Edgar Davids watched this match from the stands, the large letter F on the wall above his head indicating the block he was seated in and, perhaps, the first letter of the word that must have been most prominent in his thoughts as he watched his new team suffer an emphatic defeat that leaves them firmly embedded at the bottom of League Two.
A season-high crowd of 3,229 trooped into Underhill to see if the man who has starred for teams such as Ajax, Juventus and Barcelona could stimulate an upswing in the performances of the most lowly league side in the land.
Barnet remain without a win in any competition this season and have just three points from 12 league matches. Undaunted, Davids declared afterwards that he was relishing the "healthy adventure" ahead. A repeat of last season's escape from relegation on the final day of the season already looks like the height of the club's realistic ambitions this season.
Mark Robson, the man who had been in sole charge of the team since the start of the season until Davids was parachuted in as "joint head coach" on Thursday, was a picture of desolation after the game, decrying the second-half display as "the worst of the season so far". He was only a fraction more upbeat about his new working arrangement. "It is a little strange," he said of his tandem with the Dutchman, "but we'll try to make it as positive as we can."
Robson, who sat in the dugout while Davids watched from on high, picked the team for the visit of Plymouth but henceforth it will be a joint decision and that is when the relationship will be tested, especially as Davids says that within two weeks he could be fit enough to contend for a playing place too. "I hope we disagree on the team selection," Davids said. "Because then we will have to discuss things and that is how you get depth."
Barnet look like they could do with a fit Davids on the pitch. There was an alarming flimsiness to this display that contributed to them being two goals down within 11 minutes. The first blow was struck after barely 100 seconds, as a bout of sloppy defending concluded with Mark Byrne conceding a penalty for a challenge on Luke Young. "That was 200% a good block, never a foul," said Davids with reason. But Rhys Griffiths made no mistake from the spot. The second goal was similarly soft, Maxime Blanchard nodding an Alex MacDonald corner into the net with little resistance from the home team.
Then things got worse for Barnet as another highly rated Dutchman's debut turned sour. Collins John, the former Holland international who was signed last month but only received his international clearance this week, was expected to add some sharpness and experience to a young team that struggles to score. He barely had a touch of the ball before having to limp off with a thigh strain in the 20th minute. Barnet did battle back briefly, Dave Stephens pulling a goal back after a Barnet corner provoked panic in the Plymouth box. For the remainder of the first half Barnet tried to show the tidy passing style that the club is striving to cultivate, but the gulf between intention and ability often seemed gaping. Plymouth, who always looked stronger and more savvy, made it 3-1 just after the hour, Paris Cowan-Hall heading into the net from a MacDonald free-kick.
Barnet showed flashes of menace, most notably when a header from Krystian Pearce had to be cleared off the line by Young. But it was not exactly against the run of play when Plymouth made it 4-1, Young curling a splendid free-kick into the top corner from 20 yards.
"It was disappointing but there were great spells in terms of how we kept the ball and attacked. Not enough, but some. There is potential here," Davids said.