Killer Owls slaughter Bees in a Valentine’s massacre

14 Feb

Brentford fell to a second straight defeat as Sheffield Wednesday inflicted a 4-0 thrashing on the 10 man Bees. Following last week’s reverse at Brighton, this made it 7(seven) goals against without reply as we were left dead in the water after referee Scott Duncan showed straight red shown to Yoann Barbet in just the fifth minute.

In a repeat of the corresponding home game earlier in the season, Lucas João grabbed a last minute winner. This time, though, there was no question as to who deserved the points. The encounter at Griffin Park may have seen things end with a hard fought 2-1 in favour of the visitors but yesterday’s result was one which, if we are being honest, they’ll probably be disappointed not to have ended with a bracketing.

If we’re being equally honest, their cause was massively helped by the sending off. Barbet was adjudged to have brought down Gary Hooper with the Wednesday player clean through on goal after running onto a long ball over the top (sound familiar?). It may have been Valentine’s weekend but this was one card that Yoann won’t have wanted to receive. I’ve watched it and rewatched it yet my own opinion remains wooly.

Undoubtedly, the Brentford man has raised a hand to Hooper’s shoulder, to which the striker needed no further invitation to go straight down. Was it a professional foul? Was the reaction exaggerated? Who knows. Certainly not the ref and one can sympathise with Dean Smith’s assertion that, “I don’t believe the referee can make the decision. I think he guessed. He’s directly behind it, 40 yards away. I thought it was a poor decision.”

yoann-scarf-4x3277-2506113_478x359

Yoann Barbet – his sending off left Dean Smith seeing red

Put it this way. Had the same thing happened at Griffin Park, we’d have been baying for blood and a red card. There’d have been uproar had it not been given. That said, the ref had enough time to think about it – such was the length he had to run in order to flourish his card – so could at least have consulted his linesman and used any available help to make a potentially game changing decision.

Guess or not, Hooper had been in a great position and with the Bees forced into a rejig (Jack O’Connell coming on for the recalled Konstantin Kerschbaumer) parity lasted until just the 12th minute. Fernando Forestieri’s header giving the hosts an early lead.

Hooper doubled it with a great strike after a long ball over the top (sound familiar?). Goalkeeper Keiren Westwood claiming the assist for that one as Hooper ignored the presence of Jack O’Connell to fire home with a sweet first touch. It was a cracking strike and deserving of all plaudits – such was the technique and precision employed.

It was game over just before half time. A long ball over the top (sound familiar?) reached Kieran Lee in the box. The Wednesday midfielder bamboozled Harlee Dean whose non-challenge was, at best, an attempt to jump into his opponent after Jack O’Connell had been beaten for the cross in.

Yet despite a marginally better second-half showing from the Bees , it was Sheffield Wednesday who would eventually extend the lead further. A long ball threaded through the midfield (hey, at least it wasn’t over the top) found Lucas João. With Jack and Harlee ambling (now there’s an idea for a Partridge TV show – “Ambling with Jack and Harlee”), David Button could only help push it into his own net and will, perhaps, be disappointed with that one.

4-0. Game over. Ouch.

Not even Mark Burridge can salvage this one

There is one school of thought that would suggest the referee ruined this one. The Bees had been the stronger team in the opening spell before it became 10 against 11 and were left with no hope from that point. True enough, but to be cut open so easily and so consistently was nothing but shambolic. Blame the ref, absolutely, but we need to look inwards too. Certainly, we gave our opponents a huge helping hand with what could politely be called ‘schoolboy defending’.

Likewise, take nothing away from Wednesday. They are where they are on merit and will present a major threat to anybody with play-off aspirations. Certainly those are aspirations that Brentford can no longer harbour – even Ciaran Brett from the club media team admitted during the game that those pre-match claims had been “optimistic” .

So what of the Bees? Our current form is starting to worry and the current statistical trend doesn’t make great reading. We’ve only scored 6 goals in our last 8 games – and 3 of those came up at Preston, our only win all year. Indeed, yesterday’s result means we’ve lost 6 out of our last 8 matches whilst the ‘winning run’ stretches to 5 out of 18.

With the top of the table out of reach, and Brentford now occupying 13th, should we be worried about the other end? It sounds ludicrous to even mention such an option and a 14 point gap (combined with ’less bad’ goal difference) should be too much with 15 games to go.

post SW table bbc

The BBC table shows us firmly ensconced mid-table. For now

More, its just disappointing to see the great work put in by Lee Carsley and the squad, where we were within spitting distance of the top 6 after the disaster of ‘The Marinus Experiment’, now falling away amidst further departures and a poor run of results.

Nobody has a divine right to be any good. Nobody has a divine right to promotion. Nobody stays up by default. You need to work at these things and earn them. We did so much of that last season and absolutely deserved what we got, despite a team that many suggested were ‘punching above their weight’. Personally, I thought such a suggestion to be disrespectful. We were a team that thrived on spirit and skill who could, arguably should, even have gone one better.

Now we have made the decision to dismantle and rebuild. On-field, the transfer policy that is being driven by our co-directors of football is certainly open to debate. I get that money talks and we can’t force players who don’t want to stay to remain here. Likewise, many talk about this being a longer term strategy to keep us financially viable until the Lionel Road stadium is able to be built.

