Bees rediscover their midfield mojo in style

24 Feb

Well that was more like it. Brentford got back to winning ways last night, sweeping Wolves away in a 3-0 win that was every bit as comprehensive as it suggests . However, it wasn’t so much the scoreline as the manner of the victory which really impressed.

Sergi Canos and Alan Judge were rampant going forward whilst John Swift finally showed the potential he has been threatening. He, of all players, has come in for a lot of criticism in recent weeks (and rightly so, based on some of the ‘performances’) but that was infinitely better. Two goals (Canos getting the other) were due reward for a performance packed full of running, tricks and flicks. It just showed what the team can do when they are encouraged to advance with the ball and take it forwards.

Wolves, on the other hand, were abject. Sideways pass followed sideways pass across the back whilst the midfield had more holes than a Swiss cheese. It’s almost like they’d swapped place with Marinus era Brentford. Optimistic punts out to the flank, the opening passage aside, produced little threat whilst the returning George Saville was conspicuous by his lack of impact upon finally entering the field of play. He’d have been aswell trying his luck in a hotel car park as at Griffin Park, such was his lack of penetration.


George Saville prepares to play. Apparently

With no offence meant to anybody who travelled down from Molineux, Wolves didn’t provide the sternest test. Let’s not kid ourselves about that. Then again, you can only beat the team who are put out in front of you.

We went for it and were duly rewarded . The fans left happy and John Swift finally put in a performance worthy of his illustrious background . Nico Yennaris, in his customary right back berth due to the absent Max Colin, took another step towards proving all the doubters wrong whilst Ryan Woods very much enjoyed the freedom afforded to him in the midfield.

Indeed, Colin wasn’t the only Griffin Park regular absent last night. Despite no longer being suspended following his red card at Hillsborough, Yoann Barbet missed out to Jack O’Connell as the Bees kept their first clean sheet since the 0-0 with Brighton back on Boxing Day. Likewise Lewis Macleod who, whilst hardly a ‘regular’, looks as though he will be missing for another few weeks with an injury. I know, I was surprised too,

Dean Smith told waiting journalists afterwards that, “It was a really good performance matched by the result and a clean sheet too. We wanted to start on the front foot with three ball carriers and I thought we did that.”

Indeed we did. What a shame we haven’t tried / been able to do that more this season. That said, with the next two games against teams in the dropzone (Rotherham United and Charlton Athletic) there is an excellent chance to continue in this style .


View from the terrace – Swift and team celebrate our third goal

The irony of my own observation in yesterday’s column, saying , “Gone is the excitement, gone is the open attacking play, gone is the feeling that when we put our minds to it we could carve teams open for fun”.

Wow. Wasn’t that thrown back with some style? The big question is, can we do it again?

Brentford are now 17 points off the relegation zone and 11 away from the play off spots. Freed from the shackles of having to worry about either prospect, could we now see the team continue to play with a bit more freedom? Or was this just a flash in the pan? Here’s hoping for the former !

As a final note, was it Alan Partridge day in TW8? Both Dean Smith and Peter Gilham (on sparkling form, as ever, during Centre Circle Challenge) opted for an almost identikit 80’s suit trousers and Adidas tracksuit top combo in a look that was right out of the North Norfolk Digital DJ’s sport-casual range.

Where was the silver-badged black jacket seen on the likes of Mike Sullivan and Mark Chapman in the past? Is this a new club dress code? Or was it just the most sensible option in the cold (although, personally, I’d have just opted for a coat)? Then again even Marco Djuricin and John Swift both turned out in gloves.

Whilst normally one would suggest that if a footballer is cold, “just run a bit”,  on last night’s performance it would take the most churlish of individuals to find fault with the effort on display.

Here’s to doing it all again. And if gloves are what it takes, then let’s crack out the winter woolies.

Judge pic 2

Previous encounter – the summer fashions were ‘off limits’ last night


Nick Bruzon


8 Responses to “Bees rediscover their midfield mojo in style”

  1. Gerard Lyons (@gerardlyons) February 24, 2016 at 8:41 am #

    Good to see Swift and Canos on the scoresheet again, worrying though that it’s on-loan players hitting the net. It will leave yet more holes in the team when they’re pulled back to their clubs. Pritchard’s loss has been noticeable IMHO.

    On a pedantic note, “here’s hoping for the former”, surely?

    • nickbruzon February 24, 2016 at 8:46 am #

      Thanks very much for your observations. I guess the trick with loanees if whether we can sign them full time , as we have done previously with the likes of Forshae, Jake, Harlee. Although sadly not Marcello.
      As for pedantry, I’d call it more being a good editor. Thank you for that. Have updated accordingly

  2. Lew February 24, 2016 at 9:01 am #

    It was always worth remembering during out sticky patch that the fixtures were going to get easier (on paper, obviously). We can now hopefully go on a nice, confidence building run and put the dark days of January/February behind us. Wolves being woeful (no offence, Midlanders) certainly helped, but that was a much needed win and clean sheet. Hopefully now Dean Smith has realised our most effective line-up and will stick to it.

    Seeing as you’re taking editor’s notes, Nick I think the second ‘luck’ here should be a ‘lack’:
    “He may aswell have been trying his luck in a hotel car park as at Griffin Park, such was his luck of penetration.”

    • nickbruzon February 24, 2016 at 9:04 am #

      Cheers Lewis. Duly noted . 🙂

  3. RebelBee February 24, 2016 at 9:12 am #

    A good night for the coach, and to be fair also a better one for those in charge of recent player recruitment. Woods, Nico & Josh all played very well – as did the loanees.

    Pick the correct players and put them in the correct position and we saw what happens.

    Wolves were poor, and we don’t have a striker – but we are far from relegation fodder and do have some proper footballers who on their day can use the ball beautifully.

    So for me it is time for some perspective, we ain’t great and have gone backwards in a poorer division than last year, but there is still plenty to be thankful for and optimistic about.

    Now let’s ensure we do not not get battered at Rovrum & take some big points off our friendly neighbours.

  4. Charles Payne February 24, 2016 at 9:22 am #

    As ever a well written article – a shame though that you had to spoil it with an unnecessary sarcastic snipe about Lewis Macleod and his ongoing injury problems.

    • RebelBee February 24, 2016 at 12:18 pm #

      Where was the sarcastic snipe mate? I didn’t see it that way. And worst case a bit of gallows humour at his poor luck with injury isn’t the worst way to deal with it I guess.

      Recover soon Lewis.

  5. Rob February 24, 2016 at 7:42 pm #

    Yeah, very strange what is going on with Lewis. No ‘major’ injuries as far as i can see, but lots of little niggles that have seen him out for over a year? I’d say the comment was based on sheer frustration that we’ve yet to see a near £1m player do anything in a Bees shirt when we really could do with him right now. I still personally cringe about him injuring himself on a ‘twig’ in training….. That said I’m sure that frustration is exponentially more intense for the lad himself.

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