Three things to look ahead to in the near future

29 Jan

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.

Screen Shot 2016-01-29 at 06.19.53

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.

Screen Shot 2016-01-29 at 06.19.34

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.

Nick Bruzon

10 Responses to “Three things to look ahead to in the near future”

  1. Derek Block January 29, 2016 at 9:23 am #

    Good article Nick – Yes, that Rhys Williams is full of himself, isn’t he?

  2. Mike January 29, 2016 at 10:42 am #

    Quite agree about the lack of professionalism. We are all entitled to an opinion (mine differs from yours) & nobody should try dismissing such by ridicule; it implies very ‘bitchy’, intolerant, & controlling tendancies. Obviously we can’t influence management, &, therefore, direction, but we all have views &, thankfully, your column doesn’t tow the ‘party line’. It’s sad that some readers have taken your comments & observations so personally.

  3. RebelBee January 29, 2016 at 11:46 am #

    It is part of a football fans DNA to enjoy a moan, we are sometimes irrational and quite often harsh in our views – hardly a revelation that is it? Most of us have supported BFC through the very dark days of Noades and Webb, yes many of us do feel truly optimistic about the future under MB, but this is tinged with some ingrained skepticism. Were we not like this we’d possibly be playing conference football at Woking by now!

    Having read your blog for some time now I would not describe you as a moaner or as negative about our club – there are extremes on both sides of opinion, I think your views are generally moderate and balanced. Some of the stick you’ve received recently is surprising and over the top imo. And clearly some have more of an inside view on BFC than I do, i’m the great unwashed. I see the words “Project BFC” – and there it is right there, do keep prodding because it brings some things into the open that need airing.

    In my limited brain I like to separate the team and the club, and I have my ever changing opinion on events off and on the pitch. Until recently I’ve been critical of our player recruitment, lately I’ve seen signs that we may have got a few more things right than i’d originally thought. Happy to concede some ground on this and will be more supportive in the future based on real evidence.

    As we progress and grow as a club, it is right that fans have some input as to what type of club we become. Old schoolers like me will have to accept some uncomfortable changes, for the good of the club. But there are some areas that justify scrutiny, any skepticism is often fuelled by a lack of decent top level communication and PR. This is key area of debate – some fans will say that MB doesn’t need to say anything and that we should not feel “entitled” to more information that we currently get. I disagree, it needn’t be so difficult surely & it doesn’t need to come form MB, he has senior people around him.

    As for FCM,i’m with you, good luck to MB, and fair play to them for what’s been achieved. But that’s it for me, “sister” club, no thanks, tickets to games, no thanks, half and half “merch” – no thanks, and Cliff Crown’s regular FCM updates – not for me, maybe a bit more BFC stuff would be welcome 1st?

  4. Rob January 29, 2016 at 2:39 pm #

    I personally agree with a lot of what you say Nick! We’ve got a lot of things right and have moved forward as a club in the last 3 / 4 years, but I think where we continue to let ourselves down as a club is in the communication stakes. Conflicting statements and/or badly thought out ones which can infer something different need more rigorous interrogation.
    We need more of the Phil Giles eloquent thoughtful and insightful statements, and less of the vague and misleading ones that have manifested themselves over the last 18month or so (i.e. Warbs, Tarkowski, Marinus etc etc etc!).
    Even if it’s not true make it plausible! (Tarks could easily have been “injured” in the warmup). It will save people like us rightly or wrongly coming to conclusions by questioning what has been officially put out there.

  5. Spanish Bee January 29, 2016 at 2:41 pm #

    Supporting a football club in the lower leagues is being one half of a very emotional relationship, you have your ups and downs, good times and bad times, but you never turn your back entirely. It is not the same as any other commercial relationship or the same as supporting a top team. I have been supporting Brentford for about 60 years, and if they were a normal commercial company (or a woman), I would have left them decades ago.

    The fact that your excellent blog is sometimes critical and sometimes not, seems to me totally normal for any relationship. It would be extremely boring, lack credibility, and nobody would read it if this were not so. A social media attack by somebody employed by the club is a confirmation of the club’s weakest point. The communications and relationship management with the fans is poor. Fortunately, because of our history, the fan base is die hard, but it is definitely something that needs to be improved going forward. They really have to try much harder to understand the fan and put them at the centre of the club. We have improved, but there is a long way to go.

    • Rob January 29, 2016 at 3:36 pm #

      Agreed…especially as one of the medium to longer term goals is to expand the fanbase

    • D Gray January 29, 2016 at 11:24 pm #

      It’s probably an abusive relationship.

  6. Bernard Quackenbush (@BernardQuack) January 29, 2016 at 5:09 pm #

    Another article where I agree pretty much on most things.

    I also think Matthew Miles has got it spot on. I think this season’s results have been pretty outstanding with everything that has gone on off the pitch.

    Fascinating to see the quotes aimed at you from someone in Comms at the club.

    You quoted him as saying

    “..mine (opinion) is that you moan too much about everything and miss the bigger picture’.

    Well whose fault is that then? Surely as someone who works in Comms it is actually his job to inform us all what the ‘bigger picture’ is and that he is by his own admittance failing in what he is paid to do if we do not know what the bigger picture is!

    For a club that is so ambitious to get to the Premier League we are very much in the Ryman League with our Comms. Except for BeesPlayer…not being able to make the Leeds game and no internet stream, I listened to the BeesPlayer commentary and what an absolute joy it was to listen to Mark Burridge & Mick Cabble, not forgetting Greville’s half time comments/rant. More of that please!

  7. Gordonbankole January 29, 2016 at 6:53 pm #

    Not the first time someone employed by the club has picked a fight with fans, is it not?! I was surprised to see the name of the guilty party – my money was firmly on another person.

    • nickbruzon January 29, 2016 at 7:04 pm #

      If I were a betting man, the chap I’d have expected to ‘throw the toys’ would have been different too

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