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Edgar Davids unable to save Barnet from final day heartache as Bees sink back into non-League

Davids unable to save Barnet from final day heartache as Bees sink back into non-League

By
Andrew Warshaw

PUBLISHED:

21:38 GMT, 27 April 2013

|

UPDATED:

01:54 GMT, 28 April 2013

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Edgar Davids’ first season in management ended in disappointment as Barnet fell out of the Football League after eight seasons.

Three years in succession, Barnet had somehow survived on the last day of the campaign. But this time there was no miracle as play-off qualifiers Northampton sealed their fate.

More than 1,300 visiting fans saw their team dominate for long periods but they were made to pay for poor finishing, including a couple of glaring misses, as Northampton’s Roy O’Donovan and Luke Guttridge netted twice in the space of six minutes midway through the second period.

Bitter pill: Edgar Davids contemplates his future

Bitter pill: Edgar Davids contemplates his future

Table

League Two table

Davids’ future at Barnet is now uncertain and a new stadium seven miles outside the borough will play host to Conference football next season.

Frustratingly, a draw would have been enough to save Barnet with Dagenham losing at home, while anything but a win for AFC Wimbledon against Fleetwood would have seen the south Londoners go down.

As it was, Barnet’s tally of 51 points was the highest ever for a side to lose their league status. ‘It’s certainly a bitter pill to swallow,’ said Davids, whose 40-year-old legs could not quite push his side over the line. ‘I’m aware of the consequences but the players can look at themselves in the mirror and say they did everything. You have to take chances but Northampton were more clinical than us.’

Davids, who was not being paid by the club and was brought in partly to develop Barnet’s academy, hinted strongly he would have to move on after an illustrious playing career that included both Milan clubs, Barcelona, Juventus and Tottenham as well as Ajax.

‘I’ll have to sit down with the chairman
and evaluate a lot of things,’ said the Dutchman. ‘You have to be
realistic. I have done everything that was asked of me in terms of the
objectives set. Fifty-one points playing good football and some
promising young players — that’s what makes it so hard.’

Anxious moments: Barnet fans contemplate relegation

Anxious moments: Barnet fans contemplate relegation

Northampton manager Adie Boothroyd, whose side meet Cheltenham in this week’s play-offs, felt for the visitors.

‘It’s one of those terrible professional situations,’ he said. ‘You have to do your job and you have to win. We got a good hiding there in the corresponding game and I wanted us to finish strongly.

‘Unfortunately someone has to suffer. I’m disappointed for them but it’s a great chance now for us to try and get promoted.’

How Nolberto Solano convinced Harrogate Town goalkeeper Mark Cook to move to Peru

From Harrogate to Peru… How Nobby Solano lured Mark Cook to a land of beaches, jungles and needles in unspeakable places!

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UPDATED:

22:00 GMT, 25 December 2012

Think of the more peculiar transfers in British football over the past 12 months, and Barnet signing Edgar Davids or Robert Earnshaw going on loan from Cardiff to Maccabi Tel Aviv might spring to mind.

But it’s fair to say the deal that saw Mark Cook, a goalkeeper with non-league Harrogate Town, join the biggest club in Peru takes some beating.

The link in this rather unlikely scenario is Nolberto Solano, the former Newcastle United midfielder, who until recently was manager of Club Universitario de Deportes, Peru’s most successful team and one that fills its 80,000-capacity Estadio Monumental for local derbies in Lima.

Tall order: Mark Cook is not certain he will stay in Peru

Tall order: Mark Cook is not certain he will stay in Peru

Solano knew Cook from his time as reserve-team keeper at Newcastle and a brief spell together at Hartlepool. Still, moving to South America was the last thing on Cook’s mind when he received a call while training at a gym in Newcastle in July.

'Nobby was in Peru,’ he recalls. ‘He was looking for a goalkeeper and wanted to know my situation. He said it was a hot country with nice beaches, nice weather and nice food. I thought, “that’ll do me!” ‘Obviously I was bit anxious about what Peru was going to be like — I knew absolutely nothing about Peruvian football — but I said yes straightaway even before I’d asked my girlfriend.

'Harrogate are a brilliant club but I wanted to be playing full-time football again.’ Within a month the 24-year-old Geordie had swapped the Blue Square Bet North for Peru’s Primera Division. However, even though Solano and his friends had taken care of the paperwork, they forgot to warn Cook about what to expect at the airport.

A far away land: Cook training with Nobby Solano in Peru

A far away land: Cook training with Nobby Solano in Peru

'Nobby’s very famous in Peru and knows everyone in Lima,’ says Cook, who played under Shay Given and Steve Harper at Newcastle. ‘So some guy tapped me on the shoulder and took me through passport control and customs. Visa stamped, straight through.

'But when I came out of the doors I was surrounded by about 40 reporters. I couldn’t see a thing because there were that many flashes.

'At Harrogate the most media attention I got was from the club’s website guy and one or two local papers.’

It was a similar story when Cook accompanied two of his new teammates to a signing session at a supermarket in Lima.

