Is that the sound of a straw being clutched?

5 Nov

It had to happen eventually. That’s just a matter of probability and percentages. After five games and now into our third season of playing together in the Championship, Fulham have finally beaten Brentford in a West London derby. Friday night’s game seeing the visitors record a 2-0 win at Griffin Park.

Of course, Brentford had the historical form. Previous Championship encounters had seen the Bees despatching Fulham as easily as an irritating child being sent to the naughty step. The Cottagers had been blown off the park time and again, providing no more resistance than a playful kitten . Instead, they’d rolled over and let us tickle their bellies as 11 goals, three wins and 10 points followed in four games. Indeed, but for an incorrect ‘offside ‘ call against Jota last season (oh, to have him back) it would have been a 12,4,12 record.

That was then. This is now. It is a quintessential bit of footballing common sense to play the team, not the moment. Don’t rest on your laurels. Previous humpings of Fulham or last Friday’s wonderful destruction of QPR count for nothing the moment the man in, erm, medium violet red blows the whistle to begin proceedings.


Aubergine? Puce? Vermillion? No.

Whether there was an assumption we’d do it again. Whether the midfield were (the wonderful Josh Clarke aside) still at Loftus Road. Whether it was just tactical naivety from Dean Smith (his selection, substitutions and continuing neglect of Konstantin Kerschbaumer  a mystery to rank with the pyramids or Donald Trump’s hair) I have no idea.

All I can say is that this was, sadly, woeful. A brief flurry in the second half aside, the Bees weren’t at the races. Dean was man enough to admit that “We didn’t perform well and didn’t deserve to win”. … before the somewhat strange revelation that, “While not playing at our best, we showed some spirit and stayed in the game until the 93rd minute”.

While not playing at our our best?”. Technically correct but was that the sound of a straw being clutched?  I’m loathe to overly criticise a team who are still wonderfully placed in the Championship, but lets be honest here. We were terrible last night. And against Fulham of all teams.

More worrying is our current form. That incredible game at QPR aside, we’ve huffed and puffed an awful lot in recent weeks. At least, when trying to break teams down. Indeed, even factoring in the result against the not so super hoops our last 6 games have seen 3 consecutive blanks at Griffin park and only three goals scored. The only thing on fire, certainly based on last night’s showing, was the referee’s assistant on the Braemar Road side – giving off more steam than a thoroughbred race horse.

What a pity we didn’t have any of those ourselves. Scott Hogan looked knackered, Ryan Woods unusually out of sorts and Josh McEachran out of his depth. International break and a chance to just take stock, pick ourselves up and catch our breath once more couldn’t come soon enough. David Button, on the other hand, coming in for some very harsh treatment from the Griffin Park faithful as he showed the same prowess that we had come to rely on over the years. The only difference being he has now learned to kick straight. And long. The toblerone boots seemingly left behind in TW8.

I’m trying to find a positive from the night and all I can come up with is Fulham’s socks.Surely an even more desperate straw to clutch than the aforementioned one from Dean.


Nice socks; shame about the result

That said, should Kitman Bob have opted for a yellow and black away shirt for next season (and nobody could doubt that the Bathwise sponsored Bees’ colour scheme from a few years ago was always hugely popular) then the adidas back catalogue already has footwear to match.

As for Fulham, much as it pains me to the say this they were the only side in this one last night. Three points sees them overtake the Bees in the Championship table with QPR still limping along behind as the worst placed team in West London.

Is it doom and gloom? Of course not. Imagine being in Rotherham’s plight, for example. Imagine having had the geographical misfortune to have been born a Fulham supporter? Equally though, they wanted it more and they got it.

Captain Harlee Dean summed it up whilst also, thankfully, expunging his favoured post-defeat promise to’ go again’.

Next time, Fulham. Next time. See you at The Cottage….


