As Tarka’s the Rotter is it adios to Jota and Toums?

16 Jan

The morning after the night before. Burnley have still beaten Brentford 3-1 after playing us not so much off the park but into next week during the most shambolic first half I can recall in some time. The second half remains one of top- drawer excitement and a hugely enjoyable atmosphere as Alan Judge and the boys began an improbable fight back that, in the end, wasn’t to be. And, having slept on it, words to describe James Tarkowski’s actions still fail me.

I wrote a column when I got home last night to describe my thoughts on the player and the situation. It was an angry one – although not quite up to the recent FCM piece – and it’s here if you want to read it. In the cold light of day, has anything changed? No, with the exception of fellow central defender Andreas Bjelland.

Just to clear up any potential confusion, I can only apologise if anybody feels that the weak pun in the headline was a sleight at him. Andreas has suffered a horrendous injury and James is one of the players we’re looking to help in his place at centre back. Personally I felt a bad pun, that fitted the scenario, would be the best way of conveying what most of us are probably thinking. I could have gone much stronger but, then again, writing at 1am following an emotional night has probably impaired that decision ! Certainly one that would have been written differently with a bit more consideration.

Having given it some thought over night, my over riding feeling is one of being tremendously let down. Alan Judge and Toumani Diagouraga have both been the subject of high profile bids – in the case of the former from Burnley themselves – yet both continue to give their all for the Bees. Indeed, Toumani may well have played his last game if the gift he gave one supporter is any sort of indication. ..

image(4)

One train passenger got more than he bargained for

Yet neither player has stooped to this level. There’s nothing much you can really say on the matter. We’d all love Matthew Benham to hold out on selling him but, sadly, the financial demands of Championship football and FFP rules means it will be unlikely we can afford to leave a wheelbarrow full of cash on the training pitch. I’d love to be proved wrong on that front and hope , for once, principals would triumph. However, given that, barring a miracle, Tarks has played his last game for Brentford can we afford not to sell him just to prove a point ?

What a sad end to a great Griffin Park career. From hero to zero in the space of a day.

The other hero who sounds as though he has played his last game at Griffin Park for some time is Jota. Reports doing pretty much all the rounds suggest that he is on his way back to Spain to play for Eibar on an 18 month loan.

Certainly, Dean Smith has alluded to the hugely popular player having some personal issues at the moment and so, whilst this would be a huge loss for Brentford if confirmed, we can only wish him the very best. Of course, we all hold out hope of seeing him in a Bees shirt once more but I fear the worst.

Jota 3

It looks unlikely to be Jota in the 90th minute any more

So what else did we learn from last night?

Well, despite popularity levels on a par with James Tarkowski (at least, amongst the Brentford faithful) Joey Barton can take a mean free kick. If Burnley’s opening goal, curled in from 25 yards by Scott Arfield was a stunner, this wasn’t too far behind Whilst it hurts to say anything nice about the former Loftus Road man and outspoken numpty, you can’t deny the technique used in his strike. Fair play to the Turf Moor dead ball coach.

Sam Saunders ran his heart out, as did Alan Judge. One good thing to come out of the last week might just be the renaissance of the ever popular wing wizard (some would argue it had never gone). I’m sure he’ll get another run out at Preston next week – and no bad thing.

Brentford are still struggling to score goals. We’ve managed just 4 in 6 games whilst Dean Smith can’t seem to buy a win (not literally, that would be a breach of regulations). The Bees are still in a great position, moreso given the start to the campaign, but I really hope the rest of the campaign doesn’t fizzle out into a fug of gloom and nonchalance as we slither down the table.

Yet when this team do play, they still look stunning. Talking to one New Road observer in the pub afterwards, she noted how the first half had seen us play like a team that would struggle to even complete a dot to dot, let alone a pass to each other. The flipside being that the second period saw us turn it on for one of the most exciting periods of play we’ve seen in a long while.

And finally, Burnley ‘keeper Tom Heaton. Or, more specifically, his buttocks. “Stunning” was the politest of many references to a player that one terrace wag described as “The Kim Kardashian of the 18 yard box”. Truly, a rotund derriere that was the butt of many jokes from the Ealing Road.

On a night where Tarky was talking out of his backside, let’s just hope we can put all this business behind us.

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Nick Bruzon

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10 Responses to “As Tarka’s the Rotter is it adios to Jota and Toums?”

  1. steve b January 16, 2016 at 12:00 pm #

    we don’t need the likes of tarkowski milling around our training pitch if that;s the best he can offer…he would be a liability and bad influence on our up and coming younger players..just get rid of a bad apple notwithstanding the good work he had put in previously and lets get on with recapturing the spirit of unity in our squad….get rid of tarkowski on a free if needs be

