Bees left following the Seagulls as Brighton win TV clash. So what next?

6 Feb

Well, if anybody doesn’t think the business end of the season hasn’t already been and gone for Brentford then I’d happily meet them. I’m still desperate for us to do as well as we can but I’m also realistic. Last night’s 3-0 tonking by Brighton was (the first half particularly) pretty hard to swallow. Dean Smith’s post match comment that: “We have 16 games and 48 points to play for, while there is still an opportunity to make the Play-Offs we will go for it” was, I suppose, obligatory but he’s not fooling anybody. Nice though the sentiment was, 1 win out of the last 7 (seven) and 5 out of the last 17 is nowhere near play-off form .

Brighton fully deserved their win. That’s it. Take nothing away from them despite what was a particularly off-key performance from the Bees. One shot on target all game tells its own tale whilst several players looked particularly sloppy.

Swift doing his drunk propeller impression again and Josh going rogue as the cross for the second goal was delivered (“he might aswell not be there” being the subsequent pundits view). Harlee might question himself over the first two whilst, but for the crossbar, he’d have skyed a goal line clearance into the back of the net. Even Sam looked off the pace in this one.

I could go on but we all know what happened. Given the calamitous off-field season we’ve had – three head coaches (technically four, given Lee Carsley retired after Forest only to come back for a one game second stint v Bolton); the pitch debacle; losing/selling the vast majority of the team that took us to fifth last season – to still be 10th in the Championship is a fantastic achievement from one respect.

But if wanting to build on last season’ performances and questioning the haemorraging of those that performed such miracles makes me a bad person (as certain fansites would seem to believe) then I can’t do anything about that.

You don’t need a match report- I can’t imagine there were many who weren’t there or didn’t see it on TV. As ever, Beesotted, the BBC and the club are the places to go.

That said, in the case of the ‘official site’ I’d question their assertion that “the scoreline may have been a little harsh on a Brentford team that dominated possession for long stages.” In football, holding on to the ball for 65% of the game counts for naff all if you can’t get more than one shot on target or put it in the back of the net. Certainly, Brighton managed it three times !

Screen Shot 2016-02-06 at 08.08.33

‘Official’ Facebook tried to end it early, mid-game. Sadly, it finished 3-0

The other thing to remember is that regardless of whether we agree with the changes or methods being employed, this is our team. I’d still come along if we were in the Ryman Premier league.

Of paramount importance from this point in is how we perform over the coming months in preparation for next season. We have a lot of relatively new faces who are finding their feet and still bedding in. Some of those have really impressed early on; others have shown form in patches.

Which amongst those are going to be able to keep their places next campaign, vindicating the recruitment policies of Rasmus and Phil, and who will be deemed ‘a statistical experiment too far’ ?

Lewis Macleod finally appeared in a Brentford shirt whilst Sam Saunders (who up until last night had been on fire in recent weeks) has signed a year’s extension to his contract. The likes of Ryan Woods, Max Colin and Yoann Barbet have all shown their potential whilst Alan Judge is going to be a key man for somebody next season – hopefully the Bees.

Screen Shot 2016-02-06 at 08.00.23

There was good news about Sam in the morning

I don’t subscribe to the ‘little old Brentford’ theory. Just because, outside of TW8, we’ve been nothing more than a blip on the football radar over the last sixty years doesn’t mean that now we’ve taken our place amongst the game’s bigger names we shouldn’t aspire to equal them or continue pushing ourselves. Big names and big reputations count for nothing. They certainly shouldn’t be feared. Just looks at QPR (4 points behind us) and Fulham ( 12 points adrift of the Bees).

We’re going to have good times and we’re going to have bad times. I’d love us to keep up with the high velocity progression but, equally, given what has happened over the summer there is an obvious need to consolidate. That’s what I thought we’d do with last season’s team – bolt on to that side and ‘go again’. Instead, it has been almost a complete rebuild and so to still be in 10th IS a huge achievement from that respect.

It may not always feel like it as we saw last night. The trick Matthew Benham’s people now face is that fine balancing act between starting afresh from the Championship and undoing what we’ve done these last few seasons. ‘The model’ is still very much being called into question by some whilst the success being achieved North of the border by Warbs is reminder of what we’ve achieved recently.

It isn’t going to get any easier. A trip to Sheffield Wednesday then home games against Derby and Wolves are next up for the Bees. Then again, I wouldn’t want it to get any easier. Testing ourselves against two teams pushing for the play offs and then the side that have been one of our main rivals in recent seasons is what it’s all about. Disappointing though last night was, the next game is only a week away. It certainly makes a change from playing the likes of Yeovil and Doncaster.

As a final thought – Keith Stroud. What can you say? He only made two bookings all night and that for Brighton ‘keeper David Stockdale seemed to confuse most of us. Even by his own whistle happy standards, there were a mere 24 fouls called.

This stat, amongst all, is the one most Brentford fans (goals aside) were interested in. Kitman Bob giving away three, yes three, pairs of player boots for whoever called that number correctly. My own 31 being somewhat off the pace as Keith had a relatively restrained game.

At least, by his standards.

Nick Bruzon

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9 Responses to “Bees left following the Seagulls as Brighton win TV clash. So what next?”

