Spyin' Kop - Barnsley - FA Cup 5th Round - 16/2/08

Posted by Garstonite on February 13, 2008, 01:03:05 PM

In a season of disappointments, we mustn’t lose sight of the fact that we – The Cup Kings – are still in two bloody good competitions. This weekend, we turn our attentions to The FA Cup as we welcome Barnsley to Anfield.

I went over to www.barnsleyfc.org.uk to receive the opinions of our opponents this weekend's fans. I can’t claim to know everything there is to know about Barnsley – far from it – but the first thread I did see on the forum I visited was celebrating the fact United lost in the Manchester derby, so I thought, they can’t be so bad, can they?

So what do we know of Barnsley? We know that they won the FA Cup in 1912. We know that they have been up and down more times than a yo-yo, but in their one-year spell in The Premier League, they did beat us at Anfield and were exceptionally unlucky not to take a point of us at the Oakwell, with us requiring a last-minute winner from Steve McManaman to take the three points off an 8-man Barnsley. And, quite apt for this week, we know that they produced prolific goalscorer Tommy Taylor, who went on to die in the Munich Air Disaster, aged 26.

And if you didn’t know that, well, you do now.

Barnsley - 16/2/2008 - FA Cup 5th Round

So, on with the questions.

Firstly, care you tell us a bit about your history in your own words?

Harrow Tyke: Never a glamourous side, we have had our ups and downs over the seasons but at the same time are one of the football leagues most consistant sides (consistantly average that is!). It could have been so much different, in the early years we should have been promoted to (the old) division one after the top division was expanded, but instead of promoting the teams at the top of the second division they had a ballot. The Woolwich Arsenal chairman managed to coerce enough chairmen to vote them up in place of us, and the rest is history. Arsenal have gone onto be one of the top sides in Europe and we didn't achieved top division status till 1997, and only then for one season. We have won the FA cup, in 1912 against WBA, it took a replay mind you. 1997 was obviously the best year in our history but that Prem year bankrupted us, we were relegated and went into Admin. The club endured years of stewardship under chairmen who it could be argued wanted to take more than give. We had 4 long seasons in league 1 but are now (hopefully) back established in the Championship. We have a good chairman and a financial benefactor in Patrick Cryne who is enabling us to compete at this level.

OK, how about your season - how has it been shaping up for you so far?

North Ardsley Red: Not too bad really. After a great start we had got ourselves upto fourth. But slowly drifted down the table due to mainly our away form. We should be looking at mid table this season after just avoiding the drop last season.

Harrow Tyke: Certainly better than last season, much more competitive and a really strong squad. Bit hit and miss still, we suffered when our two loanees Lewin Nyatanga and Anderson Da Silva went back to Derby and Everton respectively, but they're both now back. We also suffered without our striker John Macken who went back to Derby but he's now signed permanently. Unfortunately neither Nyatanga nor Macken can play at Anfield as they're cup tied! But Anderson can play and will probably want to get one over on you guys being ex-Everton.

Barnsley66: Better than expected. We started the season with a complete new side compared to the one we finished last season with, so time had to be given for them to gell. We've had a few dips but the signings we made in the transfer window should be enough to make us safe (I hope!).

What are your expectations for this season? Have they changed from day one?

Reverend_T_Preedy: Improvement on last season and finish mid-table. My expectation is still the same but there's a nagging feeling we could scrape into a play-off place if we're lucky.

Harrow Tyke: Expectations for the season are to stay mid table and consolidate again for next season. We have flirted with the playoffs throughout the season but a bad December and January has seen us slip. I'd be more than happy with a midtable finish and in truth expected a struggle again this season. That said we've spent a lot of money (for us anyway) so I guess we really should be aiming for midtable.

Barnsley66: Mid table mediocrity. Not really changed, though the charge that led us into the play-off places did give many people nose-bleeds. However, reality has set in, and mid-table will do me fine.

What are strengths and weaknesses so I can forward the information onto Rafa?

North Ardsley Red: Strengths. Our midfield, with £3m rated central midfielder Howard and our classy but effective Anderson De Silva from Everton side by side they are a formidable force in the centre. New signing Diego Leon is a very quick little midfielder and has a trick or too. And Martin Devaney out wide is a class winger with pace and a decent end result. Although we might play Jamal Campbell-Ryce on the right who is a nippy little winger with a goal in him. (see Southend 4th round).

