We have the views of four Barnsley supporters ahead of their match against the Valiants. They like Tom Pope but Michael Brown may be in for some stick…
About the fans
ARCHEY – My dad started taking me when I was 3, so it was around the 92/93 season although I remember very little from before the ground was redeveloped. I have had a season ticket since 1997. I went to quite a few away games from around 2005 to 10, but I can’t get to any many now.
JIMMYCRICKET – I’ve been a supporter since the ’70s. I’ve fallen out of love with football in general but still support the ‘mighty’ Reds.
JLWBIGLIL – I’m a retired steelworks Payroll Manager, and I’m now studying to become the next Indiana Jones. I’ve been a fan since the 1960’s.
DODWORTHER – I’m 21, Dad started taking me to Oakwell in the early 00’s and I somehow got hooked during arguably the worst period of the clubs history and I’m pretty much stuck with us now.
How is your team faring this season?
ARCHEY – We’re on a dreadful run of form. Injuries haven’t helped but I do think some of Danny’s decision making has also been poor. I expected us to have periods like this at the start of the year and still think we could finish in the top half with a little run of form.
JIMMYCRICKET – We’re in a poor run of form. For me, this was always going to be a season of consolidation with a mid-table finish a good achievement. We are a little behind schedule at the moment.
JLWBIGLIL – Current displays and results have been extremely disappointing, although we have previously played some excellent football and scored quite a number of spectacular goals. We’ve badly missed the injured Sam Winnall up front. Most fans were expecting a transitional season, without dropping to the edge of a relegation battle as we have.
DODWORTHER – We’re struggling to adapt to each other/the league/the managers style of play/not very good. A lot of people expected us to do well this year but if I’m honest were not really living up to that. I’m not that surprised as we’ve had an unsettled squad all season. It’s young it’s raw, and it’s very, very inexperienced.
Who should we watch out for?
ARCHEY – If he’s fit, Sam Winnall. If not, none of them have really been setting the place alight recently. If I was pushed I’d say that Hourihane has the ability to be a game changer.
JIMMYCRICKET – Hourihane on his day is one of the division’s best players, unfortunately those days have been few and far between recently.
JLWBIGLIL – Although currently out of form (which can end in an instant), Conor Hourihane. He’s scored some important and wonderful goals, as well as being a deadball specialist. If Winnall had been fit, then he would also have proved to be a handful for the Vale defence.
DODWORTHER – Maybe Milan Lalkovic, but really you should be alright unless Hourihane and Berry turn up.
What are your thoughts on your manager?
ARCHEY – He makes some strange decisions but has been given the backing of the board and he fans need to give him our patience. He’s trying to build a squad, we’ve had far too many managers over the last twenty years.
JIMMYCRICKET – A Barnsley legend but finding the going tough. He basically had to sign a whole new team following relegation. The average age of the team is about 22 and it shows. Must do better.
JLWBIGLIL – I like and rate him and believe he’s the best man to steer us through this transitional period.
DODWORTHER – Never go back, but we’ve backed him in the summer to do a full rebuild and now we have got to stick with him otherwise the money we’ve spent so far is wasted as a new manager would probably want to replace the lot.
What are your thoughts on your board?
ARCHEY – An improvement over past seasons, but I still feel the club is a little out of touch with the fans though.
JIMMYCRICKET – A chairman who is a fan and has invested lots of his money so you can’t ask more (though plenty do).
JLWBIGLIL – After years of stagnation, they finally seem to be moving in the right direction, with regards to various sponsorship deals and monies being made available to the manager.
DODWORTHER – Until last week I was confident but then it came out that we had lost £2m in the last financial year which is a disappointment. It might not sound much but to us it is stupid money. I also heard rumors of Oakwell needing to be sold. I’m starting to get abit worried about what they are actually doing. I love Patrick Cryne to bits, he saved the club from admin and has invested a lot of his money but it’s best for the club and himself if he can find a decent buyer, in my opinion.
Any views on Port Vale?
ARCHEY – I’ve always rated Tom Pope.
JIMMYCRICKET – Tom Pope is a quality player at this level but hopefully he’s still injured.
JLWBIGLIL – I have an intense dislike of Michael Brown, who displays all that is distasteful and disgusting in a footballer.
DODWORTHER – Michael Brown will be in for a shedload of stick, hopefully. I’m impressed by Tom Pope, hope for M’voto’s sake he’s still injured.
Any views on players involved with both sides?
ARCHEY – I loved Marc Richards, a bit of a cult hero.
JIMMYCRICKET – Marc Richards fairly recently played for both. I liked him for Barnsley, he was out of his depth in the championship but he wasn’t alone in that.
JLWBIGLIL – I enjoyed watching Carl Dickinson when we was on loan with us. Sam Togwell and Marc Richards were both honest hard working pros, but out of their depth in the Championship.
DODWORTHER – Marc Richards springs to mind, I used to love watching him play for some reason. Once scored with his backside. Carl Dickinson was a quality LB and is a great player for this level, an absolute powerhouse.
A score prediction?
ARCHEY – 0-0.
JIMMYCRICKET – Close game 1-0 to either team.
JLWBIGLIL – 2-0 home win, with both goals from Hourihane.
DODWORTHER – I’m not very good at this sort of thing… 1-0 Vale, 8,345 in attendance with it being all ticket.