Barnet Football Club have opted not to sack loyal servant Rossi Eames but rather moved him to the position of Head of Player Development and decided to replace the 32 year old with the experience of former Scottish assistant Mark McGhee.
It is hard luck for Rossi Eames who had to deal with the loss of key players throughout his time as manager including last season’s 26 goal scorer John Akinde. The table doesn’t lie and Barnet, having not won in 11 games following Saturday’s 1-0 home loss to Colchester, are now second bottom in the League Two table.
The club felt they had to act to arrest this slide and have opted to go for a man who has had a mixed managerial career. There is no doubt that Mark is a talented manager and he is probably still most famous for the way he transformed the fortunes of Reading FC when he took over as player manager in 1991. It was an amazing transformation that saw the Royals storm to the then Division 2 title in 1994 and then take to Division 1 like ducks to water, climbing to second in the table at one point.
He agreed a long term deal with the Royals before causing anger by taking the job at Premier League Leicester City. Following the Foxes relegation he again jumped ship, this time to Wolves. His time at Molineux was disappointing and he was sacked in November 1998.
He was successful again at Millwall and took them to the Division 2 title in 2000/01 and then to the play-off final in Division 1 the following season but left after falling out with the chairman Theo Paphitis.
He has since managed Bristol Rovers, Brighton, Motherwell (twice) and Aberdeen.
Will he be the man to rescue Barnet?
Mark McGhee has certainly divided opinion throughout his career and if you take a cold hard look at the facts he has not done very well. With the exception of his wonderful achievements with Reading he has never again lived up to the expectations that many had of him. Barnet have gone from having a young manager who knows the club inside out to having a manager that has not coached in the EFL since a disappointing and short lived spell at Bristol Rovers in 2012. Barnet will not be able to offer him many new players in January and therefore he will have to work with what he has got.
There is hope as The Bees started the season in impressive fashion, grabbing wins against the likes of Luton and Swindon but they have been on a terrible run since beating Cambridge and in the 11 games without winning they have only scored 9 times, the season average goals per game is a paltry 1.22. Much could hinge on the return of John Akinde for the Bees and Mark McGhee will be hoping that he can get the big man firing as well as a return to scoring form for Shaquile Coulthirst. Alex Armstrong will continue in his role as assistant manager.
Up next for the Bees is a trip to the resurgent Port Vale and then away at the impressive Newport County. McGhee’s first home game will be against Grimsby on November 25th.
words James Richards