A great deadline day. And how often do we say that?

1 Sep

So that’s that. The transfer window has slammed shut (TM) and Brentford could, arguably, be said to be stronger coming out of it than we are going in to it (somebody should use that one). Winger Sullay Kaikai comes in on loan  from Crystal Palace whilst left back Rico Henry joins former Walsall team mate Romaine Sawyers, signing on a massive five year contract. Newcastle United, Leicester City and Hull remain disappointed (at least from a Bees perspective) as our out door barely even creaked.

Sullay Kaikai

Sullay Kaikai on ‘official’ – now THAT’s a signing photo

Let’s not forget, either, that the aforementioned Sawyers was just one of several summer acquisitions alongside John Egan, the already wonderful Daniel Bentley and, erm, Emmanuel Ledesma. Still, as Meatloaf once sang…

Time will tell just how good the new acquistions prove to be, of course. But as Phil Giles mentioned on the subsequent Bees Player video, “ The two lads we brought in at the end of the window are player we’ve wanted to bring in for a long time,” adding “the most important thing is to get the right player. Not just any player”.

From a personal note, I work with a Crystal Palace supporter who certainly seemed excited about the potential that Kaikai offers. With Dean’s long shared desire for widemen known to all, could Sullay provide a missing piece in his strategic puzzle?

Phil provides his transfer update

As important , though, is not just the out door but the news about Ryan Woods. Of those who left, there were no real additions to those names we were already familiar with – Jake Bidwell, David Button and Jack O’Connell being the notable summer departures. But with those players being replaced by younger models with stunning reputations (and in the case of Bentley an already fantastic start to life at Griffin Park) along with the return from injury of Andreas Bjelland, is anybody still angry (destination aside) about the situation surrounding those wantaway players who have now left?

As for the rest, the strange case of Emmanuel Ledesma is one that is, perhaps, best consigned to the pages of history. Move along, nothing to see here. A man who had more trials than OJ Simpson, he finally signed only to leave almost immediately for Panetolikos – themselves, a team sounding like the knock off version of Panathinaikos. So much so that I had to double take on just about every aspect of that story.

Alan Judge is still a Bee. The rumours surrounding the potential move to Newcastle United proving to be nothing more than that – rumours. Likewise, Scott Hogan remains at Griffin Park despite the supposed interest of both Hull City and Premier League champions Leicester. Given the £70million they eventually splashed, nothing would have surprised me.  And, of course, don’t forget Jota is still hanging in there. Just

Like Daniel, the other player to get off to a flying start this campaign has been Ryan Woods. The pair of them have divided up the MOTM honours between them and so the news that our ginger Pirlo has signed a four year contract is nothing but brilliant. Surely, we have a future Brentford captain in the making and so for Ryan to commit to the club is wonderful.


Ryan Woods signs his extension – is that really a contract?

With no loan window in operation now, the one obvious area where we would seem to have a potential gap remains up top. Can Scott Hogan do it all on his own? Is Philipp Hofmann ready to step up and bang them in? Is the strategy one of goals coming in from all positions? That, certainly, something that worked last time out with Alan Judge in particular filling his boots.

The other point of note about deadline day gaps is one directed at our owner, Matthew Benham. Sure, he may have splashed out an amount of money well beyond our wildest hopes and expectations. Likewise, I can only doff my hat in admiration at his plans around building a new stadium? And yes, the new look team sounds wonderful.

But,but, but. Amongst all the brilliance, one question remains. Where were the cryptic clues yesterday? A bit of Kajagoogoo or some Barry Manilow would have rounded off the day a treat.

Still, if that’s the best we’ve got on the ‘negative’ side (and I use that word in the most ‘tongue-in-cheek’ terms) then something must be going well.

A great deadline day. And how often do we say that?

Nick Bruzon 


10 Responses to “A great deadline day. And how often do we say that?”

  1. Jason Van Donovan September 1, 2016 at 6:32 am #

    Gorgeous x

    • nickbruzon September 1, 2016 at 7:17 am #

      I’ll take that as a good thing 🙂

  2. Actonian Bee September 1, 2016 at 6:39 am #

    Hi Nick. Great day- agreed. About that brilliant new stadium: you obviously have a better understanding than I do about what is going on. I don’t feel we’ve ever been given the full and complete story at any stage of the process. Especially in terms of likely completion date. Maybe you could help with a full update from your perspective one day? Thanks.

    • nickbruzon September 1, 2016 at 7:17 am #

      I wouldn’t say I have any more of an understanding than any other observer. To the outsider looking in (such as myself) it seems to be moving at glacial speed. An update was given at the fans forum recently although I’d agree with you that comms on that front are somewhat thin. Then again, what do you say about nothing ? I’m sure though, from what we have been told, that things will continue to progress.
      As you note, perhaps one for a more considered column rathe than the usual process of wakin up and shooting from the hip at 5.45am most mornings

  3. Stephen O'Brien September 1, 2016 at 6:46 am #

    Has to be seen as a good window from the perspective that we didn’t lose Judge & Hogan, the 2 big fears that might have left, even though Judge nowhere near fitness yet but might be available for a few games before Christmas hopefully, before inevitably moving on in Jan window.

    The players that left, barring Button, I had no issues with. I genuinely have thought that Bidwell was a limited player who had reached his level and wasn’t going to offer anything further for a couple of years. He was a good, standard, solid full back but when we bought Odabajo in, it highlighted him for how limited he was so no issues with him moving on. I think we missed a trick by not getting a little more for Button as I thought he was very good but to replace him with Bentley seems a master stroke so far. Egan looks a find too and if we do now play a 5 at the back system, with attacking full backs, Egan, alongside Bjelland and Barbet, with Colin and our new signing Henry or a Elder at left back could form a formidable back line.

