Next Barnsley Manager: Five names in the frame to replace Gerhard Struber

Jack Kitson by Jack Kitson / 06 October 2020, 16:27

43 long days passed between Daniel Stendel’s Barnsley exit on 8th October (2019) and Gerhard Struber’s appointment on 20th November.

It seemed like an eternity for frustrated fans whose initial reaction to Struber’s arrival was lukewarm at best, yet the Austrian ultimately proved to be a very popular pick; keeping the Tykes up on the final day of last season.

Supporters will now hope that the club can unearth another managerial gem after Struber left the Championship club in order to take charge of New York Red Bulls following weeks of speculation. 

Or at the very least, not be made to wait six weeks for the appointment of a fourth permanent manager in a touch over two-and-a-half-years.

The next Barnsley manager market is alive and kicking, so we’ve picked out five names who could soon be cropping up at Oakwell, while in the meantime it’s Adam Murray who has been placed in interim charge, again.

Paul Cook

Paul Cook was a manager in demand a few months ago when the then-Wigan boss was being linked with the likes of Bristol City, Middlesbrough and Birmingham. 

None of those moves came to fruition but now he’s ready and available in the Job Centre, it’s inevitable that he finds himself in the mix for the first Championship vacancy of the season.

Cook resigned from his post at Wigan in August following the club’s administration and subsequent relegation - if it wasn’t for the 12-point deduction the Latics would have finished comfortably in 13th; following an inspiring run of just one defeat from their final 15 games, which included a stunning 8-0 win over Hull.

Cook’s stock is therefore high, and he’s expected to return to the dugout at some point before Christmas, with the current international break looking like an ideal opportunity for Barnsley to make contact with the Liverpudlian, who previously led Wigan, Portsmouth and Chesterfield to league titles.

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Paul Cook is one of the early names in contention

Hannes Wolf

Up until 2018, Barnsley had only ever appointed one manager from outside the United Kingdom: Guðjón Þórðarson (2003 - 2004).

They changed tack a couple of years ago when Portuguese coach Jose Morais arrived on the scene, followed German Stendel and Austrian Struber. Could Stendel’s fellow countryman Hannes Wolf be the next foreign manager to rock up at Oakwell?

Wolf has of course been linked to the club before, both in 2018 and last time out before Struber was eventually unveiled.

READ: Who is Hannes Wolf?

Wolf previously worked at Borussia Dortmund at the same time as Jurgen Klopp, where he won league titles with a couple of the youth teams, and took charge of the club’s second team. He would later lead Stuttgart to the Bundesliga 2 title, and has since had spells at Hamburger SV and Genk.

When the next Barnsley manager odds were first released, Wolf was out at 25/1. He can now be backed at just 4/1. However, it’s worth noting that he’s only just taken up a position at Germany’s U18s.

Eddie Howe

Like Cook, Eddie Howe is going to have to become accustomed to seeing his name thrown into the mix for any jobs that arise in the near future.

The attraction from Barnsley’s side would be obvious, yet in truth it’s difficult to envision Howe being too keen on taking charge of a club who are unlikely to challenge for promotion this season. 

The 42-year-old will no doubt be targeting a return to the Premier League with Scott Parker’s job at Fulham not looking too secure at the moment. Afterall, it wasn’t too long ago that Howe was being touted as a future Man Utd and England manager, and while he did suffer relegation last season, he’ll back himself to return to the top-flight dugout for his next post.

Lee Johnson

A controversial one here. 

It's been over four years since Lee Johnson left Barnsley for Bristol City, a surprise switch which infuriated many fans.

During his time at the helm he steered the Tykes to a top-half finish in League One, then the following season he led the club to the Football League Trophy final, only to leave before the Wembley showcase.

In subsequent clashes between the clubs, a number of fans have voiced their displeasure towards Johnson. "Yeah, I did hear them [the Barnsley fans singing at him] and I was pleased to get the result,” he said after a match in 2017. “I think I did a good job for that club, I think that some of the money that they've earned from the players that I bought in have got them success.”

Johnson has since left his post at Bristol City, and given that he’s free and Barnsley are searching for a new manager, could all be forgiven?

Speaking of returns, a certain Daniel Stendel is currently hovering around the 25/1 mark!

Danny Cowley

"You have two options, you either get better or you get bitter,” Danny Cowley said in a recent interview, a couple months after him and his brother Nicky were controversially sacked by Huddersfield, despite keeping the club in the Championship.

"For us, we're trying to get better. We felt we were probably treated a little bit unfairly but, in football, if you're looking for fairness, you're in the wrong business.”

The passionate managerial double-act will be eager to return to the dugout, their strong man-management and communication skills certainly appeal, and they will definitely feel they have unfinished business in Yorkshire after their project at Huddersfield was cut short.

Providing they are still based up North, it could be an ideal appointment.

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