What a start to the home campaign. Pants?

14 Aug

What a Championship Saturday. Brentford made it 7(seven) points out of 9 from our last 3 encounters with Ipswich Town as Dean Smith’s team recorded their first win of the season. Newcastle United stay out of the relegation zone by virtue of their alphabetical superiority to Preston (both teams amongst five still on nil points) whilst Huddersfield Town and Bristol City top the lot.

Football is back. At Griffin Park, that is. Whatever Gary Lineker and the rest of the Premier League pundits may tell you about it being a new season, football didn’t return yesterday but has already been with us for a good week.  A week that saw Brentford go down 2-1 at Huddersfield and then limp out of the cup at Exeter City. A week that has already seen initial outpourings of social media drivel and nonsense as to the capabilities of our management and squad. Each to their own, I suppose. At least there’s no danger of a Charlton style banning order.

Then again, what does Gary know about football? I mean, quite a lot obviously. Certainly having played the game to the level he did. But after all the talk of presenting Match of the Day in his pants, he turned out in a baggier pair of shorts than something out of the 1930s. That, and a spray tan that even Sam Saunders would surely have had to doff his metaphorical cap to.

Fairplay to Gary for going through with it. Moreso to Alan Shearer and Ian Wright for  engaging in the usual post match analysis of Leicester’s defeat at Hull whilst trying to avoid any eye contact with Lineker whatsoever and maintain their composure in what was, really, a somewhat surreal opening.

Frankly, the image of Gary carrying on as though nothing was untoward, despite little more than a pair of oversized novelty boxer shorts separating him and the viewer from a repeat of Keith Chegwin in TV’s ‘Naked Jungle‘ (seriously, don’t look it up on YouTube) is something I could do without again.

Gary pants

There was nothing awkward about the vibe in the BBC studio whatsoever

But we digress, as ever. Brentford, Ipswich and the rest of their Championship counterparts took part in their third game of the campaign yesterday with the Bees wrapping up all three points in a fine 2-0 win.

Being honest, it was the proverbial game of two halves. How Ipswich didn’t end the period with at least a one goal lead I have no idea. That’s what kicking ‘the wrong way’ does to the Bees though. I always get an awkward feeling when we have to attack the home end in the first half though. Sure enough this was proven again as chance followed chance for the Tractor boys.

I didn’t see that being the scoreline at half-time”, said Ipswich manager Mick McCarthy afterwards. True enough, yet once more the old adage about balls in the back of the net being the only stat that counts was proven to be the only one we should take any notice of. And what a surprising source.

Mick And Dean

View from the New Road – Mick wonders what’s going on

Whatever Dean Smith said at half time worked almost immediately. John Egan got the first on 48 from a Lewis Macleod corner. With choruses of, “Don’t take it short, it never f’ing works” being muttered around the ground from various wags and observers, their prayers were answered. The ball was hit deep for Egan to rise beyond the back post and head back across the goal, past the floundering Bialkowski. 1-0 to the Bees and from there it was game over.

8 minutes later the lead was doubled as that man Egan again followed up on a Nico Yennaris effort to make it 2-0 and, at the same time, overtake Nick Proschwitz’s final Championship goal tally from our first season at this level back in 2014/15.

Cue manic scenes, and that was just on Twitter where Kitman Bob has now been left with a huge challenge trying to find a winner of his latest BBGIVEAWAY. Good luck with that, Bob…. 🙂

As with last season, one time cult hero Jonathan Douglas entered the field of play with 78 minutes on the clock to what one Braemar Road resident would politely describe as “A chorus of boos” but it was too little, too late. Ipswich had already been handed their chances yet fluffed their lines catastrophically.

That said, he almost managed something late on. Despite some pretty approach play in the box as he squirmed past his rivals, Dougie could only unleash an impotent strike that Dan Bentley reached with little trouble. The footballing Rasputin’s days of scoring at Griffin Park clearly nothing but a past memory.

