So the non league season is well underway and in the National League four games are already in the history books. By the end of the month, each club will have completed eight matches and the table should begin to take some form of shape.
But, the title, play-offs and relegations issues will not be sorted out by the end of August, however it is a good time to set the bar or just get yourself in behind the chasing pack. This time last year, Barnet were still winless. It would take another two more games to get off the mark in the W column but this season has already seen a contrast in form.
Darren Currie’s men were unbeaten until a late Dover Athletic goal on Tuesday evening ended that record and the Bees sit on seven points from four games. Not a bad return so far bearing in mind how last season started and then continued all through the campaign. So far the Bees have dispatched both sides relegated from League Two and taken a point off Sutton Utd but fell a bit short against Dover.
Much has been made of the lack of strike power from a new centre forward, despite scoring in the first three games. It has been said that some targets were very close to signing, but hopes dashed at the final hurdle, why, only those players could tell you the story. Many put it down to cash, it’s still August and free agents will be chasing the best deal anywhere.
Only Currie and Tony Kleanthous can tell you what is in the pot to sign a player, it won’t go up I’m pretty sure of that unless players dip out on loan or Currie manages to move one or two on to free up wages. Sometimes I think it’s forgotten that Barnet still have a top heavy squad, into the late twenties, despite moving around seven players on in the summer. Five of those are already strikers, should another one sign then surely one or two will need to head out on loan to stay sharp and prove a point, Josh Walker a likely candidate as he returns from injury.
There needs to be goals coming from midfield and just as importantly from set pieces as well. It worked well for Callum Reynolds on Saturday at Notts County, but centre halves need to be chipping in with seven or eight a season, the days of Greg Heald, Mark Arber and Mike Basham seem very much long gone. More recently you’ve only got to look towards the likes of Nicky Bailey and Dean Sinclair to show that goals around the team wins titles.
Panic buttons don’t need to be hit though, it’s four games into a marathon season, we won’t win every game and sometimes the players will fall below the standard Currie wants, that’s why they are National League players in some respects. There is a manager in charge with a passion to succeed, a wanting for the players and the club to succeed and occasionally it will fall short. The fact he interacts with fans constantly on Twitter, a lot will be envious across other clubs of the honesty. I sometimes wish TK was like Andy Holt, the Accrington Chairman, again honest and transparent and it goes a long way.
Rewind the twelve months and you can see how far the team has come in that time, the FA Cup run, a more positive start to the season, in my opinion there will be more good times than bad this season, DC believes in the players, they believe in #Currieball as shown so far, we know he won’t be shy in letting the players know if the performance doesn’t match what we wants.
Would we rather be in the shoes of Chesterfield, early struggles for the second season running or Ebbsfleet, no win in four and struggling financially, of course we wouldn’t! Look for the positive, we’re as good as the best in this division, and just maybe there is an unsung hero with goals coming up……………………