How soon is now? Where next for football’s toughest challenge ?

1 Jun

Desperate times call for desperate measures. With the hunt for the mythical adidas ‘green’ Brentford shirt hitting the buffers, yesterday saw a most unlikely source called into play – Fulham. Or, specifically, the score master general of a certain TV show (must. avoid.that ‘joke’.) Richard Osman. And up at Leeds United, normal service was resumed as Massimo Cellino chose to bring to end the rolling contract of his latest head coach, Steve Evans.

First up, kit. Specifically the talk around green shirts. Regular readers will know that this has been a two pronged approach over the last few days. The possibility that Brentford might wear a green third shirt during the forthcoming season then leading into a hunt for an item that seems rarer than a Leeds manager lasting more than six months – the mystery green shirt worn at Fulham in season 80/81.

wanted-reward-poster-background

Photo-fit recreation of the item in question

The question of next season’s third was one brought about by yours truly,based on nothing more than a wild guess. It was a guess inspired by a tweet from Kitman Bob and then further fuelled by Matthew Benham’s acknowledgement of the idea.

It would be fair to say that this has somewhat spiralled on social media since that point with the idea largely gathering favour amongst the Brentford faithful. Then, last night, chief executive Mark Devlin has taken the step of opining on matters himself.

I lover Twitter. I’ve said it many times but with good reason. I won’t deny that Brentford, in my opinion, have struggled with ‘official’ comms at times over the last year or two. It’s been a theme on these pages. But the flip side is how we respond to / interact with fans on social media (hashtags and memes aside). If you want to know something, just ask.

And sure enough, Mark has now given a further kit update, telling us:

Mark Devlin

Chief Executive, Mark Devlin

Gents – too late to change our choice of away kit next season. We will discuss the green option with adidas for the 2017/18 season.

We wouldn’t expect to retail a 3rd kit at present. Current plan is to retain the current blue away kit as a 3rd choice next season. We cant really justify retailing a 3rd kit”.

As for the question put to him by fellow kit enthusiast Luis Adriano for when the new home and away will be revealed, the answer is a simple, “Soon”.

So no green. For now. Chelsea-lite if a third kit is needed. But no further idea as to what we’ll be wearing home or away.

Instead, the question remains one of how soon is now? Much as I love the fact that Mark has taken the time to come out and share this news, I’m chomping at the bit even more.

As for the 80/81 effort, with the ongoing attempt to unearth further evidence of this one game wonder running cold, desperate times call for unusual measures. Feeling very much like ‘Christmas in the trenches’, I’ve invoked the help of Fulham official and ‘celebrity fan’ Richard Osman.

‘Official’ were (must. avoid. that ‘joke’) erm,  useless. Not even responding. Fair play to Richard though. He did cast the net further but, despite a couple of suggestions, the search remained..fruitless.

Indeed, further updates from Bees fans suggest such a task will prove to be football’s toughest challenge. Journalist Tim Street advising on Twitter that the chances of something coming out of the vaults are slim, given “Sadly, after various office closures and photographic department restructures, our archives don’t go back anywhere near that far.

As for Brentford memorabilia guru Paul Briers, his own follow up confirms what was feared, “The Middlesex chronicles’s picture archive was destroyed from what I gather. Not sold to an independent company – like Getty, coloursport, or alamy – or even digitised before it went to the incinerator.

The same also happened to Wakefield’s collection of negatives and plates, of Brentford, Chiswick and Ealing, sadly.

If only someone had an inkling that photos of a bygone era would now be so important……

Even pictures of the other 80/81 pastel blue adidas away shirt isn’t that common, no colour pictures that I know of just black and white.”

Sadly, it seems like this will be one search that will end up..failing to produce the necessary results. With that, I’m retiring the ‘green’ and, in the interests of being a good sport, that Osman/Fulham ‘joke‘. At least for a season.

IMG_5342

Must. Resist. That. Joke

And from retiring to sacking – Leeds United have done it again. Massimo Cellino has relieved Steve Evans of his head coach duties, stating that the ever popular manager has “completed the job he was brought in to carry out.”.

