With no game for Brentford this weekend thanks to the Leeds United fixture being brought forward, perhaps it’s time for some reflection No, please. Stay with me.
I’ve used this page to voice some quite strong feelings on several subjects in the last few weeks. The strength of the team relative to last season. The situation surrounding James Tarkowski (especially in the immediate aftermath of the Burnley game, prior to his own comments that subsequently seemed to contradict those of the club). The general vibe around the club when it comes to off-field matters. The ongoing promotion of FCM through club channels although, to be fair, the half-time parade v Walsall still annoys me an awful lot more than a chance to visit Old Trafford. Indeed, responses to yesterday’s piece on that topic were, genuinely, very interesting. And mixed.
After over 700 columns here, along with five years of writing in the programme (an ongoing hobby which is great that the club can facilitate and are happy to use), I’d like to think I’m generally ‘pro-Bees’. I’m not scared to say what I think and if the opinions of one fan can sometimes upset people then I do sympathise. But it won’t stop me.
Certainly, one recent column seems to have sent part of the GPG into meltdown (I know, I was surprised too). I’ve got no issue with this, quite the opposite. Fellow supporters like myself have every right to voice their own opinions – preferably backed up with a counter suggestion rather than simple name calling but, I guess, we’ve all got different styles.
Yesterday’s social media attack from somebody employed by the club was, I felt, a little bit unprofessional. And needless.
Absolutely , say your piece, But there’s no need to resort to petty jibes such as:
“If moaning visibly & often about everything is the definition then you’re the best football fan I know” and
“..mine (opinion) is that you moan too much about everything and miss the bigger picture’.
There were more, but you get that particular picture. All for having the temerity to sometimes voice an opinion that he and his employer might disagree with.
Which brings me full circle back to the point about ‘off-field vibe’. Nobody’s opinion is any more / less valid than anybody else’s. But cheap cracks and school yard insults in a public environment show just how wrong we continue to get it. Social Media, rather than an official club forum, isn’t a ‘get out clause’ when people are so easily identifiable with the team we all support – and advertise their role on the same platform.
Good comms are so easy. Give it a try, you might enjoy it.
Which, in a very longwinded way, brings me around to the main thrust of today’s article. I put it out on Twitter last night, ‘What to write about today?’ and the following suggestion, from Matthew Miles, was the first response.
Nice idea, which I’m going to put a slight spin on. Three things to look forward to. Of course, mine may very from yours, but in no particular order….
Firstly, as Matthew says, a rosey future awaits. Whatever my thoughts on the strength of the team relative to last campaign and our recent form (4 wins in the last 13 games), nobody can deny we remain 10th in the Championship table. That’s still a fantastic achievement if we can consolidate it. The likes of Yoann Barbet and Maxime Colin are really looking like stars of the present, let alone the future, and are the absolute standouts from the huge influx of new players – not all of whom have hit the ground running quite so easily, if we’re being honest.
If, and it is a huge if, we can hang on to the likes of Alan Judge, David Button and the entire defence (not to mention a certain Mr Saunders – don’t got to the States, terrible weather) then this team has a great base to start from next season.
Next up, and linked to that subject, Alan Judge. With just a few days to go until the transfer window officially ‘slams shut’ is there a chance we could actually keep him? Whilst the rumours have been circulating for weeks, all has now gone quiet on that front. Not even the ever-reliable Beesotted (the best font of knowledge before things become ‘official’) are talking up a potential departure. Of course, now is the squeakiest point of ‘squeaky bum’ time but the psychological impact of hanging onto a player of this nature who still has time on his contract can’t be underestimated.
Finally, Kitman Bob Oteng ! I’m loving his Twitter activity – and if you don’t follow him you should. Fast.
For all I’ve complained we don’t always hit the mark ‘off field’, this is one area where Brentford most definitely lead the pack and brush all competitors to one side.
His regular player kit ‘giveaways’, for getting the correct scorer, number of corners or something more fiendish are fast becoming the stuff of legend. Just yesterday, one lucky fan picked up Alan Judge’s boots and Jota’s shirt.
And next Friday, against Brighton, it looks like we have something very interesting lined up.
When our club get it right (and I still have a son who worships Buzz Bee after the fantastic ‘Junior Bees’ Christmas event) it makes me so proud to support them.
Here’s to an ongoing and rosey future.