An in-depth look at Barnsley's 3-2 loss to Sheffield United on Sunday and the fallout from it, after the Reds came back from 3-0 down but suffered a sixth successive loss.


As of Monday morning, Markus Schopp is expected to lead the players in training this week and take charge of Saturday's match at Bristol City.

That will not please the majority of supporters who appear to have totally turned against him with thousands chanting for his removal and booing him off the pitch on Sunday.

Some of the players also do not seem convinced, with Devante Cole the latest to voice dissent in the press as he suggested the comeback from 3-0 to 3-2 came from those on the pitch not in the dugout.

Those factors, plus the longest winless run under any manager or head coach since 1959 and the fact they would be bottom if not for Derby's points deduction, suggest that this appointment simply has not worked out and a change could be the answer.

Schopp insists that, once some key players have returned from injuries in the coming weeks, that the Reds' form will change dramatically.

The squad is certainly good enough to get out of the bottom three but there is little evidence so far that he is capable of overseeing such as transformation. Although they have a history of great escapes, they must do everything they can to avoid being left many points adrift at the foot of the table, which will be the case if this form continues much longer.

They now visit Bristol City who have not won at home since January then face – before the next international break – home games against fellow strugglers Derby and Hull, potentially season-shaping matches even at this early stage in the campaign.


It was another sorry day in a miserable season for the Oakwell club so far.

Fears that the atmosphere could turn very negative if the Reds lost again were realised, and it is hard to blame the fans for venting their frustration at a sixth straight loss.

While the Blades were going 3-0 up after the interval - during a spell when the Reds were being opened up by almost every attack as has happened in many games this season - the home fans chanted 'we want Markus out' and 'sacked in the morning'.

They also chanted 'West Stand give us a song' referencing the controversial decision to evict supporters from that part of the ground, but keep press and directors in there.

They also defiantly sang 'Barnsley til I die' then began to make a lot of noise despite the scoreline.

At first it was sarcastic, singing 'we've got the ball' or 'we've lost the ball' depending on what was happening on the pitch.

But it seemed to become genuine support, at least from sections of the crowd, for the players as the Reds threatened an astonishing comeback with goals by Devante Cole and Aaron Leya Iseka - superb finishes after wonderful team moves.

Many fans applauded and chanted positively towards their players after the game, but booed when Schopp appeared to once again walk down the tunnel without clapping them after tentatively walking into the middle of the pitch. He said later that he didn't want to 'disturb' the players and fans but many would say he already has.

Watching him trudge 70 yards towards the tunnel with vitriol being hurled at him by his own fans, it was very hard to imagine him ever winning over the supporters.


He may also have to win over some of the players.

Cole - one of three impressive substitutes - said in the post-match press conference that the comeback 'came from the group on the pitch. It was the boys rallying together.'

That pointed at real problems within the dressing room, as if the players are being constrained by Schopp's tactics and are only successful when they ignore them and play off the cuff.

That follows Callum Brittain's comments after the last home game that the Reds did not work on attacking plans in training.

Several players have said recently that they are now starting to understand their roles in Schopp's system. Those are the kind of comments you expect to hear in July and August not four months into a manager's tenure.

It would be going too far to suggest a dressing room mutiny but you do not get the sense of a squad that is inspired by or believes in their manager.


This was never a good match to have to win to save your job.

It was a clash of the most experienced squad in the division against the least as United's 18 had more than 2,000 Championship appearances between them, roughly three times Barnsley's, whose average age was 23 compared to the Blades' 29.

On the bench, United had Billy Sharp and David McGoldrick who have 118 and 76 Championship goals respectively – compared to one between Barnsley's seven substitutes.

The Blades started one £20million striker in Oli McBurnie and had another who never came off the bench in Rhian Brewster, nor did former Reds captain Conor Hourihane.

But the Blades began the game as an 18th-placed side who had lost three of their last four matches with one win in six away games, four of which they had failed to score in.

Lys Mousset, a £10million signing, scored as many goals in three minutes early in the second half as he had in his previous 35 games across almost two years.

The Reds were easily opened up by simple balls down the wings and crosses into the centre. Mousset could have scored a ten-minute hat-trick but missed two good chances, only for Ben Osborn to make it 3-0 on 72 minutes.


Substitutes Devante Cole and Aaron Leya Iseka scored in the 78th and 82nd minutes to turn a game that looked over into a nervy finish.

Barnsley - who began the day as the EFL's lowest scorers and were abject going forward for most of the first hour - netted as many goals in four minutes than in their previous 880.

They were among the most aesthetically pleasing goals netted by the Reds in recent years, which only added to the surreal feeling of this Sunday lunchtime snooze fest turned slugfest.

Cole controlled and volleyed in after Cauley Woodrow flicked the ball up for him then Leya Iseka beat two men to smash home after a fine move involving a Woodrow backheel, a Cole nutmeg and an assistant for Will Hondermarck, another impressive substitute.

Leya Iseka - who came on for the anonymous Dominik Frieser - finally added the end product he has been lacking with superb goal and seemed very pumped-up, with a buzz of excitement every time he got the ball.

Cole missed a huge chance at 2-0, firing wide six yards out with the goal gaping from Callum Styles' low cross, then the crowd sang 'couldn't score in a brothel'. But eventually they chanted his name after he netted a fine goal and was a real threat.

That final 15 minutes hinted at real potential in the Reds' squad, but is Schopp the man to harness it?