‘It was crazy. There were thousands of fans surrounding me and the other lads. I had to escorted back to the car by eight security guards which I found weird.’ North Shields-born Cook made his debut in front of 35,000 in a 1-0 defeat to Sport Huancayo at the beginning of September, the first of two Primera Division appearances for Universitario. The second, away to Cobresol, taught him what it was like to play at altitude.

A new start: Cook shows off his Universitario shirt

A new start: Cook shows off his Universitario shirt

‘It’s hard to breathe and the ball moves around really quickly because the air’s thinner,’ says Cook. ‘If you play outside Lima it’s like going to a different country. One time we landed and had to drive three hours through desert, another it was through a jungle.

AND HE’S NOT THE ONLY BRIT TO GO ON AN ADVENTURE…

ROHAN RICKETTS

After spells at Arsenal, Tottenham and Wolves, Ricketts embarked on a world tour in 2009, taking in clubs in Canada, Hungary, Moldova, Germany and Ireland before moving to Dempo SC in the Indian I-League in August.

GRANT HOLT

The Norwich frontman has spent most of his career at various English clubs, but in 2001 he made a brief trip to the far east. Holt signed for Singapore side Sengkang Marine before returning to play for Barrow.

LEE HENDRIE

Hendrie made his name playing in midfield for Aston Villa. But after a series of short spells at clubs in the midlands, he moved to Bandung in the Liga Primer Indonesia.

JLLOYD-SAMUEL

After playing for Aston Villa, Bolton and Cardiff, the 31-year-old signed for Esteghlal in the Iranian Pro League.

TERRY COOKE

After struggling to break through at Man Utd, Cooke moved to Manchester City before finding success in the MLS playing for Colorado Rapids. In 2010, he teamed up with manager Tony Adams at Azerbaijan club Gabala.

NICKY BUTT

The former Man Utd and Newcastle midfielder headed to Hong Kong in 2010, signing for South China FC.

ROBERT EARNSHAW

After falling out of favour at Cardiff, the Wales striker joined Israeli side Maccabi Tel Aviv on loan in September 2012.

PAUL IFILL

The former Millwall man plays his football in New Zealand. The 33-year-old left Crystal Palace and signed for Wellington Phoenix in July 2009.

The fans are the best I’ve seen and that’s saying something coming from Newcastle.
'Every game they sing for 90 minutes non-stop, jumping up and down behind the goal, setting off flares and banging their drums.

'Until then, the biggest crowd I’d played in front of was 4,000 for Newcastle reserves.’ Universitario finished the regular season in mid-table but faded after the Primera Division split into two separate leagues for the last 14 games.

'They make the rules up as they go along, to be honest with you,’ says Cook.

'I played about six or seven games altogether including friendlies but I only played twice for the first-team before injuring my finger which meant I couldn’t train for two or three weeks.

'As soon as you get any kind of injury they stick an injection in your bum to make you better. Every time. I don’t know what it was. If you were tired, they stuck a needle in your bum. To be fair, the next day you felt brilliant.’

It was after an exhibition game against fierce rivals Alianza Lima in Miami earlier this month that Solano told his players he might be leaving the club. Shortly after returning to Peru, he was gone.

Solano’s departure has cast doubt over Cook’s future at Universitario. He has flown home to the north-east for Christmas unsure whether he will go back for the new season which starts in February.

'I was massively shocked when Nobby went,’ says Cook. ‘He pulled them out of trouble because they were second bottom and struggling, and then all of a sudden it came out that he wasn’t going to be there any more. I’m not sure if he got sacked or he walked away.

'I still have year left on my contract but they’ve got a new manager in now so I need to speak with him and find out what their plans are for me.

'I’m just enjoying Christmas with my family and then we’ll see what happens.’ Cook and his girlfriend Sarah are already missing their 14th floor apartment in the upmarket area of Miraflores, just two minutes’ walk from the beach.

'I always wanted to be a footballer and I thought I would play in the Football League but nothing massive. It never crossed my mind I’d end up in a place like that in Peru.’

Edgar Davids gives his unique views of Roberto Mancini, Fabio Capello, his new job at Barnet and fashion

EXCLUSIVE: Edgar Davids gives his unique views of Mancini (lacks people skills), Capello (tactical genius), his new job at Barnet (I'm not being paid a penny) and fashion (it's important, man)

|

UPDATED:

00:00 GMT, 17 November 2012

Edgar Davids has an opinion and, as is usually the case, he is not overwhelmed by a desire to keep it to himself. This time, it's about his interviewer's choice of clothing.

'It's safe,' he says. 'But there is no adventure. You wear a suit, but you are not trying to tell me something about who you are. It lacks flair. That's not for me. You should try something, man.'

Quite a spectacle: Edgar Davids at Barnet's training ground

Quite a spectacle: Edgar Davids at Barnet's training ground

The assault is not entirely unexpected. Davids, once the 'Pitbull' midfielder of some of European football's greatest sides, has been talking about fashion for more than five minutes.

