Blogging straight after a game is never a good idea and something I never try to do; it clouds sometimes what could or should be said and I prefer to get a balanced opinion across.
I’m also finding it’s get harder to write a balanced article when it comes to Barnet FC, I don’t think many will disagree with that either and there aren’t too many now believing the club is heading anything than other in a constant downward spiral.
Tuesday night’s defeat to bottom placed Dover Athletic put the Bees at a new low, replacing the Crabble based outfit at the foot of the table and looking like an out of control juggernaut that can’t be stopped.
Where do you begin to start? Losing a ‘six-pointer’ against the only side worse off than you in the table? Starting the season under prepared? Appointing the wrong manager? Letting go of a better manager? The buck stops at the top? So many questions, so many answers, so many opinions.
Well, let’s start with the most recent, Tuesday night at Dover. The conditions were monsoon-like but the same for both sides throughout the 90 minutes and one side were up for it more than the other.
As I would expect for an Andy Hessenthaler side they were up for the biggest game of their season so far, listening to the commentators they stated that the Whites had indeed put in some better performances over the last few weeks and maybe this was a performance coming. On the other side it was also Barnet’s biggest game as well but too many in white and amber didn’t show up, now whether that is down to ability, the players picked, the formation, the lack of conviction that a win could be garnered, maybe a combination of the lot?
Being led to believe that Tim Flowers and Hessy both interviewed in the summer for the job at The Hive, if either had been in from the beginning Barnet would not be sitting in the position they are now. I know our budget despite being chopped is still around mid-table in the National League, the performances on the pitch are far detached from that.
The lateness of appointing Peter Beadle in the first place, a man with a lack of knowledge at National League level has possibly set the tone for the season, almost like tomorrow will do, well those tomorrow’s run out every time a game is lost.
Sixteen games has shown he was the wrong appointment as many expected upon his arrival, and now we’re in a desperate battle to preserve a National League status that shouldn’t be in question.
The cost of now rescuing the season will be more than could have been used keeping Darren Currie and Junior Lewis in the summer. I know the reasons why they aren’t there, but I do know both still care deeply about the club as I speak to both and are alarmed at how quick the fall as been, two years ago we were selling out The Hive to take on Brentford in the FA Cup 4th round, how quick things can change.
The buck ultimately stops at the top of the tree, that we can’t deny. Downhill Second Half podcast pulled up on Twitter today a quote from Tony Kleanthous from 2017, stating where the club would be in 5 years’ time ‘simply we just need to get to League One ASAP’, we’re a million miles away from that.
At the end of the day, he appoints the manager who spends the budget and puts the players on the pitch, the latter bit he can’t control but it stems from the initial appointment and as he is in control of that and him only the fair share of blame has to be apportioned to him.
I am concerned Tim is not going to get a tune out of most of the players he inherited. His post-match interview pretty much confirmed that with the ‘you’re with me or we shake hands and you move on’, time has run out quickly for some.
And as he also commented on last night that he had to change formation again to try and get something out of the game, the personnel is not there to do what he demands which puts us at a bit of a crossroads.
The players do need to accept some responsibility, I know they are prepped well enough, Liam Daly has said as much on Twitter, Loachy would say the same, but for some reason it’s either not getting through or they’re not good enough to execute a game plan.
Do you now waste more money getting rid of those who just aren’t up to the standard required to get results in this division and then spend more to get in the right personnel to ensure survival? Much of that question will only be answered by what happens to the National League South over the coming weeks if they do indeed null and void their season which would give Barnet a free pass for the season.
That in itself is good reason not to spend any more money until it is decided one way or the other. Personally, I expect the National League itself to continue and finish the season because there surely would some ramifications from the Football League over promotion to and relegation from League Two, looking at the current table before Wednesday night’s games just two points separates seventh and sixteenth in the table, why wouldn’t those chairman want a crack at the play-offs and possible promotion?
NB This was written before the ‘statement’ issued from Tony Kleanthous which didn’t really tell us an awful lot as per usual.