Barnsley – the team
At the start of January 2016, Barnsley looked like very real candidates for relegation to League Two, and that was before manager Lee Johnson left to join Bristol City. He was replaced by the wonderfully named Paul Heckingbottom and fast forward 13 months and they have won the League One play-offs, the EFL Trophy and look like dark horses for a spot in the Championship top six this season. They sit six point behind Sheffield Wednesday who occupy the final play off spot. All of which is excellent news if you’ve got a spread bet on them achieving more than 55 points this season as we have. Although we will happily trade another three towards profit if it means the Albion picking up their first win at Oakwell in 26 years.
Barnsley – the place
As we’ve just said, it’s been a generation since we won away at Barnsley and for that reason it is one of those that you see on the fixture list and think “sod that”. One reason to make the journey however is to sample the Barnsley Chop, a cut of meat taken from taken right across the loin which becomes a double sided chop. It is sometimes referred to as a saddle chop as it is cut across the saddle producing the double loin chop with a little under fillet all in one. It has strong links to the mining and glass making industries while one author summed it up rather well with the phrase is “Barnsley is a couple of hundred miles north of London geographically, but several time zones away culturally.”
Barnsley – the people
We’ve made Barnsley sound all rather grim other than the prospect of getting a bloody good cut of meat. But Barnsley College has provided the world with some huge names in the music world including The Arctic Monkeys and The Darkness. Former Strictly Come Dancing winner Darren Gough and talk show host Michael Parkinson also come from the town.
A good WeAreBrighton.com memory of Barnsley away
Buying a round and getting change from a tenner is about as good as trips to Barnsley have been in our lifetime.
A bad WeAreBrighton.com memory of Barnsley away
The 2012 was a glowing example that the intelligence of South Yorkshire police generally does rival that of a marrow. There were what felt like hundreds of offices on the streets and we even had our own little escort trying to keep us in one pub rather than going from venue to venue in case we kicked off. This was all very over the top for the last game of the season. With both teams stuck in mid table. And a midday kick off. On a Sunday. You’d have thought their time and taxpayers money could have been better spent covering up a disaster they caused. Or tracking down a mass pedophile ring down the road in Rotherham. Or planning how to get publicity from arresting Cliff Richard.
None. Which is hardly surprising as we should be doing all we can to avoid buying anything Barnsley try and sell us. The reason? The last player to move from Oakwell to the Amex was Chris O’Grady. They mugged us off good and proper there.
Sam Winnall had been the Tykes top scorer but he left for Sheffield Wednesday in January as part of Wednesday’s plans to stockpile every single good striker in the Championship at Hillsborough. Most of the goal burden now falls on Adam Armstrong who is on-loan from Newcastle so expect him to try and do his parent club a favour while Marley Watkins has six from midfield.
Both Chris Hughton and Shane Duffy have been doing their best Donald Trump impressions this week by stressing the need to make the Albion defence great again. If that is their focus, we’re expecting the sort of dogged rearguard performance that epitomised tough away games last season and with that in mind the draw at 13/5 looks good value.
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