'It's my passion,' he says. He is the creative director of Monta, a company specialising in street soccer apparel, and was previously engaged to Olcay Gulsen, a renowned designer.

Davids on… Wilfried Zaha

When I was at Palace, he was a big talent but
nothing more. He was also developing bad habits technically and no-one was stopping him. His end product was very poor at times, but now he is really showing his talent. He has worked hard at his game.

One rumour suggests that he turned away a journalist because he was unimpressed by an outfit.

'That did not happen,' Davids says. 'If I refused to speak, it wouldn't have been because of his clothes. However, if I thought he wasn't looking sharp, I probably would have told him. Fashion is important, man.'

And yet here he is, the winner of six league titles, 12 domestic cups, the UEFA Cup and the Champions League, talking about his new life as the 39-year-old player-manager of League Two Barnet, a club in the basement of British football and rarely considered to be chic.

'I don't get paid a dime to be here,' he says.

On the ball: Davids at the club's training ground

On the ball: Davids shows off his skills

Own style: Davids passes on some advice to one of the young players

Own style: Davids passes on some advice to one of the young players

It's the summer of 2012, and a Greek neighbour has called. 'Fancy a Sunday league game' he asks. Davids has been living in north London since his days at Tottenham, but has only really played Street Soccer events since leaving Crystal Palace after a three-month stint in 2010.

Davids on… ‘the greats’

I played with the best. Zinedine Zidane made me look differently at star players. Some guys with that talent don’t work so hard or want different treatment. Not him. Man, those skills. One player people don’t ask me about but should is Ledley King. Left and right foot perfect, fast, almost never made a foul. Technically, he is so gifted. So relaxed on the ball. But those knees.

'I coached a team in Brixton – Brixton United – for a while,' he says. 'We won two cups. They are a good team, but I only coached. No playing.'

The phone call from his neighbour doesn't appeal so much.

'I said, “No, man”, but I woke up in the morning and thought, “You know what Let's kick a ball around”. 'In the first half, I was like, “OK, let's keep it simple, move it around”. But then in the second half, I said the famous words that I got in trouble for on television last week.

'I just thought, “Hey, I'm f*****g Edgar Davids. I didn't want people to go away and say, “I played against Edgar Davids, it was OK”. I wanted them to say, “I played against f*****g Edgar Davids and he was nutmegging me”.

'Man, second half, I did like six nutmegs and got one assist. We won.'

The game prompts a second phone call, this time from Tony Kleanthous, the Greek-Cypriot chairman of Barnet who has heard on the grapevine that Davids dusted off his boots.

Edgar Davids of Barnet photographed exclusively at the club's training ground

Standing out: Davids is enjoying the challenge

Dressing down: Davids offers some style tips to our man Riath Al-Samarrai

Dressing down: Davids offers some style tips to our man Riath Al-Samarrai

Construction work continues on the club's new ground

Big job: Work continues on the new stadium in the background

Edgar Davids at the club's training ground

Front man: Davids leads by example in training

'A friend of mine gave him my number and then I get this call,' Davids says. 'He asked if I wanted to come over for a look.

'I saw the amazing training ground and listened to his plans for the future. It worked for me.'

Davids on… Barcelona

What a team. Would I have been good enough for today’s team Absolutely. You know what it is with Barcelona They play in the half of the opponent so the space is very small and the passes are very hard. To excel, it requires those skills and I have proven I possess those skills. I can do the same as Sergio Busquets or Javier Mascherano.

An agreement was reached and Davids was last month named as joint manager with Mark Robson. The club were bottom of the Football League.

'I've never had a big dream to be a manager, but I'm a curious guy and I want to see if I like it. I've been doing my coaching badges, just the (UEFA) “A” Licence to go, and this was a good chance to play a few games and learn about management.

'You know, I've worked for some pretty good managers so I have a few ideas.'

SIXTY. That's the number of major league titles and cups won by the managers Davids worked under for Ajax, AC Milan, Juventus, Barcelona, Inter Milan, Tottenham, Crystal Palace and Holland. Between them, they have won the Champions League/European Cup seven times and a World Cup.

'Some were good, others not so good,' Davids says. 'I try to take the good bits from them and leave the bad, but also trying to keep my own identity. I don't want to be anyone's mimic.'

Action man: Davids against Accrington Stanley on Friday night

Action man: Davids against Accrington Stanley on Friday night

Boost: Barnet's Mark /11/16/article-2234184-1611B6C3000005DC-445_634x525.jpg

Still a pitbull: Davids is sent off against Accrington

The list of influences includes Louis
van Gaal, Marcello Lippi, Carlo Ancelotti, Frank Rijkaard, Fabio
Capello, Roberto Mancini and Guus Hiddink. Hiddink sent Davids home from
Euro 96 after a radio interview in which he said the national team
manager 'should stop putting his head in some players' a***s'.

