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.
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.
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.