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The Week In Barnet
Some Thoughts By: Eric Hitchmo 09/11/2011






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What is it about us and cup competitions this season? All five games that we've played have seen some excellent showings, and the latest victory at Cheltenham takes us to our first area Semi-Final in the Football League Trophy in ten seasons. That year, whilst in the Conference, we came a cropper to League One Cambridge United (how times change) but progressing this far does really get the Wembley dreams going, even if it is a "lesser" competition.

In the League Cup at Portsmouth, we were outstanding, demolishing a Championship side. We gave Burnley a real run for their money in the next round, exhibiting a different quality and showing some real fighting spirit in recovering a two goal deficit before succumbing in extra-time. Our heads were still held high. Back into the JPT, and more higher league opposition were well beaten, a convincing win at Colchester setting the ball rolling. Though I didn't travel to either Gillingham or Cheltenham in the rounds that followed, eyewitness accounts have suggested more of the same, so it confuses me that this form in the knockouts has not translated to the bread and butter of the league.

It was good to see Charlie Taylor get on the scoresheet, also. He has had his fair share of criticism, not least on this very site, so it's only fair to praise the lad when he does well. If this is his turning point in proving everybody wrong, then I'm all for it!

My view on Lawrie Sanchez however remains, for the meantime, unwavered. The scenes at Wimbledon on Saturday were ugly and whilst I will not deny that chanted for the manager to be removed, the in-fighting and squabbling that was seen was a completely forgettable experience. I would agree with the view that it is something the players do not want to hear on the pitch, but the opportunity was there to voice our dissatisfaction at the current management of the team. It was not the intent to get on the players backs, there was none of this, and in fact the support for the team was unanimous, but there was a large divide in terms of the manager. Many, who I imagine feel the same way about Sanchez, would have preferred to air their views elsewhere (e.g. the final whistle or the messageboard), however I would have been interested to see how the atmosphere would have turned had we gone two or three goals down. Dare I suggest a hint of hypocrisy when things go wrong?

Whilst I will try my best not to dignify Saturday's policing efforts by mentioning it, I can't help but comment a little. Over-zealous would be a phrase to describe it, seemingly causing issues where really there weren't any. Compared to the likes of Grimsby in 2010 or Wrexham in 2007, where Barnet fans experienced plenty of trouble, the police were nowhere to be seen. Why were so many out in force for a fixture against what would probably be classed as one of the Football League's friendliest clubs?

Back to the cups though, and we face what will be a tricky little tie against Southport on Saturday in the FA Cup. Will we see a continuation of the cup form that has seen us progress so admirably, or is a "shock" on the cards? I'm sure it would be billed as a shock if we were to be defeated, but when the two sides relative league positions are considered, it wouldn't really be so. It's one that many would have down as a potential for a Football League scalp, so it'll be up to us to show what we're made of.

It's another lengthy away trip for the hardy souls who continue to follow the team. This will be the sixth cup tie so far this season, and they've all been played away from home. It's not done us too much of a disservice so far, but it'll definitely be hitting Barnet fans squarely in the pocket as for the second time this season, we play four away games in a row. What are the odds on an away draw in the Semis? All three potential opponents look tough, two of them (Southend and Swindon) have already handed us heavy beatings this season, and the other, Brentford, demolished Bournemouth 6-0 last night. Still, a home draw would be nice, for a change. The two-legged area final would be something of a buzz should we make it, the prospect of Wembley being just 180 minutes away.

Would you take a Wembley final if it meant we were to drop out of the league? Interesting question. I'm not convinced. Just ask the supporters of Luton Town whether they are enjoying themselves now in the Conference having been relegated following a Football League Trophy win. They weren't even allowed to defend it. I'm sure that some would say that the buzz of winning at Wembley is nearly unparalleled for a lower league club, but I'm just not sure. Obviously it is a dream to see Barnet win at Wembley, but I'm not sure I could handle matches against Barrow, Hayes & Yeading or Braintree in exchange. What I am sure of however is that my view of things would be ever so slightly different if I was stood up at Wembley at 2:59pm about to see my team play. The jury is out. Would it really ease the pain of relegation?

It may be too soon to say we've turned a corner, but at least now I feel a little bit more optimistic. There's an awful long way to go yet.




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All Articles By This Author:

Date 
24/04/2013 Farewell
19/04/2013 Underhill
03/04/2013 Away
02/02/2013 Questions
21/12/2012 Miserable
07/11/2012 Corner
21/10/2012 Win
15/10/2012 Burst
08/10/2012 Glimmer
04/10/2012 Same
12345678910...


Other Articles By Category


Date 
24/04/2013 Farewell
19/04/2013 Underhill
03/04/2013 Away
02/02/2013 Questions
21/12/2012 Miserable
07/11/2012 Corner
21/10/2012 Win
15/10/2012 Burst
08/10/2012 Glimmer
04/10/2012 Same
12345678910...

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