'We
made up and got on fine after that,' Davids says. 'I don't talk about
best managers,' he adds, but does so anyway. 'Van Gaal as a trainer was
one of the best – it was incredible how well he prepared for games.
Lippi was very, very good. He knew his team, he knew how to meld
together a group and make it a team.

Davids on… London

I just love living here. It is so multicultural. I love
that diversity. In Amsterdam, we have it a lot, and it’s like that here. Any dish you want you can have — Japanese, Indian, Chinese. You can go from Asian to black to Jewish in the same neighbourhood. It is a reflection of society nowadays. It’s why I love Brixton — a melting pot.

'Capello taught me so much about systems, about 4-4-2, how to pressure and squeeze a team.

'Rijkaard is not a good trainer but he is a really good manager of
people. You can see Mancini lacks people management, big time.' He adds:
'I don't want to talk negative about somebody. I do not want to talk
about Mancini as there were not so many positive things.'

At Barnet's training ground, Davids'
management style is developing. He is 'a little frustrated' by the
standard but says that is 'the challenge that makes me come down here
for nothing'. The players call him 'Mr' or 'Sir' and he does likewise in
return. 'I told them it is out of the question to call me Edgar. I
don't want to be called boss because I told them they are their own
boss,' he says.

Results have improved quite dramatically. Friday's night's 1-1 draw with Accrington Stanley meant they had picked up 11 points from the seven League Two fixtures played since Davids' arrival (they took three points from the previous 11). And the 'Pitbull' still has a bite – he was sent off in the 85th minute after receiving a second booking for a foul on James Beattie, the former Everton striker.

Graham Stack, the keeper, talks of the squad being driven upwards by a 'fear factor' from playing with 'one of the best in the world'.

Davids is content with his life. 'The feeling of stepping out to play for Barnet for the first time was the same as a Champions League match. It is just joy, an innocent joy. I love to play football and will continue as long as I feel that.

'Maybe I will love management – we will see. This is fun. But you never know. Maybe one day I will own a club. That is a possibility, too. Or maybe I will leave and go into fashion.'

With that, the interview ends and Davids gets up to leave. 'Your coat,' he says. 'Double-breasted. That's very, very safe, man.'

James Beattie enjoying fresh start at Accrington

EXCLUSIVE: Former Southampton and Everton striker Beattie enjoying fresh start at Accrington

|

UPDATED:

09:03 GMT, 16 November 2012

'Two boys talking in the famous Milk Marketing Board TV advert of 1989: ‘Milk Urrrggh!’

‘It’s what Ian Rush drinks. He says if I don’t drink lots of milk, when I grow up I’ll only be good enough to play for Accrington Stanley.’

‘Accrington Stanley Who are they’

‘Exactly!’

There are many reasons why James Beattie finds himself in the unlikely surroundings of Accrington Stanley at the moment, but forgetting to drink his milk is not one of them.

A bust-up with Tony Pulis at Stoke, an injury at Rangers, the death of his father while Beattie was on loan at Blackpool and an ill-timed red card at Sheffield United have all contributed to a player who once commanded more than 15million in transfer fees pitching up at the 5,000-capacity Crown Ground, just a few miles from where he was brought up in East Lancashire.

Scroll down for memorable milk advert video…

New start: Beattie (right) with Accrington boss Leam Richardson

New start: Beattie (right) with Accrington boss Leam Richardson

When he was asked by his old Blackburn Rovers team-mate Leam Richardson to help out as player-coach at the League Two club last week, 34-year-old Beattie was only too happy to oblige.

He is one of a number of ex-Premier League players forced to drop down the divisions just to get a game these days.

Tonight the former England striker is in line to make his debut against Edgar Davids at Barnet. Just along the road from Accrington at Fleetwood Town, Barry Ferguson has also popped up in English football's fourth tier.

Beattie recently offered to join Swindon on a pay-as-you-play basis. They said no.

'No offence, but Swindon!' he says. 'The market is dead at the moment. There are so many pros out of a job.

'I know that even people within football say I don't want to play any more. They can think what they want, that's totally wrong. I won't stop because I've been knocked back by a few clubs. As long as I've got that spark to get out of bed in the morning and play football, I will pursue it.

'You're just waiting for somebody to give you a chance. It's a little bit like starting again.

'Realistically, I know I could hold my own at Championship level. The Premier League is probably gone but you never know – I'm a proven goalscorer at that level.

'It's just the match sharpness, which is exactly why I've gone to Accrington.'

Fresh start: James Beattie

Beattie has signed a contract until January 9 and will also help Richardson, even though he previously had few plans to go into coaching.

He remembers the slope on Accrington's pitch from schoolboy cup finals he played there as a teenager. The club have moved on, though, no longer known simply for that TV advert and the two little boys from Liverpool who had never heard of Accrington Stanley.

These days most of the players are from Merseyside and support Everton, as Beattie found out en route to his first training session.

'We were training at my old school,' says the former 6m Everton signing. 'I was following a car full of our lads up the M65 but they missed the turn-off, came off at the next junction and got back on.

