After a week of nothing but Bake Off, could we sting the Wolves ?

23 Sep

What a slow week. No football for Brentford beyond the forthcoming game at Wolves to look forward to. Whilst our next opponents have had two trips to Newcastle United in the space of four days to (hopefully) run down the energy levels a bit, the Bees have had that 5-0 win home over Preston followed by, well, nothing. My Twitter has been wall to wall tears and questions about the Great British Bake Off (which we’ll get to, briefly, where possible new hosts are named)  and not much more.

Of course, Wolves will be in high spirits following their last league trip, that 2-0 win at Newcastle that probably surprised just about everybody outside of the Black Country. Indeed, manager Walter Zenga was quoted afterwards as saying, “the spirit of the team, how they approached the game, how they started the game, how they played is a big answer to everybody.”.

That answer, of course, being to the way they capitulated 0-4 to Barnsley in the previous home game. Three goals against in the final twenty minutes rounded off a performance in which Zenga accused his Wolves of “giving up”.

So which Wolves will Brentford get tomorrow? Ferocious conquerors of Newcastle or a cub that rolls over and lets the visitors tickle its tummy, before they administer a sound thrashing?

There’s no doubt confidence will be high at Brentford. 7(seven) points in three games from that Preston encounter, preceded by trips to Brighton and Aston Villa, has seen us rise to 6th in the embryonic league table. And with the division only two games away from being ‘fully formed’, could Dean Smith have the Championship’s surprise package at his fingertips?

Scott Hogan is scoring goals for fun whilst Daniel Bentley, who marshalls the tightest defence in the division (just 5 goals against so far) has been well talked about on these pages already. Fan opinion certainly seems to agree with yours truly (a first, I assure you) that he is better than the legend that was Wojciech Szczesny. What’s more, he’s ours.

I’m not even going to try and call this one. Too much respect for Wolves has built up over the previous three campaigns prior to this one where our paths have more than crossed (so much so that you could write a book about it). Besides, I’m just the numpty on the terrace.

The two things I would say are, firstly: Walter Zenga – Championship manager?! Wow.  I still find it hard to link the two, so intrinsically is he associated with being the goalkeeper for the Italian national team at the end of the 80’s / early 90s. One of the standout faces of the Italia 90 World Cup, probably the last person you expected to find in the Molineux dugout.


Zenga in his playing prime

Whilst his selection to replace Kenny Jackett may have been shock to many, his coaching career is a long one that goes back as far as 1998 when he was player-coach for the New England Revolution. And having taken over at Wolves, the men from Molineux now find themselves only two points behind Brentford. Whilst Saturday will be our first proper chance to see how things are progressing, to the outsider looking in it has hardly been the car crash predicted by many pundits and observers over the summer.

Secondly, hats off to the Wolves programme team. An early contender for the programme of the year award. Whilst I’m unable to comment on the content, there’s no doubting the quality of a striking series of images  – namely the covers for their match day magazine incorporating a Wolf and some play on the nickname of their opponents.

These have graced social media in the build up to every home fixture as part of a series of 23. Whilst I’m normally averse to using any form of ‘Bees sting Wolves/other opponent’ type line, for once it is truly justified.

This is great work and I can’t wait to see what else they produce. How about the Wolf  spitting a mouthful of Magpie feathers ….


A stunning programme cover – grab yours at the ground

And finally, cakes. Given just about everybody has given their opinion on the Great British Bake Off then here’s mine. It’s a show. About baking. Yet also, seemingly, already a national institution.

And given as the majority of the programme’s presenters are jumping ship quicker than you can say Danish Pastry, rather than taking the money and running to Channel 4, it has got me thinking. Who do they replace them with? Specifically, Mel and Sue. And if you don’t like cakes, switch off now – hopefully see you Saturday.

Ant and Dec? Please, no. They’ve already been spread thinner than a layer of (Martin?) Filo pastry and their matey banter is surely too much for the atmosphere of the famous tent.

Claudia Winkleman and Tess Daly from the dancing show. Please. No. Just no.

Rasmus and Phil? Well, aside from their famous partnership as co-directors of football at Brentford, they’re little known outside Griffin Park. It would be a shock selection but perhaps a leap too far.

That said, perhaps the worlds of sport and dancing can give us a clue. You want light hearted without going for the OTT belly laughs. You want proven chemistry. You want somebody who enjoys cake (and judging by her twitter feed, there’s no doubting that). You want, perhaps, somebody unexpected given the new start faced by the makers of the show.

Ladies, gentleman and amateur bakers – I give you Judy Murray and Anton du Beke. So crazy it might just work? She loves cakes; he’s got class. Neither are strangers to the camera. The public certainly warmed to them, despite her lack of initial fluidity on the dance floor, when they paired up on ’Strictly’. Whilst, don’t forget, Anton has presented before… “Bring on the wall”, a cry enjoyed by millions.

Given the car crash that many are predicting, what’s to lose? If it worked for Wolves and Walter Zenga then why not give it a shot?


Judy and Anton – you can’t buy chemistry like this

Nick Bruzon 


One Response to “After a week of nothing but Bake Off, could we sting the Wolves ?”

  1. Bernard Quackenbush (@BernardQuack) September 24, 2016 at 10:14 am #

    These sort of games feel impossible to call. Then I think to myself this is Wolves away… Wolves! How far we have come!

    Loving the programme cover, although im not sure its something they can run with thinking about Fulham. What would they do? Portray a wolf walking into a public lavatory?

    I am the one person in the country who has never seen Bake Off. I just dont get it. For this im channelling the spirit of one of the greatest comedy creations ever, Ron Swanson from Parks & Recreation…. A programme where contestants bake something and some some other people go mmmm or eeeurrgh and then theres a winner, yet the audience just have to take the word of the other people whether something is mmmmm or eeeuurrrgh. The only cookery programme I would watch is the one where an English person shouts a lot at some dim Americans

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