Harlee – honest as ever

Nick Bruzon


19 Responses to “Is that the sound of a straw being clutched?”

  1. Bernard Quackenbush (@BernardQuack) November 5, 2016 at 8:39 am #

    We were terrible. Fulham utterly deserved it. They were so full of energy and always had the desire to get to the ball first (which they generally did every time!). We looked lethargic with Max & Clarke in the second half the only ones showing any real energy. The game also showed where we were lacking in centre midfield where we were completely overrun with Nico & McEachran utterly ineffectual. It was that bad I immediately texted Mrs Q to delete the game on the Sky+. I really didnt want to see it again.

    I must admit I went to the game thinking that after last week’s high we might come crashing back to earth and by the whole law of local derby averages, Fulham were due one. I had a feeling we would lose.

    One positive was seeing Ellery Balcombe on the bench, this young keeper definitely looked the part in the warm up and Id like to see him permanently promoted to 2nd choice keeper.

    Genuine question…why do ER sing songs such as ‘You Only Sing When Your’e Winning’ and ‘1-0 & You Still Dont Sing’? As if they care…they’re winning! Just a small example of some of the many stupid songs.

  2. RebelBee November 5, 2016 at 8:48 am #

    The home form is a worry, as are our very slow starts. FFC played very well last night, pace, width and good passing in tight spaces. The game was won / lost across midfield where our limitations were exposed. Credit to them, although we weren’t far off stealing a draw in a better 2nd half display.

    We weren’t awful, more that they were very good. They have spent big since relegation & only now seem to be getting a good side together. Huge imbalance in resources & we are doing ok as a mid table team, but we do need to sort ourselves out

    FFC & rangers take us very seriously now, we’ve come a long way.

  3. RebelBee November 5, 2016 at 8:50 am #

    The home form is a worry, as are our very slow starts. FFC played very well last night, pace, width and good passing in tight spaces. The game was won / lost across midfield where our limitations were exposed. Credit to them, although we weren’t far off stealing a draw in a better 2nd half display.

    We weren’t awful, more that they were very good. They have spent big since relegation & only now seem to be getting a good side together. Huge imbalance in resources & we are doing ok as a mid table team, but we do need to sort ourselves out

    FFC & rangers take us very seriously now, we’ve come a long way.

  4. gordonbankole November 5, 2016 at 10:12 am #

    As RebelBee points out, we made another really slow start. Once again our lack of intensity early doors allowed Fulham to dominate for far too long. Dare I say it, it reminded me of the Dijkhuizen era. It was just the same against Barnsley. We just cannot afford to hand the initiative to the opposition so easily.

    Only when John Egan (who I thought was our best outfield player) made a storming run in the second half having had no right to win the ball in the first place did we do anything like have a go at them, but in truth we had just a shot from Clarke and a couple of scrambles at corners to show for our efforts.

    BQ, I always know we are in trouble when you get what I call the ‘consolation chants’ from the Ealing Road. It obviously makes those singing them feel better about themselves but should be filed away in the moronic category along with those infantile cries of ‘shoot’ whenever a ball comes vaguely in the direction of a Brentford player 30-40 yards from goal (no matter which way he is facing or whether he even has the ball in the first place).



    PS. Am I allowed to say that Fulham were excellent?

    • RebelBee November 5, 2016 at 11:35 am #

      I think we can compliment them GB, it’s an intelligent response to a gutting defeat & they were impressive. We need to take our medicine & figure out how we can put things right at Putney next time.

      Standing in the forecourt pre match I saw Stuart Dallas, Sol Campbell & Sir Clive Woodward – Woodward was with MB throughout. I wonder if there’s anything in this?

    • hobbo November 5, 2016 at 12:27 pm #

      You are Gordon, Much as it pains me to say it they are going to be in the promotion mix at the end of the season.

  5. gordonbankole November 5, 2016 at 11:56 am #

    RB – Woodward could be our new peripheral vision coach (one of his obsessions when at Southampton).

    However, if he could turn his hand to speed coaching that would be even better. Both in terms of movement and thinking (is it my imagination, or are we one of the slowest teams in the league whilst also guilty of hanging onto the ball that little bit too long?).



