Saturday’s 4-2 victory over Fleetwood Town should have grabbed all the headlines for a Barnsley side who are chasing automatic promotion in League One.
However, events off of the field of play instead reared their ugly head as after the game ended, Joey Barton allegedly assaulted Daniel Stendel in the tunnel. Although details on what occurred at the weekend are still not entirely clear, the fact that the German had to get emergency dental surgery suggests that his opposition manager could be in deep trouble not only with the Football Association but also with the police.
Far from the first time that Barton has lost his temper, it would be a major surprise if he is still in charge of Fleetwood next season. Despite the unsavoury nature of this incident, it could inadvertently have a positive impact on Barnsley’s hopes of securing promotion to the Championship at the end of the season.
The players immediate reaction on social media saw them defend Stendel in a way which indicates just how close the squad is at Oakwell. Since the 45-year-old’s appointment last summer, he has transformed the Tykes’ fortunes as they had been in desperate need of a fresh start after being relegated from the Championship in 2018.
By adopting a possession-based style of football, Stendel has aided the development of the likes of Cameron McGeehan and Alex Mowatt whilst the blow of losing Kieffer Moore for the rest of the campaign has been softened by the impact that January signing Cauley Woodrow has made at the club.
With the entire squad placing their full trust in their manager’s tactics, it would be no surprise if the adversity seen on Saturday will in-fact drive them on to securing maximum points in their last four fixtures. If they do this, it will take a mammoth effort from their promotion rivals Portsmouth and Sunderland to stop Barnsley from securing a top-two position in May.
What do you think Tykes fans? Will Saturday’s incident have any impact on the rest of the season for your side? How impressed have you been with Stendel since his arrival last summer? Get in touch below.
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