What have we learned the morning after the night before?

30 Aug

Reading were the first to try out the new pitch at Brentford but, for the Bees, it was a case of going over the same old ground as Marinus Dijkhuizen’s team slipped to a second successive defeat. A 1-3 scoreline was the net result of a performance that our head coach has described as “very, very weak on the ball” (in the first half), during his post match interviews.

If you want a detailed match report then, as ever, check out the BBC, Beesotted or the official club site. Let’s look at some of the other stuff.

Marinus is wonderfully honest in his post match analysis. There’s no looking to gloss over the facts or hide behind bland platitudes. The latest gentle probing administered by Billy Reeves produced an incredibly frank review of our performance in which he told the BBC man: “Today the first half was, I think, awful from our side. The second half was not brilliant.”

He went further, singling out individuals, “A couple of guys were not good in the game. Toumani was one… Phillip Hofmann has a big body but first half he lost too much fight

The flip side of Marinus, and something also noted in the analysis of the League Cup hammering by Oxford United, is his lack of body language, pitchside. I’ve got to be honest, I do find this unusual.

Perhaps it is just his thing. An attempt to generate an aura of calmness that will emanate through the team. The lack of any direction or animation, beyond berating the fourth official, seems unusual for a side on the back foot. Moreso, the lack of any acknowledgement of the crowd at full time.

Does it make a difference? One could argue that somebody waving his arms and directing the team like a drunken octopus conducting an orchestra is simply something that we are used to. That a bunch of grown men and trained professionals who know their game plan shouldn’t need a manager (sorry, head coach) to tell them what to do. And that if any on pitch direction is needed then that’s what the captain is for.

Yet, this still sits uncomfortably with me. It really will be something we all have to adjust to over the coming months. Cliff Crown, in his programme article describes Brentford FC as currently being in “times of transition”, before noting that ”Rome wasn’t built in a day.”

Whatever your thoughts at present, the Chairman’s article really gives some food for thought as he also discusses transfer policy, sales, contracts and the tough financial position that the club are in relative to our divisional rivals. If you read one page in the matchday magazine then do make it this one.

Cliff Crown - wrote a fascinating column in yesterday's programme

Cliff Crown – wrote a fascinating column in yesterday’s programme

That said, we’re barely into a season that has one hell of a long way to run. Ten games is the usual yardstick before we can give a real assessment of who are the title favourites and who might be flirting with the first division. I’m not even contemplating either option until this new look side and set up have had a time to properly gel. With the transfer window not closing until Tuesday, there still could be more in, or out.

One person we do know will be joining the club is striker Marco Djuricin, who Marinus confirmed is coming in on loan from Austrian side Red Bull Salzburg. With Lasse Vibe finding the net against Reading with a wonderful strike, could this further option up front provide more ammunition? I’m not sure if Marinus was showing a sense of humour or dead panning Billy when he answered the question, “What will he bring to the team?”, with the confirmation “I hope some goals“.

Sam Saunders is also fit again, making an appearance against Reading from the bench. With fellow substitute Alan McCormack back in the midfield role we first signed him in, along with a new starter in right back Maxime Colin both earning praise from the Griffin Park crowd, the set up is already seeing change.

Our polar number 7 (seven) returns to the Griffin Park fray.

Our popular number 7 (seven) returns to the Griffin Park fray.

It will take time for this all to come together. Have no doubt. That said, I’ve every confidence it will come together. Too much time and money has been invested in getting this club promoted to throw this away. Too many tears shed and heartache endured over the years to give up on this side, as many seem to be doing already.

If nothing else, we’re only four games in. Just four games. Let’s all get a grip.

There’s as much crazy talk out there on social media as there is level headed realisation. We’ve got two weeks to all catch our breath and take stock before the trips to Leeds United and Middlesbrough.

The club has adopted a risky strategy, that’s for sure, but one which has our long term best intentions at heart. All this change is bound to unsettle some supporters.

Let’s just please give things a chance.

Nick Bruzon

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6 Responses to “What have we learned the morning after the night before?”