    • RebelBee November 5, 2016 at 12:29 pm #

      That’s interesting GB, CW certainly didn’t seem like he was just there to watch a game, so what you’re suggesting makes sense. I make you right, it seems that when our oppo don’t start on the front foot we grow into games. When they take the initiative, as FFC did last night, everything becomes so laboured. With this lone forward system decisions have to be quick, smart & accurate. I’ve no idea if this can be coached or taught but why not, we have to buy & improve players whereas others are trying to buy finished product.

  6. Jay November 5, 2016 at 2:10 pm #

    Embarrassing even having to play brentford, but a nice win all the same by a proper West London club. As for the win against the other proper West London club last week, well eleven monkeys could have won that game, the R’s being even worse than brentford yesterday, and that’s not easy!!

    • RebelBee November 5, 2016 at 2:15 pm #

      I knew you’d be back to crow despite the respect given to FFC on here, well done, see you in Putney you classless twunt!

    • nickbruzon November 5, 2016 at 3:01 pm #

      Yawn. Are we back to he postcodes, again? Stay classy, eh!

    • Bernard Quackenbush (@BernardQuack) November 5, 2016 at 4:28 pm #

      I commend Jay in being so open and honest with his problems. It cannot be easy to admit to such shortgivings in front of strangers. We should support him rather than castigate him for his issues around self-confidence and his inability to function in everyday society.

      To be embarrassed that the football team you support plays League football must be difficult particularly between the months of August to May, when his embarrassment must be overwhelming. One can only wonder what other self-confidence issues he must have. I have heard he took a big step recently by talking to a girl. The girl wasnt sure what he actually said or that he was even talking to her, but its such a big step forward for poor Jay. Keep it up Jay!

  7. gordonbankole November 5, 2016 at 2:39 pm #

    So telling that the postcode cockwomble (who seemed to be about 50 given previous pronouncements) sees it as embarrassing that we are playing his mob, despite all those games in the 80s and 90s in addition to the last few years. One can only assume therefore he is a nouveau fan who only became interested when Fayed got involved and believes football started when Sky did.

    Read above and I complimented your team on winning and being by far the better team.

    I don’t seem to remember you doing that happening after our previous three victories. Sadly it says a lot about you and your total lack of class.



    PS. Your next response will be very predictable. Before you come back at me, please reflect on the sheer lack of class of your post and how utterly arrogant and unpleasant you come across. Maybe reflect too on the fact that I did not come onto any Fulham websites crowing after our three victories in the last two years (and please don’t even think of using the word banter as that implies some vestige of humour).

  8. Spanish Bee November 5, 2016 at 6:55 pm #

    Maybe he is out of sorts because he’s a Michael Jackson fan?

    • RebelBee November 6, 2016 at 9:53 am #

      After being totally owned here Jay Zzzz…is still working on his pithy come back. Will it be postcode, will it be worthy? We’ll have to wait & see.

      • Sutton Tutors November 6, 2016 at 10:36 pm #


  9. Gordonbankole November 6, 2016 at 1:07 pm #

    No real surprises there RB – we’ve seen before we’re not dealing with a superior intellect here.

    We’ll be probably have to wait longer than we did even for the Lord Chancellor to condemn the scum press attack on the judiciary.

    However, to prolong the entertainment let’s have a game of Jay bingo. I’ll start:

    “QPR were not based in Middlesex” (despite of course playing in various parts of what was then Middlesex during the course of their existence).



    • RebelBee November 6, 2016 at 4:46 pm #

      Jay bingo lol, is this the same QPR who he doesn’t even support, but needs to use to back up his notion that Putney are a “pwopah” West London football club. Meanwhile Brentford remains an outpost in the shire, not worthy of sharing a pitch with the footballing dynasty he claims to support.

      Jay Zzzzzzzz – the gift that keeps giving…we thank you.

  10. Gordonbankole November 8, 2016 at 6:31 pm #

    So looks like our favourite cockwomble has mysteriously disappeared then. Either that or he is spending his time on learning new postcodes.



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