The Cup rests on the Bar: Barnsley (H), League Cup, Tue 10 Aug @ 8pm

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The Cup rests on the Bar: Barnsley (H), League Cup, Tue 10 Aug @ 8pm

Post by Dave Sutton's barnet » Mon Aug 09, 2021 2:27 pm

As football seeks a return to some semblance of normality, it’s comforting that last season’s understandable experiment of starting with two cup games has been scrapped for a return to the old days of a first-midweek League Cup fixture.

Familiarity too in Barnsley, somehow one of the Football League’s steadiest names, having spent 32 of the last 40 seasons sat snugly in the second tier. The Tykes threatened last season to break the glass ceiling and reach the top flight for only the second time in their history – the third being on the coat-tails of Toddy’s 98-pointers – when Valerian Ismael’s hard-pressers reached the play-offs.

Ismael has gone, asked to take West Brom up instead, but Barnsley’s new model will remain the same. Since the solely sensible Cryne family sold the majority of shares to a consortium led by Chien Lee in late 2017, a Chinese-American serial sports owner, the coaching hires have been continental; initial hire Jose Morais couldn’t help Barnsley being relegated by the spectacularly lucky Wanderers staying up with some of the worst survival statistics on record, but German Daniel Stendel took them straight back up, Austrian Gerhahrd Struber kept them up and then French-German Ismael took them into the top six.

His replacement, Austrian Markus Schopp, is therefore unlikely to deviate vastly from the high-tempo plan. As such it will be another interesting test for Ian Evatt’s third-tier newcomers. The opening 3-3 draw with McDons arguably posed more questions than it answered, with feverish debate over the goalkeeper perhaps masking bigger issues over Bolton’s adaptation to the higher flight, influx of new players and shifting of midfield balance.

Certainly the summer signings have given Evatt a deeper squad, to the extent that he could name a completely changed XI without much difficulty. The stop-start nature of a preseason which was for many hampered by Covid isolation might also tempt him to get those all-important “minutes” into a wide array of players.

New goalkeeper Joel Dixon could feel justifiably narked, after starting all bar one of the senior pre-season games (and in the exception, he came on at half-time) to be dropped for Gilks, whose subsequent performance did not roaringly justify Evatt’s decision. Surely the only way Dixon won’t start he cup game is if Evatt has already decided to make him the league No.1 and give Gilks the run-out he clearly needs.

The defence will also change, with Santos (Evatt: “I would think he will play on Tuesday”) one of many itching to stake a claim. Benched on Saturday, the big man hasn’t played since Preston on July 20, but was such an integral part of last season’s success that many Wanderers will be itching to see him alongside George Johnston in a partnership that might just last a while.

Will Aimson also needs minutes - he had the last 22 at Preston but hasn’t played as much as a half since Atherton Colls, all but a month ago. Liam Gordon’s strong preseason should earn him a start (especially as Declan John seemed injured by the end of thee McDons game) while Harry Brockbank could well replace Gethin Jones on the other side.

In midfield, Kieran Lee and George Thomason – both subs on Saturday – could make up the 2 of the 4231, while fellow benchwarmers Nathan Delfouneso and Lloyd Isgrove need a start. That could leave a space for either Darcy or Politic (possibly with Delf moving inside to accommodate Dennis on the left) if Evatt wants to rest Sheehan and Sarce.

He could also call on Tutte (a regular preseason appearer), although if he picks Lee and Tomo none of those three would be an ideal 10; for similar reasons among others, it would be more of a surprise if Brandon Comley was given his first competitive minutes since the Scarborough de nos jours, the 6-3 home loss to Port Vale eight months and a lifetime ago.

Up top, the gaffer and his sports sceintists will have to balance whether more minutes would be good or bad for Doyler’s fitness. One option might be to give Kachunga an hour, with either Doyle or Bakayoko replacing him.

Despite all the options above there’s also the possibility Evatt will want to restrict changes, both to keep momentum and arguably to maximise the chances of progression. His Bolton side played five cup games last season, losing the first four and going two down in the final one against Newcastle’s kids before coming back to win that dead rubber.

