In Matthew we trust. Whatever happens over the next two weeks.

15 Jan

Newcastle United left Griffin Park with all three points last night and nobody can deny them that. They scored twice. Brentford scored once. Newsflash: that’s how football works. Yet even in defeat, I woke up this morning (duh-duh-duh-duh-duhh) full of positivity. As, it would seem, have the vast majority of those out in cyberspace. This, despite losing a game and the prospect of our star man on his way to West Ham/other after Dean’s strange decision in regards to team selection.

Thoughts on that were published in yesterday evening’s post match article. Worth a look purely for the ever eloquent views of Bernard Quackenbush in the comment’s section. And Bernard, if you are reading, then that special guest slot remains yours should you ever want to go ‘full fat’ on the column (not a euphemism).

Looking across Facebook and Twitter (other sources are also available) there is a lot of pride out there today at how well Brentford played. There is huge recognition of how well Lasse Vibe performed up top. Perhaps the immediate answer for when Scott is sold is sitting right under our noses. There is huge regret at the fact that Jota couldn’t quite complete his moment of magic in the 90th minute.

If not for the well deserved point that we would have scored but the sheer and unadulterated moment of mutual celebration that the 10,000 home supporters would have shared. Jota. In the last minute. After the Bees had been knocking on the door all second half. Just imagine the sheer ecstasy had he found the back of the net in such circumstances…

Even Mark Burridge has posted on facebook this morning to say that the game, “Was a pleasure to commentate on, Marcus, Mick and I really enjoyed it….had the last minute Jota goal happened then I feel the stadium would have erupted.”

Eruption probably the understatement of the decade.

So it is a morning of regret. But lovely regret. Disappointment yet in the nicest way. Honestly, I’m struggling to explain it properly. We lost. It’s normally the cause for a moan about not creating enough chances and, had we, then things might have been different. But yesterday we played. And we played so well. No pressure Dean, but a bar has been raised after outperforming the league leaders for huge periods.

As for Scott Hogan, well I’ve see some nonsense out there today. He didn’t come out for the second half. He didn’t warm up, his attitude sucks. Allegedly. Utter garbage.

If you want bad attitude then look at Dimitri Payet or Diego Costa. Scott has done nothing but carry on doing his thing when selected. Just look at the Birmingham game when rumours had long been gathering. You can’t blame the player for the manager’s decisions to declare him available, to not start him and then to not bring him off the bench.

We’ll sell him at some point, no question. But once the price is right. Standing outside The Griffin yesterday evening, Matthew Benham and his family walked past. “Don’t sell Hogan…” shouted one supporter . “Unless the price is right” , added another.

The response was immediate: “I’m holding out”. Anybody thinking they’ll get a cut price deal might do well to remember this isn’t the Brentford of old.

We’ll reinvest, but once the players are right (Hello? Operator? Can I have the number for Norwich City please?)  The likes of Tom Field, who had another great game yesterday, and Josh Clarke have already shown we have strength within the deeper squad. Chris Mepham has now had his debut whilst Jota is back and Rico Henry has still to show us what he can do. Alan Judge gets closer to fitness each day although perhaps that is a dream too far? Or is it?

One thing Matthew has shown is he loves to surprise us. Who would ever have thought Marcello Trotta would return after the rarely mentioned penalty incident? Yet return he did as he not only won back the fans after the lowest of lows but his goals then inspired us to that wonderful promotion.

They celebrated like they’d won the FA Cup”. Not my words but those of Russell Slade after that incredible Lunchtime at Leyton Orient. Trotta scored the winner that day yet, but for Mathew’s shock decision, we’d never have seen him in Brentford colours again. But for Matthew’s decision who knows what might have happened that season?

1-0 Marcello

Marcello – Matthew brought him back despite everything

Whatever happens with Scott Hogan, anybody doubting the player’s attitude should probably take a step back. Anybody doubting that a decision made will be for the long term good of the club and the team might want to consider how the side has ebbed, flowed and transformed over the years.

Co-director of football Rasmus Ankersen, made that famous quote back in September 2015, telling supporters that “The goal is to get stronger after each transfer window”. Being honest, it has never quite felt as though we are stronger in the immediate short term yet this team and this squad keep going.


Perhaps this is as much through long term injury. As Andre Gray was doing his thing, Scott was undergoing that long, long recuperation. Imagine a team with those two together?  Now we have Rico Henry and Lewis Mcleod out for most of the season. Yet this has given others the chance to shine and I can’t imagine Tom Field giving up his place without a fight once the former Walsall man is fit again.

I’m bored of people getting overly critical about the make up of the squad or our long term direction. And that includes myself. How that squad is managed is a different issue altogether but Dean Smith showed yesterday we have players who can do it.

We came close. We lost. But we impressed. Can Dean get us to go one better? Can we get a repeat of our last away performance when we travel to Wigan next weekend? And then there’s the small matter of Chelsea away.

Whoever is picked, it’s a great time to be a Brentford fan. We’re fast approaching our fourth season in the Championship with a wonderful opportunity to cause an incredible cup upset. I’ve said it before but need to say it again. That’s just bonkers. Moreso, for those of us who have been here for sometime.