To be honest, Evans was on a hiding to nothing. Aside from Cellino’s reputation, his own quote about Leeds United, saying he’d never take the job as “I want to be the captain of a Cruiseliner, not The Titanic” has now come back to haunt him somewhat.

It means the Elland Road outfit will now be looking for head coach number 7(seven) in just over two years. That said, you have to ask just who would be crazy enough to step into a hot seat that makes the situations at Chelsea or Real Madrid look like the epitome of calmness and stability.

For all that certain sections of the Leeds faithful have knocked Brentford over the last couple of years for being ‘tinpot’ , I wouldn’t wish that scenario on anybody. It’s hard enough to enjoy football at the best of times, let alone when you are sitting on a powder keg.

Personally, I’m just gutted we’ll miss out on a legendary Steve Evans press conference next season. At least, in charge of a Leeds team still looking to finish above Brentford or even register a win since our return to the Championship. Beyond that I have no doubt Evans will be back in some form or another before too long.

Just where and when?

As for Leeds, expect Cellino to name himself as the next incumbent at this rate. Hey, if it worked* for Ron Noades…….

*(please note, your definition of worked mean vary)

Steve Evans Cruiseliner

Steve Evans  – his new Cruiseliner turned out to be anything but a love boat

Nick Bruzon

Plug time (regular readers know the score from here) : As ever, The Last Word ‘season review’ : Ready. Steady. Go Again and the three year anthology : The Bees are going up remain available for download. Should anybody want to go over this nonsense and relive these moments once more then you can do so now.

It has been a stunning few years. Here’s to more of the same. We may have had a few lows (something about a penalty, the football village, the FA Cup, the pitch, the Marinus experiment) but there have been plenty more highs as the Bees made an unexpected challenge for the Premier League.

Thanks for reading.

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5 Responses to “How soon is now? Where next for football’s toughest challenge ?”

  1. stuart hemmings June 1, 2016 at 6:02 am #

    here some footage off pastel blue kit, quality not that good

    • nickbruzon June 1, 2016 at 6:09 am #

      Thanks Stuart – good man. Will check it out shortly

  2. Aussie Mark June 1, 2016 at 6:52 am #

    Hi Nick, as an Australian Leeds fan I would like to take issue with your comments about Lufc. Unfotunately I can’t as you are spot on. I will wake from the nightmare one day……..

  3. Geoff Buckingham June 2, 2016 at 2:31 pm #

    Hi Nick,
    I e-mailed you a comment yesterday, but maybe it did not reach you.
    I reckon I have solved the green Bees shirt mystery.
    I have checked and,as I thought, it was due to a motor coach not turning up !
    It happened in the grim days of January 1974, when the club were close to bottom of The Football League, the country was gripped by the Miner’s Strike and ‘The Three Day’ week, and funds at Griffin Park were very tight indeed. To make matters worse, on a freezing cold 12th Jan.the Brentford team coach did not show up at the meeting point for the trip to bottom of the table Doncaster Rovers.This meant a hurried change of plan, and the players had to quickly sort out cars and drive themselves up to Doncaster. If that was not bad enough, one of them, winger Barry Salvage, got nicked for speeding on the return journey. As for the kit we had to borrow them from Slough Town FC. The shirts were indeed green, but with pink numbers on the back!
    Anyway, the green shirts brought Brentford a bit of luck as the Bees won the match 2-1 , with a brace from ex Bognor Regis deckchair attendant Andy Woon ( you could not make this up,could you?!)
    That win, in front of 3009 perishingly cold spectators, was Brentford’s only victory in a 14 game spell. But it was enough to lift the Bees up to third from bottom, and was actually a crucial two points, as we finished the season just two points above the Division 4 bottom four re-election places!

    • nickbruzon June 3, 2016 at 8:19 pm #

      Hi Geoff – thanks again for this . A great read and really happy to have included it today. Cheers

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