Harrow Tyke: I have full faith that Rafa will have done his homework on Barnsley!

What do you know of us? Who will you fear most?

Harrow Tyke: Although it doesn't go down well with your American owners I think you're much better set up for cup competitions and will see the FA CUP and UCL as your main way of silverware this term. If you play anything like a full squad (which I expect you to do with all the newspaper rumours about Rafa) then you really have nothing to fear. The best Barnsley can hope for is a repeat of our Premier League performance of 97 when we frustrated you and took a sneaky 1-0 win. If we can frustrate your attacking players for 50 or 60 mins you never know, we could just sneak one ourselves!

Barnsley66: Who are ye, Who are ye? :D You seem to be an up and down side, capable of magnificent displays, and spectacular failures. With the class you have, if you can put consistency back into your play, you will be a serious challenger to the top 3. Fear most? Who will you put out against us? I can't see you putting out your full team, not with Inter on Tuesday.

Micky Noz: Obviously we know lots about you.   We fear nothing on the pitch but we fear for our hubcaps and stereos.

North Ardsley Red: Depends what team you play to be honest. I would fear the usual suspects as in Gerrard and Torres but if you play a Lower team as in Voronin and Crouchy i suppose we have more of a chance, that adds on to the very small chance we have got.

Have you ever been to Anfield? If so, what did you make of it?

Shaftn Red: Been to Anfield 3 times. In the 80s a League cup quarter final, we took literally thousands that night, drew nil-nil and had great memories of the game but not of the locals. 'Nuff said.

Went back in '97, won 1 nil (can we play you every week?) enjoyed this much more, was in a pub near the ground (Arkels i think) somebody got shirty with me and her indoors, a big Scouser came to our rescue, not sure he would have if I wasn't accompanied by a female.

Juventus / Liverpool as a guest from work, full works nosebag the lot, met loads of players, ex players, a night to remember even for a neutral, especially in Angels afterwards. ;D

Will be there on Saturday, meeting two lads who I work with - both Liverpudlians - should be a good laugh.

My view, like anywhere else, look for it, you get it, sometimes you don't look for it, and still cop an unfortunate one. Thats watching football ANYWHERE in England.

pilleyphil: Never been to Anfield, but been to Liverpool. Got some top Scouse Liverpool supporters as friends. Salt of the earth.

Harrow Tyke: Never had the pleasure, so I am especially looking forward to this weekend! I was at Uni in Preston during our prem season so when we were beating you at Anfield I was probably watching PNE in the bottom tier as it was cheaper!

What sort of line-up will you put out against us?

Harrow Tyke: It won't be our strongest lineup because of the cup tied players missing out, but we'll be set up to frustrate (although we sometimes play a Diamond formation) and will have men behind the ball. We have the players to break and have scored quite often against good sides by breaking quickly. I think that’s how we'll approach this one.

Barnsley66: Tony Warner, who you should remember, has signed from Fulham on loan, but is cup-tied. So we are hunting round for a keeper for Saturday . So apart from the keeper, and barring injuries, it will probably be :

(4-4-2)

Hassell, Foster, Souza, Kozluk ; Devaney, Anderson, Howard (capt), Leon ; Nardiello, Ferenczi.

Subs Campbell-Ryce, Coulson, Odejayi, Bruma, Mossto

Do you have any favourite/best chant(s) and perhaps any that require an explanation?

North Ardsley Red: As we are known for 'Its just like watching Brazil' might make an outing at Anfield.

Also the funny ones like sung at Tranmere a couple of seasons ago 'We’ve got Nardiello, You've got our car stereo'

Harrow Tyke: The obvious one is "Just Like Watching Brazil", but its one of those unfortunate chants that can only ever be sung when you're battering a side. So don't expect to hear it on Saturday! Although saying that, against Liverpool if it stays 0-0 for a while or we sneak one, listen out! Its also one of those songs that has a nasty habit of coming back to haunt you, as the opposition fans taunt you with a rendition as their fourth goes in!

What's been your favourite moment following Barnsley?

Contotyke: Promotion in '97. Playoff final at Wembley, playoff final at Cardiff. Beating Manu...

Also in a former life I enjoyed Barnsley winning the FA cup!!