Having also lost six of their previous seven cup games, Bolton have demonstrably and understandably not concentrated on the cups recently, but Evatt will be aware of the potential power of a cup run in inspiring a team and a town. Allardyce, Rioch, Greaves and Armfield all enjoyed runs which augmented or cemented their popularity, as did lesser lights like Coyle and Neal. With a firm grasp of history and the potential of positivity, Evatt will know a good cup run could make his season – especially if it’s one that is more likely than most recent campaigns to end in mid-table.

For their part, last season Barnsley beat Forest and Boro before succumbing spectacularly 6-0 to “much-changed” Chelsea. There are serious stratifications within the English game; how well Bolton could clamber through them remains to be seen, but the Barnsley game might give a clue or two.

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Re: The Cup rests on the Bar: Barnsley (H), League Cup, Tue 10 Aug @ 8pm

Post by officer_dibble » Mon Aug 09, 2021 3:01 pm

I’m not convinced there will be that many changes. I think Dixon will play (but equally wouldn’t be surprised if Gilks plays for match fitness), Gordon will play because John looked injured (assume it’s nothing serious given no mention) and I think the new lad will start, possibly Isgrove as well. We shall see!

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Re: The Cup rests on the Bar: Barnsley (H), League Cup, Tue 10 Aug @ 8pm

Post by Whitesince63 » Mon Aug 09, 2021 3:11 pm

I’m afraid whatever team IE fields Barnsley will be just that bit too strong for us. I’m sure we’ll give them a game because we have plenty of spirit but they are a really good Championship side and we’re struggling to find a formula for this season yet with all the new players who have come in. It will be interesting to see whether IE chooses to give more minutes to the likes of Doyle and Williams to get them fit, or ring the changes to give everybody a game. Either way I think we’ll lose the game but gain the option of minutes for all the players and whilst a cup run would be nice, the league is obviously the most important competition. Wanderers 0 Barnsley 2.

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Re: The Cup rests on the Bar: Barnsley (H), League Cup, Tue 10 Aug @ 8pm

Post by Harry Genshaw » Mon Aug 09, 2021 3:16 pm

Great summary DSB. Does Evatt stick or twist? At least he's got the option this year, with several viable options waiting in the wings for a chance.
His dilemma, whether to do that, or get more minutes and sharpness into your Doyles and Gilkes of this world.

Barnsley were beaten in the championship play offs last year along with Bournemouth. The latter's 5-0 destruction of MK Don's in their 1st round match, the weekend before last is a sobering reminder of what we're up against :shock:

I'm expecting a gutsy display that will ultimately fall short against better opponents.
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Re: The Cup rests on the Bar: Barnsley (H), League Cup, Tue 10 Aug @ 8pm

Post by Worthy4England » Mon Aug 09, 2021 4:01 pm

A grand read DSB. Thanks.

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Re: The Cup rests on the Bar: Barnsley (H), League Cup, Tue 10 Aug @ 8pm

Post by BWFC_Insane » Mon Aug 09, 2021 4:03 pm

Barnsley will make changes. We will make changes. It’s second game of the season and a lottery. Obviously they will be stronger and perhaps with more quality as you’d expect from a championship side but I hope we can give them a game and I’d not rule us out.

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Re: The Cup rests on the Bar: Barnsley (H), League Cup, Tue 10 Aug @ 8pm

Post by BWFC_Insane » Mon Aug 09, 2021 4:10 pm

officer_dibble wrote:
Mon Aug 09, 2021 3:01 pm
I’m not convinced there will be that many changes. I think Dixon will play (but equally wouldn’t be surprised if Gilks plays for match fitness), Gordon will play because John looked injured (assume it’s nothing serious given no mention) and I think the new lad will start, possibly Isgrove as well. We shall see!
Evatt said just that. A knock for John rules him out tomorrow but should be back Saturday.

Aimson out with a groin injury.