All true. Yet few could deny that the change in morale, motivation and performance make this seem a world away from where we were 12 months ago. For those football fans whose week is based around the last result and looking forward to the following game (surely the point of going?), it’s a tough place to be at present.

The next few weeks, let alone the next few months, are going to be very interesting indeed.

Nick Bruzon

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7 Responses to “Killer Owls slaughter Bees in a Valentine’s massacre”

  1. Bernard Quackenbush (@BernardQuack) February 14, 2016 at 9:29 am #

    I think you get it pretty spot again. Granted I have only seen highlights and had the BeesPlayer commentary but our defence were caught out over and over again. Why are we always being caught out by the ball over the top? Surely defending this should be a priority on the training pitch. You would have thought with all the coaches we have someone would know how to prevent this.

    I am also concerned with the assertion from some at the club that we are ‘rebuilding’ for next season. Perhaps the DoF’s should tell Dean Smith that who still seems to be aiming for what, I dont know. The way we play is built around Alan Judge. We can be pretty sure he wont be here next season. He must also be wondering whether he should fire his agent after the last couple of weeks! If Judge wont be here next season, why are our tactics there for his benefit? We have 3 fit strikers, who clearly struggle to play the lone role. Both the Hoff & Vibe have flourished in their pre-Brentford days as part of a 2 up top. If they are to be here next season is it not time to change tactics and play 4-4-2? It may even help Judge considering Ireland usually play with 2 up top.

    One final note, yesterday was difficult to bear on BeesPlayer. Our performance sounded abject at best, but we had to put up with Ciaran Brett’s expert commentary. It was painful to listen to. I do wonder if the colour pundits on the away broadcasts are a cunning ploy by the club to get supporters to go to the away matches to avoid listening to it. Im sure Mr Brett would admit he is not a natural for radio,

    • nickbruzon February 14, 2016 at 10:34 am #

      Thanks BQ – don’t let absence from the game deny you any right to an opinion. We’ve all got eyes and there are extensive highlights out there already.
      As for the ‘expert commentary’, look positive. At least we were spared his usual partner in editorial crime. It means that 50% of what you heard (the Mark B stuff) was decent compared to the usual 33&1/3%.

      • Bernard Quackenbush (@BernardQuack) February 14, 2016 at 4:22 pm #

        How true about BeesPlayer. I can really understand why @RoxethMyLord gets really annoyed by poor commentary. It can actually be done well. In the game v Leeds I had the pleasure of listening to Mark B alongside Mick Cabble, with Greville’s forthright H/T analysis. Proof that it can be done really well.

  2. Richard Nabarro (NAB 1) February 14, 2016 at 11:25 am #

    The next four games are against teams that are struggling like us: Derby, Wolves, Rotherham and Charlton, although Derby and Wolves are hardly small fry at any time. If we can take 8 points from those, then the R word should be off the agenda this year, but I can’t help think at the moment that we can end up kick starting the season of all four if we lose the lot.

  3. Stevie February 14, 2016 at 1:28 pm #

    Hi all I’m a Wednesday fan and was there sat we didn’t play well in the second half to how we have been playing you guys will be fine you are not the worse side we have seen down here this season by far and if he hadn’t have got sent off I think you would have give us a game however that’s football good luck for the rest of the season and a big well done to the brave 150 or so for making the trip on a freezing south Yorkshire day

    • RebelBee February 14, 2016 at 2:46 pm #

      We had 450 odd there mate, many didn’t travel over the prices and most that did come went to the boozer at HT. I lasted a bit longer but bailed before the 4th went in.

      Well done on your win & yes it was proper freezing.

  4. paulbee February 15, 2016 at 4:25 pm #

    Hello Nick-good article as usual, always a good read and informative.

    Ref Saturday for me the issue is our over re-action as a team when something bad happens and the red on Saturday was no exception. Why is it such a disaster when just one player gets sent off? The other 9 outfield players just have to work 10 per cent harder! We were all told that at school to deal with set backs and thats what happens in everyday life ‘just get on with it’ ! For Dean Smith to make such utterances about poor refereeing was disingenuous and a cheap cop out- the fact is we did not respond well and its happened before. Surely its all about ‘bottle’ and showing the opposition that ‘this small set back’ won’t phase us and we will be stronger. Heads down and hands on hips just sends the wrong message. ! There moan over , now for the good stuff : we will not be fighting relegation and i predict a final points haul of between 67 to 72 which should be good enough for 10th to 14th place-not a disaster. Ref Dean Smith, my brother is a Walsall supporter ( someone has to be) and says it had taken Smith 4 years to build Walsall to where they were prior to his leaving. There were times that he probably faced the sack as they could just not win a game for ages during the building and transition stage but the board believed in him-and boy he came through. Yes we have been knocked back but some of the core is still there in development etc. so my guess is we will start to see improvements later this season and about ten games into next season when we will have the addition of new blood to the older heads much greater improvement.

    On a general note all i ever want is for our team to try hard and ‘die’ for us fans and the club and Chairman.Some players just don’t do that regularly enough for me-it takes me sometimes nearly 3 hours to attend the game and feel cheated that i have tried hard to get to G.P. then the players should also try hard and give their . Not much to ask. !

    Anyway Bees forever and it WILL come good.

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