Mike Ashley and Cliff Crown yesterday – Brentford now mixing it with the big boys

Anybody who doubts how far we’ve come just needs to look at yesterday’s match day programme. Part one of Mark Chapman’s piece on the failed takeover attempt by QPR is well, well worth a read to remind ourselves of what once might have been.

I disagree with how Dean handled Scott yesterday. A poor decision. One of the B-team should have been recalled. But I admire his trust in Lasse and how good to see that rewarded.

Who knows what will happen over the next two weeks? It might not be pretty. It might not be pleasing. Yet one can only trust in everything that has gone before and the way we are continuing to build for our long term future.

Now, who’s got shovel ? There’s a stadium to build.


The programme this season has been quality – credit to Mark Chapman

Nick Bruzon


7 Responses to “In Matthew we trust. Whatever happens over the next two weeks.”

  1. Exiled Bee January 15, 2017 at 12:02 pm #

    Nick, a wonderful assessment. I agree with 99% of it. The one caveat for me is that I am not sure bring a B team player to “ride the pine” would have been the best call given that the team was in Germany playing Bayern Munich. Yes, I know it could have been easily done, but for those B team players that game was a big deal (just look at their Twitter accounts). Pulling a player out of that match could have been tricky. Not in any logistical sense, but those guys wanted to play in Europe and against a big club (even though it was their youth side). That is a great experience and one I am sure will be long remembered by the boys. Bringing one of those top players back to GP to sit for 90 minutes may have had a knock on effect. Yes you could argue that we need to do what’s best for the squad, or that those kids should and would do whatever the club asks, but the fact is we had a player that was technically available, we have an extra striker in Hofmann should Vibe be injured, and we have a decent set of subs in general so why take the opportunity away so that fans wouldn’t be confused about Scott?

  2. Bernard Quackenbush (@BernardQuack) January 15, 2017 at 12:43 pm #

    The future indeed does not look bad. With Scott on his way, we do need to look at possible replacements. Matty Taylor at Bristol Rovers is a player I have long admired, of whom I am sure Andy Scott has been keeping a close eye on. The thought of Judge & Jota in the side is mouth watering, and as you mentioned with Romaine’s indifferent performances, Jota should be an immediate replacement, but then again im not Dean Smith.

    But is Dean Smith the man to push us to that next level? I dont see it. If anything we have gone backwards under his stewardship and Matthew Benham may have to make a difficult decision in the summer. Some would say we have improved significantly in the last month or so. We have. But that may be down to the introduction of Thomas Frank to the coaching staff which coincided with our improvement in performance.

    Yesterday did show poor management with the Hogan situation, with Reece Cole clearly available to take his place on the bench at a moments notice. How must he feel having seen Hogan not even warm up?

    Oh and thank you for the kind words. I have half written something, but feels more like a summer piece! Perhaps I should have a go at something more current! Rather than sound like Peter Kay, only writing about the past!

  3. Dave Washer January 15, 2017 at 1:30 pm #

    Great post, Nick. It’s always a balance, enjoying where we are at the moment (consolidating in the Championship) with looking to where Matthew (and all of us) wants us to be long-term (obviously in the Premier League).

    I do personally believe the club made the wrong move yesterday in putting Hogan on the bench. Obviously the idea is to stop him from getting ‘Hyamed’ with the possibility of a £15 mil payday in the offing. But why then did DS intimate in his press conference on Thursday that Hogan would probably get a game against the Toon, to show his Premier suitors he’s got what it takes against the best team in the league?

    To me it’s seems like DS fully intended on playing him, and was then warned off at the last moment. If that’s the case, I totally respect and understand Matthew’s thinking, but I also think it leaves supporters confused and feeling slightly slapped in the face, especially having parted with their hard earned cash and given their all to support the team.

    Hopefully, for everyone’s sake, Scott will go before the Wigan game and the club can bring in an extra forward to support / challenge Vibe.

    • nickbruzon January 15, 2017 at 3:19 pm #

      Thank you Dave. I think Dean painted himself into a corner on Thursday. Fully support Matthew wanting to keep an imminent / potential £15m ‘wrapped in cotton wool’.
      This way of doing things has left supporters, if not confused, then certainly aware that the player is likely to leave. Poorly handled in the short term but ultimately something that has been done ‘for the greater good’ of the club.

  4. RebelBee January 15, 2017 at 6:27 pm #

    In amongst the plaudits for our performance &
    the debate about SH there is an inconvenient truth. Our home form is awful, only Burton have been put away since September iirc. Let’s not forget that.

    • nickbruzon January 15, 2017 at 8:56 pm #

      Valid stats . Oh for 90 minute consistency. When we find it, somebody will be destroyed. Here’s hoping yesterday gave us that confidence

      • RebelBee January 16, 2017 at 8:13 am #

        I just feel we’re underachieving right now, lots of good things around the club but not really pulling through into results. A former manager said we play the 11 in front of us, not the big club or its history. Feeels different now, like we lack belief & positivity to go & finish off some of these sides who ain’t that great. We conspired to lose on Sat rather than them finding a way to win it.

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