Brentford prepare for the visit of Wigan Athletic on Saturday with the topic of conversation being the ongoing corruption saga being revealed by the Telegraph. Following Tuesday’s news about Sam Allardyce, it is an investigation which has spread to the Championship with QPR boss Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink “devastated” after it had been suggested during the week that he was involved. With the Loftus Road outfit planning what they describe as “A thorough investigation”, Barnsley have already taken the action of sacking assistant manager Tommy Wright after he was filmed accepting a £5,000 payment.
Pretty much everybody has had their opinion on this story already. Equally, though, there are as many questions as answers out there. Supporters up and down the land are now wondering who will be next to be named, who will be found guilty and is their own club clean?
Stories of this nature, of shady motorway service station meets ups where bundles of cash are exchanged, have long been doing the rounds. Yet now it seems things have stepped up a level and people are being caught bang to rights. I can only hope the stories are found to be lacking in substance, although it seems unlikely.
Not because of any wrong doing. Frankly, if people are ‘on the take’ then root them out and give them them what they deserve. But in the case of QPR, it’s slightly different. Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink is doing a wonderful job there. At least, for us Bees fans.
With QPR sitting 16th, 11 places and already five points behind Brentford, I’d hate for his reign to come to an end because off-field matters. A run of form that has seen the not so super hoops pick up a solitary league win from their last eight games is, surely, one that needs to continue.
As for matters on field, Brentford entertain Wigan tomorrow. Our respective starts could hardly have been more different. Brentford find themselves in fifth place whilst Athletic sit fourth bottom. And with the Bees scoring goals for fun at present (our last two home games have seen us find the back of the net 9 times) , it is Scott Hogan and Brentford who are the ones currently, on fi, fi, fir, (can’t. say it) form.
The reputation and the silly songs may belong to Northern Ireland International and former Bee Will Grigg but only Norwich, Newcastle and Barnsley have scored more than us this season.
That said, whilst Scott may currently top the Championship scoring charts with 7(seven) from 10 games, Will does sit just behind in fourth place with five . This, already more than he managed in a Griffin Park career where, if we are being honest, the striker showed all the cutting edge of a pair of children’s plastic safety scissors.
Yet despite the player’s new found form, Dean Smith was full of nothing but positivity about his own team. He used Thursday’s media day to talk about how Brentford have been playing and what he sees happening next.
If all goes to plan, then we can expect more of the same. In his latest interview, which appears in full on ‘official’ , Dean tells us he has never been one to keep a lid on confidence. Indeed, if you are confident then be excited about it.
“I have never been one to keep a lid on confidence,” he said. “If you are confident then be excited about it, go and work harder, and enjoy the rewards you get with it. You need to continue the momentum that you have got because it is a big thing and it can change very quickly. When you are confident, run with it and I am encouraging the players to do just that. Our mentality is to keep pushing for that next goal as we believe that is the way to go and kill games off.”
Fine words but can we follow them up ? Well, if we play even half as well as we did on Tuesday night against Reading then I can only be excited. It was a stunning display from the entire team and one which presents Dean with a problem – what to do with Ryan Woods?
The ginger pirlo, already one of our star players this campaign, was forced to sit that one out after accruing five yellow cards. Yet, despite his only appearance being in the stands and the burger queue, the Bees still flourished.
It’s a lovely problem for Dean to have and is going to be a very interesting insight into his mentality as to which way he goes on that one. Who’d be a manager ?
As one final thought on the corruption scandal, there has been a further casualty. You’ve probably seen the story doing the rounds yesterday as to how the FA have been forced to bin 4,000 t-shirts they planned to give out at the forthcoming England game with Malta. For obvious reasons, free shirts that incorporated a motivational quote from Sam Allardyce are now deemed surplus to requirements.
They’re missing a trick. Get them on e-bay. Sharpish. Surely these would become somewhat ghoulish collector’s items ? I’d buy one. Then again, I’d still buy the funky bee shirt if I saw one.
The Daily Mail (hey, if you’re going to go ‘moral high ground’) are amongst those running with the story and you can read it in full here. In the meantime, I’ve managed to get a sneak peak at what they might look like…