Barnet Verdict: How ex-Spurs and Palace man has turned the Bees around

12:34 19 November 2012


Barnet's Edgar Davids during the npower League Two match at the Proact Stadium, Chesterfield. Picture: PA Wire

PA Wire/Press Association Images

Barnet have been much improved over the past few weeks and have gone from looking like a side that was doomed to the drop to a team that looks as if they might stay up with ease.

Edgar Davids, Barnet. Picture: John Walton/EMPICSEdgar Davids, Barnet. Picture: John Walton/EMPICS

Edgar Davids, of course, will take a lot of credit for the turnaround but, so too must Mark Robson.

With a large number of inexperienced players on the pitch, the Dutchman is needed out there, almost to move them into the right places on occasions.

The Dutchman is in the twilight of his career and while he’ll have the occasional poor performances his presence out there helps those around him.

The announcement was treated with guffaws from many in football – most predicting that it’d end in tears. It still might but the start has been promising.

Barnet's Edgar Davids during the npower League Two match at the Proact Stadium, Chesterfield. Picture: PA WireBarnet's Edgar Davids during the npower League Two match at the Proact Stadium, Chesterfield. Picture: PA Wire

When it comes to playing, there aren’t many people in the world whose words count for more than Davids having graced the biggest stages in club and international football.

In his pomp he’d be a player that Barnet could only sign in Football Manager (and that’d have probably involved some not-so-subtle cheating).

What he might have lost in pace, he makes up for in what he sees on the pitch with his team-mates, who don’t have the skills he had in his prime.

But that doesn’t mean he is frustrated – far from it. The Dutchman wants to pass on his wisdom.

“I don’t think about players being less able than me. It’s more about making a certain decision but when you’re a coach and you’re training.

“You have to go back to basics and the only thing you have to think about. The frustration comes if you can’t break it down. I’m not at that point.

“You want to arrive at a certain point with a team and a player. You have to drop it to that level.

“It’s too hard to ask somebody, when we look at Premier League with the varying abilities there.

“Steven Gerrard can whip a ball onto your tie from 40 yards.

“You can’t expect that from other Premier League players. You have to break it down so they can adapt.

“If you see progression, there is space for more improvement. You don’t put the bar that high to begin with.”

As for his playing style – as long as Davids and his team-mates fulfil their roles, he is happy.

“It depends – the thing is if you play in a role you have things that you can do,” he added.

“You have certain things that this position demands from you. In that role and those borders you have to play. Some players do more than they should.

“Those are the great players. Some do what they have to do. Claude Makelele did what he did very well. He’s a specialist in what he does.”

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