Do we really want Griffin Park to become Jurassic Park?

21 Mar

Are Brentford on social media lockdown after #SwiftHipstergate overshadowed the post match press conference following the Blackburn?

And no, that’s not a typo but at present we can all take subsequent use of the word ‘debacle’ as a given.


John Swift wasn’t smiling (or a hipster) after Dean swung the disciplinary axe

None of the usual suspects have tweeted anything football related, let alone gone again. Whatever your thoughts on that most awkward of phrases, the use of Twitter and Instgram (amongst other mediums) provides a valuable insight into squad morale and feeling. Both good and bad. Yet there has been nothing out of Harlee, Sergi, Sam, or Nico since the loss to Blackburn.

Has Dean Smith ordered a clampdown to try and maintain some semblance of control? Are the players taking a deliberate step back given the oxygen of publicity breathed into the situation by our head coach after he walked straight into Billy’s gentle probing with a very honest answer to Swift’s absence? Or is there nothing more to this than an overactive imagination from yours truly?

Personally speaking I think that although pushed into a corner from one respect, Dean has made the wrong decision here. Swift shouldn’t have started against Blackburn simply for the performance, or lack of, in the QPR game. But to then limit your bench options when there is a player who has apologised immediately, and must be chomping at the bit to prove doubters wrong, is very much the proverbial condemned man opting for canibalism as a final meal.

Casting the social media net that bit further afield to upper management, only Chief Executive Mark Devlin has dipped his toes into the waters of cyberspace on anything like a regular basis. Whilst Matthew Benham published his ‘cryptic clue’ last week, it was the first time he’d posted in a long while – albeit understandable given his prior absence (presumably as a result of some of the crazy abuse and comments being directed his way).

Chairman Cliff Crown and co-director of football Rasmus Ankersen, both previous exponents of Twitter, haven’t posted in almost a month. 27 and 22 February respectively, to be precise. Both of which is a huge shame for a club that has always been so big on fan interaction and, whether we like it or not, are going through somewhat of a rough patch on the field.

Whatever the reason I can understand why the players, at least, are taking somewhat of a backseat. Any attempt to pour oil on troubled waters at that moment would be more like chucking it onto an already raging chip fire. Indeed, such is the depth of feeling and emotion out there about our current predicament that I’ve seen people calling for Dean Smith’s head (metaphorically) and a return for the likes of Andy Scott or Martin Allen.

Say that slowly. Andy Scott or Martin Allen.

Both are men I loved in their day. Andy – both on the pitch and in his early stint as manager. Martin – well to say he is larger than life is probably an understatement to rank alongside suggestions that Steve Evans gives a calm and measured post-defeat press conference. These days though, Andy is more associated with highlights in ladies hair than on Football Focus whilst Martin Allen would, surely, be a step back into the Jurassic era?

Martin Allen tank top

Martin – larger than life

Whilst I have huge respect for both men, they’ve had their time at Griffin Park. More importantly, would a fourth different Head Coach in less than a season be of any real benefit? Things aren’t working out at present, that’s for sure, but to bring in yet somebody else with so few games to go would be both a brave and risky call.

Much like the loan signings we are supposedly after, if anybody was any good they’d already be in employment at the moment. Unless, of course, Steve Coppell is reading (he isn’t).

Whatever the pitchfork wielding mob are calling for, I fully expect Dean to be at the reins when we start up again against Nottingham Forest in just under two weeks. Besides, IF Matthew was even contemplating a change (and its a bigger IF than Steve Evans) surely he would look for a short term internal fix?

Somebody who has their UEFA A coaching badges. A former player with diverse knowledge of the European game. A man who knows the players, who has a reputation as a motivational speaker and, now that FCM are out of the Europa League, may have a bit more time on his hands.

I’ll leave that thought with you…

Nick Bruzon


36 Responses to “Do we really want Griffin Park to become Jurassic Park?”

  1. Gerard Lyons (@gerardlyons) March 21, 2016 at 9:06 am #

    Still too early to think about changing manager – studies fairly consistently show that any performance “bounce” is more due to luck than a new manager’s input ( A turnaround will need to come from the players, but I struggle to see where the inspiration will come from based on recent performances.

