Nine games in, the season is still early and not without its interruptions from positive covid tests but how has it faired for Barnet and Peter Beadle so far?
A rushed pre-season, short window to sign players given the late managerial appointment after the departure of Darren Currie, Beadle might well have had the odds stacked against him, but that was known when taking the job with a reduced budget compared to that of his predecessor.
The beginning wasn’t great, the middle mixed and the current has the jury out. We all know it can take time for new players to gel into a unit and for results to come with it, but how long and how many games do you give it?
Granted I have only been able to watch since the Burton FA Cup game, a match which showed we can defend even with ten men and won with a super strike from Wes Fonguck.
Since then it’s looked like confidence evaporated straight after that game with successive defeats to Bromley, Kings Lynn, and Woking. Neil Smith’s Bromley did do a number on us as did Ben Strevens’ Eastleigh on the opening day of the season, both exploited the frailties of a squad lacking depth and in some cases better quality than previous seasons.
Neither the Kings Lynn nor Woking performances covered the team or Beadle with any glory, defensively the side has looked unable to provide Scott Loach with any cover in front of him, 19 goals conceded so far tells its own story with only two other clubs letting in more goals at the time of writing.
While stopping them going in is a problem, scoring them isn’t any better. Currently just eight times the Bees have hit the net which works out of course at less than one a game and averaging two in Loach’s net each time they take the field it doesn’t take a genius to work it out.
Are the players not good enough? Are they not following the undertaking the game plan to the letter? Have certain players been missed while out injured? Are the manager and his coaching staff not getting the maximum from them once they cross the white line?
James Dunne has been missed whilst out injured, the difference you could see watching Tuesday night’s game against Hartlepool as he returned, Harry Taylor moving into centre half makes a difference as well, more calmness and composure.
There are a few players in my opinion who are either out of form or look lacking at this level, whether there is anything left in the budget to make any moves remains to be seen, so far the loan signing of Mo Faal looks anything like a success with no impact either as a substitute or a starter.
Anthony Wordsworth has looked a class above since signing for the Bees, the problem to me is that most of the others are not on the same wavelength to some of the great balls he plays forward.
The touchline worries me, I’ve yet to see Beadle do much more than stand there at the back of the technical area with his hands in his pockets, it appears Steve Jenkins does most of the work. That may well be the way their dynamic works I don’t know, for a National League manager I expect a little bit more.
Don’t get me wrong I want Beadle to work out, for the players to work out, but it doesn’t always and as Barnet fans we’ve seen it often enough. I can stomach the losses if we’ve played well to a man, that at Woking looked like a club short on ideas. Hartlepool was defensively an improvement, a start at least, at the other end the lack of chances created and shooting opportunities fashioned by players on their own is in desperate need of improvement.
On the current basis of things most of us will be happy with finishing away from the bottom three and in mid-table, unless there is a huge run of form round the corner, no doubt this will be an interesting few weeks to come, but by the looks of things, we will be at The Hive to watch it unfold, I might get that beer from Darren Currie before Xmas………