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Worse Than Same Old Barnet
How things change By: Eric Hitchmo 22/08/2010
Crewe Alexandra A
21/08/2010   (Click date for match details)
League 2010-2011
L  0- 7
Attendance: 3171  (113 Away)
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Well I don't know where to start with this one.

There are many things I want to say about yesterday, and Barnet FC as a whole after this hideous showing. It's been difficult to find a way of expressing it though.

I guess it would be fair to say that I am probably a bit fickle. Just last week I wrote saying that I wasn't ready to slate this team and give up on them just yet. However yesterday's showing just reeked of 'Same Old Barnet' and worse, with a haunting similarity to last season's woeful team. I found myself wondering why I was doing this to myself, AGAIN. What am I getting out of following Barnet FC? An empty wallet, that's what.

I got up and left after the third goal went in. The first half displayed more than enough ineptitude and I was not going to waste any more of my time watching it. Therefore perhaps it's a bit rich of me to rate the players or comment on the performance. Some of you may be totally against leaving early and would have stayed until the very end yesterday. For that I applaud you, I question your mental state for wanting to watch that disorganised rabble be massacred, but I still applaud you. I hope you can see my point of view too that for me, watching any more of it would just be a waste of my time. Instead I went to do what away days should be about, enjoying oneself. I think it's only that which keeps me going to these games nowadays. It's not the football I really go for. And when you get to that stage as a club, as a fanbase, you're in a sorry state of affairs.

Many people however have taken their leave of it all, and I do not blame them. Fans have voted with their feet. The club has precious few people left who will follow it no matter what happens. However, the number of people who are still willing to do that is continuing to dwindle. People who NEVER leave early were out of the ground by the fifth or sixth goal yesterday, I forget which goal it was. The Hive is not the most important thing the club has, the stadium isn't either, it's the supporters. If you have no supporters, you have no club. Five years of pottering along, not really doing much have seen levels of support drop alarmingly. When are going to see enough investment into the eleven men on the field? It is not rocket science. The better the football, the more people will pay to come and watch it.

It all comes back to the budget problem. Mark Stimson has an extremely tough job on a limited budget. Just like Ian Hendon and Paul Fairclough did. He has stretched the budget to its limits and this is the squad we are left with. A squad whose frailties and weaknesses were blown open for all to see at Gresty Road. Yes yes, we're only three games in, but if this is a sign of things to come, and it could very well be, I see myself as being another supporter who will slowly fade away from the club. I'll still go to home games of course, but will I part with my hard-earned to travel away and watch another season's worth of ambitionless rubbish? And to think I was quite positive last week.

It's not as if Crewe tore us apart because they were on another level to us. The standard of football on show was diabolical from both sides. Any neutral should have wondered what on earth they were doing and questioned why there were not 1,000 things they could be doing that were more enjoyable than this. The difference was that occasionally, Crewe were able to show some skill and put a move together. The goals were a joke. The first was a collection of looping headers and crosses in front of the goalmouth. Terrible. They just queued up at the back post to head it in. Perhaps it was just a one off. Crewe's sparse home crowd by normal standards offered a meek whimper in celebration. I'm sure the stand to our right is usually much busier than it was, none of the locals seemed at all excited that they'd just scored.

Maybe Crewe just decided that they were going to play badly on purpose, then suddenly cut through us again whenever they fancied it. Perhaps it was like a little game for them. Passes went astray, shots were misfired, they even let us have some territorial advantage too. Then they got a bit bored of that and started cutting through us again. Jake Cole made a good save from close range, Clayton Donaldson missed a sitter but made no mistake later on when put through on goal. Jordan Parkes gave the ball away cheaply, a simple pass through to Donaldson who lifted it over Cole, who had slipped on his way out and it was 2-0. The home crowd were once again raised into a brief "hurrah!" as the paltry away support collectively though "oh no, not this again!".

We were crap. Crewe were just a little bit better than crap. Unless this little game I've made up was true and they're actually really good. Our one clear chance fell to Ricky Holmes late in the half but his shot was well saved by the home goalkeeper. Oh dear. I was really hoping we might be able to salvage something. Hindsight always shows the way and it would be safe to say that we were never ever going to get anything out of this game. People say you shouldn't leave early in case something good happens. Six years ago to the day, we were two down to Halifax and turned it round to win 3-2. But I've come to learn that nowadays this will simply never ever happen to us. It probably won't ever happen again.

Some of our group had already left to enjoy the local area some more. We'd had a decent day out in Crewe, just as we did last year. A cheap pint, very easy to get to on the train, and plenty of pubs within a five minute radius of both the train station and the ground. Crewe has a lot going for it away day wise. I powered through man flu symptoms to have a good few ciders having arrived before midday. I was clamouring for more at half time but decided I'd give it a bit more of a chance to perk up. Maybe we'd come out a different team in the second half. No. No we didn't.

At 3-0, a long distance shot that looked like it should have been saved, I was more than ready to leave. I lept straight out of my seat and headed for the exit. With almost poetic timing, fellow writer Max Bygraves joined me at the exit having taken a different route. I couldn't get to the pub quick enough. We joined the others in a sports bar type place (the name escapes me) as we plotted up in front of Soccer Saturday with a pint in hand. We could have done this at home couldn't we? But no we decided it'd be a good idea to spend £70+ on it!

As we arrived, the landlord joked that Barnet would probably win 4-3. I told him that if we did, I would put a grand behind the bar. My money was safe. The embarrassment continued to be spelt out in front of our eyes. As more goals rained in, more people found their way from the ground to join us. 4-0, 5-0 it was unrelenting. I wondered what it was that would keep a person watching this slaughter. Why wasn't the whole away end empty and in the pub? 6-0. We were getting very close to a stage where the scoreline would have to spelled out. 7-0. There it is. 7-0. CREWE ALEXANDRA 7 (S-E-V-E-N) BARNET 0. We laughed at the time. Not even this could dampen a good day out. Bloody embarrassing though isn't it?

Our train home was at half five. After stocking up on more supplies we were on our way back to London. Our attention was diverted away from the football by chatting to a nurse all the way home. Nice girl. Back in London we continued to have a good Saturday out. We sympathised with lots of friendly Blackpool fans who had just seen their team beaten 6-0 by Arsenal. The phrase "it could be worse, you could support Barnet" was used an awful lot.

So as per usual, a good away day out, a shit game of football. I don't even know why we do the football bit anymore. Crewe will probably do alright this season and good luck to them, but they'll not have it as easy as this again. Ever.




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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
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08/04/2021 Downhill Second Half Statement
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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
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