Ready. Steady. Go again…

6 Aug

Here we go. The Championship has begun. Brentford travel to Huddersfield Town today, knowing that Fulham already top the fledgling table after their 1-0 televised win over Newcastle United last night. Enjoy those previous few hours lads, they won’t last…

With months of anticipation almost at an end, just what can we expect? Let’s be honest, for us Bees supporters last season was one of giddy highs and sickening lows. We were either awesome or awful. Whilst a final position of 9th was well deserved, it was certainly ‘interesting’ getting there.

As we turned the year, having somehow got through the Marinus experiment, pitch-gate and the horror show that was ‘Football League Tonight’ (never forget how it started), there was a genuine belief we might emulate the previous campaign’s feat of reaching the play offs.

Marinus unicorn

We didn’t have the best start to 2015/16

The 2-1 victory at Reading, lit up by that pair of beauties from Ryan Woods and Sergi Canos, left fans buoyant . Dean Smith seemed to have successfully picked up the mantle from the oh-so popular Lee Carsley and Brentford were flying.

Then January happened. And February. And March. Move along please, nothing to see here. Literally, nothing to see. It wasn’t pretty at times.

With the Bees having made it 7(seven) defeats out of the last 8 league fixtures and Dean admitting we were in a relegation scrap, the Bees travelled to Nottingham Forest in early April after a painful home defeat to 10 man Blackburn Rovers.

And then it all went bonkers once more.

Goal! Goal!! Goal !!! The Bees started scoring, and playing, for fun. Win followed win followed win. Despite the horrific injury suffered by Alan Judge, our form continued to improve as the points racked up. Scott Hogan showed just what we’d been missing during that awful 18 month lay off and the season ended in that wonderful 5-1 win at Huddersfield.

image

Scott’s Hogan returned against Blackburn and from there….

Despite flirting with relegation that fickle mistress rebuffed our clumsy advances. Instead, had we found ourselves with a few more games left to play then just who knows what might have happened?

Now we go again…and I can’t wait.  Kitman Bob is already teasing us with talk of a BBGiveaway. Ryan Woods and Harlee Dean are involved in a, presumably playful, tug-of-war for the captain’s armband. At least, in my opinion where I’m tipping Team Ginger to come out on top in that one when the team is announced at 2.15 (and then 2.30 on ‘official’). The memory of Marinus and his unicorn is one confined to the now less painful recesses of the mind.

Loanees Sergi Canos (sadly) and John Swift are amongst those to have moved on. We’ve signed a trio of really exciting looking new players in Romaine Sawyers, John Egan and Daniel Bentley. Andreas Bjelland and Scott Hogan start fit whilst the likes of Nico Yennaris, Maxime Colin and Yoann Barbet showed just how much they can offer as last season progressed. Add in the likes of Ryan Woods, Sam Saunders and the experience of Allan McCormack to see just what we offer. If all of these hit the ground running then who knows just how could it might be?

The only sour note at present is last night’s result to open the Championship. In a somewhat tedious game, Fulham nicked it by the odd goal in one as Newcastle United discovered that the Championship might not be such a stroll. And that refereeing standards at this level can sometimes leave a lot to be desired. Penalty? What penalty?

Still, the Cottager’s stay in the penthouse suite of the League table hotel is sure to be a brief encounter. Isn’t it…..? With everybody else barring current basement club Newcastle United in joint second place on alphabetical order, it can only be a matter of hours until normal service is resumed.

Hurry up 3pm. I can’t wait to find out. If the last three seasons have been exciting (and they have) this one has the potential to top the lot.

I know nothing about betting and you’d be a fool to follow any advice given on these pages. However, for what it’s worth I’m tipping the Bees to finish 6th. Then again, I tipped Newcastle to top the table.

6th or 16th. 1st or last. Nobody can predict what’s going to happen. The one thing we can say is that it’s never dull getting there.

Bring it on.

Nick Bruzon

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6 Responses to “Ready. Steady. Go again…”

  1. Stephen O'Brien August 6, 2016 at 7:34 am #

    New season always bring new excitement and obviously we aren’t in as much of an experimental stage as we were this time last year, where it went so badly wrong but I’m afraid I’m nowhere near as positive about where we’ll finish as you are. I really really want to be but I’m just not. Maybe it’s my ever pessimistic viewpoint or maybe just balancing up this team against that of 2 years ago under Warburton but I see us somewhere in the bottom half come the end and here’s why….

    It might seem to go against the grain but I am still yet to be convinced by Dean Smith our head coach. I genuinely think the good run of results and our finish of 9th masked over a hell of a lot of cracks that happened under his reign. I don’t see him as a natural communicator, I’m yet to hear players talk in glowing terms about him and he is a distanc off Warburton in terms of character and out and out attacking football philosophy. I guess I’ll know more about his football knowledge this afternoon when he chooses his captain for the season, but I think he might have softened the blow to Harlee Dean already by stating he sees his captain playing in every game so very positively he awards that to Woods he will have shown some football ethos and also that he perhaps sees Bjelland, Barbet & Egan ahead in terms of pecking order but also an established international who is older than the majority of squad in Bjelland might be named captain and surely if he was fit today than that would be the case but still, why not him?

    I hope our new signings, especially Bentley, who will have to be one of our best 4 players this season for us to stand any chance and woe betide if he gets injured and were left with Bonham in goal & no-one else as cover.