  2. Spanish Bee March 21, 2016 at 9:06 am #


    • Lew March 21, 2016 at 9:11 am #

      If Martin Allen is the answer then I shudder to think what the question is.

  3. Roderic March 21, 2016 at 9:40 am #

    . Whilst Matthew Benham published his ‘cryptic clue’ last week, it was the first time he’d posted in a long while – albeit understandable given his prior absence (presumably as a result of some of the crazy abuse and comments being directed his way).
    Would you be willing to clarify the abuse and comments, that you describe as “crazy”?
    Let us have some examples, as I would be interesting to see just how much of a benhamite you are.

    • nickbruzon March 21, 2016 at 9:44 am #

      I’d start with pretty much anything to come out of your own correspondence to this site.
      Follow that with a generic search of Facebook (Brentford FC loyal or Mrthee’s own page are a good place to start) and Twitter – it doesn’t take Sherlock Holmes to find the evidence

      • Roderic March 21, 2016 at 1:48 pm #

        Dear little Nick, you have fallen back on your stock in trade, when you are put on the spot and have come back with a petty attempt to be withering towards me in your reply; sorry little Nick , it has missed the mark and was unworthy of you ; I had credited you with a modicum of intelligence, but your unfair blanket condemnation of my commentary, shows you are only a slightly superior form of terrace anti-intellect merchant, that hates all views opposed to their own.
        The way you encouraged that oaf the other day, “Bored of reading drivel” (sic), by giving him/her, the oxygen of responding (of course, in a snidey and provocative manner, as is your style, when someone has a dig at you), was totally irresponsible and gratuitous; that was a crazy person and it was one of the most painful blogs to read, ever.
        You should be capable of a certain detachment and willingness to debate views which differ from your own and I would have been delighted to enter into this zone with you, when I leave my comments, but you Only wake up, when you agree with a comment that backs up, or agrees with your own views.
        I have enjoyed reading your articles sometimes and have given you fair praise, but I now have prime face evidence that you are unfair, partisan and not interested in alternative views; I have zero access to the tittle tattle and behind the bike shed stuff you get to hear about BFC, so I have made an honest attempt to interpret the disasters that have engulfed this season’s happenings; why are you the only one allowed to speculate and probe for an understanding of all that has been happening? You are very dishonest and two faced.
        I find your response to my question, quite despicable, cowardly and anti-intellectual.

      • nickbruzon March 21, 2016 at 1:56 pm #

        Bye bye Roderic.

        If you want to continue spouting your drivel and hatred could I suggest either the GPG or your own blog site

  4. Rod Davidson March 21, 2016 at 10:49 am #

    I think the problem is that we are still trying to play to system that the remaining group of players find beyond them.
    How about two strikers up top. Watford manage it, would’nt it be worth a try for us now, in these goal famine times.
    Dean Smith has now got to show his tactical skills and change the script before it’s too late.

    • nickbruzon March 21, 2016 at 10:52 am #

      Well said Rod. Dean’s script becoming a somewhat tired one. Be great to see/hear him change things around

    • Lew March 21, 2016 at 11:48 am #

      Absolutely agree Rod. The false 9 experiment at Loftus Road shows that Dean’s not adverse to changing the template, so 2 up front (or a 4-3-3 if I’m really allowed to dream) is surely the way to go. Playing as a lone striker literally doesn’t suit a single one of our strikers!

  5. Bernard Quackenbush (@BernardQuack) March 21, 2016 at 11:49 am #

    At the moment I still stand by what i said yesterday that Dean Smith is not the right man for the job, but I also dont believe changing things yet again right now will improve the situation either. Ideally, we need 2 or 3 new players in this week. Players who dont have the losing mentality. Just signing Leandro gave the place a lift last week, more new players will also give a positive effect. New players could make the difference. The current system & personnel clearly isnt working so things have to change. Any new head coach will not have the time to effectively change things. If the hierarchy do decide that Dean is not their man then changes should be made in the summer.

    Of course Id love to be proved completely wrong!

