When Barnsley announced the appointment of Daniel Stendel as manager last June, not many of the club’s supporters would have predicted just how successful he would be at Oakwell.
Having never managed in English football before, the decision to give the German the opportunity to transform the Tykes’ fortunes was a huge risk, especially when you consider that the Yorkshire-based outfit faced stiff competition from the likes of Luton Town, Sunderland and Portsmouth for promotion.
After it was confirmed that the 36-year-old had taken over at Barnsley, these fans reacted to the news on Twitter.
Hope he’s better than the last one!!!
— Stuart Phillis (@StuPhillis) June 6, 2018
Well done @GGanaye – 100% behind you and Hr Stendel
— Clark Hodges (@cjh0672) June 6, 2018
Welcome to Barnsley
— shelly (@BurkePears) June 6, 2018
Welcome to Barnsley FC, Daniel! Come on you Reds!!!
— Ann Dobson (@AnnDobson9) June 6, 2018
Welcome to oakwell let’s get down to business and get back up
— john rawson (@johnraw18191247) June 6, 2018
Welcome to Oakwell, big season ahead …… onwards and upwards …. yyyooouuu rrreeedddsss #edinburghreds
— Steve (@GazzaSteve) June 6, 2018
Welcome to Barnsley, Daniel. Here’s hoping for another successful German coach in Yorkshire!!
— Dunc P Tyke (@DuncanPickerin1) June 6, 2018
Good luck Daniel Stendel, a new era and time to get behind the new coach and the super reds!! Heres to a great season! A very exciting appointment and a head coach with a very promising win ratio @BarnsleyFC #barnsleyfc #youreds
— Ben Mosley (@BenMosleyArt) June 6, 2018
Although Stendel enjoyed a solid start to his tenure-ship at Barnsley, he had to wait until the middle of December for his players to fully embrace his possession-based style of play.
Up until this breakthrough, it was looking like the Tykes may have to settle for a play-off place as both Luton and Sunderland had started the 2018/19 League One campaign in stunning form.
However, with the likes of Cameron McGeehan and Alex Mowatt controlling the tempo in the centre of midfield and Cauley Woodrow and Kieffer Moore leading the line, Stendel’s side catapulted themselves into contention for a top-two finish.
A remarkable run of 20 games without defeat saw Barnsley move from seventh in the standings to second and with a five-point lead over Portsmouth, they were seemingly on the verge of securing an immediate return to the Championship following last season’s relegation.
Yet following an unexpected 3-1 defeat against Burton Albion at the beginning of April, the Tykes suddenly had work to do as both Sunderland and Pompey were closing in on them.
Whereas the culmination of a hard-fought campaign can force many teams to crack under pressure, Stendel’s men used the set-back against the Brewers as motivation to issue an incredible response.
By winning four consecutive matches, Barnsley put themselves four points clear of their rivals with one game to go and knew that they would be guaranteed a top-two spot if the Black Cats and Portsmouth lost on Tuesday; which they did.
With promotion now confirmed, Stendel will want to cap off a fantastic debut season at Oakwell by securing the league title. To achieve this, the Tykes must better Luton’s result at the weekend.
Barnsley fans, what were your initial thoughts when Stendel initially joined the club as manager? Join the discussion by commenting below.
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