    With Kaikai offering some crying out for width and the ability to beat a player round the outside for pace, and he does appear to be match ready to do so, then it makes an interesting prospect if we can then move McLeod inside alongside Woods and Yennaris and then find a way to support Hogan up top with a missing link to be filled by any number of players.

    My only problem is strength in depth. We have none at all. Barring the team above we have little if nothing to come on. What happens if we get inevitable injuries? What if we get burn out for the first 11? Just look at our ‘squad’ list on any match programme compared to the opposition, we are very thin on the ground. What if Kaikai picks up a 3 month injury? Our whole hope of width has once again gone. What if Hogan gets injured again? Then it’s Vibe, very good on his day, woeful when it’s not. Then Hoffman, forget it, how we didn’t shift him on in this window is beyond me, I’d rather pick out an enthusiastic fan to have ago at running about up top and putting some effort in and one who doesn’t play so his hair as much.

    To quote what seems to be the clubs phrase of 2016-17, yes, we signed Henry and “got the deal over the line” but he’s injured with a shoulder injury, possibly for 2 months, so now we have to once again try to get him fit and actually “over the white line” to play a game. I hope poor Kaikai hits the ground running and doesn’t feel the weight of all of us to hope he is our wideman saviour or gets too excited and doesn’t play to his ability because our hopes our firmly pinned on him now. I also hope some of the B team can really raise their game to challenge for spots in the first team. We will know more by Christmas but I do think we have left ourselves badly thin up top and wide still. I see the comments from fans who think we done what we needed to do but 4 months is a long time in football. I have faith in our defence massively improving (helped when Dean gets dropped sooner rather than later) with Bentley, Egan & Bjelland controlling things back there and Woods and McLeod to push on but it’s finding a way to play to create chances and then take them. We haven’t shown a lot of that so far and we have only signed Kaikai that is ultimately really going to change that. So not much expectations and hope Sullay, but please be good. We need you to be.

    • nickbruzon September 1, 2016 at 7:20 am #

      Spot on Stephen although, equally, we need to be realistic. The absolute priority is to keep the squad together and, indeed, we’ve brought in better for those who have left
      given the crazy money flying around at present, being able to compete with our rivals is beyond realistic. Certainly in having two high quality players in every position.
      I’d love another striker but I’m also very happy with our first team. Let’s hope they can do the business.
      And stay fit….

  4. John September 1, 2016 at 7:42 am #

    Every time I see Lee Gregory at Millwall play he looks very good, even when in the Championship last year. He would have been a great buy for our team as a number 10, to help Hogan and Judge.

  5. aussiebee September 1, 2016 at 8:35 am #

    Whilst I only get to see the games via bees world , I think you are being harsh on Harley Dean. If I was giving 3-2-1 points I would have giving him 1 point for the last two games behind the stand-out pair mentioned above.

  6. RebelBee September 1, 2016 at 10:27 am #

    Good post from Stephen – agree with pretty much all of it bar the HD comments, who imo has been solid in a good pairing so far and fully deserves his starting place in the side as skipper.

    We did OK this summer, yesterday saved it somewhat, some good players have joined BFC and the capture of Henry is fantastic and says good things about our club to other potential signings down the line. I’m still not sure it can 100% be claimed that we are leaving it stronger than we went into it, especially when all loans both out and in are considered. BUT what really pleased me is that I can see MB’s intent and commitment is there – we didn’t get a number of our targets, but he was in fighting for a number of really good players and clearly made funds available to support DS. The new deal for Woods was like a new signing too. We can question many things about the club, the team, and decisions that are made, but absolutely not MB’s investment, drive and desire to take us forward. As one who had a few doubts in the past i’m very happy to admit this.

    The market is crazy, over £1BN spent and arguably not one global star in his prime was signed by the mega rich idiots in the Prem, and the Luiz, Sissoko deals are plain stupid. The madness has infected many clubs in our division, not all to be fair. How does any of this help young British talent make their way in the game? I’m proud of the way we do our thing, trying to be different and operating as sensibly as we can, and MB’s generosity allows.

    It may get a bit tough for a few weeks whilst the squad adjusts – we have 2 very tricky aways to come, but for now we have what we have and it’s time for everyone to get on board and get 100% behind them. 50 points and go from there should be the aim.

    • Bernard Quackenbush (@BernardQuack) September 1, 2016 at 3:33 pm #

      You pretty much make a point I was going to make. When you take into consideration the loans from last year, we have only had a net gain of 1 player, but that becomes zero when you consider Henry will be out for the foreseeable future with his shoulder injury. And I thought we had a threadbare squad at times towards the end of last season!

      It is true to say that Bentley, Egan & Henry are considerable upgrades on those who have left. Kaikai is a great signing and in effect Sergi’s replacement. I remember how well Kaikai played for Cambridge against United in the Cup.

      But we still lack options up front. The most important people at the club this year will be the medical & conditioning staff making sure that Scott Hogan is fit and raring to go each game! Lasse, a quality player, is not suited to playing the lone striker role, and Hoff seems to have devolved into a jelly mass.

      When you consider how much Sheffield Wednesday overwhelmed us on Saturday, and knowing we will only have 1 (enforced) change for the Brighton game (Kaikai for the suspended Lasse, plus Hoff will need to be drafted onto the bench for the departed Ledesma), then I actually question whether we did have a good Deadline Day. I dont think we did. Lets hope that by the time Henry is fit to start a game we arent already in a relegation battle.

      By the way anyone notice Mark Devlin crediting Matthew Benham & Phil Giles for the signings? Where’s Rasmus?

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