    On the subject of Rasmus, I dont believe he will be here come August. I dont think he will be fired though. When looking at Rasmus’ output its all about Brand Rasmus. Rasmus’ reputation & brand has taken a hammering this year. Does he need Brentford? No, I dont believe he does. So to protect his brand and his future career as an author and motivational speaker I believe he will resign in the summer.

    • Spanish Bee March 21, 2016 at 12:08 pm #

      …… or he will hang on and blame everybody else.

    • nickbruzon March 21, 2016 at 2:45 pm #

      You wouldn’t be alone in celebrating Rasmus were to re-brand himself.

      Have to be honest that I struggle to see just what he brings to the set up. Dual responsibilities work very rarely – man cannot serve two masters etc

      Yet his current absence, at least publicly , his putting everyone’s favourite pantomime villain in a seemingly untenable position. Does he protect ‘the brand’ or actually grow a pair and front up for what has happened this season….

  6. Jax March 21, 2016 at 12:10 pm #

    Whether it’s a change in manager or several new players, I think it’s clear that something has to happen.

    Smith seems to be stuck in a rut as much as the performances have been since the Walsall game.

    Comments about his perceived lack of effort in training and failure to produce form (no worse than Vibe mind) seems to have found Djuricin out in the cold, even last week when we were crying out for attacking options.

    Canos was on the bench putting Woods out wide then a straight swap despite Woods out fo position putting in a decent effort.

    I feel that with McEchran there is a real player there (shown against Leeds at home) but he’s currently not at the races often and looked to be severely lacking in confidence on Saturday.

    Where I was people were bemoaning Button for rolling the ball out short and after 20 minutes or so he repeatedly punted it long, every single time going to the far taller Blackburn players. The same people were still getting on his back.

    Following the bickering and aggression shown last week between fans almost resulting in a Crewe fiasco it’s clear that even we fans can’t agree on what the clear issue is.

    I’m all for giving a manager time but I’ve seen nothing from Smith to alter my skeptical stance when he was appointed. If anything it’s got worse yet there’s no guarantee we would get the boost teams seem to get when a new manager comes in.

    Likewise who would we get? King Kev in the firing line until the end of the season?

    SOMETHING needs to happen during the international break to save our season and Championship status, despite not being a fan of Smith, I’m unsure a changes there would help.

    Alas I can’t say I’ve any confidence we’ll sign any players before the loan window closes either.

    Answers on a postcard and sent to GP if anyone has a solution.

  7. Bored with Reading Drivel March 21, 2016 at 3:09 pm #

    More sly little digs at Rasmus…

    • nickbruzon March 21, 2016 at 3:11 pm #

      Sly?? Digs?? Please explain

    • Greenvale Watermouse March 21, 2016 at 4:17 pm #

      Welcome back Rhys/Mark/Roderic Whoever you are…

  8. RebelBee March 21, 2016 at 3:47 pm #

    I’m preparing for league 1, anything else is a bonus – we are so poor right now that i’d dare to suggest that even Bolton are stronger than we are. it needn’t have been this way but without something radical being done now I don’t see a way out. We need a lift, way beyond a rookie loan forward from Everton.

    As for RA – apart from a few critical comments on forums he’s had a pretty easy ride, he’s a public figure, and is hardly shy. He seemed happy to front up until the turn of the year, so It’s fair to ask questions now that he seems to have disappeared (along with our form).

    Whatever your view this isn’t the fans fault – anyone going down that road needs to think again.

    • Lew March 21, 2016 at 4:14 pm #

      Rebel – The… what are we calling this? Implosion? Collapse? Capitulation? Whatever it is that is certainly not the fans fault, I 100% agree with you. However, one thing we do need to take onboard is our inability to deal with the implosion/collapse/capitulation. We’ve been pulling against each other for weeks on social media ultimately culminating in squabbles in the stands at Loftus Road.

      Irrespective of where we lay the blame, I believe we’re better off stowing our anger and our accusations and attempting to unite behind the team. Preparing for League 1 is fair (probably even wise, to be honest) but we ain’t down yet, and I’s really love to see us rediscover our unity over the next few weeks. (Standard caveat: I’m talking about our fanbase in general here, not taking potshots at anyone in this conversation.)

