleven years?

In this series we are celebrating the 11th anniversary of OnThePontyEnd, and to do so we decided to set up a number of Twitter polls, to well and truly decide once and for all, what is the greatest Barnsley FC XI of the last eleven years?

Today, we start out with the defence, with the midfield and attack issues coming soon.

In goal: Heinz Muller

Taking 59% of the twitter poll, it was put beyond doubt that much revered German shotstopper Heinz Muller should be the reigning 1 in this side, beating off competition from Luke Steele and Adam Davies. Joining in August 2007 from Lillestrom in the Norweigan premiership, Muller was taken to immediately by the Oakwell faithful, thanks to memorable penalty saves, most notably saves against Wolves' Andy Keogh, and the now iconic save and celebration against Preston North End in the last minute of the 2007/08 clash in which the Reds were victorious 1-0. A true Reds cult-hero in every sense of the word, his performances have not only put him in the history books, the hearts and minds of Barnsley fans, but also our XI. Viva Heinz Muller!

Right-Back: Kieran Trippier

With a 73% majority, Kieran Trippier was the overwhelming favourite amongst those who took part in the twitter poll to take up the position of right-back, battering other nominees James Bree and Mason Holgate in the process of doing so. Arriving from Manchester City on a season-long loan in 2010, the incoming of Tripps' was first met frostily, due to his 'bad boy' reputation which he had amassed whilst a youngster at the City Of Manchester Stadium. However, by the summer of 2011, he had won the young player of the year gong in the end of season awards ceremony, and built up an excellent rapport with the Reds fans thanks to his endless work ethic, quality on the ball and in the tackle in amongst some incredibly memorable moments. One of my strongest memories as a Barnsley fan is that moment when he curled the ball to perfection into the top corner against Doncaster Rovers in the last minute. That memory is still vivid today in my mind. Seven years on from that goal against 'Donny' he did the same to Croatia in a World Cup Semi-Final. Madness!

Left-Back: Andy Yiadom

In what was to be honest, a position devoid of much quality for the Reds in the last 11 years, Andy Yiadom reigns victorious against other candidates Dani Pinillos and Jay McEveley. Joining on a bosman in the summer of 2016 folllowing our promotion from League One via the play-offs, Yiadom was an instant hit at Oakwell due to his work-rate and versatility. Moving to left-back in October due to the dominance of James Bree on the right-side of defence, Yiadom never looked back, and capped off an excellent 16/17 with a Ghana call-up. Though still putting in a 7/10 every weekend, Yiadom looked a shadow of his former self in 17/18,  having fallen out of favour with the Barnsley faithful over his handling of himself in the wake of an approach from Huddersfield Town for his services. He left on a free to Reading with a large odour of what could have been in the air, nonetheless, a terrific left-back in his first year with the Reds.

Right Cenre-Back: Jason Shackell

Despite John Stones' initial victory in this poll, thanks to feedback from OnThePontyEnd readers, I reversed his victory, meaning Shackell takes his place in the side having edged out his partner in crime at the time Stephen 'Fozzy' Foster. A tough-tackling, yet elegant centre-half, Jason Shackell joined the club for £700K in July 2010, and was immediately awarded the captaincy by then Reds gaffer, Mark Robins. Impressing many in the second tier that season, Shackell was an almost ever-present in the Starting XI that season, appearing in 44 of 46 league games, and at the end of the season picked up the player of the season award, which in the end was a kiss of death. Leaving the Reds to join the Rams for a million pounds just two months later. However, despite this Shackell left a lasting impression, and is regarded as one of the best Barnsley defenders since the millennium and this poll showcases that.

Left Centre-Back: Alfie Mawson

Taking the W in the closest and most-voted poll, Alfie Mawson only just secures the position, taking 48 percent of the poll, just ahead of Ethan Pinnock with 45 percent, who were both half a world away from Marc Roberts who took only 6 percent. However, more on Mawson now. A Lee Johnson signing in 2015, arriving on a free from Brentford, Mawson was a regular and 'El Capitano' in the Reds' run to the bottom of England's third tier. Yet when the armband went to Conor Hourihane he transformed into a different beast, winning a huge percentage of his aerial duals and bagging an impressive 9 goals in 63 apps. When he made his Premier League move to Swansea City, Mawson impressed so much for the Reds that many tipped him for England duty. A rolls-royce of a Defender, he more than warrants his place in this side, and should he start on August the 3rd against us, will more than likely receive an excellent reception from all four sides of Oakwell.

What do you think? All feedback is appreciated, if you want to feed something back to me or merely want a chat about BFC you can find me on twitter, my handle is @TomOTPE.
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Thomas Wilkinson

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