    We also still have only 1 midfield enforcer in McCornack to call on and then Saunders seems to be getting the nod on the right, especially in terms of pre-season games, both of these players were fringe players who couldn’t get near the team in our 5th placed finish under Warburton but now seem pivitol to us 2 years & more miles in their legs later. We do have the ever improving Yennaris who seems reborn in his new central midfield role of win it, give it, so hopefully that continues and less likely to be booked each week too.

    We haven’t replaced Jota at all with anyone like him & Sawyers, although busy looking and bulky on the ball, doesn’t have his finesse but I’m hopeful we can get someone to find Hogan’s brilliant runs, which open up the space for a ball forward from midfield but unfortunately with light-weight McEachran in the whole only ever looking sideways or back, this will never work.

    I know I’m sounding very negative but I am very hopeful that this is McLeods year and him and Woods find a partnership in midfield that clicks, then McCornack can find a way of playing there too without being booked every game and getting angry every 10 mins & also that Bentley, Colin, Bjelland, Barbet (or Egan) & Elder can work out a way to keep a clean sheet more often than last season, with backup of Clarke to assist when needed.

    We’ll definitely miss Vibe up front as a willing runner even if coming on after the hour mark, whilst he’s away at the Olympics but just hope he comes back fit and not injured and we really do need an established winger to bring in to the team cos Saunders won’t be beating a man for pace and whipping balls in so that leaves a ball back to the centre and more nice looking, keep ball football but no end shot and a frustrated Hogan getting tired making runs in to the channels to not be found.

    That’s just my outlook before a balls been kicked but we all know after last year especially, how much can change in 9 months and an Autumn, Winter, Spring worth of football but my predictions are for a bottom half finish, Dean Smith to be gone before May next year, McEachran and Harlee Dean to be very fringe players for us this year and Hogan, if he stays to gain in value and if we can get Judge back fit by Christmas to improve things but for another season of frustration for those fans who think/want us to be challenging fir the Premiership but fir the rest of us, another season of ‘we’ll learn from our mistakes’ & ‘put it right this week in training’ quotes on the website each week.

    Sorry to quell any raging positivity from young and old fans alike looking forward to this season…….and why not, but these are merely my humble opinions from years of watching Brentford but I suppose it’s up to Dean Smith and the team to prove me wrong and let me enjoy it whilst they do.

    Good luck to all at Brentford for the season though!!

    • nickbruzon August 6, 2016 at 7:44 am #

      Thanks Stephen. And don’t apologise. Both sides are equally valid. Frankly, nobody knows what will happen. Appreciate your view point .
      At the moment we’re all level. Except the F and , of course, the current basement club. Please, no sniggering.
      Anything can happen in the next half hour. And beyond. It’s what makes it all so exciting. I can’t help but feel positive in this circumstance

    • steve b August 6, 2016 at 9:43 am #

      i’m hoping Kirsh will step up this year and provide Hogan with all the passes he needs..he did show some promise towards the end of last season.what i do dread however is when ipswich come to deal with Hogan….the masters of destruction and no remorse shown by Mick McCarthy

  2. Bernard Quackenbush (@BernardQuack) August 6, 2016 at 8:20 am #

    Currently I would be happy with an upper table finish come next May. I still strongly believe we are three signings short, as was mentioned in the Forum. If it doesnt happen, then we have been failed yet again by our lauded Directors of Football. At the moment, our new signings feel more like traditional manager picks rather than any stats based scouting. I wrote a top 10 of targets last May and our three signings, plus Ollie Watkins were in the 10. On that basis, maybe I should apply to be a Director of Football. Im also very concerned by the lack of cover up front, with the Hoff not looking at all like a Championship footballer and Lasse at the Olympics where my brother-in-law who is covering the games for the press in Brasilia describing him as ‘the one with the crap rear manbun who was owned by the Yakult addicted Iraqi midfield’. It sounds like Lasse will only miss 2 League games on that basis and will be flying back soon.

    I think the most intriguing thing today will be at 2pm when the team is announced and we have some idea of the system we will be playing. More than likely to be 4-2-3-1 but is there a chance of 3-5-2? I hope so.

    Saw the game last night too. Toon distinctly average and F, and in particular Odoi, reasonably impressive. Damn! But first games of the season are rarely an indicator of the season to come. After all Villa won their first game last campaign! In my guest blog earlier this summer i wrote about the new SG2 referee group, and the game saw its debut. Alas Mr Hooper’s performance was quite possibly worse than any games he middled last season. Oh well! Nothing changes!

    Unlike most I actually like the Channel 5 show. I found the BBC offering bland, uninspiring, ill informed and very patronising. So other than the first show found the Channel 5 much easier to watch. Its a shame that in the second half of the season they caved in to the critics who were criticising them for not being the BBC, and made it a BBC style bland.

  3. Jay August 7, 2016 at 4:20 pm #

    I see the two proper West London clubs got off to fliers again – never mind, I’m sure the Bees will be challenging near the top come the end of the season, after all, their aim is the Premier League………

    • RebelBee August 7, 2016 at 4:40 pm #

      Classy Jay, well done you! Sure we weren’t great yesterday & the 2 teams you seem to support had good starts, fair do’s. It’s been a long while since you’ve had much to crow about, so fill your boots for now cos we ain’t going away easily.

      BUFD

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