  1. Gordonbankole February 6, 2016 at 8:21 am #

    Nick – If I am not mistaken you are only echoing the words of a certain motivational speaker from Denmark when you mention building on last season’s achievements. Unfortunately these inspirational words (let’s add the stuff about being stronger after every transfer window to the mix too) have not been backed up by subsequent events and performances on the field. Personally I’d say his predecessor did a much better job and the current bloke should be reflecting on his own performance.

    I understand our limitations as a club but some of what’s gone on over the last 12 months has been of our own making.

    Personally I just want to see us get those 50 points on the board and go again next season, hopefully having learnt a number of lessons from this one.

    • nickbruzon February 6, 2016 at 8:44 am #

      Thanks Gordon. In part , yes. Because that’s the situation he and the gang have put us in.

      I think I’ve said a lot more than just regurgitating his ‘motivation by numbers’.
      Last season’s team, which I’d have loved to be the one we are building in, has gone.
      Will he now push on or self-destruct?

      We’ve got no choice but to consolidate given our lack of anyone through the ‘in-door’. It might work. It might not. It all smacks of the odious word ‘project’ and some form of science experiment at times .
      I just hope some of his subjects can really prove their worth in the coming months

    • Roderic February 6, 2016 at 11:45 am #

      Well said; the main reason for the points achieved, was the press-ganged, but therefore , remarkable, performance by Carsley.
      The rest of the “cartel” running BFC, are useless; the SKy commentator for the game alluded, for the umpteenth time, to the opinion widely held by football pundits, that the self-destructive “policy” imposed on the club by the great man himself [ praise his name]deconstructed a great MANAGEMENT team [who had the ability to truly steer the ship to success] and has this season, thrown the heroes of last season, to the four winds; it was arrogant and the motivation, highly questionable. The real chance of pushing on this season, to the top, was sabotaged; this crew will never back down from their plotted course to probable obscurity.

      • Rosehill February 6, 2016 at 2:33 pm #

        If you would prefer to be watching Brentford in the National League that’s fair enough. I think most reasonable and fair-minded supporters prefer to be where we are in the Championship and that is thanks solely to Matthew Benham.

  2. John February 6, 2016 at 9:28 am #

    It is clear that a striker is needed. Although we did not create many chances last night, in previous games Vibe especially has had numerous and missed so many. I just hope Tom Bradshaw will arrive and if Judge goes, Vibe to play right wing/midfield.

    • nickbruzon February 6, 2016 at 9:38 am #

      Agreed. Vibe out wide would be infinitely preferable I feel. He’s just not a natural striker.
      Despite the much touted stat about our goal scoring ability relative to the rest of the league, it is a real shame we’ve been unable / unwilling to strengthen up top

  3. Bernard Quackenbush (@BernardQuack) February 6, 2016 at 12:02 pm #

    Dont get me wrong, last night was dreadful. No direction. No desire. No determination. No drive. No Plan B. But despite all that, that wasnt the thing that has concerned me most. It was Dean Smith’s comments after the game that he felt that the intensity in training was not good enough this week, and that carried over into the game. Why was this? Is there something fundamentally wrong at the club? Are there splits in the squad? Is there a Marinus situation occurring again? Clearly we were not ready for this game, and I am beginning to wonder about Smith’s ability.

    Something else the TV pundits talked about was our lack of ability to bring in anyone during the transfer window. The lift players like Knockaert & Sidwell gave to BHA was evident to see. Again questions should be asked as to what is happening at the club in what has been a poor year for player recruitment. I was fired down in flames on the GPG for suggesting that having staff at the club with shared roles with FCM was detrimental to our progress. I stand by that. We need people at the top devoting their time 100% to us.By all means Matthew can own 2 clubs, but they dont have to be personnel working for both. I really cant help but feel that our lack of activity in the transfer market owes a lot to a certain game at Old Trafford soon.

    • nickbruzon February 6, 2016 at 12:21 pm #

      How dare you voice an opinion on the GPG!! Tantamount to heresy. Death by abuse is the least you should expect.

      Tomorrow’s column – already thinking about it – may appeal. Along a lot of similar lines once you give the game a more ‘considered’ view.
      The training thing is just terrifying…

  4. RebelBee February 6, 2016 at 12:24 pm #

    We were awful last night, and that includes the individual performances and DS’s tactics. Just over a month ago we outplayed BHA and would’ve won had we recruited a striker able to put the ball in the net. Brighton aren’t special at all, but brushed us away with ease by allowing us all the possession we wanted, until we either gave the ball up cheaply or their physicality and tenacity took it from us. They were competent, direct and took their chances. We had loads of the ball and nothing meaningful was achieved with it, Flicky and lightweight all over the pitch, not to mention porous defensively – sound familiar?

    Despite always giving credit where it is due, and acknowledging MB’s incredible support, you are in the firing line from some for questioning quite where we are at right now. This blind faith ” be careful what you wish for” line is as lame as some of the totally over the top negativity on the other side of the debate. Keep doing what you are doing and don’t let their intolerance of reasonable of debate stop you.

    I’ll be a Hillsborough next week, I’ll go and support the bees as always, but I won’t pretend that I’m not worried about the team and the tactics, or expecting a similar result.

    One final point, the useless Stroud missed a stonewall pen for us, and that’s him on a good day!

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