'It was only later when they were laughing their heads off at training that they explained it was because the driver had Googled me on his iPhone and was watching my goals for Everton!

'They're saying, “We can't believe Beattie's here”. It's given them a bit of a lift as well. But I've told Leam I want to fight for my place, otherwise it's not fair on the other lads.

'There were a few raised eyebrows when I came in for the game on Saturday. We used to play cup finals at Accy Stanley when I was 14 or 15, and a couple of the older guys have said it's nice to see me. I'm on hardly anything but I'll give the lads my time and put everything I've got into it.

Target man: Beattie has scored goals

Target man: Beattie has scored more than 100 goals

'I was driving over the other morning for my first session and I was excited. That tells me it's the right thing to do. A football club is a unique environment.Many ex-pros miss going in and having the banter. There are a lot of ex-footballers around where I live in Cheshire. I see people like Graeme Souness and they say, “Keep playing as long as you can because you're a long time retired”.

'I'm sure Edgar Davids doesn't need to play football. Why would he be playing for Barnet Because he loves football. Barry Ferguson's another. When it's in your blood, it's in your blood.'

Beattie has been largely out of the spotlight since he left Stoke just over two years ago.

Legal reasons prevent him from talking about the well-publicised dressing-room clash with Pulis in December 2009 which hastened his departure, and a fresh start in Scotland was cut short by injury.

/11/15/article-2233642-03EEE827000005DC-243_634x552.jpg” width=”634″ height=”552″ alt=”National service: Beattie played for England” class=”blkBorder” />

National service: Beattie played five times for England

Just when Beattie looked to be finding his feet at Sheffield United last season, a sending-off against Exeter City cost him a place in the League One play-offs and, he believes, the chance of a contract.

He tried his luck across town at Sheffield Wednesday but a few weeks' training came to nothing. 'They said it was probably to do with the budget but a couple of days later they went and signed Jay Bothroyd and subsidised 25,000-a-week wages!' he says. 'I thought, “I'm a big boy, if you don't want to sign me just tell me”.'

Beattie doesn't need the money. The former Southampton striker has bought a house in Poole and is about to move back to the south coast with wife Sarah and their three children, sons James and George and baby daughter Halle.

One of his other business interests is to act as mentor to young players represented by his agent James Featherstone.

'They don't always get the right advice,' he says. ' “Don't be dazzled by the lights” is one of my favourites because a lot of them do. They don't know how lucky they are to be in that position. You can't abuse the fact you're earning good money.

'Your career earnings should go up and then tail off a bit, but when you retire it's a cliff face. Your salary from football doesn't just slow down, it stops.

'I've been lucky with the people I've had around me. I've got other things in place that can sustain my lifestyle for the rest of my life. I'm not going to say I didn't have fun, but I could retire if I wanted to – I just don't want to.'

VIDEO: Accrington Stanley, who are they EXACTLY!

DM.has('rcpv1972664244001','BCVideo');

Former Southampton and Everton striker James Beattie enjoying fresh start at Accrington

EXCLUSIVE: Former Southampton and Everton striker Beattie enjoying fresh start at Accrington

|

UPDATED:

01:21 GMT, 16 November 2012

'Two boys talking in the famous Milk Marketing Board TV advert of 1989:
‘Milk Urrrggh!’
‘It’s what Ian Rush drinks. He says if I don’t drink lots of milk, when I grow up I’ll only be good enough to play for Accrington Stanley.’
‘Accrington Stanley Who are they’
‘Exactly!’

There are many reasons why James Beattie finds himself in the unlikely surroundings of Accrington Stanley at the moment, but forgetting to drink his milk is not one of them.

A bust-up with Tony Pulis at Stoke, an injury at Rangers, the death of his father while Beattie was on loan at Blackpool and an ill-timed red card at Sheffield United have all contributed to a player who once commanded more than 15million in transfer fees pitching up at the 5,000-capacity Crown Ground, just a few miles from where he was brought up in East Lancashire.

Scroll down for memorable milk advert video…

New start: Beattie (right) with Accrington boss Leam Richardson

New start: Beattie (right) with Accrington boss Leam Richardson

When he was asked by his old Blackburn Rovers team-mate Leam Richardson to help out as player-coach at the League Two club last week, 34-year-old Beattie was only too happy to oblige.

He is one of a number of ex-Premier League players forced to drop down the divisions just to get a game these days.

Tonight the former England striker is in line to make his debut against Edgar Davids at Barnet. Just along the road from Accrington at Fleetwood Town, Barry Ferguson has also popped up in English football's fourth tier.

Beattie recently offered to join Swindon on a pay-as-you-play basis. They said no.

'No offence, but Swindon!' he says. 'The market is dead at the moment. There are so many pros out of a job.

'I know that even people within football say I don't want to play any more. They can think what they want, that's totally wrong. I won't stop because I've been knocked back by a few clubs. As long as I've got that spark to get out of bed in the morning and play football, I will pursue it.

'You're just waiting for somebody to give you a chance. It's a little bit like starting again.