      • RebelBee March 21, 2016 at 4:24 pm #

        You make a lot of sense Lew, at the games I give 100% backing, always have. I wont stop and if the worst happens I won’t throw the towel in – never! My anger at all that has happened this season is now fading, I’ve no malice towards anyone who loves our club, whatever they think about this past 12+ months. I’m tired mate, not because we’re struggling – I’ve seen plenty of that, it’s because it seems so avoidable and self inflicted, and now we seem unable to pull out of it.

        Heartbreaking really, what can you do.

  9. Gary Hennell March 21, 2016 at 4:29 pm #

    Hi Nick,
    Reading your blog quite regular these days. I don’t comment often but I am starting to change my opinion on Smith. I was part of the ‘give him a chance – not his fault brigade’. But there was something nagging at me from when Brentford appointed him that did worry me.

    Like most, I tend to have a quick look round the fan forums or you tube when a new signing shows up.

    Anyway, Smith joins Brentford, I read a few articles & one is a link to the Walsall fan forums. I got pretty excited about how they mostly detested the loss of what they saw as their best manger in years & the general consensus was that he would do well, as Walsall at the time looked destined for the Championship if they couild hang onto the talent Smith had assembled for them. Presumably they expected Brentford to nick all the star players.

    Then I read a few others, 16 game losing streak – crikey. But what concerned me most was the comment from 1 bloke, can’t remember his name.

    He absolutely has 1 set tactic 4-2-3-1 he wrote. And regardless of what happens on the field will not adapt it to the players. Bahhhh – dismissed it at the time as sours grapes.

    Hmmm. Not so sure now. Worst run as a new manager since Leroy Rosenior – weird strikerless team setups with your highest assist player isolated in a striker role with no supply while your actual strikers warm the bench? Obsessional ball possession game tactics designed to limit damage but limit chances created instead. 2 last game wasn’t it? Against 10 men – come on how bad are we.

    Perhaps he may be good at nurturing young talent but I am starting to question his lack of, what I now believe to be, tactical inflexibility when faced with direct, long ball teams that just let you have it and set up 2 banks of 4 only to then set-piece you to death.

    I think he’s toast myself & if Brentford stay up it will be because there are 3 worse teams than us that managed to torpedo their seasons earlier than we did.

    The race to finish in the bottom 3 is on & we are a front runner!

    • nickbruzon March 21, 2016 at 8:48 pm #

      Thanks Gary

      I’m with you. Much as it pains me to say, I think that ‘falling over the line’ and relying on 3 other teams to be worse than us is the current hope now.

  10. Steve Endersby March 21, 2016 at 6:37 pm #

    Why do we keep playing a 4-2-3-1 system that doesn’t suit us. We should go back to the old ways of playing with 2 fast wingers who can cross the ball and 2 up front. Like when we had Forster and Taylor. Who could get you 30-40 goal a season.

  11. Rob March 21, 2016 at 6:54 pm #

    To sum ip what my dad said the other day, we can’t score goals and concede too many. If i were an opposition manager at the moment i would set up a physical team and play route 1 / direct football against us because none of our players can defend a high ball over the top. Thats my fear….we are conspicuous with our weaknesses. Whilst i don’t hold Dean Smith entirely responsible for our demise, he should have been able to get us a few more points than he has done. As people have mentioned on here already. Lets get Leandro or one of the other two to play off of Hoff who can hold the ball up and ‘should’ win some flick on headers. We must change the setup

  12. Gordonbankole March 21, 2016 at 8:08 pm #

    Mr Bored of…

    Seems like I am repeating myself from the other day in relation to someone else, but wouldn’t you agree that Mr Ankersen has left himself open by overseeing the diabolical recruitment last summer, making bold pronouncements earlier on this season which have not come to fruition and now with his deafening silence over the last couple of months?

    Totally seriously, I invite you to explain how he is doing a good job at BFC, You have to accept that there are a lot of fans asking questions about him, and until there is any evidence to the contrary (which hopefully you can provide), then these questions will remain.

