Time runs out for Beadle

Well here we are again! It seems and it really was only a few weeks ago I produced a blog piece on Peter Beadle and Barnet, the jury was out. Now here we are on a Sunday evening the jury’s been in, the judge has presided and the former striker is no more at The Hive.

I think it’s fair to say right from the very beginning that despite the relationship I have with Darren Currie, I wanted this to work for Beads because he was managing my football club, he might have only appeared 12 times in the black and amber but was still a former player. But having seen what he had to follow in effect with the way Currie’s relationship was with the supporters and how his team were set up to play it was a tough act to follow.

It wasn’t helped by being a late appointment, but he knew what he was getting when he interviewed for the job, if it wasn’t workable why take it? Others interviewed, more experienced too at this level and in the Football League, the only conclusion you can come to is the chairman went for a cheaper option which we have seen in the past only comes back to bite you on the bum and cost you more to correct the errors.

I’m undecided how much quality there is brought into the 26 man squad. Yes, we have injuries or suspensions, tell me what club doesn’t, that’s the purpose of a squad those coming in are able to deputise and are coached and managed to do that, there seems an alarming lack of that throughout the 13 league games so far.

What I couldn’t fathom was seeing the side put in a decent performance and then turn in three consecutive poor performances, the capitulation at Woking where the home side were down to ten men to me was the start of the end, Beadle looked bereft of ideas in the post-match interview, a man out of his depth at this level and cruelly exposed.

His whole body language, standing at the back of the home dugout with his hands in his pockets more often that not didn’t look like a man in his comfort zone and on hearing after the Wealdstone game there was no acknowledgement of the fans on their first game back at The Hive was a PR disaster in itself.

I didn’t watch the annihilation Chesterfield inflicted upon the Bees on Saturday; indeed I was in attendance with Steve and Ann Percy at East Preston, an earlier kick off meant we were only 1-0 down as they left at full time on their journey back to Hertfordshire, me five minutes down the road, God knows what his reaction was when the goals were flying in on his way home!

That of course then brings you to the million dollar question, who is next in the manager’s office at The Hive? This next appointment is crucial, more so than the one in late summer when Beadle arrived, we’re close to the cusp of being the worst team in the National League, scoring at less than one goal per game and a goal difference of minus twenty-one, everyone else with games in hand around us.

What I’d like to see this weekend as I alluded to on Twitter is keeper Scott Loach and captain James Dunne to oversee this week into the FA Trophy game against Dorking Wanderers or Hungerford Town, maybe with the help of an interim coach for the week and a sideline presence, that gives breathing space unless Tony Kleanthous has already the ace up his sleeve.

The names, well here we go! As much as I would love to see Ben Strevens or Neil Smith in the home dug-out, its not going to happen, the former I know would rule himself out and the latter has a very good thing going on at Hayes Lane.

DC, well of course we’d all love to see that, or at least most would, but he walked away for reasons, who swallows more pride if he were to return? Never say never though, you’d be foolish to rule it out.

Of course I will bang the drum for Hendo, I mean when the title winning skipper of 2004/05 wants you to publicise he wants the job and seeks you out to try and make it happen, I’ll happily do it. Whilst his spell as manager previously didn’t work out exactly as he wanted, he has experience and that unity between fans and the club that would be repaired in the short term.

I like Kevin Watson, I like Andy Hessenthaler, both would be sensible appointments, the latter would need to either resign from Dover Athletic or negotiate his release. Watson I was impressed with what he did at Ebbsfleet last season against no end of issues and got a team bang in form, a wild card pick if you like.

Tim Flowers I expect to be in the mix, rumoured last week to be incoming and knowing he interviewed in the summer as did a few others it could be re-visited. I’ve seen a few others mentioned such as Wealdstone’s Dean Brennan and Sutton Utd’s Matt Gray but why would they swap the top half of the table for the mess at the bottom because in all honesty it’s what we look like.

It’s never been dull as a Barnet fan for over 20 years, and these few months have been no different, interesting times as always, nice that people ask my opinion too, I’m just lucky to have the ear and confidence of a few National League managers, I’ll leave you though to make up your own mind who’s in next, don’t rule anyone out………

Beadle and Barnet – jury is out

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………

Bees almost at the ready

It’s been a very long while since the last Barnet blog, indeed when Peter Beadle was appointed as manager the last time the keyboard was tapped and opinions formed.

That was 23rd August to be precise but like most Bees fans my eyes haven’t been away from the page to keep tabs on what has been going on and who’s going to be wearing the black and amber this season.

Whilst I write there is currently no chance of getting into The Hive this weekend to watch us take on Eastleigh which is a massive shame, I had plans for a little meeting afterwards with Strevs, who I’ve kept in contact with throughout the last few months along with Neil Smith and Darren Currie, but alas no plans to be made and that will have to wait for better times.

It’s fair to say that it’s taken a little bit of time to realise that we aren’t expecting to see the kind of performances we were getting prior to lockdown, the calibre of players are not at the same level coming in, they may change my opinion of that in games to come, I hope they do in all honesty.

Games without fans at this level is going to look very odd for weeks, while we might be used to it at Premier League level with pumped in crowd sounds, it’s going to be like watching training matches in your own stadium. I am hopeful we won’t see this for too long at our level, our grounds can cope perfectly well with social distancing of say 1000 people as a starting point, its outside and public transport is not going to get overwhelmed, most people drive themselves and friends to a game!

So far then six signings and a really mixed bag in total, not sure it’s quite enough to make the squad look at least reasonably full and there might be a couple more to come before we kick off this weekend.

