I just stumbled across an interview of Bobby Hassell on some other Barnsley website which made for some interesting reading.
The Barnsley legend spoke of his excitement for the coming season with the great signings that boss Keith Hill has made.
He raises the issue of Butterfield potentially staying and believes if he does it will benefit his career long-term. A belief I myself have put across several times in different articles on here.
However, the most interesting aspect of his interview to me was when he spoke of Jacob Mellis. He described Mellis as a great talent and went on to say that he was playing under the right manager now. Clearly an indirect dig at previous boss Mark Robins and one which I fully agree with.
In my opinion Robins was never able to get the best out of the undoubted talent Mellis has. This was shown in the inconsistent displays he produced when initially at Oakwell on loan.
Robins was far too negative in his tactics. He preferred dogs of war in the middle of midfield and anyone who showed any football talent what so ever was forced out wide where they couldn`t impact the game in the same way.
I for one found watching Barnsley a chore under Robins and felt we should have done better with the money and players he had available.
I know the second half of last season was poor but Hill is a man who tries to play football in an attractive and entertaining style. This was evident in the first half of the season when he had the players available to him. He did this with a much reduced budget from what Robins had available and but for injuries and players sold from under him I believe we could have finished in the mid table region.
For any critics of the way we finished the season under Hill, I say judge him on how he does this season. He is getting more backing from the board this season with funds to recruit players. I still believe it`s way off the figures Robins had available but he is definitely being backed more than last season.
Back to Robins and my biggest criticism of his time at Barnsley. His refusal to pick Jacob Butterfield. Butterfield showed last season under Hill what he was capable of given the chance. The amount of times Robins had to turn to him with twenty minutes to go in a go on and save the game effort was beyond a joke.
The managers` argument that he wasn`t quite ready yet was flawed. His substitute performances showed that and all he needed was a run of games starting as showed last season.
The fact that Butterfield also found himself out of contract this summer was also down to Robins not tying him down as in my opinion Robins either didn`t rate him or he had a problem with him. I just hope the news of a possible change of heart turn out to be true and we can get at least another season out of him and when he does move on, get the money he is worth.
I maybe seem to be overly critical of Mark Robins here. He was nowhere near the worst manager we have ever had (Simon Davey) but I did feel he could have been so much better if he was a bit more brave and positive.
I feel he had the players at his disposal to be more positive whereas England in this championships simply didn`t.
Anyway rant over now. I`d like to hear your thoughts on the current and past managers.