Mission Impossible – Saving Barnsley (Part 5)

Last week, KingOfTheRooks decided that keeping Barnsley up wasn’t enough. He wants to go one step further and survive another season using only real life signings. Does further greatness await?

Ey-up and welcome back to deepest darkest Yorkshire where yet again we’re taking on a challenge only an absolute lunatic would take on; keeping Barnsley in the Premier League (again) but on the basis of the squad from the 1998-99 season. In reality, Barnsley finished 13th in the First Division, John Hendrie was sacked, and they never reached the dizzy heights of the Premier League again.

You left us previously rooted to the foot of the table having only managed to sign Mike Sheron, with the only other transfer target available a washed-up Clayton Blackmore, and, given we already have 6 left backs, we won’t be pursuing that one! Here’s a reminder of our depleted resources:

We can’t play Redfearn, Liddell and Fjortoft up for sale (the latter out for 15 months anyway) and Krizan and Hristov without work permits. We’ve picked up 5 points from the last 15 and really should have been at least 4 points better off but for late collapses.

We start November at Oakwell which has largely been a place we’ve kept the goals out. It’s the Kebab Shop Carriers vs. the Crazy Gang. We boss the match, and just can’t find the net so out comes Sheron and in comes McClare with Liddell pushed up top…and we win!

My good mood was short-lived. The dreaded big club release clause relieves us of our most prized asset as Leeds United come calling for the man from Leek Town. Well Dave Watson, you’ve got the first team place you’ve been crying for.

We are nothing without Tony, and we all hate Leeds.

It never rains in South Yorkshire, it just constantly pelts down…

One more in, welcome…Deon Burton

Another loss to a relegation rival, and things are not looking rosy in the gardens of Yorkshire.

Tony’s replacement, Dog Shit Dave, concedes both of Norwich’s (Second Division Norwich) shots and we exit the League cup at the 4th round. The plus here is less chance of injuries for vital survival games. Next up and Shearer vs. Sheron was never really going to be a contest.

The return of our iconic religious figure at the back and the joker see’s us win the latest Yorkshire derby, although Sheff Wed gave us a late scare after we withdrew said two plays. We remain bottom but now only 2 points from climbing out of our pit!!!

We continue to score goals, but without the shining star of Tony Bullock it is hard to maintain a lead, that said, we really should have scored more than two.

Upton funked us right up, as we lose 1-0 to relegation rivals West Ham, Abou with the only goal. We didn’t even register a shot. The lads still carrying the hangover from the celebrations after drawing at Leicester. I won’t dwell on bowing out the FA Cup 3rd round to Hartlepool other than to say the real Barnsley made the Quarter Finals (somehow).


That is a MASSIVE three points. Absolutely massive. Only 3 points separate ourselves and 15th placed Sheffield Wednesday. This dog will not go down without a fight! We follow it up with a decent defensive result as we walk away from Roker Park (4th placed Sunderland) with a respectable 0-0 draw.

This is brutal. Marksedt has transformed since moving into midfield and is our top scorer with 5 goals. He is also our chief corner taker which tends to be the catalyst for our chances. We close out January with a superb point against second place Chelsea, which we could have won (story of my season).

At this point in time my main concerns regards keeping our fight alive are that Liddell has to be sold if we receive an offer; Adi Moses has a big club release clause and is a wanted man, and, with the board refusing to allow me to cheat and list him for loan until the window closes I am completely on edge. Clayton Blackmore remains the only constant in available transfer purchases.

With that, we have pulled ourselves back out of the relegation zone for the first time since the 26th of August.

At the top of the table meanwhile it is all change from what you would expect, that said Man Utd have improved on their bottom half finish last season:

Over in the Bundesliga it’s the tightest title race I’ve ever seen.

And in La Liga the dominance of the big two is being broken:

So the board know just how hard I’m fighting to keep the club afloat.

And with that, we’ll say you again soon duck, to find out whether we can really pull off mission impossible II, or whether the footballing gods have it in for us and our already diabolical and small squad is further depleted by the circling vultures at the top of the table.

See you next time.

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