North Ardsley Red: Getting promoted at Cardiff. What a truly fantastic experience that was. Us scoring our fourth penalty and me thinking we had won and going mental, only to find out that we had to endure another penaty from Swansea. They missed, we went up. The rest is history!

Barnsley66: Beating Man City in League Cup in the 80's. Lost to some nondescript team in't Quarters. Forget their name now. ;D

Harrow Tyke: The best moment for BFC was obviously our win over Bradford which secured our one and only season in the Prem. Unfortuately I wasn't there to see it (Uni again, bad era to be skint!) but its still top of the list. My favourite moment that I was actually in attendance was the Playoff final at Cardiff 2 seasons ago. We'd have a decent season but were never favourites to win the playoffs, so to come back from a home 1-0 leg defeat at Huddersfield (3-1 second leg win at their place) and then beat Swansea in the final was very sweet indeed.

Reverend_T_Preedy: play off finals vs Ipswich (we lost) and Swansea (we won);
- Home game vs Bradford when we won promotion to the Premier League;
- Beating Man Utd and Tottenham in the FA cup in 1997;
- Beating Sheffield United 1-0 away in the 1996 promotion season;
- Leicester at home last season when we knew Leeds were getting relegated;
- Travelling to Edinburgh to watch a pre-season friendly against Hibs in 1997.

There are others but I won't bore you.

Who's been your favourite player in your time following Barnsley - not necessarily the best?

Harrow Tyke: My favourite player was Neil Redfearn and arguably he was the best we've ever had. I'd give anything to have a Neil Redfearn against Liverpool! I think we may need one!

What's the Championship like in terms of the atmosphere, prices, facilities and a general matchday?

Harrow Tyke: Well, Wolves and Ipswich charge away fans nigh on £30 to get in their games which is shocking, so its not exactly a snip. Most clubs are more realistic and charge about £24. The matchday atmospheres can be as good as the Premier League but not too often- local derbys and grudge matches (like Leicester v Plymouth other day) can fill stadiums of any size and generate a brilliant atmosphere.

Barnsley will only ever fill Oakwell for derbies, and even then only Sheffield Wednesday really come close to generating a capacity crowd at Oakwell.

Fans in the Championship can pick and choose games however on the plus side, there's rarely a time when anyone misses out (with the exception of Anfield of course, but thats cos everyone wants to see us play your lot!).

The facilities at Championship grounds are generally quite good- sometimes the food suffers (Oakwell doesn't have the best catering in the stands) but generally you can have a pint and a pie in relative comfort. Unless you go to Colchester, which is like going to a non-league side (although they move to a new ground next season).

Generally many feel ripped off by the prices in our league, as its not a lot cheaper than some prem grounds, and the quality of football is often way below. But it won't change because players in the championship are now on decent money, and they have to find it from somewhere.

LD Red: I live up in Glasgow and do a fair share of away games aswell as beign a ST holder. And, in my pesonal opinion you can't beat an away day, even at places like Saltergate(Chesterfield), it's what football is all about.

Whereas, recently I took my Dad to Old Trafford to watch the demolition of Newcastle United and they were all moaning and groaning at half time ebcause it was 0-0 and Shay Given had made a few decent saves, they expected to win and win comfortably(which they did in the end). To me, the fact that we're so unpredictable at times and we know we're not exactly world beaters, gives it that extra edge.


Prediction time - firstly, the season as a whole.

Micky Noz:  Both around fifth/sixth.

Harrow Tyke: Liverpool will finish 4th and Barnsley 10th in the Championship

North Ardsley Red: Liverpool - 4th, Barnsley - 13th

And finally, care to predict a score for the game?

Micky Noz:  1-1............   then memorable victory at Oakwell.

Barnsley66: Hopefully 1-1, Really 2-0, Dreaming 0-1!!

Harrow Tyke:  2-1 Liverpool. If we score one goal it would make my day!

North Ardsley Red: After a decent start from the reds (Barnsley) we go down to a 3-0 defeat.

Very, very finally, any interesting facts about Barnsley you'd like to share?

Contotyke: Barnsley have played more seasons in the 2nd tier of English footballl than any other club...and we won the FA cup the year the Titanic sunk!



Thanks once again to the lads over at www.barnsleyfc.org.uk - let's hope for a well-contested game. Or a scrappy one. Well, anything as long as Liverpool win.

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