Thursday, 21 November 2019

A Huge Task Lies Ahead For Barnsley's New Manager Gerhard Struber

After an intensive managerial search, Barnsley have appointed the less known Austrian Gerhard Struber as their new manager. The Austrian arrives in England after an excellent few months in charge of Wolfsberger AC in the Austrian Bundesliga. Struber leaves them in third place behind Red Bull Salzburg and LASK Linz.

Barnsley’s search took them across Europe with Struber eventually being the man chosen to firefight Barnsley’s relegation battle. Barnsley spoke to various managers including Jens Keller and Poya Asbaghi but have chosen the likeable Austrian and he inherits a huge first job in English football.

Struber will go in and stick to his chosen philosophy of hard work and intricate football. He will go with a diamond formation which brought him success at Wolfsberger. The likes of Alex Mowatt, Cameron McGeehan and Callum Styles could thrive in this setup. However, before implementing his style of play, Struber must sort out the Championship’s worst defence. Barnsley have conceded 33 goals in 16 games and that simply must be sorted if Barnsley are going to win games. Barnsley’s inexperienced defence has suffered badly this campaign. It also doesn’t help that former boss Daniel Stendel had to literally buy a new defence in the summer. Mads Andersen, Bambo Diaby, Toby Sibbick, Aapo Halme, Samuel Radlinger and Bradley Collins all arrived in the summer and clearly, the unsettled nature has seen the Tykes suffer. Radlinger and Collins have alternated in goal this season meaning a lack of stability between the sticks. While Barnsley’s young defence has been caught napping on several occasions this season.

Barnsley are also struggling offensively notching just 16 goals this season. Only Middlesbrough and Wigan Athletic have poorer attacks. Goals have been hard to come by this season certainly since they stepped up from League 1. Only Cauley Woodrow has more than two league goals this season. Replacing Kieffer Moore has been extremely tough with the likes of Patrick Schmidt, Mallik Wilks and Connor Chaplin all struggling to fill his very large boots. Struber will be looking to find the best solution to their goal shortage in the short term with Barnsley expected to be active in the January transfer window.

Struber must also find a winning solution with Barnsley winless in 15 league games. Since their dream start to the season against Fulham, Barnsley have taken just six points from 15 games. Times have been difficult with many fans unhappy with the owners of the club. Stendel was idealised and certainly his sacking appeared harsh. Adam Murray stepped in and couldn’t find a win during his spell as caretaker manager. Struber is ready to go and no doubt the terrific Barnsley support will get behind him and the team. Their winless run needs arresting quickly with Barnsley five points off safety.

Struber’s reign kicks off this weekend with a trip to out of form Blackburn. Rovers have won just once in their last eight games and Barnsley will fancy, they can sneak a first away win and a dream start to Struber’s tenure. Barnsley face an important run of games starting against Blackburn. They then travel to Middlesbrough in a vital game at the bottom. Struber’s first home game is a Yorkshire derby with Hull. Games with Cardiff, Reading, QPR, Millwall and West Brom follow. Struber needs a good start to instil belief in the players and the fans. They have the tools to survive but they need a win to arrest their real slump.

The likeable Struber is ready to take English football by storm and steer Barnsley to safety. A tough task but he will believe he can keep the Tykes in the Championship. The Tykes will be ready to go and certainly, Struber will ensure his team perform to the best of their ability.

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