'Realistically, I know I could hold my own at Championship level. The Premier League is probably gone but you never know – I'm a proven goalscorer at that level.

'It's just the match sharpness, which is exactly why I've gone to Accrington.'

Fresh start: James Beattie

Beattie has signed a contract until January 9 and will also help Richardson, even though he previously had few plans to go into coaching.

He remembers the slope on Accrington's pitch from schoolboy cup finals he played there as a teenager. The club have moved on, though, no longer known simply for that TV advert and the two little boys from Liverpool who had never heard of Accrington Stanley.

These days most of the players are from Merseyside and support Everton, as Beattie found out en route to his first training session.

'We were training at my old school,' says the former 6m Everton signing. 'I was following a car full of our lads up the M65 but they missed the turn-off, came off at the next junction and got back on.

'It was only later when they were laughing their heads off at training that they explained it was because the driver had Googled me on his iPhone and was watching my goals for Everton!

'They're saying, “We can't believe Beattie's here”. It's given them a bit of a lift as well. But I've told Leam I want to fight for my place, otherwise it's not fair on the other lads.

'There were a few raised eyebrows when I came in for the game on Saturday. We used to play cup finals at Accy Stanley when I was 14 or 15, and a couple of the older guys have said it's nice to see me. I'm on hardly anything but I'll give the lads my time and put everything I've got into it.

Target man: Beattie has scored goals

Target man: Beattie has scored more than 100 goals

'I was driving over the other morning for my first session and I was excited. That tells me it's the right thing to do. A football club is a unique environment.Many ex-pros miss going in and having the banter. There are a lot of ex-footballers around where I live in Cheshire. I see people like Graeme Souness and they say, “Keep playing as long as you can because you're a long time retired”.

'I'm sure Edgar Davids doesn't need to play football. Why would he be playing for Barnet Because he loves football. Barry Ferguson's another. When it's in your blood, it's in your blood.'

Beattie has been largely out of the spotlight since he left Stoke just over two years ago.

Legal reasons prevent him from talking about the well-publicised dressing-room clash with Pulis in December 2009 which hastened his departure, and a fresh start in Scotland was cut short by injury.

/11/15/article-2233642-03EEE827000005DC-243_634x552.jpg” width=”634″ height=”552″ alt=”National service: Beattie played for England” class=”blkBorder” />

National service: Beattie played five times for England

Just when Beattie looked to be finding his feet at Sheffield United last season, a sending-off against Exeter City cost him a place in the League One play-offs and, he believes, the chance of a contract.

He tried his luck across town at Sheffield Wednesday but a few weeks' training came to nothing. 'They said it was probably to do with the budget but a couple of days later they went and signed Jay Bothroyd and subsidised 25,000-a-week wages!' he says. 'I thought, “I'm a big boy, if you don't want to sign me just tell me”.'

Beattie doesn't need the money. The former Southampton striker has bought a house in Poole and is about to move back to the south coast with wife Sarah and their three children, sons James and George and baby daughter Halle.

One of his other business interests is to act as mentor to young players represented by his agent James Featherstone.

'They don't always get the right advice,' he says. ' “Don't be dazzled by the lights” is one of my favourites because a lot of them do. They don't know how lucky they are to be in that position. You can't abuse the fact you're earning good money.

'Your career earnings should go up and then tail off a bit, but when you retire it's a cliff face. Your salary from football doesn't just slow down, it stops.

'I've been lucky with the people I've had around me. I've got other things in place that can sustain my lifestyle for the rest of my life. I'm not going to say I didn't have fun, but I could retire if I wanted to – I just don't want to.'

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Edgar Davids makes Barnet debut in Northampton win

Dutch legend Davids impresses on debut for Barnet as Bees thump Northampton

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UPDATED:

00:20 GMT, 20 October 2012

Dutch legend Edgar Davids pulled his boots back on to lead bottom of League Two Barnet to their first win of the season on Friday night.

The 39-year-old, who had registered as a player when he signed on as assistant to help out manager Mark Robson, showed he'd lost none of the passing and vision that was the hallmark of his 74 caps and a stellar club career with Ajax, Milan, Juventus and Spurs. His performance was impressive enough for him to be named man-of-the-match.

On the ball: Davids pulled his boots back on to lead Barnet to their first victory of the campaign

On the ball: Davids pulled his boots back on to lead Barnet to their first victory of the campaign

Catch me if you can: Davids celebrates Andrew Yiadom's strike for the home team

Catch me if you can: Davids celebrates Andrew Yiadom's strike for the home team

Barnet, who had taken only three points from 12 games before Friday night's clash, responded to beat Northampton with goals from Krystian Pearce, Andrew Yiadom, John Oster and Anthony Edgar in a thumping 4-0 victory.

Speaking after the game, Davids said: 'I feel the man-of-the-match belongs to the whole group because it was a team effort.

'We saw that they really had a lot of energy and I’m proud of them because the tactical things we worked on all week they executed them.

