Date: 13th August 2014 at 12:58pm
Written by:

It`s fair to say that life in League One could have started better for Barnsley.

Two home defeats in League and Cup and no goals scored already has alarm bells ringing for supporters.

Saturday saw us lose 1 – 0 at home to Crawley, all be it with ten men after Dale Jennings was sent off on the opening day for the second successive season.

Whilst on the subject of Jennings, as well as letting the team down by reacting to a foul and getting himself sent off, I think he needs to cut back on the weights and the pies with the size him.

He has clearly put some muscle that looks to have slowed him down by a yard and the new shirt was far from complementary on his belly too. I think Jennings needs to stick to the cardio, get his diet sorted and cut out the weights so that he can get back to what he does best and that`s take on his full back at pace. He might want to give Danny Rose his weight training programme though.

As for those supporters who actually wanted to get relegated, I hope the start of the season has been a wakeup call to them. Relegation doesn`t automatically mean that you will start winning games, especially when you have to buy almost a completely new team of even lower league players, and from what I have seen so far we could be in for another season of struggle.

I would say that we need at least another 3 or 4 players for the first eleven and a few more squad players to be competitive in the top half of this league.

I can see what Danny Wilson has tried to do in terms of his recruitment. He wants to play football and has tried to sign players to do that. As much as that is what I would like to see as well, unfortunately I`m not sure that it can work in this league.

I had forgotten just how bad the standard of football was at this level until Saturday. The majority of the play is up in the air and big physical teams who can`t play football, such as Crawley will bully this Barnsley team in to submission.

Crawley deserved it on Saturday in my opinion. However their lack of ambition even when we had ten men was astonishing. Their keeper was happy to waste team when we were there for the taking but in the end they got their reward.

Memories of our last campaign in the third tier came flooding back and even if we do get this team to gel and start winning I would much prefer losing most weeks and finishing fourth from bottom in the Championship every year than watching the tripe served up in this league.

Following our defeat to Crewe, Wilson was critical of the team when we haven`t got the ball. Now that leads me on to the type of player we need in the team and need quickly.

Bailey and Hourihane are tidy on the ball and I think that they will be decent players at this level but what we are missing in there is a midfielder who will fly in to tackles, stop the opposition from playing, close space down, be energetic, get box to box. Those are the traits needed for this league. Whether they can play football is irrelevant. A Stephen Dawson or David Perkins type player is what is needed.

As Dawson is about to join Rochdale, many fans have taken to Twitter to criticise him and his footballing abilities compared with Bailey and Hourihane. Are those two better footballers than Dawson? Most certainly they are better with the ball at their feet but this team would certainly be better if it had Dawson in the side in place of one of them.

A target man must also be signed by Danny Wilson. I admire his footballing philosophy but there are still far too many balls lumped up the strikers who are never going to win the aerial battle.

Rumours on the forums were that the so called ‘wow` signing was either Grant Holt or Emile Heskey. I seriously doubt that it is either of them but we need something in that mould.

They are the absolute ‘must` type of players that this team needs and I would also be looking at the full back positions.

I felt Dudgeon started well on Saturday until tiredness kicked in but he is not our player and only here for a month. The only other left back options are an injured youngster or Nyatanga.

I would also consider getting a right back in. Brown is definitely a centre back playing out of position but maybe Bree could make the breakthrough?

As for Wilson`s summer recruitment, well on the evidence so far it looks almost as poor as what his January recruitment was.

The keeper looks dodgy to say the least. Fans were critical of Steele`s kicking but I think Davies had more wayward kicks on Saturday than Steele had in a full season. Obviously there is Turnbull to come back in and Davies is a young lad who probably just needs some game time and confidence.

Berry has had to step up two divisions and then was played out of position on Saturday. He was poor to say the least but he will need time to adjust and I would like to see him play in his proper position.

Winnall up front puts himself about but he too will need time to adjust, hopefully Lita won`t take long to get his match sharpness and provide some experience up there.

As for the youngsters who have been at the club for a while, are they going to make it or are they being overtaken by even younger players?

Unfortunately I think Rose and Noble-Lazarus may be League Two at best. Rose could perhaps be a goal threat from the bench in the last 20 minutes but what has happened to RNL? He hasn`t fulfilled the potential that he had and this is a make or break season for him.

Digby is the one out of the three of them that I thought would become a first team regular for Barnsley but if he can`t get in this team at this level then maybe his development has stalled too and all those injuries have set him back.

I have always been a glass half full person when it comes to Barnsley but I am feeling very negative at the minute after only two games.

I hope the team can gel and start getting some points on the board and at least challenge in the top half of the table. However I do believe it could be another season of struggle with a bottom half finish on the cards and possibly another battle against relegation. I just really can`t see many positives at all so far.

I will continue to get behind the team, the manager and every player that pulls on the shirt but I am extremely worried at the moment and not looking forward to watching this shocking standard of football that the lower leagues serve up.