Friday, 24 August 2012

My thoughts pre-season

I was recently asked to help out with a post for ItsRoundAndItsWhite, who were after previews from fans of every club. In case you missed it on their website or via Twitter, here are my thoughts:

How did last season measure up, compared to your expectations?
I didn’t expect us to take it down to the final game again – I honestly thought we’d finish between 14th and 18th. There was so much optimism and even talk of the play-offs at one stage. Sanchez was a let down, and despite the team looking good on paper, injuries (particularly long-term) cost us. Typical Barnet – always doing it the hard way.
What do you think of your club’s summer transfer activity, are there more arrivals/exits on the horizon?
We’ve lost a few players; we all knew McLeod would leave (on a free), but didn’t expect to lose captain, Hughes and Deering (now at Cheltenham). Robson has pretty much rebuilt a squad, the majority of which are former West Ham youth. I’m not too sure what to expect really as the average age must be 21, if that. We need a couple more experienced faces, I think – and I’d like to have a more experienced keeper, as the ones we have are young and bound to be prone to error. We need a solid keeper with the abysmal back four we have most seasons!
What would be a dream new season for you?
Anything higher than 22nd and being nowhere near the drop zone!
What would be your worst nightmare?
Relegation in our final season at Underhill.
Who will be your most important player/s this season?
We didn’t have a problem scoring goals last season and we have two new strikers in Jake Hyde and Jon Nurse, so I expect them to do the job – as well as Ricky Holmes, who unfortunately was out-shadowed by McLeod last season. He’s a decent player that doesn’t get enough credit for what he does. Mark Byrne as well will be instrumental in midfield (or right back if the manager decides to permanently play him there!)
Any players you would happily see the back of?
I haven’t seen any of them in action yet, so maybe get back to me on that one.
Do you have the best manager for the job?
Ask me again at the end of December. He seems alright, and already has Football League experience as a coach. He’s popular with fans already for creating a new footballing mantra – after last season, it’ll be nice to see the ball played on the floor a lot more!
Opposition players that you respect?
I’m really struggling to think here. I suppose I have to say former-Bee, Ben Strevens. He’s a genuinely lovely guy – glad to see him still playing at this level.
Opposition players that you despise?
Danny Hylton of Aldershot. There was an incident of racial abuse last season at Underhill resulting in an altercation with another one of our players. I just don’t like him. He won’t be getting a good reception this season! Mohsni of Southend (if he’s even still there?) also deserves a mention here for his theatrics and general annoyances.
Best away fans/ground in your league?
Last season, Plymouth brought the best fans. Considering their off-the-field issues at the time and position in the table, I was really impressed with amount that travelled to North London. They were vocal throughout as well – even though they lost! My favourite ground has to be Sixfields – it’s so easy to create a decent atmosphere in the away end, and for a modern ground it’s pretty smart. It gets bonus points for being perfectly positioned near a TGIs as well!
Which teams do you really want to beat this season?
The Crawley of 2012/13, Fleetwood – that’d be nice. I’d also love to smash AFC Wimbledon at home again, that was a pretty good game! Although I’d take any win against any team, to be honest. We don’t really see that many!
Finally, where do you honestly think you will finish?
Heart says 17th, head says 22nd.

Follow – @RoundAndWhite

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