Game on. We’re back to match day at Griffin Park with Brentford looking to make it four wins in a row when we welcome Bristol City on Saturday afternoon. Elsewhere in the Championship, we’ll also take a very brief look at last night’s result where Brighton’s thrashing of Fulham gives Big Bee Radio the chance to score some cheap points before 3pm. And, of course, Kitman Bob Oteng has the final BBGiveaway of the campaign – not Alan McCormack’s black pants (I’ve seen them requested) but something very special.
First up though, Bristol City. Let me take you back to the summer….
The pitch had collapsed, Marinus was in charge, Andreas Bjelland had suffered that horrendous injury in the Oxford United fiasco, Andre Gray was just about still a Bee whilst Stuart Dallas, Moses Odubajo and Will Grigg had all departed for 7(seven) figure sums. Jonathan Douglas too, for nothing.
Yet despite all this, our opening away game of the League campaign saw the Bees beat Bristol City 4-2 and make it 4 points out of 6. Might we actually get away with the sales and parting company with Mark Warburton over the summer? Could this be a continuation of form rather than a longer term remodelling exercise under the much maligned ’statistical model’?
‘No’ was the subsequent and emphatic answer. Andre’s goal was his last in the red and white stripes before the inevitable sale to Burnley took place whilst Marinus was gone by the middle of September as performances and form took a sharp downturn.
But we mention this just to show how things can change. Bristol City away, whilst only two games in, marks a point where I really thought we might have the potential to match the incredible heights of last season. We were third in the fledgling table with only Brighton and Middlesbrough above us (and look where they are now). It was a psychological high point before it all came back down to earth with a bump.
That win at Ashton Gate was followed by a 1-0 defeat at Burnley where we saw more of our new ‘style’ – these pages described it as “so obsessed with passing the ball backwards and sideways between the defence and goalkeeper, it is no wonder the stats showed such high pass completion or 62% possession.”
Lee Carsley returned some much needed confidence and pride to the Bees as this team found their feet. His decision to step away was sad, though respected, and Dean Smith has come in since that point. A positive beginning (oh, those Ryan Woods and Sergi Canos goals at Reading) saw that awful run at the start of 2016, not to mention the additional challenge of dealing with the Tarkowski affair. Despite this, recent form has restored a lot of the Buzz around Griffin Park.
We are safe in the Championship for a third successive season as a result of those 9 points and 9 goals from our last three games. Lasse Vibe has found his scoring boots to shoot up the Championship charts whilst the Bees are within three points of the Loftus Road mob – with a game in hand (at Hull).
Can we make it 4 in a row today? Will the Bees make it a pair of Bristol’s ? 6 points and a double would be a rare achievement in this most up and down of campaigns.
How will we go without Alan Judge? Does Nico Yennaris, reinvented as a goal scoring midfielder, walk back into the team? Has John Swift’s gash healed?
Questions, questions questions! As ever, I can’t answer them. I can make an educated guess of: Yes, yes, we’ll cope today (although it will be sadly), yes and ‘it’s irrelevant as he won’t start’. However, I’m just the numpty on the terrace so don’t take any notice of any prediction from these quarters.
Instead, here’s to 3pm when we find out.
Ok – Fulham. There were tears in the Bruzon household last night. Of laughter. These, as they went down 5-0 to promotion chasing Brighton. The top of the table remains of supreme interest as Middlesbrough, Burnley and the Seagulls continue to match each other blow for blow. If you you thought the final day last time out was tense, this could really match it with Boro’ hosting Brighton in the final game of the season.
Good luck to them. I’m more concerned with matters at Griffin Park. Our one decent hashtag is back today – #BeeTheDJ. Just contact @BrentfordFC on twitter with your choice of pre-match music. If you are lucky, you’ll get to hear it played before kick off.
Could I ask for this – one of the greatest TV theme tunes of all time. In honour of our West London rivals. Failing that, how about we just pick it for our ‘walkout’ music on April 30th….
If we get to 5, it is the only time I would tolerate goal music
And finally, Kitman Bob is back. It’s his final BBGIVEAWAY of the season. Despite the highs and lows we’ve experienced onfield this campaign, our kitman’s twitter competitions have provided a constant source of enjoyment and genuine pleasure to supporters.
What other club would do this for their fans? It’s easy to criticise when things go wrong but absolute kudos to all the team behind the team for all the great work they do. And these competitions have been right up there. Not just the prizes but Bob’s interaction with the fans, too.
So what do we have today? Well, at the time of writing it remains a mystery. All we have to go on so far is Bob’s promise that its going to be special.
For the last time this time around, get following and get predicting from 8am.
Enjoy. And Bob, thank you !