Looking good: Davids was named man-of-the-match after an impressive performance

Looking good: Davids was named man-of-the-match after an impressive performance

'So I’m proud that they knew what to do because it is hard to digest so much information in a short period of time.

'There were some spells I was happy about and there were some where we definitely can improve. But the agreements we made beforehand they all kept and they executed some things well and we resulted in a win.'

Edgar Davids set for Barnet debut against Northampton

Dutch legend Davids set to make debut for League Two strugglers Barnet against Northampton

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UPDATED:

12:05 GMT, 19 October 2012

Former Holland international Edgar Davids could make his debut for Barnet tonight after the League Two club's new joint heaad coach was registered to play in the home fixture against Northampton.

The 39-year-old former Champions League winner has been given the number 38 shirt as he dusts down his boots to return to first-team action in the less than glamorous surroundings of Underhill.

Dutch of class: Edgar Davids is set to make his debut for League Two strugglers Barnet

Dutch of class: Edgar Davids is set to make his debut for League Two strugglers Barnet

Football League blog

Davids had been out of football since a brief stint at Championship side Crystal Palace in 2010, until joining Mark Robson in the Barnet dug-out last week.

His arrival at the club failed to spark a revival of fortunes for the Bees, as they lost 4-1 to Plymouth last weekend to remain as the bottom team in the Football League.

On standby: Davids watched from the stands as Barnet went down to Plymouth last weekend

On standby: Davids watched from the stands as Barnet went down to Plymouth last weekend

League Two round-up: Luis Boa Morte upstaged on Chesterfield debut

League Two round-up: Boa Morte upstaged by Williams on Chesterfield debut

By
Sportsmail Reporter

PUBLISHED:

17:56 GMT, 13 October 2012

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UPDATED:

17:56 GMT, 13 October 2012

Luis Boa Morte tasted defeat on his Chesterfield debut as the Spireites were beaten 2-1 by Dagenham at the Proact Stadium.

The former Arsenal, Fulham and West Ham forward, who joined the club on Wednesday, made an impressive start by setting up an early chance for Neal Trotman.

But Boa Morte was upstaged by Sam Williams, who scored twice to give struggling Dagenham a much-needed victory.

Upstaged: Luis Boa Morte of Chesterfield

Upstaged: Luis Boa Morte of Chesterfield

Edgar Davids discovered just how big a challenge he faces at Barnet as his first match in charge at Underhill ended in a 4-1 home defeat to Plymouth.

The former Holland midfielder is the new joint head coach of the Football League's bottom club, his first managerial position.

But there was no fairytale start for the former Champions League and three-time Serie A winner.

His new side fell behind after just two minutes as Rhys Griffiths converted a penalty and Maxime Blanchard made it two after 11 minutes.

David Stephens pulled one back five minutes later, but Argyle ran away with it in the second half as further goals from Paris Cowan-Hall (62) and Luke Young (90) earned them a convincing win.

Defeat left Barnet seven points from safety and five behind second-bottom Aldershot, who were thumped 4-0 at leaders Gillingham.

Edgar Davids in the Barnet dug-out

New boy: Edgar Davids in the Barnet dugout

Charlie Allen opened the scoring after 11 minutes and Danny Kedwell added another from the spot (27).

Myles Weston made it 3-0 by half-time and Chris Whelpdale completed the rout midway through the second half.

Cheltenham knocked Fleetwood out of the automatic promotion places by moving up to third with a 2-1 win at AFC Wimbledon.

Marlon Pack put the visitors in front after 25 minutes and Kaid Mohamed doubled the lead early in the second half.

Byron Harrison pulled one back in the 90th minute, but it was too little too late.

Fleetwood dropped to fourth as they were beaten 1-0 at home by struggling Wycombe. Bruno Andrade scored the only goal of the game in the ninth minute.

The three other sides in the play-off places, Burton, Rochdale and Exeter, all failed to win.

Burton were held 1-1 at home by Bristol Rovers, Billy Kee's 50th-minute equaliser for the hosts cancelling out David Clarkson's opener on the half-hour mark.

Rochdale lost 2-1 at home to Morecambe, for whom Jack Redshaw scored twice (10 and 66).

George Donnelly gave Rochdale hope by netting in the 73rd minute, but they could not get a leveller.

Exeter went down 3-0 at Northampton, whose goals came from Adebayo Akinfenwa (25), Kelvin Langmead (39) and Alex Nicholls (84).

The Yorkshire derby between Bradford and York ended in a 1-1 draw at Valley Parade as Zavon Hines' 59th-minute leveller for the hosts cancelled out Ashley Chambers' goal just before half-time.

Britt Assombalonga scored twice as Southend stuck three times after the break to claim a 3-0 win at Rotherham. David Martin completed the scoring.

Torquay were 3-1 winners at home to Accrington.

Rene Howe put United ahead with a fifth-minute penalty, but Padraig Amond levelled in the 65th minute.

Billy Bodin put Torquay back in front two minutes later and Lee Mansell made the points safe 10 points from time.

