Moore of this please (despite key absences in easy win)

25 Jul

Well that was disappointingly simple. As Brentford ran out 2-0 winners over Stoke City in Saturday’s pre-season friendly at Griffin Park, supporters were left with more questions than answers. Were Brentford really that good? Were Stoke really that bad? Is that really the end of the road for Jonathan Douglas? And that’s just for starters.

The Bees were, simply, dominant. True – this was a low key friendly but you can only play the team in front of you. And, being blunt, Stoke City barely showed up. It was the archetypal example of that most favourite of commentating clichés. Namely, ”If you knew nothing about either team you’d be mistaken as to which was the Premiership side”.

As one Stoke fan, Phil Oxford of Canadia, put it to me later, “Thankfully these pre season things are generally about getting fit and proving to the board you need to spend money on new players“. It’s one theory, I suppose.

Andy Gogia, Jota, Toumani and captain Harlee Dean were amongst those who impressed in an all round team performance where nobody had a bad game. Indeed, Marinus’ formation lost none of the passing play seen under Mark Warburton yet seemed to have a much more balanced look to it with none of the gaps we’d suffered from at times last season.

View from the terrace - Marinus has even ditched the 'bus stop' corner

View from the terrace – Marinus has even ditched the ‘bus stop’ corner

Debutant Gogia had already won over the crowd with a number of impressive feints and touches before he opened proceedings with a deflected shot from distance, Alex Pritchard style. And the second came from Stuart Dallas, with wonderful strike at the far post – from a corner….. It bears repeating.From. A. Corner.

Our set pieces from in front of the box may have been lacking the finesses of a certain Mr. S. Saunders but the corner routine had us smiling. A goal and, as importantly, a complete dearth of the unfavoured ‘short’ version. “They never f***ing work”, as one terrace wag is always happy to remind us – a point I’m inclined to agree with. As such, it was great to see them ditched with such success.

With the previously favoured ‘bus stop’ routine also removed from the corner repertoire, how much of a sign has already been made in regards to technique? What hasn’t changed was the quality and power of the strike from Stuart Dallas. After net busters last time out against the likes of Fulham and Wolves, he has already picked up where he left off.

If you want the full report then, as ever, I’d suggest the BBC, the official site or the likes of Beesotted. I’m more interested in those other questions that has us talking on  the terrace.

First up, Dougie. Will he ever play for Brentford again? After being told he could leave the club, this is the second successive game against Premiership opposition where he hasn’t even been in the squad (following the ‘behind closed doors’ run out against Tottenham). Truly, nobody is untouchable.

What is the state of the pitch? Certainly, it seemed as though this was cutting up very heavily – right from the off. I’m no expert on these things but one would presume the heavy rain the day before hadn’t helped the freshly laid grass and, after time, it will bed in.

View from the terrace - divots and soil are already appearing

View from the terrace – divots and soil are already appearing

What is it with our training ground? After last season’s freak injury to Lewis Macleod, where the Rangers old boy was sidelined after tripping over a twig, the curse has struck again. Josh McEachran has, according to West London’s Premier journalist Tom Moore, broken his foot and will be out for three months. This, following a freak training ground accident – although this time a coming together with Toumani. Anything but a twig…

Josh signed for Brentford - but now looks like he'll be out for 3 months

Josh signed for Brentford – but now looks like he’ll be out for 3 months

And talking of Tom Moore. Where has he developed his previously unseen sense sense of humour? And will it survive past pre-season? Here’s hoping. His twitter feed already had me amused with his description of the second goal – below.

Tom Moore - 2015 version

Tom Moore – 2015 version

He then went one better in a post match report .  I’m childish, and make no apologies for the fact, but it was only his use of the word ‘taken’ rather than ‘pulled’ stopped the innuendo monitor going into overdrive.

Accidental or deliberate choice of words….?

Accidental or deliberate choice of words….?

But, most importantly, where was Buzzette? Our favourite mascot was conspicuous by her absence with only Buzz in attendance. All being well there’s nothing more sinister to this than her being a bit late getting back from holidays.

Hopefully Buzzette will return

Hopefully Buzzette will return

So. What did we learn? Quite simply, the loss of Mark Warburton may not be felt as keenly as the doom-mongers may have predicted. That’s not to take anything away from what he achieved but that time has been. Now, both he (at Rangers) and Brentford face new challenges. In his place, Marinus has lined up a team, and squad, to be reckoned with.

Of course, it all counts for nothing until the season begins in anger but I’d rather be winning these games than losing them. There are just two weeks to go until the season begins. After today, I’m looking forward to it even more than ever.

Nick Bruzon

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And , as ever , to read more about what Brentford have done over the last two seasons (through the eyes of a supporter) then the amalgamated Last Word compendiums  are available for your kindle. Celebrating like they’d won the FA Cup (2013/14) and Tales from the football village (2014/15) tell the full stories of our promotion and subsequent life in the Championship.

Featuring the best of the not so bad columns and some additional, previously unseen material, they’re still available for less than the price of a match day pie if you want some summer reading before the big kick off (™) arrives.

2 Responses to “Moore of this please (despite key absences in easy win)”

  1. paul klein July 26, 2015 at 11:51 am #

    Where is Lewis Mcleod?

    • nickbruzon July 26, 2015 at 12:54 pm #

      Not sure what the situation is there, to be honest

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