Date: 24th June 2013 at 6:43pm
Written by:

I return from my summer holidays and see it has been far from quiet at Oakwell in my absence.

The fixtures have been released and we begin our campaign at home to FA cup holders Wigan on the 3rd August.

Good news seems to be the theme at Oakwell at the moment with the reds signing O`Grady and Jennings and Cywka and Hassell penning new deals.

That just leaves Steele and Cranie outstanding and I would say these are the most important two of all of those who were out of contract. Certainly in my eyes the two who would be the most difficult to replace.

The longer it goes without them signing the more chance they have of leaving I reckon.

Decisions are expected within the next few days so let`s hope they want to stay a part of this special and crazy experience.

I wouldn`t blame Steele for leaving and I have to admit I am very puzzled by the fact he has only been offered a one year deal.

I thought Barnsley were wanting to show more ambition but it seems they are still worried about the prospect of relegation and having his wages still on the books.

More worryingly if Steele does leave is that it doesn`t sound like the reds will try to sign a number one goalkeeper and instead Ben Alnwick will be given the opportunity.

I have nothing against Alnwick and in most games he played last season he did do a decent job but he isn`t in the same class as Steele and with our defence (as it stands McNulty is the only recognised centre half) we need a top quality keeper.

However if Alnwick was to start the season in goal I would be fully behind him and I would urge all fans to the same and not get on his back if he does make a mistake.

I like what Flicker is building here but I think what happens with Steele and Cranie could be the difference between a solid mid table finish and yet another relegation dog fight.