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Pre Barnet thoughts

Hard to think that tomorrow is the last away game of the season.

As usual, it seems almost yesterday when we were the wide eyed new boys walking out against Bristol Rovers, who had no clue whatsoever what to expect about any of it. How will we perform? Is this the Holy Grail or the road to hell? Can we really make the step up between non-league and the Big Boys League? Do we know what’s going on?

No change there, then.

Anyway, your editor is at Crawley v Hereford, which could be an “interesting” experience. I won’t be taking any personal blame there from a load of irate farmers if we do put out a weaker (sic) side, although if we won…

Not that it is any business of anyone else if we put Jack Turner in goal and see what Reece Jones is capable of. Though in the latter’s case, if he’s spent so long on loan in the Conference South then you have to wonder what’s really going to happen with him. Maybe it’s just a trial game for him, and if he does well, then he can stay until he’s loaned out to Woking next season.

I expect from our point of view, tomorrow will be end-of-term. Barnet will be up for it, they have to be, and for all the guff about wanting to relegate Martin “Frenzy” Allen we’ve all seen these kind of games before. Not to mention how lousy our record has been against the teams below us in the table.

Not that it’s going to put off people, this might end up being the highest turnout to an away game this season. Hopefully we can get it into four figures. And Barnet was always one of “those” fixtures you always wanted to have. A bit like Woking and Slutton and Ks were in the distant days of the footballing backwaters, before we overtook all of them and shoved them into permanent irrelevance.

Given that next season is going to be League Two North, we need every Southern based side in this division we can. Which is why I expect even though your editor personally hopes they stay down a couple more years, many will be wanting Luton to come up through the playoffs. And for Wycombe and Leyton Orient to have stinkers.

And which is why if we do lose or draw tomorrow and Macc and Hereford lose, people won’t be too upset.

Still, it’s nice that we can go up the Northern Line not needing points, and we can start counting down the days until this season is over. Imagine our nerves tomorrow if we had needed something. Maybe because it’s near the season’s end, but I can’t help noticing a bit of, well, honesty coming out within this last week.

After Torquay, TB said – and I quote.

“We would much rather have achieved our target in January or February. Torquay have similar resources to us and they are a side that we should look to emulate if we can”.

Hmm. Was that an admission of failure? That’s certainly going to piss off those who cling onto the fourth-lowest-budget blanket. Mind you, yesterday Toks went one stage further:

“We should definitely look to the play-offs as this year we underachieved massively”

Talk is cheap of course, and for too many times this campaign there has been a sizeable disconnect between what is said in interviews and what is done on the field. This will become a common phrase in the period to come, but we won’t get away with that next season.

Apparently, in one of today’s papers we were described as the biggest disappointment of League Two, which looking at it objectively we were. We ended up with probably the worst of all worlds this season : a great deal of our squad weren’t good enough for this division, but we didn’t use what we did have properly and as a result we lost the confidence that got us into League Two to begin with.

Mind you, it would have been easier for the club to pay the poverty card here, and hide behind the fourth-lowest-budget comfort blanket, and how new we were to all of this, and how we started ten years ago on Wimbledon Common etc. Not that it would have stood up to any kind of proper scrutiny, but at least its rhetoric is starting to go on the right track.

Meanwhile, mention of the disconnect between what we say and what we do brings us onto Jack Midson. And to be honest, it’s a bit discomforting to find out that there hasn’t been a proper written contract offered to him – despite us verbally saying we’ll give him one. One may be tempted to say that we’ve made our minds up to sell him…

If these rumours of £250k to Swindon are true, the club obviously feels the need to cash in. And it’s kind of got itself caught up on offering 1+1 deals – to get any sort of money in, we simply have to sell after just one year because otherwise it’s Bosman time. If the likes of Sammy Moore attract serious interest this summer, and they’re on similar deals, we’ll find it hard to turn it down.

That won’t do our nerves any good in the close season, and it will undoubtedly put yet more pressure on us getting it right in the summer.  While this from the Hounslow Chronicle this morning isn’t anything you didn’t know, it might start focusing minds both in the stands and within the club itself.

After all, getting it wrong isn’t an option. Just ask tomorrow’s opponents…