Can We Do It In The Cold Up North?: Barnsley Away Preview

Wolves Fans

“Wolves have bought the league” or “It’s easy when Mendes is involved” or another one of a hundred things have been spouted about us so far this season and I’m sick of it but as opposed to moaning about it like I normally would, I’m gonna let the team do the talking for me. One of my favourites is what Potato Head (Steve Bruce) said about it being a long winter ahead after we demolished them at Molineux yet since winter began on the 1st of December (meteorological standards) we haven’t lost. Something must be wrong with Potato Head’s side because they’ve only won two out of seven at the start of the ‘long winter’, ah well, shit happens, doesn’t it Steve?

Fond Memories of Oakwell

It’s hard to believe that it will be nine years this April, but apparently so. On the 25th of the fourth month, we won the title at Barnsley and in the away end there was anything from 7,000 – 9,000 dependant on who you believe. One thing is for sure, there were definitely too many people in there as it was about five to a seat, however, it was all good-natured. Well, that is, unless you ask our manager at the time, Mick McCarthy.

“I wasn’t best pleased about it, somebody tried to jump on my back and I don’t know if it was someone who wanted to celebrate with me or what. It was unfortunate, it’s mad and it has taken a slight bit of gloss of the achievement. I would have liked us to have applauded the fans and celebrate with them but the invasion prevented us doing that.”

In our defence Mick, it’s the first time we had won anything in ages if you exclude the playoffs so we had every right to a bit excited. Plus, we stayed off the pitch the week after when you lifted the trophy, what more do you want? It did look like we were going to lose to Barnsley after they took the lead just after halftime but then with six minutes left, a twenty-one-year-old Kyel Reid smashed the equaliser in, cue bedlam.

There was quite a sizeable amount of us on the pitch when we scored, not a few hundred, there was loads of us and that sort of set the tone for the final whistle as they bought the riot police out in front of the stand. That was never going to end well, was it? In the end, we won the league and the game ended with mounted police on the halfway line separating the home and away fans. Those were the days my friend.

Let’s make it six

Never been a fan of things like this. Barnsley are on a winless run of five games at home and that should make me more upbeat about the game but we have a habit of helping teams breaking their winless runs, well we did anyway. I’m hoping Nuno can keep working his magic because we are better than Barnsley but all it takes is a deflection here or a piece of magic here and the game can be turned on its head and luckily Nuno will know that.

Everyone is fit bar the normal long-term absence of Ofosu-Ayeh who must be furious as it stands and I mean that because whilst he’ll be loving the fact that we are doing so well, he’ll be kicking himself (probably injure himself as well) that he hasn’t played a part in it and I do wonder how it all might have panned out if he played a part this season because he’s meant to be rapid.

It will probably be the usual team of: Ruddy, Douglas, Bennett, Coady, Boly, Doherty, Neves, Saiss, Jota, Bonatini & Cavaleiro. The bench I am not so sure as Price and Wilson have gone so it will be something like this I’d imagine: Norris, Hause, N’Diaye, Gibbs-White, Costa, Bright & Mir. Safe to say I am looking forward to seeing more of Mir after his cameo against Swansea, hopefully we’ll go a few goals up and Mir can be given a good half an hour.

Another sizeable away following will be at Oakwell although it won’t be as big as 2009 because our allocation has been reduced to 4,500 (it was 6,000 in 2009) because they like to net a few hundred seats off. Probably a good idea because when we score a last-minute winner it’ll be ‘09 all over again.

It’s three years to the day that Sir Jack passed away as well, so let’s do it for him. A rendition of: “Thumbs up if you love Sir Jack” would be most fitting.

All things considered, if I was a betting man and luckily I am, I’d be backing Wolves -1 on the Asian Handicap @ 11/10.

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J
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