Date: 27th August 2015 at 4:28pm
Written by:

The result wasn`t what we wanted but Barnsley produced a sensational performance before succumbing to Everton by five goals to three after extra time.

The reds performance was truly sensational as they took the game to Everton at every opportunity.

Our passing, movement, tempo, intensity, effort and intent was a joy to watch and it is safe to say that it is the best game I have seen at Oakwell for a number of years.

If we play like that in the league then we will be nailed on for a top six finish so the question is why haven`t we been playing like that in the league?

Having watched the team during the first few weeks of the season then you wouldn`t have believed that team was capable of producing a performance like they did last night.

Maybe our players are more suited to the style of Premier League teams than the in your face League One stuff.

That shouldn`t matter. That performance last night has shown me that we have the players and team to mount a serious promotion push and possibly compete if we do reach the Championship.

That is the type of performance I want to see for the rest of this campaign and I will be very disappointed if we go back to the dross that we have served up so far this season.

The occasion will have lifted the players, there is no doubt in that but maybe Lee Johnson has finally found the right system and selection to get the best out of the players we have.

I could not fault any of them but I thought that Scowen and Roberts were immense and that worries me slightly with the transfer window still open and our game live on TV and all of the other fixtures played the previous evening so almost every manager will have been watching.

In the end Everton showed their extra class, fitness, strength, pace and power but I`m not sure they would have been able to do that with the eleven that started the game.

Martinez took no chances with the toffees being 2 – 0 down at half time and the introductions of Barkley and Deulofeu swung the tie in Everton`s favour.

Both looked a class above everything else on the pitch and Deulofeu in particular gave Nyatanga a torrid time.

My only criticism is that I thought that we should have brought Smith on earlier but all in all I can`t really complain with what we witnessed last night.

All eyes were on the returning John Stones who seems Chelsea bound for around £40 million. He wasn`t at his best last night but I was happy to see him back at Oakwell and I do hope the move to Chelsea goes through so we can get some money to hopefully invest in this promising team.

Next up however it is back to the bread and butter of the league and a trip to Keith Hill`s Rochdale.

It seems harsh to say this after the way everyone played but I would make one change for the trip to Spotland. I would bring Smith in at left back in place of Nyatanga.

Nyatanga is not a left back and Smith looks a lot better in that position in my opinion. Whilst I think Nyatanga is a good centre half, I just don`t see how he could displace Roberts or Mawson at this moment in time so I`m afraid he would have to be on the bench for me.

I have never left the ground after a defeat and felt as happy and optimistic as I did last night. I just hope it isn`t false optimism because after all this is Barnsley we are talking about.