  2. Roderic January 16, 2016 at 12:06 pm #

    The team has been either poorly briefed tactically, or poorly selected, in several recent games, resulting in terrible first halves ; this must reflect on the manager, not just the players; Vokes , etc, caused mayhem in midfield last night, because Diagouraga gave him too much space; this was corrected in the second half, with a great improvement in the Bees performance. Djetc, was anonymous, as was Canos and Swift; as you rightly stated, the better starting option , was Vibe, and the FA cup selection, was terrible.
    Smith looked agonised, from the outset, in contrast to the contorted visage of the hectoring , corncrake-voiced Dyche. The latter has the aggressive bully in him, a skin of rhino, a ruthless character, which contrasts with the much more likeable and kindly nature of our manager; note the lack of aggression in the one to ones, that Maxime Colin refers to, in his post-match comments. The BFC players, are in the main, just too lightly built and short; even Gray, was outmuscling us. Middlesbrough showed the Bees, yet again, how to grind out a win; something should have been learned from previous encounters. Smith was very good at Walsall, but is the rumbling underlying crisis at BFC, which has been caused by the actions of the BFC hierarchy, just too much of an ask, perhaps we needed a Steve Evans, to put a radical edge to the BFC approach.
    “Tarks”, must have had a nervous breakdown, or similar; his behaviour, which was out of character, has probably hamstrung his chances of a move North. Only a desperate man, would behave in such a crazed and foolish manner, as he has , up to this, been roundly praised for his reliability and sterling performances on the pitch; there is a lot more to this story, than the public is party to (and it is striking that our cracking player, Jota, is rumoured to be suffering from emotional and family issues)as part of “Tarks”story, is what would appear, a desparate wish to return to his roots. “Tarts” , is finished at BFC; his remaining, will only act as a demoralising effect on the whole team, so let the fellow go, a sap. Among the many and no doubt , expensive departments created , under the new regime at BFC, perhaps the pastoral care of players needs to be attended to.
    I noticed that”Mr” (sic), Benham, was not wearing any visible club colours last night. The US baseball operation he has gone for, does not work here, because we are a much smaller country, with far fewer teams to draw on for the replacements for the sold-on good players; the huge price of the smaller pool of footballing talent here, is another factor, which forces “the system”, to look abroad for replacements; these are often proven to be at sea in the English League and not up to the task.

    • michaelosullivanuk January 16, 2016 at 1:33 pm #

      Some really interesting points there. I’d like to comment on a few of them,if nothing else maybe it will stimulate debate…
      Re. “Vokes , etc, caused mayhem in midfield last night, because Diagouraga gave him too much space”. As much as I like Diagouraga and admire him for the fact he gives 100%, no matter what, the harsh reality is that, if we are going to take things to the next level, he’ll need to be upgraded as he gives the ball away way to often for a player at this level. If we get a good offer, I think we should sell.
      Re. “Smith looked agonised, from the outset, in contrast to the contorted visage of the hectoring , corncrake-voiced Dyche. The latter has the aggressive bully in him, a skin of rhino, a ruthless character, which contrasts with the much more likeable and kindly nature of our manager; note the lack of aggression in the one to ones, that Maxime Colin refers to, in his post-match comments.” That comes across to me as a criticism of Smith. I don’t agree. Manager’s with a bullying style tend to get results in the short term, but it usually goes wrong in the end as players get fed up with them. Intelligent well thought out comment achieves way more in the long term, as long as a manager with that ability is given the chance to let the qualities shine through. this takes time.
      Re. “Middlesbrough showed the Bees, yet again, how to grind out a win; something should have been learned from previous encounters.” Agreed, but this is Smith’s first game against them. I think I’d be right in saying we’ve had 3 different managers in our last 3 games against them. It would be nice if we had someone behind the scenes bringing continuity who would be pointing the lessons out, but clearly we don’t. That’s not Smith’s fault though.
      Re. “perhaps we needed a Steve Evans.” Please tell me you are joking!
      Re. “Only a desperate man, would behave in such a crazed and foolish manner, as he has”. Agreed. Or a badly advised man…maybe by an agent sensing a payday?
      Re “(and it is striking that our cracking player, Jota, is rumoured to be suffering from emotional and family issues)”. From what has been said I think Jota’s issue is completely unrelated to football, so I don’t think this is a fair comparison.
      Re. “so let the fellow go, a sap.” Harsh, but true.
      Re. “Among the many and no doubt , expensive departments created , under the new regime at BFC, perhaps the pastoral care of players needs to be attended to.” The evidence of the poor showing of most of our foreign signings suggest this may well be true. It’s noticeable (to me, at least) that the English signings tend to play a hell of a lot better.
      Re. “I noticed that”Mr” (sic), Benham, was not wearing any visible club colours last night.” So what?
      Re. “The US baseball operation he has gone for, does not work here, because we are a much smaller country, with far fewer teams to draw on for the replacements for the sold-on good players.” Yet the evidence suggests that plenty of suitable players are out there in the lower leagues: Jamie Vardy, Troy Deeney, Andre Grey…James Tarkowski…