    • nickbruzon March 21, 2016 at 8:26 pm #

      thanks GB. But I think you’ll find that like most bullies/keyboard warriors, Mrs ‘Bored of’ goes all quiet when challenged.
      No bad thing. There’s enough frustration at the moment without people deliberately going out of their way to provoke/alienate others.
      Good luck getting a response to your challenge. I fear you’ve more chance of seeing Nick Proschwitz bag the winner in the World Cup final

    • Bored with Reading Drivel March 22, 2016 at 3:44 pm #

      Gordon, my reply to you has been deleted… that’s why I probably “go all quiet when challenged” – Mr Bruzon deletes the answers.

      • nickbruzon March 22, 2016 at 3:51 pm #

        No. Mr Bruzon just doesn’t tolerate could mouthed cyber bullies

      • Bored with Reading Drivel March 23, 2016 at 5:17 am #

        Pony tails. They are really really bad. Especially if they are Danish and appointed an Englishman as manager. Obviously he did it without talking to Matthew Benham. Therefore the Danish Bacon Roll Man has to go. Oh hang on a second….let me think about this for a minute……..who appointed this johnny foreigner from Denmark??? Just who did that? Sack them immediately and kick his shins.

        You have to love the comments on this blog don’t you. Still as long as you say what a great blog it is.

        Nick, this is a great blog. Keep it up. Now you are ungagged you are very very important. I love you xxxxxxxxx

  13. Gordonbankole March 22, 2016 at 6:45 am #

    Nick – if I am genuinely wrong and am doing Ankersen a disservice, I want to know. Whether of course our mutual friend would be able to put us right on this is another matter.

    The three things I’ve mentioned are pretty unarguable I’d have thought, but I’d love to hear the other side of the argument.

  14. Sean March 22, 2016 at 8:15 am #

    Hi Nick,

    This really is a worrying situation and I can’t see where the next or any points are coming from.

    When Lee Carsley took over, he did 2 simple things:

    1) he got the players fit (I don’t mean not injured), I mean in peak physical condition.

    2) he got us organised as a unit, you don’t have to be the greatest players but know your job, do what you do well and concentrate on that. To be fair we haven’t got rubbish players they just need some direction.

    Based on the above, my feelings are is that if you can’t out play the opposition (currently we can’t)you need to be more organised and fitter than them. In my opinion right now we have neither.

    I remember back to the successful league 1 season and last season, yes we were better than most but we were also fitter than them which meant we could batter teams into submission! It’s not a coincidence we scored so many late goals!

    These are just my opinions anyway!

    Regarding Andy Scott, he was the person who recommended Dean Smith to Matthew Benham and also is an advisor / scout to Brentford (his Twitter page says as much). So you never know……..!

    Good read anyway Nick! Keep them coming!

  15. Gordonbankole March 22, 2016 at 6:42 pm #

    Were there any pertinent points to the deleted post Nick or was it just offensive? It’s just from his tone it seems he was claiming it wasn’t.

    I see Greville was verbally abused at GP the other day – things really are getting well out of hand.

    This season seems to have polarised opinion like no other and it’s not pretty.

    • nickbruzon March 22, 2016 at 6:52 pm #

      Hi GB. To be honest, I’ve given up on it now. Just deleting anything new.
      I welcome all contributors and have done for years. However, this coward has had plenty of chances yet offered nothing but very selective views, vitriol and offenece in his(or her) brief period posting.
      When somebody’s sole raison d’être seems to be in antagonising and insulting the other posters then they can find another place to post.
      I don’t like cowards. I don’t like bullies. I don’t like bullshitters.

      • Bored with Reading Drivel March 23, 2016 at 3:04 am #

        LOL. The greatest post ever. When do I get “ungagged” from the programme. You couldn’t make up this nonsense. I haven;t laughed so loud since the BU Comms Guy didn’t turn up to any board meeting and forgot to do his job. Incredible.

  16. Gordonbankole March 22, 2016 at 10:43 pm #

    Seems like it was a big mistake to ask for a justification of Ankersen’s role then – how very naive of me!

    Sorry to cause the aggro, Nick, and let’s hope a calmer vibe takes over all things Brentford soon…

    • nickbruzon March 22, 2016 at 10:45 pm #

      Cheers GB – and PLEASE, do not apologise for morons. You’ve not caused any aggro .
      That said, like yourself I fully hope that an air of serenity returns once more.

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