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Togetherness
Brennan on board By: Max Bygraves 13/05/2024




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Well, that was one way to fill one of the first weekends of the close season. A frenzied twenty-four hours where it seemed almost a given that a promising Barnet manager would leave to go on to bigger things. We’ve been there before. It’s a sad inevitability most small club’s face. The outcome is nearly always the same. But not this time. An almost unique statement of intent from the man in charge. He’s staying.

Swindon Town had officially come knocking, with reports of a compensation deal being agreed. Dean Brennan has a contract until 2026, so no doubt a reasonable package on our side would have been negotiated, but evidently this was not the will of the club, nor it turned out, the manager.

Some have cited Swindon as being something of a basket case, following a number of unsettled years and miserable times on the pitch. I can’t imagine that would have been the key thing to sway this, though. This is a bloke who came into 2021 Barnet. Basket case wouldn’t do that justice. He’s clearly not afraid of a challenge and you would not begrudge any non-league manager being tempted by the offer from a sizeable club. Thirty years ago this year, Swindon graced the Premier League and whilst those days are very much consigned to history, they are big enough to probably get into a place where they’d knock on the second tier’s door again, if someone got it right there.

When you look at the strengths of Dean Brennan as a manager, the stand out has to be his recruitment. I don’t claim to know budgets at Barnet (or any other club for that matter) but by all accounts, our league position last year was higher by some distance than where we sat in the expenditure table. He’s proven he can find players and get the best out of them; it’s not hard to see why a club in Swindon’s current predicament would have been interested.

All of that is now irrelevant however. He’s sent a real message out in this response and shown the kind of loyalty that is very rare to find in football - or actually, in most work places. How many of us would reject an approach to go to work somewhere bigger, on more money and with more immediate opportunities? This is a hugely commendable step by Brennan and he deserves maximum respect for it. This is clearly an individual invested in his football club and ‘project.’ We are in a massively fortunate position.

This news should serve as a big boost after the miserable way last season concluded. A manager who has made big progress over the short term, that wants to be here and clearly believes he has what it takes to complete the job and win promotion back to the football league.

You would hope that this big call by Brennan shows that the chairman is going to give him the tools he needs to make tweaks this summer to go another step further. Surely without such assurance, this outcome would have been a lot less likely. I for one am now anticipating new signings with real excitement. Let’s see some statements of intent that match this one!

Brennan is the champion of togetherness. It’s been his mantra all the way through. Particularly during his first full season, the change in the spirit around the club under his watch is not to be undermined. Like nothing we’ve seen in many years. And now, he’s clearly all in - but now we need to see the same off the pitch.

It has been unfortunate to see some of the fall out between Barnet supporters online over this issue. For a small group with a very niche interest, we sometimes do a remarkable job of finding what we don’t have in common.

Dean Brennan has at points polarised opinion with some of his decisions and managerial approaches. Pretty normal stuff anywhere. There are ways to air grumbles and there have been a small number of instances where that’s not been done in the right way. However, a situation does seem to be developing where for some, anyone so much as questioning the manager is out of order. I’m not sure this is sustainable outlook for people to have at any football club.

As stated earlier, for me, this news is hugely positive for the football club and the immediate future. You only have to read our post-play off write up to see that questions have definitely been asked here of Brennan - but that’s been the extent of it. Barnet are yet to win a truly big game under his tenure. The fact he’s put us in some significant scenarios in his relatively short tenure is brilliant, but success builds expectation. Next season, it’s got to be about going one better in those big moments, however exactly they play out. I’d imagine that’s also his motivation to stay and the standards he’s setting for himself.

For what it’s worth, you’ll also see through articles and tweets across the season comments including ‘genius’ and more praise than anything else in his favour. Rightly so, he’s done a serious job from where it began.

All fans will have managers they especially love. Particularly if they’re the first you’ve seen bring any sort of relative success. Those in the real glory days of Barry Fry saw things anyone since has never really seen. But even then, as was pointed out to me by a learned more experienced fan than I, after three second place Conference finishes, people were asking questions until he duly delivered the title in 1991. And that’s absolutely OK.

When it looked like Brennan was going, it definitely brought back some memories of the trauma to a teenage fanatic when Martin Allen walked out in 2004. It was absolute heartbreak at the time - but that actually brought everyone together. There were no factions. No one trying to point score. Just a collective disappointment and then joint will to see better days again quickly. We have the opportunity for the same thing here, but not starting with a disappointment. This is very rare for Barnet!

Outright abuse towards any manager achieves nothing; especially not to one that’s generally done well. No one gets anything out of it, other than usually regret. Yet like at any club, managers have to have accountability for their decisions and each person will have their own barometer of what makes them feel like things are being achieved. Everyone can have an opinion and these are fine to be discussed, but let’s remember what discussion looks like and what a reasonable way to share a view is.

Lastly, in case we haven’t mentioned it enough times already, we are now in the midst of the most significant campaign in the club’s history. To Bring Barnet Back. It’s wonderful to see so many people showing their support with t shirts, car stickers and badges as social media profiles. However, especially with the latter, please consider how you want yourself and all of us to be represented as advocates of this campaign. Being aggressive, using excessive foul language or basically behaving in a way that does not shine the best light on you, subsequently does the same for all of us.

We want to continue to show anyone and everyone that we are family club that want to come home and enhance our community. We can all play a big part in maintaining that image pretty easily. Keep it in mind - you never know who might see what!

There’ll be more from us very soon on Bring Barnet Back via a different platform than our written form. All I’ll say is, it’s been a while!

The future is bright both with our long term aims and now for the 2024/25 campaign and drive on recruitment that hopefully awaits. There’s plenty to smile about. The play offs were ages ago now. Let’s all try and move forward positively. Together.




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All Articles By This Author:

Date 
13/05/2024 Togetherness
29/04/2024 Outfought, Outthought, Out Of Ideas
10/04/2024 Nearly There
25/03/2024 "A Game Of F*****g Demolition"
20/03/2024 Another Step Closer
09/03/2024 Tepid
06/03/2024 Bring Barnet Back
21/02/2024 Shot Down
14/02/2024 Simon Clist
04/02/2024 Unpleasant
1234567


Other Articles By Category


Date 
13/05/2024 Togetherness
29/04/2024 Outfought, Outthought, Out Of Ideas
21/04/2024 The Best Of The Rest
10/04/2024 Nearly There
25/03/2024 "A Game Of F*****g Demolition"
20/03/2024 Another Step Closer
17/03/2024 Card Bored
09/03/2024 Tepid
06/03/2024 Bring Barnet Back
21/02/2024 Shot Down
12345678910...

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