      • Roderic January 16, 2016 at 3:11 pm #

        Thanks for your responses to my comments; I described the contrast between Smith and Dyche, simply as an observational exercise, it wasn’t criticism, it was striking how Dyche, who I personally dislike, was exuding bullish confidence throughout, while Smith looked subdued and unhappy. Colin did emphasise the lack of combat by BFC and that they would thus not win games. I never state that bullying is a good way of managership, it was a comment on Dyche’s inner personality, in contrast to Smith.
        If the great manager, Mr Warburton, had not been obliged to move on, we would not be in a growing crisis, we would not have had 3 further men in the new, toothless role , of “head coach”, we would have entered this season, strong, a settled team and with high morale; that could have led to the marvellous satisfaction of mastering dour Middlesborough.
        Steve Evans actually has a pretty good track record; he obtained two promotions for cash strapped Crawley Town FC, to League One, had two excellent FA Cup runs, including Beating Derby County and almost getting a draw at Man Utd, in a terrific game, where Crawley’s Brodie hit the bar in the 93rd minute.
        Rotherham, two consecutive promotions, then keeping them in the Championship; now he is working under extremely difficult conditions, with an eccentric owner hanging the Damocles sword over his head; Leeds are not far behind BFC.
        I clearly said that Jota has personal issues; I was speculating that this might also be the case with “Tarks”, we just do not know and his behaviour is so outlandish, he must be very upset.
        I think it is not unreasonable to expect that an owner should show his colours, especially one that boasts of his lifelong support for the club.
        The baseball method is not readily transferable; football is a subjective art, unpredictable, fluid, there are no limits on what can occur in a game. Baseball, is an objective science, play is rigid and codified, the minutiae of the game, is calculable, which is not so with football. Even if it works, which I do not think it does in terms of player recruitment, any theoretical advantage to be gained from the system, will be washed away, as other teams switch to counter. I do not think the scouting system was based on blind prejudice , or emotion, it was done by wise and experienced old players, who could spot a budding talent at the lower levels, with simple common sense to hone their decisions. Were the players in your list, picked via the system,or traditional scouting? If we move to a sensible combination of the parts that work, then all to the good, I do not oppose progress as long as the testing process to see if the stats approach works, are gradually tried out, not imposed and thereby driving out a great manager, and as long as it does not result in failure. BFC is not a test bed for an individual’s vanity.

  3. Andy Gardner January 16, 2016 at 1:11 pm #

    As a claret fan I feel for you. What Tarkowski did was pathetic and goes against the ethics of how the game should be run. We had the same at the start of the season with Shackell and you have every right to feel both angry and let down. Personally I’m now very unsure as to whether I’d want him at Turf Moor but that’s just my thoughts.

    • michaelosullivanuk January 16, 2016 at 1:39 pm #

      I agree totally. Says very bad things about his level of professionalism. Hopefully he’ll move on. Good luck for the rest of the season.

  4. Michael O'Sullivan (michaelo) January 16, 2016 at 3:37 pm #

    Hi Roderic,
    Not too sure how the players I mentioned were scouted, but agree completely with your points re. Warburton. Losing him and his veto has cost us dearly. I believe we were using a stats model when he was at the club, but the manager having a veto was vital in my opinion.
    Re your other points – fair comment, though we’ll have to agree to disagree re Evans!
    Have a good weekend.
    Michael

  5. Bernard Quackenbush (@BernardQuack) January 16, 2016 at 4:58 pm #

    With Dallas, Odubajo & Andre all wanting out and sold in the summer. Hogan, Bjelland & McLeod all no shows so far this season. And now in January, Jota – gone, Tarky – out, Toums – about to go, Judge – likely to go. An injury crisis early season where we had more players injured than fit. Add in 3 changes in manager, and behind the scenes changes through the whole club.

    Yet we sit comfortably mid table.

    Brentford a clearly a club of resilience. Our facilities, size of support and spending power suggest, and on top of that all the issues listed above, we should be clear relegation fodder. Yet, we sit comfortably mid table.

    Yes, we are having a winter of discontent, but lets not forget the performance v Boro. Whose to say we cannot start picking up points again. With rumours that George Evans is about to sign, we will shortly be starting another new chapter in our rollercoaster relationship with the Championship

    • nickbruzon January 16, 2016 at 6:14 pm #

      The amount of trauma we’ve endured , yet still be where we are, beggars belief.
      One thing you can be sure of, things haven’t been quiet at Brentford these last few seasons.

      Rollercoaster is the word, for sure

  6. Gordonbankole January 16, 2016 at 7:43 pm #

    Last night was a throwback to the Dijkhuizen era. Totally overrun in the first half, restore a bit of pride in the second. That isn’t good enough, no matter what was happening behind the scenes, so let’s not get too overexcited by the second half performance, although at least we had a right go at them.

    These ridiculous parachute payments are f***ing us well and truly, and added to stupidity like selling Dallas (who would absolutely walk in our team right now) and the pathetic recruitment last summer, we are in deep poo as soon as the squad is at all stretched. Like it is now. We went forward so far under Carsley but have gone back several steps in the last two weeks. Dean Smith must have thought he’d won the lottery when he joined, but right now he might well be questioning his decision to join us.

    Our priorities now must be to hit 50 points as soon as possible and get the planning right for next season.

    Finally, it’s time for Josh MacEachran to step up to the plate in my view. He was our marquee signing last summer and of course his injury was a big blow, but he should be over this now and he really needs to step up to the plate – someone needs to replace Douglas and I’m led to believe he was meant to be the man to do this.

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