Matthew Roberts – @MatthewVA438
Matthew discusses the defet to Barnet
As is constant this season, we looked liable to collapse at the back on the odd occasion Barnet went forward. We’ve changed our two central defenders yet we’re still shipping goals which points to a bigger problem than just personnel. We gave Barnet way too much time and space to pick their passes or to just run into. Now maybe it’s unfair to criticise Brett McGavin too much here given that he’s not a defender. However, you simply cannot have a situation where an opposition player is allowed an absolute age to choose his cross on the edge of the box which is toe poked in by a teammate. McGavin should’ve known about the danger, got there first and booted it out, instead he was too slow, and the goal was conceded. Not good enough.
LACK OF PACE
Speaking of a player being too slow, it was a running theme on Saturday. Barnet were not a good team, make no mistake, but they were able to pass it and run around us at times. Our counter attacks were non-existent as we lacked the pace to get players forward quickly. Our strikers suffered especially as a result and they were completely isolated up front. Asa Hall’s legs are gone but he still offers so much more than the likes of Hanson and McGavin. That is a damning indictment of summer recruitment unfortunately.
HOW ARE BARNET IN THE PLAYOFFS?
I’ve deliberately avoided looking at the table this season for obvious reasons. I was astonished to hear that Barnet are in the top seven at the moment. They were poor, registering very little threat on goal. Halstead has virtually nothing to do all afternoon, apart from picking the ball out of the net and saving their first shot on target in injury time. It’s the same problem as so many games this season though, they didn’t have to be good to beat us.
FEEDING OFF SCRAPS
We have two good strikers, better I’d say than any time since the 2019/20 season. Jarvis and Goodwin are good options to have at this level and both have proven they can score goals. However, they can’t score if they never get any service or indeed the ball. Jarvis especially cut a lonely figure, trying to get on the end of hopeful punts up field. Sometimes he succeeded and his hold up play is good, but all too often he was crowded out as he had no help from the midfield.
WHERE ARE THE WINS COMING FROM?
Coincidentally I did the talking points for this fixture last November and a point I made at the time could be replicated word for word:
“Players were anonymous, the effort is there for sure but too many players are seemingly proving that (at the moment) they aren’t cut out for this level of football. Basic mistakes are commonplace and real progression is hard to see right now.”
The problem is that this time, we’re not midtable. We’re rock bottom and our best players from last season are gone, and they’ve not been replaced adequately. We now need to go on a run of not just two or three wins, but five or six to get out of trouble. The problem being that I cannot see it happening. The players are trying their best but they’re simply not good enough. Without major changes, we’re in very real danger of making an unwelcome return to the National League South.