Often Partisan

Taking on the Tykes – Barnsley Preview

Today sees Keith Hill’s Barnsley side come to St Andrews to take on a Blues side who have taken seven points from their last three games. It’s almost a year to the day since the corresponding fixture last year which saw Jacob Butterfield score a 30 yarder in controversial circumstances after a foul on David Murphy to put the Tykes in front before Chris Burke equalised late on for the Blues.

Barnsley FC

Barnsley come into the game a point and four goals worse off than Blues and on a wretched run which has seen them lose all of their away league games so far. That being said, Barnsley have scored in every game they have played in this season although they have conceded 13 in four away games including five at the Amex against Brighton and Hove Albion.

Like Blues, Barnsley have problems at right back with club skipper Bobby Hassell out as well as young starlet John Stones; midfielder Craig Davies is seen as fit but not capable of lasting ninety minutes. However, summer signing Toni Silva could be in line to make his debut after recovering from injury.


Right-back is the problem spot for Blues with both Stephen Carr and the on-loan Paul Caddis out with long-term injuries. Boss Lee Clark will have to decide whether to move Jonathan Spector back to right-back after a decent spell in midfield, or to play someone else out of position like Curtis Davies or Hayden Mullins, or even bring back rookie American defender Will Packwood.

I suspect Pablo Ibanez and Wade Elliott have done enough to retain their places after impressive performances on Tuesday night against Bolton Wanderers and with Keith Fahey and Darren Ambrose both returned from injury the competition for a central midfield place has heated up somewhat.

This is the kind of game Blues need to put to bed with a win but I don’t want to predict that for fear of jinxing it. My big hope is that Lita and King will continue their impressive partnership and that maybe Blues can record a clean sheet for the first time in three games.

The match is on Sky Sports 2, and kicks off at 5:20pm BST.

Match previews sponsored by EZE Group - Lifestyle Experts

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19 Responses to “Taking on the Tykes – Barnsley Preview”

  • Paul Carter - The Voice Of Reason says:

    Looking forward to this one and hope the ground isn’t half empty as it’s so embarrassing when it is on TV. Should have enough to beat Barnsley I think, I was quite encouraged by Tuesdays performance.

    • krotom says:

      found out this am that i could go to the game . why would i be expected to pay an extra £20 for 4 tickets ordered on the day?

      Cheaper option to watch in the pub

      • almajir says:

        I assume you also complain about plane and train tickets being more expensive on the day…

        • Bluebird says:

          Unusual Al for you to respond with a weak argument –
          Trains and Planes serve a practical purpose to get you from one point to another at a specific time and if you want to save money you choose the cheapest operator –
          Loyalty is not a factor in your decision!
          The nature of that market is to remain competitive 24/7 –

          Football is within the entertainment profession with loyalty as the bait –
          So people make a choice on what to do with their cash and if they can watch it on TV & save £35 because they consider their Club is penalising their loyalty then they should not be criticised.

          The Club is supposedly attempting to get more people into the Ground –
          Isn’t that what we are all being told?
          You don’t do that by selling the empty seats on the day at a higher price –
          The focus of that approach is to get fans to buy early –
          Whereas the focus should be to fill the ground by selling every seat!

          Go down to London Theatre Land who are also in the entertainment profession –
          See what price you can pay for a Show Ticket 5mins before ‘curtain up’ –
          That’s what Blues should be doing –
          And before anyone asks – Yes I am a Season Ticket Holder.

          • almajir says:

            But people keep missing the point. There is no penalty. It’s a discount for buying tickets early.

            If they were to set a flat fee it would be the higher price – there would be no saving made, and EVERYBODY would get “penalised”.

  • Steve says:

    From a Barnsley fan – good article and generally agree with your comments in relation to Barnsley, results would suggest we have been poor away from home but just taking into account this season there was only the Brighton game where we were completely outplayed. We should have beaten Blackburn at Ewood on Tuesday, our inability to finish cost us that game – if our strikers had been on it we would have been out of sight by half time but football is like that.

    At the moment, our rivals are underestimating us – more or less favourites for relegation but we have been for the last six years. I have to admit though I was worried about us this year although we have been far better than I expected. If we play at 90% of the level we did on Tuesday then we could have a chance at getting something today, Birmingham are a good side but seem to still be finding their groove this season.

    I’m sure all Blues fans would be horrified at the thought of losing this one, we are seen as a six point banker by almost everyone in the league! Although having seen the best and the worst of Barnsley this season I know we are more than a match for anyone going forward, the defence (which is somewhat makeshift at the moment due to injuries) have been prone to making errors which isn’t helped by the fact that if we take a lead in a game we just sit back and invite pressure that wasn’t there before the goal – strange and frustrating tactic which never works for us.

    John Stones will be a miss for us, certainly has to be one of the best full backs in the league even though he’s only young…too good for us to be honest, he will probably be the subject of offers in January.

    Jacob Mellis and Tomas Cwyka have been excellent for us this season, if they turn up tonight we will have a good chance. In recent years we have seemed to freeze in front of the cameras though so that could prove our downfall once again.

