Well, Hull (a) was a disaster, wasn’t it? City travel to Oakwell tonight for the rearranged fixture, looking to warm everyone’s cockles with a victory. There is sickness, injury, disappointment galore, but can Farke’s men respond well?
Norwich City are supposed to be Barnsley’s bogey team, apart from over the last 18 months or so when our performances against them have deteriorated markedly. For example, we all rocked up at Oakwell last season fully expecting an easy win and then witnessed one of the most distressingly ordinary Championship performances of all time. Luckily Barnsley weren’t much cop either that day or they’d have won 6-0 without even breaking a sweat.
Luckily, this is a brave new era of heroic away displays (apart from Saturday obvs) and we can’t expect a repeat of last year. And nor can we expect the same from Barnsley, who are now apparently Fucking Loaded™, although this doesn’t seem to have stopped them selling all their best players or seeing their beloved local boy manager depart for a team he once said he hated. Not only has Heckingbottom cleared off, he’s left for Leeds, a club declared a Disaster Zone by the UN back in 2014.
Put simply, Barnsley are in a bit of trouble. They’re 21st in the Championship, two points clear of the relegation zone. Interestingly, they’ve scored only one goal fewer than Norwich this season, but conceded considerably more. Since the two sides met in November, Barnsley have lost eleven league games, drawn six and won only twice. Three of their last four fixtures have all been relegation six-pointers against Burton, Birmingham and Hull, so they’ll probably be quite relieved to be playing a Norwich side riddled with injury and with very little to play for.
New coach Jose Morais seems to have had a positive impact at Barnsley, however, and confidence is on the rise. The boss is particularly fond of Oli McBurnie, a striker on loan from Swansea, presumably because he keeps scoring goals. One to watch out for, and to be concerned by. Morais might be able to talk the talk, but in the end all the positivity in the world means nothing if you’re not winning. Barnsley have only won once in their last five games, and they have to keep picking up points if they’re going to stay up.
The only remaining City players who started the Oakwell Atrocity of 2016 are Ivo Pinto, Josh Murphy and Big Nelson (Timmy K and Wes were unused subs), but hopefully they remember what a truly rubbish performance it was, and want to atone for it. ZW
Apparently it is a Barnsley tradition to ‘pin chips to the bride’s dress’ and now I can’t think of anything else and I want to know logistics and I really wish I were from Barnsley and also that I could get married again so I could enforce this tradition. ZW
ZW: I can only imagine that the players and manager were all fuming after both the Bolton and Hull games, which should have earned three points but instead saw us slump into 14th position. Annoying. So let’s rectify that, get back into being Barnsley’s Bogeys and push for the top half again. Please.
Zoë Assumes: Barnsley 1-3 Pride of Anglia. Go on lads, dare you.
RJ: Tuesday is going to be the night, I can feel it. The complete performance. Everything will click. Goals at one end and the return of the clean sheet. I feel sorry for those poor South Yorkshiremen as the mighty Norwich finally put Farke’s plans into practice and dominate the game from start to finish. Oh boy I can hardly wait.
Rich Reckons: Meat is murder, and that’s what we’ll do to them. Barnsley Chops 0 - Lammbraten 1.
CT: Saturday was a hull of a game. Our usual calm and clinical ‘Other Team 0-1 Madders’ didn't go to plan. In fact football went completely doolally; Madders scored three, but Maddefenders conceded four. We haven't had a crazy game like that for a long time, and I kind of liked it. Being reminded that City still have an absolute mare in their capabilities also makes a score prediction v Barnsley somewhat more complex. Quite honestly I haven’t a clue but shall hope for normal service to resume...surely two batshit games in row is impossible?
Clare Calculates: A no nonsense 1-0 away win to the not so Crazy Gang.
SW: I discovered what a pattie butty was when I went to Hull at the weekend. It’s a curious little local delicacy, comprised of what I can only describe as a fishcake without any fish. And it’s in a bun. Double the carbs, double the fun. Was it nice? No, but that’s not the point. It was a strange addition to an equally crazy away day. I’m expecting such madness to subside as we head to a not-so-frozen Barnsley.
Seb Foresees: Barnsley 0-1 Norwich City