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Re: The Cup rests on the Bar: Barnsley (H), League Cup, Tue 10 Aug @ 8pm

Post by officer_dibble » Tue Aug 10, 2021 8:31 am

John got a knock but back for the weekend which is good news. Great opportunity for Liam Gordon tonight then and good for us as well - Get to see if he can hold his own against decent opposition before the end of august. Jury very much out after last season but been given an opportunity here.

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Re: The Cup rests on the Bar: Barnsley (H), League Cup, Tue 10 Aug @ 8pm

Post by BWFC_Insane » Tue Aug 10, 2021 8:32 am

officer_dibble wrote:
Tue Aug 10, 2021 8:31 am
John got a knock but back for the weekend which is good news. Great opportunity for Liam Gordon tonight then and good for us as well - Get to see if he can hold his own against decent opposition before the end of august. Jury very much out after last season but been given an opportunity here.
Might be Brockbank at LB…

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Re: The Cup rests on the Bar: Barnsley (H), League Cup, Tue 10 Aug @ 8pm

Post by Whitesince63 » Tue Aug 10, 2021 9:46 am

I hope it isn’t Brocky, we have Gordon as replacement left back and if IE can’t rely on him then why do we keep him? Brocky is a right back and never really impresses on the left so for me I’d definitely play Gordon and see if he can hack it without the threat of losing league points. He’s impressed in pre season so if he doesn’t get his chance when it comes, what’s that going to do to his confidence? I think he will do well and will surprise some this season.

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Re: The Cup rests on the Bar: Barnsley (H), League Cup, Tue 10 Aug @ 8pm

Post by Dave Sutton's barnet » Tue Aug 10, 2021 10:11 am

I love Brocky and I think Evatt has grown to love him too, but this is surely a superb chance to try Gordon. Harry might get a game at right-back or centre-back - although I have a tiny sneaking suspicion we may tonight see the Johnston-Santos pairing which could be the future.

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Re: The Cup rests on the Bar: Barnsley (H), League Cup, Tue 10 Aug @ 8pm

Post by BWFC_Insane » Tue Aug 10, 2021 10:14 am

Dave Sutton's barnet wrote:
Tue Aug 10, 2021 10:11 am
I love Brocky and I think Evatt has grown to love him too, but this is surely a superb chance to try Gordon. Harry might get a game at right-back or centre-back - although I have a tiny sneaking suspicion we may tonight see the Johnston-Santos pairing which could be the future.
Yeah I'd like to see young flash get his chance tonight. But can't rule out IE giving Brocky a game there - is all. I'd prefer to watch Gordon and see what he can do as I echo the above that Brockbank is (for me) a right back really - and I think he can make a good one if he nails the position. But yeah we'll see what happens.

I suspect Delfouneso might play tonight.

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Re: The Cup rests on the Bar: Barnsley (H), League Cup, Tue 10 Aug @ 8pm

Post by Dave Sutton's barnet » Tue Aug 10, 2021 10:32 am

Delf surely. IE seems to be saying he won’t make 10/11 changes but some are easier than others.

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Re: The Cup rests on the Bar: Barnsley (H), League Cup, Tue 10 Aug @ 8pm

Post by BWFC_Insane » Tue Aug 10, 2021 10:37 am

Dave Sutton's barnet wrote:
Tue Aug 10, 2021 10:32 am
Delf surely. IE seems to be saying he won’t make 10/11 changes but some are easier than others.
When you think our three attacking positions are currently contested between Dapo, Isgrove, Delf, Doyle, Bakayoko, Kachunga, (Politic), (Darcy played on left hand side of 3 in pre season) - that's a lot of competition for 3 places. I've bracketed Politic and Darcy as I'd not be shocked to see either go out on loan and heard a few whispers to that effect. But yeah - that's a lot of competition and we need to ensure players get games as we want them all sharp and able to influence games from the bench ideally.

