There was doom and gloom surrounding Oakwell in May after they were relegated from the Championship.
After a positive 2016/17 season in the second tier, the Tykes fans’ were hoping to climb up the second tier table in the last campaign but saw their side slump back into League One.
However, this could have work out for the better in the long-term. We have seen teams like Wolves, Wigan Athletic and Blackburn Rovers drop into this league and have turned themselves around and Barnsley look to be doing the same.
Barnsley were able to keep the majority of their key players. The departures of Andy Yiadom (Reading), Adam Hammill (released) and Tom Bradshaw (Millwall) were disappointing but the core of the squad in players such as Adam Davies, Liam Lindsay, George Moncur, Kieffer Moore and Brad Potts is still there.
The big question is, if Barnsley weren’t relegated to League One would they have appointed Daniel Stendel as manager? The German boss has impressed so far at Oakwell and has guided his side to 2nd in the league as it stands. His attractive and attacking football along with a high press has made the Tykes one of the hardest teams to play this season.
Young and hungry
Barnsley’s relegation has allowed them to give youngsters a chance to shine. 19-year-old Ben Williams has slotted in well at left-back over recent weeks and players like Cameron McGeehan and Jacob Brown have become key first-team players. This will help the club in the future.
Stendel’s side look a good bet for a return to the Championship at the moment and the momentum of a promotion into next season would bring a huge feel good factor around Oakwell. Surely their fans will prefer a promotion campaign where they win games regularly then a season of mid-table/survival in the Championship if they’d stayed up last season?