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18th Oct 2016

Championship club Barnsley put out their starting XI in crossword form

We won't hear a cross word said about this

Tom Victor

It’s getting harder and harder for football clubs to be creative.

We’ve seen Arsenal announce new signings with quizzes, and other clubs reply to the deluge of ‘ANNOUNCE [NAME]’ tweets by, well, announcing the arrival of that player.

That’s all well and good for transfers, but what about starting line-ups? It’s just 11 names on a teamsheet, right? How can you play around with that besides stylist designs and a mix of fonts?

Well, Barnsley have found a way.

The Championship club have decided to present their starting XI for the visit of Newcastle United with a crossword puzzle. It’s certainly different.

It’s a noble effort, particularly given the inclusion of clues for the ‘across’ and ‘down’ entries. We only wish they trusted their fans enough to present the crossword with none of the letters filled in.

We are starting to wonder about one thing, though. Have some of the players only made the starting line-up because their names fit well into the puzzle? Is that an extra consideration for manager Paul Heckingbottom beyond working out who fits best into his preferred formation?

After all, midfielder Sam Morsy helps provide connecting letters for two of his teammates – has that helped him lock down his place ahead of less lexically flexible squad members? Almost certainly not, in fairness.

Still, we can’t deny that it’s a very interesting way for the Tykes to break from the norm. And fans agreed, in their own unique way.

We can’t wait to see what they try for their next game. Guess Who? Charades? Pin the tail on the donkey?

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