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Re: The Cup rests on the Bar: Barnsley (H), League Cup, Tue 10 Aug @ 8pm

Post by TANGODANCER » Tue Aug 10, 2021 10:54 am

Just a view, but I reckon I.E. will want to see how we cope against a good side and will field a pretty much strong team tonight. I can't see him picking a weakened side and hoping for a cup run. I reckon Barnsley's manager will give us credit and think much the same way. A couple of changes maybe, probably up front because we'll want a strong defence, probably with Santos in it but no more than that. Both sides will have some quality on the bench. I might be entirely wrong....
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Re: The Cup rests on the Bar: Barnsley (H), League Cup, Tue 10 Aug @ 8pm

Post by BWFC_Insane » Tue Aug 10, 2021 10:57 am

TANGODANCER wrote:
Tue Aug 10, 2021 10:54 am
Just a view, but I reckon I.E. will want to see how we cope against a good side and will field a pretty much strong team tonight. I can't see him picking a weakened side and hoping for a cup run. I reckon Barnsley's manager will give us credit and think much the same way. A couple of changes maybe, probably up front because we'll want a strong defence, probably with Santos in it but no more than that. Both sides will have some quality on the bench. I might be entirely wrong....
Thing is I'm not convinced we've got an obvious strongest 11 anymore...as IE says we can make changes without necessarily weakening our side....that's good. For me the question is if some don't play tonight when will they? And that leads on to the problem of keeping players happy, sharp and ready to step in if needed. There is some juggling required but my bet is that we need to use the cups to do some of that - an injury or suspension means someone needs to be ready to step in and if they've not played a real game for weeks...that's tough.

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Re: The Cup rests on the Bar: Barnsley (H), League Cup, Tue 10 Aug @ 8pm

Post by Mar » Tue Aug 10, 2021 11:26 am

BWFC_Insane wrote:
Tue Aug 10, 2021 10:57 am
TANGODANCER wrote:
Tue Aug 10, 2021 10:54 am
Just a view, but I reckon I.E. will want to see how we cope against a good side and will field a pretty much strong team tonight. I can't see him picking a weakened side and hoping for a cup run. I reckon Barnsley's manager will give us credit and think much the same way. A couple of changes maybe, probably up front because we'll want a strong defence, probably with Santos in it but no more than that. Both sides will have some quality on the bench. I might be entirely wrong....
Thing is I'm not convinced we've got an obvious strongest 11 anymore...as IE says we can make changes without necessarily weakening our side....that's good. For me the question is if some don't play tonight when will they? And that leads on to the problem of keeping players happy, sharp and ready to step in if needed. There is some juggling required but my bet is that we need to use the cups to do some of that - an injury or suspension means someone needs to be ready to step in and if they've not played a real game for weeks...that's tough.
I agree with your view BWFC_Insane. Certain players have seemingly had a good pre-season and would likely be vying for a place in the side (Gordon has impressed for example, and Dixon wouldn't be far off). I suspect there will be significant changes tonight with Santos coming back into the fold.

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Re: The Cup rests on the Bar: Barnsley (H), League Cup, Tue 10 Aug @ 8pm

Post by irie Cee Bee » Tue Aug 10, 2021 5:36 pm

I Don't expect many changes ... Santos for Baptiste; Gordon for Declan; Dixon for Gilks... everyone else from Saturday's starting should stay.

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Re: The Cup rests on the Bar: Barnsley (H), League Cup, Tue 10 Aug @ 8pm

Post by mcflykyle182 » Tue Aug 10, 2021 5:49 pm

Yeah I think there'll be a few changes. Personally wouldn't be against a while different 11 just for fitness. Think of all 4 competitions, this should be our lowest priority.

Barnsley a decent team but expect a much changed line up from them.

Close game, 1-0 either way but probably Barnsley.
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Re: The Cup rests on the Bar: Barnsley (H), League Cup, Tue 10 Aug @ 8pm

Post by Prufrock » Tue Aug 10, 2021 6:18 pm

I think Dixon, Santos, Gordon, Lee, and at least one maybe both of Kachunga and/or Isgrove will come in.
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