This week really has been interminable. The spate of 3 games in 6 days that culminated in our number 26 having his hissy fit prior to the Burnley game on Friday , seem nothing but a distant memory. The trip to Preston and follow up with Leeds United still seem an eternity away whilst, in between all of that of course, Jota has returned to Spain with Eibar.
Whilst the Jota move is a loan, part of me can’t help but think we’ve seen the last of the talismanic Spaniard. 18 months back in his homeland, with the addition of family life thrown in, could be a huge draw and prove too much for a return to TW8. Then again, if the Bees are pushing for the top flight (or even there already, you never know…) could that be the additional catalyst required ?
The club have only ever shown themselves as honourable when dealing with players in tricky situations – see also Scott Hogan as a recent example and his contract extension, despite being gripped by a career threatening injury. Their release of Jota shows that same understanding and, one hopes, we all reap the rewards of this when it comes to the start of the 2017/18 season.
And the reason for further mention of Jota is twofold. Firstly, this whole business with Talksport shock-jock Adrain Durham (I always thought that was the alter ego of children’s entertainer ‘The Great Soprendo’ – kids, ask your dads).
I’ve deliberately not given him the oxygen of publicity these last few days following his indefensible, erm, defence of Brentford centre back number 26. Beesotted have nailed it, anyway, but for me it’s left a somewhat desperate taste in the mouth.
Secondly, the contrast with the way Jota has handled himself still just feels too raw. Moreso, when pictures of the still popular Spaniard (I see Bees fans already planning trips to see Eibar take on Barcelona in March) have now appeared in his new kit.
It’s going to be an interesting dilemma as to what Dean Smith, Matthew Benham, Phil Giles and Rasmus do in regards to the centre back situation. Cash in or let him rot? Or could there even be a Trottaesque second chance?
I loved it when Marcello came back. Despite how sensitive everybody, quite understandably, felt about the situation after ‘that penalty’, here was a man with a point to prove. And boy, did he prove it ! With the Italian just this week signing for Serie A club Sassuolo there’s no chance we’ll be seeing him again any time soon but I still have fond memories about what he did at Griffin Park.
Could Harlee’s partner achieve the same status?
No. In a word.
The only thing he’ll do is rebrand himself as the new Martin Rowlands. Too much damage has been done. At least with Trotta it was ‘heat of the moment’ and the chance of glory being seized by a young striker. This was cold, calculated and deliberate.
Talking to Gerhard, landlord at The Griffin on Tuesday, he put forward the suggestion of naming him as a substitute against Leeds. Unused, of course. Make him warm up pre-game and walk out with the team. Walk across the pitch and even have to run up and down the touchline. See how he and the fans react just so he can truly understand the depth of feeling in what has happened. But don’t bring him on.
Could we see this? Allowing him to take any part in playing action will be the worst message possible to send out. What happens next could be very telling.
And finally, yesterday saw the ten year anniversary of something fantastic. Not the release of the first Arctic Monkeys album but a decade since Bees United took control of the club from Ron Noades. Again, a subject I chose not to write about but for totally different reasons.
Having served on the BU board at the time that members agreed to let Matthew Benham assume ownership, it felt a bit awkward now jumping on top of their own moment and good news. Besides, as with Beesotted on striking centre backs, the club have done a much better job than I could ever hope to do so – as anybody with even half an eye on social media would testify.
So instead I’ll simply offer my congratulations and huge thanks to David Merritt, Donald Kerr, the rest of the BU board and of course the members – all of whom have played their part in keeping this club alive in one of our darkest hours.
I really hope people understand how hard everyone worked to get this club on the path to where it is today. I hate to think what would have happened without this action.
It’s a shame some of our playing staff don’t share the same attitude towards this club.
Bees United, THANK YOU !!!