The strange case of the disappearing striker

27 May

In possibly the least surprising news of yesterday, the club announced that Tommy Smith and Nick Proschwitz will both be released in the summer. Tommy, who joined from Cardiff, and Nick who came in from Hull City AFC for the start of this season, had mixed fortunes at Griffin Park.

Tommy, of course, will be remembered for notching up Brentford’s first goal in the Championship. It was a strike that came in the season opener at home to Charlton Athletic and, despite not troubling the scorers again, he made many notable appearances from the bench as he chalked up 32 appearances for The Bees over the campaign.

At 35 years old, and having been signed on a twelve-month deal last year, it was unlikely that Tommy was ever going to stay beyond the end of the campaign. Nonetheless, he always gave the impression of one who tried his all when he was given the chance – most notably during the no-show at The Valley in the midst of February’s Football Village affair.

In the case of Nick Proschwitz, despite having an option for a further 12 months the club have decided not to activate it. On the ‘surprise’ front, this is news on a par with today’s announcement that 6 FIFA members have been arrested on corruption charges.

Much as I was desperate to see Big Nick do well, he failed to adjust to our team and our system. The clincher for me was seeing Sam Saunders having to steal the ball off his toes during the Boxing Day defeat to Ipswich Town in order to stab the ball into the net. But you could count any number of misses or leaden-footed touches that will see him go down in Griffin Park folkore, of the wrong sort.

It is a real shame for both him and the club. When Brentford were crying out for a striker to step up to the plate following the horrific injury to Scott Hogan at Rotherham back in August, here was the chance. Indeed, Nick managed to find the back of the net after replacing his injured team mate in that game and it seemed we had somebody ready made to step into the breach.

Alas, it wasn’t to be as Andre Gray made light of the leap from Conference to Championship over the coming months. But for some support, who knows…?

Indeed, checking back on his stats this morning, even the club appear to have purged his record from history.

Big Nick has gone missing in action

Big Nick has gone missing in action

Please, let’s be clear. To step onto a football field as a professional takes an enormous level of ability. Let alone to play at the highest levels of the domestic game, which Nick did. As somebody who got knackered just running out of the tunnel in the infamous Martin Allen ‘fans v first team’ game, it’s probably a bit hypocritical for me to be overly negative about somebody who has done that.

Indeed, it gives me a genuine regret to speak negatively about any ‘Bee’ but sometimes things just aren’t meant to be. Despite the management unearthing some wonderful gems in the likes of Jota, Andre or Alex Pritchard this season (to name but a few), we missed the target this time around.

Perhaps Nick’s Brentford career is best considered a case of ‘wrong player in the wrong team’. A 21st century Murray Jones, if you will.

And if you want to read more about the events of 2014/15, the amalgamated Last Word season compendium: Tales from the football village (from Saunders territory to unchartered ground), is now available to download onto Kindle (and other electronic reading device) in full.

Running from July 2014- May 2015 it contains some additional material and is available for less than the cost of a Griffin Park matchday programme.

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2 Responses to “The strange case of the disappearing striker”

  1. RebelBee May 28, 2015 at 7:17 am #

    The disappearing striker & the imaginary attacking midfielder, does he even exist?

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