Edgar Davids watches Barnet lose 5-1 to Plymouth Argyle at Underhill

Second thoughts, Edgar Barnet soundly beaten as Davids makes dugout debut

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UPDATED:

16:10 GMT, 13 October 2012

Holland legend Edgar Davids' first job on matchday was to greet the Barnet mascot – a giant furry Bee called Mr Bumble – as he began life in his new role as player-co-head coach.

That was probably the highlight for the former Holland international who watched the north London club soundly beaten at home by Plymouth Argyle.

Argyle took the lead after just two minutes and ran out 4-1 victors at Underhill, leaving the Bees cut adrift by five points at the bottom of nPower League Two.

Buzz off! Barnet mascot Mr Bumble greets the new face at Underhill

Buzz off! Barnet mascot Mr Bumble greets the new face at Underhill

Davids has taken the role as part of his
grand plan to enter management, but was not on the team sheet, despite
his insistence that his playing days are not over. Just yet.

Davids, who has won 74 international caps
and the Champions League with Ajax in 1995, has joined the club tasked with helping improve a run which sees them ensconced at the bottom of the Football League.

‘I got contacted and invited to the
facility and I was really impressed,’ he said following his first day of training with the club on Friday.

All change Barnet went behind after just two minutes of the match

All change Barnet went behind after just two minutes of the match

All change Barnet went behind after just two minutes of the match

‘I was also impressed
by the talent walking around and I was wondering how they were
under-achieving.

‘I am doing my coaching badges in the
Netherlands so from that perspective it is a great opportunity to start
an adventure. I can learn from Mark how things are done because he has
the Premier League under his belt. I don’t know all the answers to the
football questions.

‘We will have some fights but the
bottom line is to fight to get results. You don’t grow if you comply
together all the time. I believe strongly in putting cards on the table
and having your own opinion. One goal in mind is to get results with
Barnet and developing players.’

The only way is up: Argyle hammered four past hapless Barnet at Underhill

The only way is up: Argyle hammered four past hapless Barnet at Underhill

The future's bright, the future's orange! Davids hopes to start a career in management

The future's bright, the future's orange! Davids hopes to start a career in management

The future's bright, the future's orange! Davids hopes to start a career in management

Edgar Davids takes part in Barnet training

Davids back in orange… but this is Barnet, not Holland! Legend starts life at League Two basement side

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UPDATED:

13:49 GMT, 12 October 2012

Edgar Davids was all smiles as he took part in his first training session at The Hive as Barnet's new joint head coach on Friday.

The Dutch legend, who had spells with Ajax, Juventus and Barcelona, joined the Football League's bottom club on Thursday night and hopes to also feature as a player within two weeks.

Davids will link up with incumbent manager Mark Robson who has yet to taste victory after 13 games in charge.

Listen up: Edgar Davids (third left) has joined Barnet as joint head coach

Listen up: Edgar Davids (third left) has joined Barnet as joint head coach

Edgar Davids

Edgar Davids

On the ball: Davids is planning on appearing as a player for the club

The 39-year-old has been out of football since a brief playing stint with Crystal Palace in 2010.

Davids
told the club's website: 'I'm happy to explore my possibilities and
share my knowledge and experience with Barnet Football Club. I am very
excited about the challenge ahead.'

Davids

Davids

Tough competitor: Davids is ready to take the football league by storm

Davids first announced the news on Twitter, where he also stated his intention be part of the playing squad at Underhill.

He said: 'Happy to say I will join my local football club Barnet fc as a player/coach.'

Robson was relishing his partnership with Davids, who played 74 times for Holland.

Concentration: Davids is hoping Barnet can benefit from his experience

Concentration: Davids is hoping Barnet can benefit from his experience

Davids

'I am delighted to welcome Edgar to our club,' said Robson. 'His experience as a player throughout his illustrious career will be a massive benefit to all our players and I look forward to forming a strong partnership with him.'

Barnet have struggled under Robson. They sit at the foot of the League Two table, with no wins and just three points from their 11 games this season.

Edgar Davids during training

Edgar Davids with John Oster

In charge: Davids hopes to combine his coaching role with some playing time for Barnet

Robson was placed in charge of Barnet back in June, taking over from Martin Allen, whose short-term contract expired after the Bees stayed up on the last day of last season.

He was put in control of first-team matters as well as aiding the development of academy football at Barnet in what was described as a 'comprehensive transformation of the club's footballing strategy'.
Results have not followed, though, leading the club to turn to Davids.

High profile: Davids is an amazing capture for Barnet

High profile: Davids is an amazing capture for Barnet

Director of football Paul Fairclough said: 'The capture of Davids is a statement of intent by our club to improve results and lay further foundations for the future.

'Edgar is a world renowned footballer and will be a great example to all our young players.'

In a glittering career, Davids won a vast array of silverware including one Champions League title, one UEFA Cup, three Serie A crowns and three in the Dutch Eredivisie.

He first retired from football when his second stint at Ajax ended in 2008, but had a three-month spell at Palace in 2010.