Who is Gerhard Struber? Tactics, style of play and background of new Barnsley manager

All you need to know about the new Barnsley gaffer.

Wednesday, 20th November 2019, 12:13 pm
Updated Wednesday, 20th November 2019, 12:48 pm
New Barnsley boss Gerhard Struber

Barnsley have looked to central Europe once again for their new manager, this time appointing Austrian Gerhard Struber.

Struber is currently managing in the Europa League with Wolfsberger AC, but can he turn the Tykes’ fortunes around? Check out Struber’s credentials:


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Struber enjoyed a 20+ year playing career, and since then has spent his entire coaching career in his native Austria, most recently as the manager of Wolfsberger AC in the Austrian Bundesliga. Struber also previously spent several years in the coaching set-up at Red Bull Salzburg.

Wolfsberger beat German high-flyers Borussia Monchengladbach 4-0 in the Europa League this season, and also earned an impressive draw with Roma.

His side have put together a cracking start to the season – it will have been a big decision for Struber to make the move to South Yorkshire.

Style of play:

A tactical analysis of Wolfsberger’s victory over Borussia Monchengladbach mentions that Struber’s side “constantly used short passes with a high tempo to link the team’s play and build their attacks,” and also made the most of their set pieces. A more clinical edge would help this Barnsley side, who often struggle to score the goals that their overall play merits.

Struber’s style of play has also been described as “courageous, and direct football,” and he has previously been quoted as saying "we want to put lots of pressure on our opponent."

This sounds like a fairly natural progression from the brave style adopted by previous boss Daniel Stendel.

Can he sort their defence?:

A bold attacking style is all well and good, but Barnsley’s main problem is keeping the ball out of their own net. The Tykes have conceded a whopping 33 league goals so far this season already.

Wolfsberger’s defensive numbers are fairly good, and they sit in 3rd place having conceded 16 goals in 14 games so far. Tightening the Barnsley defence will be no mean feat, but if he can achieve it, then they have a chance.

What has he said?:

“I am extremely happy and proud that everything has worked out and I would like to thank the board for giving me this opportunity. The last couple of days have been extremely exciting and I am ready for the challenge to do everything we can, to keep this club in the Sky Bet Championship.

“Now is a time for everyone to pull together, the board, the management team, the squad, the wider club staff and of course our passionate supporters. If we can do this together, we can keep this club in this league. I can’t wait to start working for this club and town, and especially to meet you all at the game this weekend.”

What have the club said?:

CEO Dane Murphy – “Gerhard is a young coaching talent that any side would be pleased to have. The club had pursued him in the past as his tactical approach and track record of developing burgeoning talent appeals to the core philosophies at Barnsley Football Club.

“Gerhard made it quite clear that he believes in our project and has confidence that the club can remain in the Sky Bet Championship under his stewardship, which is the club’s main objective for this season.

“This was a long, arduous process that tested the patience of many working to better the club. In the end the labour has bore fruit and we are anticipating an enticing brand of football with Gerhard at the helm.”