Greenwich Gull

A League 2 blog with an overwhelmingly pro-Torquay United bias

League 2 Season Preview: Barnet

Next up in our ambitious season preview it’s battling Barnet:

Recap of last season

The Bees treated us to one of the most daring relegation escapes of recent years. Languishing in the drop zone with 7 of their remaining 8 games against top half opposition, Martin Allen’s arrival sparked new life into the side that even his bafflingly sudden departure couldn’t extinguish, and they steamed ahead of free-falling Lincoln on the final day with a dramatic, penalty-sealed victory at a packed Underhill.

Personnel in

  • Young midfielder Sam Deering has arrived from Oxford United on a free transfer after a successful loan spell last season
  • Attacking right back Danny Senda has joined on a free after being released by Bristol Rovers. He’s struggled to find regular employment after coming back from a nasty injury, but still has plenty to offer.

Personnel out

  • Defender Joe Devera, a highly-regarded product of the Bees’ youth system and voted their most improved player last season, signed for Swindon on a free
  • The club have had a bit of a clear-out, releasing ‘keeper Jake Cole, defender Reece Yorke, midfielders Glen Southam, Rossi Jarvis and Charlie Stimson, and forward Danny Kelly

Strengths

The fighting spirit that characterised their triumphant bid for survival looks to be among their greatest assets. The experience and contacts of Lawrie Sanchez could prove an invaluable differentiator at this level.

Weaknesses

It’s probably unfair to read too much into last season’s overall performance given how strongly they finished, but a porous defence, shot-shy attack and an inability to hold onto a lead all played a part in propelling them towards the drop zone. They’ve also yet to replace some of the players who’ve left over the summer.

Key man

While Steve Kabba’s experience up front will be key, his junior striking partner Izale McLeod’s composed finish from the penalty spot to keep his side in the Football League underlined his importance to the team. Assistant Manager Guiliano Grazioli has noted that McLeod has been “on fire” in pre-season: if he can hit the ground running then Barnet may be able to maintain a comfortable distance from the relegation places.

One to watch

Barnet averaged a higher points tally during young midfielder Sam Deering’s loan appearances than in those of any other player last season. Having now joined the club permanently, he is widely regarded as a definite starter and this could be a massive year for him.

Outlook

A lot depends on whether they can maintain the momentum from their great escape. If they can recapture their survival form on even a sporadic basis then things may finally be looking up for the perennial relegation battlers. Realistically, a slight improvement on last season’s life-or-death struggle is the best that they can hope for, which equates to entering the 46th round of fixtures without facing a fight for their league survival.

Predictions

Ben: They’ll have enough about them to stay up, but I expect them to still be in the bottom third

Danny: Strike force and stability = steering clear from danger

Maxi: Flirting with relegation as usual but surviving once again

Links to other teams in this preview can be found here

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One comment on “League 2 Season Preview: Barnet

  1. Pingback: League 2 Season Preview 2011/12: Round-up « Greenwich Gull

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This entry was posted on July 27, 2011 by in Season Preview.
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