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Precarious
Business end By: Eric Hitchmo 22/03/2012




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And so the relegation battle boat gets ready to sail again as we come into the business end of the season. Once again, we find ourselves on it. Alongside us are Macclesfield, Plymouth, Hereford and Dagenham with the likes of Bradford, Northampton, Burton and Wimbledon waiting nervously to see if they are going to get herded into it as well. It's just another season for us, we're getting all too familiar with it.

This club is like a woman who threatens to go down but pulls away at the last minute. Without turning this site into an x-rated innuendo fest, many of you can surely relate to what I am talking about. I mean, last year was outrageous if you think about it in those terms. Constantly flirting with relegation with the thought that one day, the club may just go down once again.

The problem could have been alleviated significantly by taking a respectable haul of points from two massive home games. Instead we found ourselves with a solitary one against the aforementioned Daggers. Things were so encouraging against Morecambe until a sucker punch at the end of the first half and some form of teamtalk turned that into a horrorshow. It raised the importance of the Dagenham game, as we really could have put clear daylight between ourselves and the bottom, but no, we contrived to make a hash of that one too, albeit having fought back from a goal deficit twice. In turn, that has increased the pressure on tomorrow's game at Macclesfield, in 22nd place, in effect labelling it a must-win. It's not the end of the world if we don't, but if we lose, it makes our already precarious position in League Two even more fragile, especially when you consider we still have to play against five of the teams that fill its top six positions. A gruesome thought if ever there was one.

On Tuesday we were fortunate. The game summed up the phrase "the league table does not lie". Two dreadful teams employing some sort of system (I hesitate to use the word tactic) that was conducive to horrible football. I couldn't not look though, such was the importance of the match. Within half an hour, and with a bit of luck for the visitors, we could have been two goals down, at which  point I'm certain the crowd would have turned on illustrious leader. A looping header hit the bar, dropped onto the post and as our defence stood still and watched, the rebounded header also hit the frame. Had that gone in, we may well have been staring a far worse situation in the face. Instead, we went up the other end and equalised.

For me, our comebacks were more down to our opponents incompetence than it was our battling, fighting spirit instilled from the manager. I should give the players credit, of course, but the performance was no better than in games we have lost of late, and it was only down to a tremendous ricket from the Daggers goalkeeper that allowed us to equalise for a second time, having been in control for the length of the second period. Credit to Ben May for having a go from there and getting it on target, but the 'keeper forgot for a split second that his job was to stop balls from going in the net, and we were level. May has been impressive so far. We have finally realised that if we are going to play hopeless long ball, then we need a target man to win it in the air. That thought process took nearly three quarters of the season to materialise, by the way. Izale McLeod will benefit from this, and his goal will reignite some lost confidence. Maybe this partnership will be a key ingredient if we are to stay up.

Such results have given the Macclesfield game an inflated sense of importance. In one last leap of faith, I am seriously considering going where before I would have told you in no uncertain terms where to go. The only thing that is putting me off is the thought that this is Barnet, we know what happens, and a repeat of trips like Aldershot are all too clear in the memory. I know that if I go, it will be the same old nonsense and I will be contemplating a three hour drive home feeling utterly miserable. If we don't go and we win, then I can handle that more than I can the former situation, but who knows how I'll feel tomorrow. I'll end up there, I know I will. We've all been in these positions where we go to games against our better judgement, because we are utterly blinded by faith to the football club. I'm not thinking of going because I like the team, it's certainly not for any faith in the manager, it's purely down to being immersed in Barnet Football Club. That's an unhealthy trait to bear, but most of the time I'll bear it proudly.

The fact that the game has nonsensically been moved to a Friday (is this really a benefit, Mr. Magician?) has no bearing here. If I really want to go to a game, I'll go to it, wherever and whenever it's being played. Of late, I have simply not wanted to go to as many away games, because my faith has been severely tested. I have chosen not to go and to do different things, like follow the scores on the TV or sit in the pub with my mates, and I've felt fine for it. It's a shame that it takes such dire situations to rekindle such faith in some of us. I doubt many will go tomorrow, but if it gets truly desperate, you'll see how many people are suddenly roused from their slumber and get back to supporting the team with their presence. Times were desperate last year, and with confidence restored by the change of manager, people found their faith again and were back in good number with singing voices restored.

It is a shame that it takes such measures for all of us to pull together. Unfortunately, the way it's going, I am struggling to see that this situation will turn like it did at this point last year. I know what I would do to change it, and that would be to remove the manager and get someone else in. Someone, anyone who could steer this sinking ship away from oblivion once again. I don't see The Magician being able to rouse the players sufficiently to get them up for this challenge, I really can't.

I might see you tomorrow, I might not. Who knows?




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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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