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Money Raiser Passes Quietly
More realistic tests on the way. By: Eric Hitchmo 19/07/2009
Arsenal H
18/07/2009   (Click date for match details)
Friendly 2009-2010
D  2- 2
YAKUBU '45
CHARLES '83
Attendance: 5268  
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With the annual money-raiser out of the way, we can start to concentrate on the Pre-Season games which will give us more of an idea how our team is gelling and which trialists are worth a further look. Though the Barnet performance was largely encouraging and strong, upcoming games against Cambridge, Charlton and Southend are a far more realistic test of the side's ability.

I was quite willing to let my seat go to the Arsenal supporters who pay over the odds to see a few first teamers play for 45 minutes, along with members of their youth team. The club puts the prices up for this game and quite right too. Even though it seems fewer and fewer Barnet fans go every year, the spaces are still taken up by Arsenal supporters who require a rare glimpse of their stars in action. A sweeping generalisation perhaps, but I can't see that many of the large Arsenal majority in the 5,268 crowd would be down at The Emirates when they play Bolton Wanderers for example.

The Arsenal game has never really been an enjoyable experience. It's not really fun watching your team played off the park with the cheers of a largely patronising crowd following every pass. That said, watching the game on Arsenal TV Online yesterday (I appreciate the irony of watching the game on Arsenal's subscription service) we seemed to hold our own against a half decent Gunners side. Our goals, though a result of sloppy defending from Arsenal, were well taken nonetheless and it was good to see young Elliot Charles get on the scoresheet for the first time after having three disallowed last week at Dover.

Who knows, maybe on that showing it may encourage some of the Arsenal supporters to come and watch us once in a while? We could do bums on seats, the more the merrier.

Still, it is hard to gauge the performances of the trailists on offer against a side of such ability. Albert Jarrett looked nippy and the partnership of Kamdjo and Leach looked pretty decent in the second half. I imagine that they and a few others will be taking to the field on Wednesday at Cambridge, where it's highly likely we will be sporting the new and slightly garish away kit. That said, we could get away with it considering the two clubs' slightly different interpretation of amber...but I digress...

Next week sees us play League One Charlton at Underhil, with a return for Nicky Bailey, who moved there via Southend United, who we play the Tuesday following. Bailey won their Player Of The Year award last year, scoring thirteen from midfield in the Championship, confirming what many people knew about the lad when he became a regular fixture in the Barnet side; that he could make it at a higher level. Perhaps then it is a surprise that he has not been snapped up by a Championship side this summer, but there's a long time left yet.

The three games will provide a sterner test than yesterday's runout and are followed by trips to two Non-League clubs in Billericay and Ebbsfleet before the season opener at Lincoln, which is now less than three weeks away. Excited yet?




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