🎥 EFL Performance of the Week: What is going on at Barnsley?

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Alex Mott

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Quite astonishingly, with 12 games of the Championship season to go, Barnsley are sitting in seventh place and are on their best run of league form for nearly a century.

Barnsley 3
Full time

Going quietly under the radar whilst the likes of Middlesbrough, Derby and Bournemouth try and hire big names for their promotion push, the Tykes have taken their game to a whole new level in 2021 and it’s mainly down to one man.

The path from Bayern Munich to Barnsley isn’t the most well-trodden, but that Valérien Ismaël isn’t a run-of-the-mill coach.

Having spent a 19-year playing career between France, England and Germany, the former central defender than cut his coaching teeth at Wolfsburg II, Nürnberg and LASK in Austria.

Ismaël was then drafted into his first job in British football and has slowly built upon the good work previously done by Daniel Stendel and Gerhard Struber.

It’s worked and with six wins in a row, including Wednesday’s brilliant 3-1 win away at QPR, Barnsley are now on their best run of form for 90 years.

Can you hear that? That’s the play-offs calling.

Honourable mentions

He may be coming up to his 1,000th game in management, but Mick McCarthy has lost none of his passion on the sidelines and ability to get the best out of players.

Since his arrival at Cardiff, the Bluebirds have shot up from mid-table obscurity to genuine play-off contenders.

They hosted Derby on Tuesday evening and gave Wayne Rooney’s men an absolute clinic in how to play at this level.

The Welsh side ran out 4-0 winners and played the Rams off the park.

McCarthy’s men are now eighth, just two points behind Bournemouth and ready to take on high-flying Swansea in two weeks time.

What a game that promises to be.