Brentford entertain Nottingham Forest today as football returns to Griffin Park following International break. With the Bees itching to get back to winning ways after Lee Carsley’s hot streak was brought to an end in the captivating encounter with Hull City, let’s hope the rest has done us good. Certainly, better than it did hapless QPR who we’ll finish up with following their latest capitulation on Friday night at Middlesbrough.
However, we can only start at Griffin Park where Nottingham Forest will be looking to put to bed a worse travel record than ‘Leaving on a Jet Plane’ .
With all due respect to John Denver, whilst the original is twee enough specific reference needs to be made to the ‘all star cast’ version that crashes through what is, otherwise, a bona fide entrant into my top ten films of all time, Armageddon, with all the subtly of, well, an asteroid hitting the planet.
Frankly, life is too short as it is without having to spend precious moments listening to Steve Buscemi attempting ‘barber’s shop quartet’.
Steve Buscemi – come for the asteroids but stay for Con Air
But I digress. Massively. Forest have only picked up one point and one goal from their last four games on the road. It is a run that currently sees them on a three match losing streak away from home, with all three of those defeats (Bristol City, Sheffield Wednesday and, most recently, Preston) being to nil.
The Bees, meanwhile, know that a win and other results could put us to within four points of the play off zone. And with all the current pep talk coming alongside Lee Carsley’s suggestion that a new manager could be imminent, there is bound to be further incentive to impress.
Is that too simplistic an approach to suggest ‘three points’ for the Brentford? Of course it is. I’m not a (complete) idiot and have been watching football far too long to know that anything is predictable. It was only in early October that the Bees were lurking in similar territory to where Forest currently sit whilst their last game saw a 1-0 home win over play off chasing local neighbours Derby County. Indeed, a win for today’s visitors will take them level with QPR on 20 points – just one behind ourselves.
But if any further incentive were needed it is the chance to put even more distance between us, Fulham and QPR as West London’s top team. Purely from a Championship perspective. I discount Chelsea (as things stand). Nice though it has been to see them stuff things up spectacularly in recent months, a home clash with Norwich City will surely be just what they need to set themselves up for the forthcoming relegation six pointer with Bournemouth at Stamford Bridge.
Checking the football scores after a night out brought that sweetest of news – our local rivals doing all they could to hold out at Middlesbrough before falling victim to a 93rd minute penalty. And whilst we wouldn’t, normally, celebrate an end of game spot kick debacle on these pages (I’ve got a nagging feeling that we might have once been involved in such territory) you need to waive all such rules when it comes to local bragging rights.
Another opportunity for them to overtake us has come and gone. Instead, it is now the Bees with the chance to storm further ahead and, more importantly, higher up the table.
With the BBC reporting that Josh McEachran is fit to start, might we even get first glimpse of the former Chelsea wunderkind today? Josh is fit. The Judge is back. Jota is training and Sam Saunders has already returned to league action – even if it did mean telling Alan McCormack a few ‘white lies’ in regards to the corner kick routines at Blackburn. Hey, as long as they aren’t taken short I don’t care what he said !
The squad is almost at some semblance of normality once more although questions about who plays up top remain, given Marco Djuricin is likely to be out until the year end. Lasse Vibe is the obvious choice and he’s been talking it up well in midweek.
I’m a big fan of the great Dane and hope he not only gets the slot but continues with the goals that have started to come in recent games. Besides, having sat through the ineptitude of Nick Proschwitz and the awkwardness of seeing Will Grigg battle with his form and team set up, we could be in a hell of a lot worse positions.
The build up from Alan Judge and the finish from Lasse for 3-0 at Charlton remains one of my highlights of the season. More of the same today would be very nice, thank you.
Roll on 3pm !