View from the Road End: Barnsley

We get the view from the away end ahead of Barnsley’s trip to Anfield in the FA Cup this Saturday (3pm). Tykes fansite editor Rob answered the questions for us.

Tell us about your season so far? Are you doing better or worse than you hoped or expected pre-season?

I think we are doing better than OTHER people expected this season. Most people (including all the newspapers) had us down to finish bottom, whilst all the bookies had us at 1,000-1 to win the league (the longest odds in the division). It was ridiculous because we aren’t that bad and Simon Davey totally revamped the club in the summer. Our home form is tremendous, we have beaten Watford, West Brom and Bristol City at Oakwell but away from home we are a shambles. As a 4-0 defeat at Coventry and 3-0 defeat at Plymouth our last two away games shows.

I’d be very happy to finish where we are now though, it would be our highest league finish in eight years! (Ed: Barnsley are currently 14th with 40 points – points off the play-offs and 8 off the bottom three.)

Who should we be weary of? Who has been your player of the season so far?

Unfortuantley our best player, keeper- Heinz Muller has just done his cruciate ligament in and is out for nine months. We signed him in the summer for £150,000 from Lillestrom and he has been outstanding. Saved the first two penalties he ever faced (including one against Preston in the 94th minute that earned a 1-0 win) and our success has been down to him. He showed his character in our 1-0 win over Colchester on the 29th January. Despite suffering his cruciate injury in the first half he played the full 90 minutes pulling off two fantastic saves despite being unable to walk! A legend! So yeah anyway we’ll miss him!

DA SILVA: Former Toffee and Barnsley dangerman

Midfielder Anderson De Silva is another incredible player, how we have got him on a permanent deal from Everton Ill never know and he may look to get on over Liverpool. He could be the main threat. Macken is cuptied so we could be looking to midfield for goals. We also need a keeper with Muller Injured and Warner cup-tied. Thomas Sorensen has been heavily linked!
[Link: BBC: Barnsley seek keeper for Anfield]

Do you ever expect to see Barnsley back in the top flight? And potentially playing in Dubai on a weekend!

I’d like to think we could get back up there but we are a long way off. Since our brief year in the Premier League we have lurched from one crisis to another and its only now we are recovering. I can maybe see a challenge in three or four years. As for the “games abroad” thing I think its a terrible idea and wont last very long if it ever does start!

How have you seen the whole Liverpool ownership problems? From an outsiders view who do you think the blame lies with?

With the owners obviously. I think (like many foreign owners) they came in with thier eyes shut and didnt realise how much invest would be needed to make Liverpool champions again. No chairman should approach somebody else whilst a manager is in charge like the Americans did with Klinsmann. To be honest though I think Liverpool are quite a bit away from being Champions again in the near future.

barnsley_badge.gifAnd finally, give us a few predictions:

LFC vs Barnsley:
3-0 (cant see us scoring to be honest)
Premier League Champions:
Man Utd (Arsenal will falter)
Liverpool to finish in:
5th (can see Everton pinching fourth- sorry!)
FA Cup Winners:
Liverpool (Would be nice to go out to the eventual winners)
Champions League Winners:
Real Madrid (They are due another win aint they)
Championship Champions:
West Brom (Its a three horse race at the moment but Watford are inconsistent, Bristol City arent quite good enough and West Brom have the best side in this league)
Barnsley to finish in: 16th (We keep bouncing between 13th and 17th and as our last game is away we’ll probably end up 16th)