Dean Smith was man enough to admit after the game that “Maybe 1-0 would have been a fairer reflection of the game but I’m not complaining”. Dean, true enough, but could I refer you to the earlier comment about balls in the back of the net.

Sometimes you get what your play, possession and passing stats would probably decree to be fair. At others, just take solace in the total of goals and appreciate the points. Whilst by no means a robbery, based on the first half performance from the visitors let’s just say that the self-belief and determination in the Brentford team is something we should all be very pleased with.

Bees Ipswich

View from the Braemar – despite kicking the wrong way, the Bees recorded a fine win

Lewis Macleod is, like Scott Hogan before him, proving that patience is very much a virtue and that 18 month wait for injuries to clear up now seems very much time well spent. Ryan Woods continues to impress whilst it was great to see the likes of Nico Yennaris and Maxime Colin (he and Josh Clarke CAN fit in the same team – nice) return to the starting line up. The ‘free to air’ highlights on Sky already make great viewing – here’s to getting the Mark Burridge infused version alter on today.

With Lasse Vibe now relieved of Olympic duty following Denmark’s 2-0 defeat to Nigeria last night, Dean Smith could even have an extra man to choose from by the time we travel to Rotherham United on Saturday. Tuesday night’s visit from Nottingham Forest will likely be a game too soon but then again, with the Bees having recorded a fine win, why would Dean need to change anything?

The Bees are up to 12th after 2 games. Still far too early to take too much notice (I mean, Fulham are in third place, for goodness sake) but I’d rather be there than amongst the clutch of teams still to get off the mark. Newcastle United already moving out to 3-1 for the title following a home defeat to Huddersfield Town yesterday.

The Terriers, many people’s tip to go down before a ball was kicked in anger, are 17/1 for the league. Having beaten Brentford already and now followed up with yesterday’s win at Newcastle, does that make them the ‘bet of the season’ ? Or are Brentford at 40/1 even better value than that?

Roll on Tuesday night for another chance to find out. It doesn’t get much better than football under floodlights at Griffin Park.

Bring on the Forest… Until then, for those who prefer their highlight’s with added BeesPlayer, here’s Mark Burridge….

Nick Bruzon


2 Responses to “What a start to the home campaign. Pants?”

  1. Bernard Quackenbush (@BernardQuack) August 14, 2016 at 10:20 am #

    I dont think we should get too overcarried away with yesterday’s win. We grew into the game & came out with a very comfortable win. Although in my memory that was has to be the worst Ipswich side I can ever remember, particularly when you think back to the side that came to GP on Boxing Day 2014. How McCarthy can come out with another batch of ridiculous excuses is beyond me. If they carry on like that, than Towns fans patience will begetting very thin, and he will be out the door before Boxing Day this year.

    I can still see many areas of improvement needed. Im not convinced the left flank is gelling at the moment, and Clarke was more comfortable as a right back than right wing. Whereas Sawyers was superb, particularly first half. Hogan was a constant menace. Nico succeeded where Josh failed and Egan & Dean will make it very difficult for Bjelland or Barbet to get into the side. I still think we need 3 more players. I dont know how many heavy hints Dean Smith has made to the DoF’s that he feels he needs reinforcements. Lets hope its soon.

    • RebelBee August 14, 2016 at 11:08 am #

      Kinda agree in part, but felt we were loads better than a year ago against the same oppo. We caught a break with them missing a couple of key players (mcgoldrick in particular). Whether MM keeps his job or not, this Ipswich side will still be top half, so let’s not undervalue a big win either. The free flowing play from the back football has gone for now, not so much posession or chances created. But far more solid & hungry to press & win the ball or the 2nd ball at every opportunity. I guess that’s how it’ll be until we find a couple more who can inject a bit of magic & pace into the mix.

      Pragmatism rules for the moment with DS, maybe he’s figured out a way to keep us competitive whilst we wait for reinforcements.

      Great to be back at GP in the championship!

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