Tykes’ season is up and running but work to do

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The cheers at the end of the game on Saturday at Oakwell, were as much in relief in celebration. The Tykes season is up and running after a hard fought 1-0 over Crystal Palace. 

When you look at the game it seemed pretty even with Barnsley dominating the first half and Palace coming more into it in the second. Interestingly, the stats showed that the Eagles dominated possession and had more shots than the Reds. 

Despite the win the lack of goals from the Barnsley team is a worry; one that is a concern to the manager, players and the fans. 

The breakthrough on Saturday came when Diego Arismendi, who was the dominant player on the day, passed to Jay McEveley, whose cross was turned in past Palace custodian Julian Speroni by Eagles captain Patrick McCarthy. 

The other major incident of note was Goran Lovre being knocked unconscious late on, and it is a relief that he has been discharged from hospital with no problems. 

It is intriguing to compare the two sides. 

For Barnsley, Mark Robins clearly has a vision on the way he wants the team to play. However, so far this has not always translated to what occurs on the pitch. 

Fans have, so far, struggled to identify the actual system the Tykes are playing. It appears to go from a 5-3-1-1 to a 4-3-2-1 and it something the players seem to not be entirely sure about. 

Palace under new manager George Burley have done well to come through last season's last day escape from relegation and subsequent flirtation with extinction. 

It is a young side and it is evident that - like the Tykes - they wants to play football the right way. On the evidence of Saturday, these look like two mid-table teams. 

In the case of the Reds, I’d like to be wrong, but it will require a 20+ goal scorer to emerge and a team comfortable and able to play a system that they understand. 

Saturday brings a tricky game at Bristol City, who despite the loss of Steve Coppell were unlucky not to claim all three points at Doncaster last Saturday, who levelled the game with a last minute penalty. 

A point for the Tykes at Ashton Gate could be difficult but not impossible. 

*Disclaimer: The views in this article are that of the writer and may not replicate those of the Professional Footballers' Association.



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