    I’m sure Birmingham will be in the promotion mix at the end of the season but I’m going to be super optimistic and call a 3-1 win for the Reds tonight! Surely our away form has to change at some point!

  • big frank says:

    Im hoping we have a bigger attendance, but it may be more of the same considering that is on tv.

  • big frank says:

    that it is on tv.

  • DoctorD says:

    Talking of Barnsley, I heard “Mad” Mick McCarthy on Radio FiveLive this morning — he talked a lot of sense. I think he should be on our radar if LC hasn’t got the club on a decent footing come the new year.

    • bluenoseneil says:

      Based on the fact we are unbeaten in 3 games and starting to look like we are becoming a side to reckon with again, any talk of replacing LC is premature and unnecessary, even more s than it was 3 or 4 games ago.

      Let’s give that subject a rest for now shall we?

      However on a final note I would personally like to see Mick McCarthy as a potential future Blues manager about as much as I would like to see Lionel Messi playing for Villa….and it’s probably equally as likely too…

    • Bluebird says:

      Mick has always talked a good game Doc –
      The problem he had was delivering the results!
      I have often heard said that those who are poor at their job – particularly sales people – eventually end up training others to do what they couldn’t do themselves!

  • skareggae72 says:

    Not sure what to expect today,hopefully we just continue our steady rise in form,as we attempt to get to the levels of last season.

    I really can’t see LC being removed,or a new manager coming in(whatever the result) as the rumblings of a potential takeover continue.Any new manager would almost certainly be removed by a new regime & there is no chance of Yeung wasting more money on a LC pay off.

  • Bluebird says:

    Al – There is no ‘Reply’ button to respond to your comment above and keep it all within the same frame –
    I am not missing any point –
    The whole debate is around filling the Ground with Blues’ Fans isn’t it?
    What you are suggesting is that those fans who are prepared to buy today should consider the approach currently adopted by the Club, intellectualise the reasoning and pay more money –
    Look at the results – it’s not working!
    The approach for the last minute sale has to be for people like ‘krotom’ who didn’t know until today he was available to go to the match –
    His choice is to pay more than anyone else for each ticket or watch it on TV –
    And he was ready to buy FOUR Tickets!
    How many more people are making the same decision?
    The strategy at the moment is “How can we get the most money in as quickly as we can?”
    That is not based on customer value – that is based on financial struggles and financial fears!

    • almajir says:

      sorry about the lack of reply button, the software only allows a certain number of “nesting” comments.

      You say it’s not working. That’s fair enough – but what are the club supposed to do?

      The FACTS:

      The matchday prices CANNOT be changed. They are set in stone with the football league at the start of the season. I’ve repeated this over and over again but people don’t seem to be taking it in, the Club CANNOT drop the prices. They can offer FOUR deals per season, no more. There is no scope to “drop prices” and if they are to equalise prices between advance and on the day purchases it would be the higher price.

      I will repeat for effect, IT WOULD BE THE HIGHER PRICE.

      I can empathise with people saying it’s expensive, it’s an expensive game. However, I think the club have done what they can to offer discounts where they can. The problem is that people don’t see it that way – they think if the club can afford to charge £23 before matchday then they should charge it on matchday… when the fact is, as above they cannot – they are not allowed to.

      This will stay the same for the whole season.

      I disagree with what you think the strategy is. From the fans forum back in April (and the full minutes are on this article) the club made it plain that they were going to concentrate on advance ticketing and encouraging people to buy online and printing at home – they are trying to cut the queues on matchday. Thus they have offered a pricing structure whereby people are rewarded for buying early and reducing queuing on matchday. It’s not about bringing in money quick, it’s about trying to make the matchday a less stressful experience for people queueing etc.

      Obviously, people are going to continue complaining – it’s what happens. However it’s my belief that if we go on a winning run those complaints will be a bit more forgotten and more fans will come in.

      • Bluebird says:

        Thank you Al for expalining all of that –
        I honestly have to say that I was not aware of the ‘rules on pricing’ and the agreement with the Football League –
        I therefore offer my apologies for my lack of knowledge on this matter and for appearing to “go off on one”!

        But I would appreciate some clarification just on one issue please:
        If the Club can only offer four deals per Season are you referring to the ‘buy one get one free’ type of deal? Because I also see the ‘buy cheaper before matchday’ as one deal and if so I therefore presume that they can only do this for four matches….
        Or is that a deal that can apply to every match which it seems to be doing?
        Could you please qualify exactly how these ‘deals’ work?
        The only reason I ask for qualification is that unless we all understand exactly how it works the chances of coming up with a solution is going to be remote.
        Thank you –

  • Macc lad says:

    Not sure what to write about tonight. Very unhappy with all associated with the club. Things need to change very soon, else we’ll find ourselves back in the dark depths of division 1

  • skareggae72 says:

    Trying to find positives but it is difficult,the only thing on my mind is Steve Bruce’s over-used phrase “lets dust ourselves down and go again”,that is really all that can be done until new owners come in and we get some fresh faces and new ideas(big ron might get a bit of enthusiasm into the place),or,more simplistically,we get back to what we was doing last season!!!!

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