Gerhard Struber: Barnsley boss leaves to become New York Red Bulls head coach


Gerhard Struber
A last-minute winning goal at Brentford on the final day of last season saw Barnsley stay up under Struber having spent almost all the season in the bottom three

Barnsley boss Gerhard Struber has left the Championship club after only 11 months in charge to become the new head coach of New York Red Bulls.

The MLS club have met “a significant contractual release clause” to recruit the 43-year-old Austrian.

Last season Struber guided the Tykes to Championship safety thanks to two wins in their final two matches.

He won 14 and lost 17 of his 39 games in charge after joining from Austrian side Wolfsberger last November.

Struber, who questioned the ambition of Barnsley’s owners following Saturday’s 2-1 defeat at Middlesbrough, still has to obtain a US visa, but said of his new job: “I am looking forward to getting to know my new team, hopefully very soon.

“We want to pursue very ambitious goals together and develop steadily. The challenge of working in MLS makes me proud and gives me massive motivation for a big opportunity.”

The former Austria Under-21 international ended his playing career with Red Bull Salzburg, with whom he became a youth coach before being given his first senior managerial role at FC Liefering in June 2017.

He moved to Wolfsberger in the summer of 2019 and was in charge of them in the Europa League before replacing Daniel Stendel at Oakwell.

“As much as we wanted Gerhard to remain at Oakwell we were not in a position to deny him this opportunity with a buy-out clause in his contract and his connection within the Red Bull set-up,” Barnsley chief executive Dane Murphy told the club website.

“Looking toward the immediate future, the recruitment process for a replacement has already begun and we will update supporters when appropriate.”

First-team coach Adam Murray will take charge of the side on an interim basis, having previously done so for one game in October 2019 before Struber’s appointment.

New York Red Bulls are currently seventh in the Eastern Conference of the MLS.

“Gerhard’s playing style and experience in youth development align with our philosophy and above all, as a person he fits into our culture,” head of sport Kevin Thelwell said,

“We look forward to him getting here and working together to achieve the goals we have set as a club.

“We met and spent time with several great candidates of diverse backgrounds and experiences. The quality of the candidate pool further solidified our confidence in Gerhard as a top choice to lead our team,” he told the club’s website.external-link

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Analysis

Andy Giddings, BBC Radio Sheffield sports editor

“Gerhard Struber structured and inspired a team in disarray to mid-table form which enabled them to pull off the great escape.

“He cites a lack of ambition from the board as one of the reasons for leaving; his predecessors and many of the fans would agree with that view.

“The Reds have become a stepping stone club, capable of promotion from League One but very little else due, in part, to the constant churn of players and managers, and a seemingly self-imposed celling to their ambitions.

“It’s highly likely they’ll use statistical analysis from a database to select their fifth permanent manager in just 32 months.

“To be fair to the Barnsley board that selection method has worked to a point, but unless they at least try and achieve some kind of stability to their team then it’s hard not to see the process being repeated before too long.”



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