Hurt pride and injured team but no need to panic

16 Sep

Brentford fell to their fifth defeat against Middlesbrough in little over a calendar year, as a 3-1 reverse at the Riverside saw the Bees slip to fourth bottom in the table. On a night where injuries meant Marinus was unable to even field a full substitute’s bench (and those he did name included two goalkeepers) it was a result predicted by many but, actually, it was a game that sounded a lot closer than the scoreline suggests.

Let’s be clear. I wasn’t amongst the 149 Brentford supporters who made that hellish journey on a Tuesday night. Middlesbrough is hard enough to get to from West London as it is, let alone for a game with a 7.45pm kick off that meant many of those who travelled only got in as the rest of us were starting to wake up.

Hats off to those who braved it. Twitter updates from the likes of Beesotted and BIAS very much helped supplement the dulcet tones of Billy Reeves on Beesplayer and the subsequent goal highlights on Sky Sports News.

Hats off to the hardy 149

Hats off to the hardy 149

From all these accounts it was an end-to-end game, with Brentford desperately unlucky not to make it 2-2. Lasse Vibe lifted a Marco Djuricin cross over the bar from yards out, immediately after Uruguayan international Christian Stuani had restored the home side’s lead. Likewise, Marinus used his post match interviews to note, “We created a lot of big chances”.

That said, all the possession in the world (according to the Beesplayer panel, Brentford are the divisional leaders for ball retention) and chances (4 on target per team) count for nothing if you can’t put them away. Ultimately, the only stat that really counts is balls in the back of the net and that’s where Middlesbrough, despite all our positivity, remained market leaders. As Marinus himself acknowledged, “the quality of their finishing was the difference.”

Injuries didn’t help, of course. The likes of Sam Saunders, Andy Gogia, James Tarkowski and Philipp Hofmann being added to the already lengthy sick list. Nobody on the bench had started a league game for the Bees before and, whilst the first XI that Marinus named gave a cracking account of themselves, there was nowhere else really to go when a change was needed.

No room for Marcos Tebar in the injured outfield side

No room for Marcos Tebar in the injured outfield side

It does beg the question of just how we have been so unfortunate on this front? Selling those key players was always a risk but moreso when those brought in to help replace them then get crocked. If this is nothing more than bad luck then I feel desperately sorry for Marinus. Every attempt to build a side seems to be spannered by factors outside of his, and our, control.

No excuses. You can’t deny a team who create, and take, their chances anything but the win so fairplay to Middlesbrough on that front. On the flipside, I’m not going to fall into the same panic mode that seems to be gripping many supporters just yet.

We’re only 6 games into the season and have already played the sides in 2nd, 3rd and 5th places. We’re a game behind the vast majority of our rivals, thanks to ‘pitchgate’ and now have a run of four home games out of the next five fixtures to try and consolidate.

We've already played several of the sides showing early form

We’ve already played several of the sides showing early form

Only when we reach the ten game point that (subject to postponements) comes at Derby in early October, will we have a true idea of what this season will bring. Who are the makeweights? Who is in with a chance of promotion? Who will be hoping for mid table security? Who is already plugging the likes of Scunthorpe United and Fleetwood Town into their tripometer for next year?

This campaign has a hell of a long way to run and, like last season, I’m predicting us to really get going come October/November time. The likes of Maxime Colin and Marco Djuricin are already looking like very decent acquisitions whilst the promise of Jota returning, and Josh McEachran starting, is one to look forward to.

Until then, roll on Saturday and Preston North End.

Nick Bruzon

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4 Responses to “Hurt pride and injured team but no need to panic”

  1. RebelBee September 16, 2015 at 11:32 am #

    Feared the worst once I saw that KK was starting, Woods was benched (why?) and not enough bodies to put up 7 subs. How did it come to this? Sure our run of luck all round has been awful, but some of the decisions on player departures now look questionable. Add to this the number chances missed and regular slip ups at the back and there is more to it than just injuries and luck. Personally I am yet to be convinced by MD, a few tiny green shoots aren’t enough yet.

    Sadly this all amps up the pressure on Saturday, another poor GP showing and we are in the bottom 3. Tough unforgiving division this, we need to acclimatise again fast..

  2. Gordonbankole September 17, 2015 at 5:46 am #

    While we are shipping two goals a game (I’m not even counting the Oxford game, which pushes it up to 2.3ish according to my mathematical modelling), we’ve got big problems. And that’s with a keeper who’s playing out of his skin.

    According to my experience of football, letting in too many goals while not scoring enough yourself is a recipe for major struggle.

    At the risk of being called a doom and gloom merchant, until we tighten up at the back we are going to be at the wrong end of the league, and anyone who denies this is (a) deluded and (b) expecting us to score more than two goals on a regular basis.

    • Rodi September 17, 2015 at 6:20 pm #

      I endorse your comments, wholeheartedly. It was a DISASTROUS decision to make Mark Warburton’s managership untenable; now look at this substandard mess. Mark has won every game in charhe at Rangers; manager of the month. What madness, to show him the door. By all means be a doom and gloom purveyor; it is the reality. Fanatics will never see reality.

      • Hobbo September 18, 2015 at 8:58 am #

        Get over it Rodi around 90 million and counting.

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