Wilson latest to be charged with working miracles


There were mixed feelings around Oakwell when Danny Wilson returned to the club in mid-December and five games into the second coming of the Messiah those sentiments still exist.

One win from five contests hardly represents a stellar turnaround in form but two clean sheets in those matches is in fact a big improvement given that the Reds managed just one in 20 beforehand. This may well be the vast experience of Wilson paying off where those with less know-how that came before him have failed.

It cannot be ignored though that there have already been two more home defeats under Wilson  and the side are still rooted to the bottom of the Championship table. The former Northern Irish international has also employed a pretty risky strategy in the transfer market putting the vast majority of the squad up for sale.

Scott Wiseman, David Perkins, Jim McNulty and Chris Dagnall have already been shown the exit door and there could be one or two more following them before the end of January. In their place have come Ryan McLaughlin and Brek Shea on loan whilst Liam Lawrence has signed on a free transfer.

The two loanees from the Premier League are largely unknown qualities but have shown promising signs early on whilst Lawrence, surprisingly only just 32, could turn out to be a very shrewd signing.

Shea and McLaughlin join Marcus Pedersen and Peter Ramage on loan at Oakwell which suggests the club are hardly looking long-term in their planning. This is no change from the norm though with every season since the return to the Championship in 2006 being about avoiding relegation and little else.

Wilson is simply the next on an ever-growing list of managers brought in to work a miracle in keeping the team up and then attempt to maintain it the following season. David Flitcroft produced the ultimate escape act last year but when he could not maintain those performances at the start of this season he was dismissed, the same as Keith Hill, Simon Davey and to a lesser extent Mark Robins before him.

These men have received little reward for their efforts and ironically it could be that Wilson is given more time than they ever were for failing to achieve what they did. In all likelihood Barnsley will be relegated this season but, bar a complete capitulation, Danny will most likely keep his job. As long as he competes in the upper echelons of League One, which he has a good record of doing, then he will hang onto the role still further and potentially return to the Championship a hero again.

Whether the Messiah can work a miracle or not, he is set for a longer stint at the helm than any of the mere mortals before him.

Written by Phil Haigh, We Are Going Up’s Barnsley blogger

Phil tweets at @philhaigh_

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