As Burnley await Brentford and Andre Gray, is this a gamble from Matthew?

22 Aug

The inevitable has finally happened. After weeks of speculation linking Andre Gray with Hull and an unsuccessful £9 million bid from Bristol City, Burnley met both the asking price and the striker’s aspirations to secure a deal that sees Brentford smash their inward transfer record by a country mile.

Whilst, officially, ‘undisclosed’ it is a fee that is universally reckoned to be 3 Lewis Grabbans (or, at current prices, the equivalent of 9 Will Griggs). One would go crazy trying to extrapolate that outwards to the equivalent in Proschwitzs.

Gray is now a Claret. But surely that should be a 7 (seven) ?

Gray is now a Claret. But surely that should be a 7 (seven) ?

This isn’t the doom and gloom that you’d believe from looking at social media following the news. For starters, the sort of money being talked about is incredibly hard to resist. Nine. Million. Pounds!! An 18x increase on what we paid just over a year ago.

Burnley have been unable to complete the paperwork in time so Andre will have to sit this one out from the stands whilst, for the Bees, it means our choice of strikers still includes full Danish international Lasse Vibe and German U-21 Philipp Hofmann. These are players of proven quality and hardly the equivalent of being left with the aforementioned Proschwitz.

Tom Moore - still showing the love for Dougie on this Twitter profile pic

Tom Moore – still showing the love for Dougie on his Twitter profile pic

Besides, as West London’s premier journalist Tom Moore has written in his own take on this news, “The Bees may yet be better off, if they are able to secure the replacements they want at the club…

Phil Giles and Rasmus Ankersen are intelligent people and will have been working on replacements all summer, in the expectation Gray would go.”

An obvious statement, perhaps, but a very true one. Whilst the price tag was a massive inducement to sell, it is still a decision that will have been considered on myriad other levels. Like Tom, I have no doubt the club have targets in mind and we’ve already seen a few names bandied about in the prelude to the sale being confirmed.

If nothing else, the speculation is finally over. We can now move on, knowing who makes up a squad that has, don’t forget, still seen more come in than go out over the last few months.

Let’s be clear – I would have loved to see Andre stay. He has already hit the ground running this season and will no doubt have every success at Burnley. But he has gone. All the wailing and gnashing of teeth from Brentford fans won’t change a thing.

For sure, Matthew Benham has taken an on-field gamble in allowing a proven goal scorer to leave, but getting overly upset about this pays a tremendous disrespect to both the rest of this team and his own, longer term, plans. Keeping his cards close to his chest is something that Matthew has done exceedingly well over the last few seasons as, time and again, we’ve been caught cold by his and the club’s transfer plans.

As a fan since 1979, Matthew will be well aware of our own history and what happens when you replace a Dean Holdsworth with a Murray Jones. Indeed, we’ve already scored six goals in two league games this campaign and, whilst two have come from Andre, the rest were very much shared around with Tarks, The Hoff, and an Alan Judge brace rounding things off.

On that note, yesterday saw good news with Alan credited a second against Bristol City after a meeting of the Dubious Goals Committee (a group whom I can only imagine meet in an oak paneled drawing room, quaffing brandy by a roaring log fire whilst sitting in leather wing-backed chairs). As the Irishman himself noted on Twitter afterward, “Nothing dubious about it clearly mine

The Judge gives his verdict

The Judge gives his own verdict

The other point of note was something suggested last night by one terrace wag who has asked if Brentford are adopting a policy of allowing somebody to join our next opponents?

Jonathan Douglas signed for Ipswich Town in time to tackle Jota and help concede two goals after he had entered the field of play with his new team in a seemingly unassailable position. Next up, the club agreed a fee with Bristol City at a time that Andre had been heavily linked with a side we would go on to beat 4-2 last weekend.

Then, the day before we are due to visit Burnley, we have completed the sale of the player who found the back of the net 18 times for Brentford last season. What next, Jack Bonham to Reading?

Andre will be missed, no doubt. I do also wonder if given his sharp, upward, career moves that Burnley fans could be saying the same thing in twelve months time? As he has already noted on his new club’s twitter feed, “Last season was a test for me, but that learning curve is why I’m at this club now”.

So there you go, cynics. It’s not all about the money. Burnley are the next rung on his career ladder. And if ever Brentford fans needed a motivation to get behind our team and show Andre which is the club on the up, then we’ve got the perfect one at 3pm on Saturday.

See you there.

Ande has the Last Word, for now

Andre has the Last Word, for now

Nick Bruzon

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4 Responses to “As Burnley await Brentford and Andre Gray, is this a gamble from Matthew?”

  1. Richard August 22, 2015 at 8:54 am #

    Recent players to leave for ‘ greener pastures’ Simon Moore not Cardiff no 1, Harry Forrester left for a higher lever now back in league one & Bees in Championship, Forshaw had a further move now not in starting line-up came on 88 th. min last game. Jury out on Donaldson but at least he is closer to his Bradford roots.

  2. Old Bees Fan August 22, 2015 at 9:12 am #

    A lot of good points made but two important omissions .
    The first and most obvious is the inequality of the huge parachute payment that relegated clubs receive and if the goals that Andre will score for Burnley help them to promotion then it is £9M well spent.
    The second is why we could not keep Andre at GP . I’m sure we could have matched the wage increase he will be getting but more likely it is that he thought that Burnley offer a better chance of playing in the Premiership next season.
    OK , we have to move on, but Nick please don’t be worried about upsetting ‘the suits’ and I suspect that Andre,like many of us on the terrace feel in our hearts that we have let that chance slip away with the leaving of MW .
    Now a taboo subject but then somebody had to say what many are thinking.

    • mal August 22, 2015 at 11:45 am #

      Good comments nick if any player shows an interest in leaving and not wanting to pull on a Bees shirt out them, also Warbs has gone get over it and get behind the current management players and most importantly the owner and prove all the doubters wrong including Andre, Stuart, Moses and dare i say Warbs now wouldnt that be nice, thats why i love being a Bees fan always underdogs

    • Rob August 22, 2015 at 1:40 pm #

      Don’t forget that McParland is at Burnley and Warburton was always talking about the Burnley model and his friendship with Sean from his Watford days. I think that had a big influence and I wouldn’t be surprised if Andre had a phone call with his former manager to discuss his transfer

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