  1. John August 30, 2015 at 10:08 am #

    Hi Nick, another good posting. My first trip to GP this season and all the spirit that the crowd and team brought to everything last season has disappeared. How we were not 5 down at half time was only down to Button. Hoffman is the most immobile striker I have ever seen, his efforts are just not good enough. I like Colin and Clarke looks lively, but the team of last year, those who remain, playing with the new guys, had no idea what each other was trying to do especially in first half. That said, second half was better and with a touch of luck 2-2 could have been the result, although in truth 1-2 was the correct result…penalty was a bit too much. Leeds and Boro look tough….so bottom 3 beckons before the 3 home games. Lets hope not but hard to see any other outcome!? The division will be tight as always and had we played Birmingham and won we would be just behind the play offs. Pray!!!

  2. LadyBee August 30, 2015 at 10:52 am #

    Match Stats Possession 65% Shots on Target 1.
    Please let’s see the team going forward not sideways and backwards .

  3. michael ohl August 30, 2015 at 12:59 pm #

    Very disappointing, but it does look like we are starting to realise that it is period of transition, and maybe our expectations will be more realistic. To be honest, this is how I thought it would be last season. Vibes is starting to look useful. Clarke looks like he might develop into something useful. Button excelled. Hoffman, I hope he isn’t going to be another Nick P. Terrible ref, and an ugly opposition, although I agree 2-1 defeat would have been the fair result. I can cope with losing, what I can’t cope with is players not making the effort – I was thinking we could do with more of the Tom Higginson attitude, for those who are old enough to remember him. At least the pitch stood up well.

  4. James Norwood (not related to Oliver) August 30, 2015 at 5:36 pm #

    Useful commentary as ever Nick, although I know you had to write this without actually attending the game. But I have to say that nowhere in here or in the other replies is any mention of the part we fans played in Saturday’s defeat. And we should all be very cognizant of that – views on Moneyball and Marinus aside.

    Anyone who watched Swansea’s victory against ManU today will have noticed that the Swansea faithful sang up and sang loud throughout. After they got a goal back it became a wall of sound that buoyed the team onto what would be the winning goal, and then continued until the final whistle. Any fan who believes that vocal crowd support doesn’t have a positive effect on the team on the field is totally misguided.

    Adam Hobbs in his “Mick C’s Big Match Report” on BIAS noted “Football is notoriously fickle, so we have to keep our nerve, but confidence and momentum shapes teams character and seasons.” Yes it does, and confidence can come from a side with the crowd behind them.

    So onto this Saturday, which was my first match of the season.

    I have never, ever seen Griffin Park so silent. Seen, as I couldn’t hear anything, except the Reading fans who cheered on their team throughout. The score line and the teams’ on field efforts reflected the silence. I tweeted as such and many Reading fans (unfortunately) retweeted it. These are young men and they got minimal support from the stands.

    The entire first half, we applauded but we never sang a note. The vocal fans from Berkshire helped out with choruses of “Your support is f*****g s**t,” and “shall we sing a song for you.” No wonder we were 2 nil down by the break and lucky not to be 5 nil down.

    Once Lasse got his fantastic goal there was for a minute a stuttering rendition of “We’ll sing on our own,” which could not have been more ironic.

    How different from the atmosphere at the Liberty Stadium and the free flowing football thanks to the referee Martin Atkinson, who offered a refreshing approach after the disaster of the referee who officiated our match with Reading and in the words of Belle and Sebastian “gave us f**k all.”

    I am a Brentford fan and I have been so since 1992 and will be until the day I die, but I have never known any other club to give so little in terms of vocal support. Yes, we pay, yes we show up, and yes we are great critics, but we’re not great supporters and that translates into the players confidence on the field.

    Maxime Colin, in his Brentford website interview ahead of his first game said “I hope that I will play my first home game on Saturday. My friends tell me that the fans are very loud and strongly behind the team.” I think he was thinking about another team.

    It’s time we started to support our team in the way Maxime hopes, like Swansea, Sheffield, Burnley – you name it fans do, and that’s with strong, vocal and loud song.

    Probably not going to happen as apart from last season, we’ve never really been that kind of a club. And what a terrible shame it is. Keep up the good work.

    • RebelBee August 31, 2015 at 6:27 am #

      Really? The heart has been ripped out of the team, the communication between those at the top of the club & the fans over this “project” almost non existent. The worst half at GP in A very long time, and yet it’s our fault! Brilliant.

    • Old Bees Fan August 31, 2015 at 8:20 am #

      How dare you tell us we are not good supporters , there are still many of us left who supported the club in 1967 collecting sixpences and shillings to save the club from being sold to QPR .
      We are all entitled to express our opinion so be careful what you wish for or we could be singing ‘Bring back Warbs’.

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