When Ben Nugent was announced as the first signing I thought it was a good measure of the calibre player we might expect for others. 222 senior appearances, a promotion to the Premier League on his CV from seven years ago, looks decent enough at first glance, 6ft 5in for a centre back is commanding.

The next two signings are ones I hope prove me wrong, Eliot Richards and Tyrone Duffus. Both well known to Beadle having played for him at Hereford, Richards does have 150 EFL appearances which like Nugent gives him some experience, but last played under Beadle in 2017 and more recently spent time at Merthyr. Duffus is also one well known to the manager also having been at Hereford, recently at Warrington Town and like Richards stepping up two levels to join the Bees, whether either or both bridge the gap will show over the next few weeks.

The other three signings do all come with some National League experience, J J Hooper had a 14 goals in 22 games record at Bromley which prompted a move to Wrexham, unable to settle there saw him net just six times last season and a move closer to home again will hopefully re-ignite his career.

Alex McQueen and Jerome Binnom-Williams, both full backs, have turned out for Dagenham & Redbridge and Halifax respectively last season with some 80 games between them and should be solid if not spectacular.

In the light of the on-going restrictions it would seem sensible to not fill the budget for now and keep things tight, the loan market has to be used effectively to supplement the players that are already there and I would guess there is little panic around The Hive compared to say Notts County or Dagenham where wages are that much higher and no income from supporters inside stadiums the money has to come from somewhere.

I’m not expecting to set the world alight, competitive is all I ask for this season and the odd surprise result. Having not been able to see much from pre-season as you normally would it’s hard to put down a decent prediction. Nowhere near the relegation zone will suit me, but if you get on a run and momentum builds then who knows, we’ll find out in a few weeks……..

Back to work

When it comes to managers and players being appointed or moving clubs nothing should ever surprise or shock you when the news comes out. Barnet’s appointment of former striker Peter Beadle as the club’s new manager certainly comes way out of left field, much further left than I imagined but maybe not so if the financial picture is how it is or appears to be portrayed.

Before we begin this is my opinion, I don’t expect everyone to agree, thats the beauty of the game and life we’re all entitled to think how we want in lots of respects. I remember Beadle as the striker above in 2003, arriving into Martin Allen’s squad playing for nothing and giving the Bees that extra striking option that Paul McCallum gave when he finally arrived at The Hive last season.

Whilst never a prolific striker throughout his career spending the majority of his time in Bristol playing for both City and Rovers, his time early on at Gillingham earnt him a move to Tottenham although not enough to gain a single first team appearance. My last memory I can remember was a goal in a 5-1 FA Cup defeat to Yeovil Town one December before a move closer to home and Team Bath at the time.

Now it’s Beadle the manager. He has managed at this level before as caretaker manager with the previous incarnation of Hereford Utd who went to the wall one year later despite his best efforts at the time to galvanise a club that in all respects were living on borrowed time. Under his management he did keep the club in the division but was never offered job full time He was the supporters choice to manage the newly formed team in 2015 in the Midland League where he stayed for just over three years.

His record there can really speak for itself, three consecutive promotions up to the National League North and Beadle gaining a good reputation for developing young players and playing attractive football and also getting the club to Wembley in the FA Vase in 2016. I felt at the time of his sacking it was unjust after what he had previously achieved, the club were mid-table after eight games which looked alright to me but the owners must’ve been expecting top two? To be honest it was surprising to see him not get another job in the last two years, but sometimes out of sight out of mind for managers works against them.

And so to Barnet. This wasn’t the appointment me nor many others were even close to expecting, I am lucky I am privy to more information than most, I know what I can share and what I can’t when it comes to knowing what goes on. Two decent National League managers interviewed, didn’t get offered the role, another who I expected to be in running I don’t think was even close. I’m sure Ian Hendon won’t mind me saying he was very keen to get the job, but had no contact whatsoever with the club. He was also mentioned and talked about a lot across the club messageboard and Twitter.

If I’m completely honest and this is my opinion remember, the appointment is uninspiring in a lot of ways. I’m not asking for Darren Currie mark two nor do I expect Peter to interact in the same way DC did, if he does great! No disrespect to the new man either, but I’d be very surprised if he’s on the same wages to DC, it’s a cheaper option for the chairman to take given the calibre of the two I know could have been given the job. Maybe his ability to develop youth is what gave him the edge although with no good academy for us he’s going to have to find these players and quickly too before the season begins.

What he does have is a relatively clean slate to bring in his own players to suppliment those still at the club and there is a good base there. I do feel he needs a fast start to get the fans onside, DC did some fantastic work to build bridges there and somehow Beadle needs to continue that, will the budget allow him to bring in players and the right players to get results? Jury out for now on that until we get going.

I know plenty will go into this season with no expectations of what we will achieve, but not much point bothering to turn up if we’re not aiming for promotion, if the aim is to be there to make up the numbers then little point to this season.

I fully understand the financial implications across the footballing world, The Hive was meant to be the game changer for the club and whilst that was shut like everywhere else, surely there should be some profit put away from it or is it simply just sustaining itself and not providing the increase into the football club as we were led to believe as things improve off the field all the time around the complex?

I’m backing Beadle as I would anyone who manages my football club if they prove to be the right person for the job and results are the only measure, if there are a few gems up his sleeve and things look as if they are going to move in the right direction, the fans will respond. I don’t expect to win every game unless he manages to attract a PF or MA title winning side, thats naïve thinking, but we have a very thin line at our club when it comes to supporters being onside, this is either going to go one way or the other! Now I wonder if he’s up for inviting me into his office……………….