Is Mark Cooper really the right man for Barnsley?

A week after Swindon Town ‘rejected an approach‘ by Barnsley for manager Mark Cooper, there remains no news at Oakwell of their replacement for Danny Wilson…

This story resurfaced on Monday with the Sheffield Star reporting that Cooper ‘had held talks’ with the South Yorkshire side about the vacant position.

Following three successive defeats for Swindon there are a few Town supporters, primarily those regular contributors to BBC Wiltshire post-match ‘soapbox’, who would bizarrely welcome the departure of 46-year old manager from the County Ground. However their bleak hopes have been swiftly dashed now that Cooper has told Link Sport that ‘he has not been in dialogue with Barnsley’.

Mark Cooper’s success at Swindon has largely arisen because of the sound structure of this club. All elements of this structure are mutually dependent, whereby Lee Power is hands-on, using his contacts and experience to deliver the right players. Then first team coach Luke Williams’ involvement as Cooper’s right-hand-man is not to be downplayed for the quality of his coaching and popularity amongst the squad.

To target Cooper alone, if true, doesn’t reflect that there is a system at Swindon. It is this which has enabled the former AFC Telford boss an unlikely, yet successful route back into League football.

Barnsley currently boasts the fifth highest wage bill in League One, in addition to a fourth highest equity donation by their owner. This is a complete contrast to a seemingly hands-to-mouth existence at Swindon following budget cuts, which has rightly derived from a sustainable financial realty. With that ‘Andrew Blackesque’ scene in Yorkshire of poor spending decisions and a high wage bill, Cooper certainly doesn’t neatly fit that managerial model, which needs to quickly get the best of a poorly performing and expensively assembled side in danger of relegation.

With the Sheffield Star also linking former Town boss Paolo Di Canio with the Oakwell role, it seems the Tykes could do no worse than to offer the outspoken Italian a route back into football rather than the current incumbent at the County Ground.

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