It has been a week of surprises and a week of shocks. Scott Hogan is still a Brentford player (at the time of writing) whilst Mrs Browns Boys won ‘best comedy’ at the National TV awards on Wednesday A bigger voting shock than Donald Trump or the Brexit result, and about as funny as Lee Hurst tied to a bomb for an hour. Yet the unfathomable success of the alleged comedy means we will only be subjected to more of the tedious Agnes Brown (for years to come). And it meant my mind has been elsewhere rather than laughing at West Ham’s inability to prise our star man away or, of course, looking forward to the FA Cup fourth round with Chelsea on Saturday.
But if Scott is going nowhere, as it stands, then will he play against Chelsea on Saturday? Surely our best hope of beating the team that Dean Smith described yesterday as “The current leaders of the land, away” (promptly forcing me to recall the point where the draw paired us with a visit to Westminster and the Bees running out against Theresa May’s cabinet – get stuck in, Macca) is by playing our strongest XI. And that includes Scott.
Dean was in belligerent form at Thursday’s Brentford press conference, telling the media that ”Scott is available for selection. He has trained all week as he did last week” and that “we made it abundantly clear after the game last week that my decision about whether he plays or not will be final”
If he’s been training and is available then, surely, he starts? Or at the very least makes it off the bench if Chelsea are looking like clawing themselves back into it after an hour and we need to turn the screw?
I can’t believe a player would suffer a minor injury for a second week in succession and so with that excuse out of the window, will Dean pick his main man?
The words used were very careful. Dean hasn’t said he will pick Scott. Just that he is available and that he (DS) will be the one to make the call. Nobody appears to have pressed him on the question – will he start? A shame, as at times our media would do a better job grilling bacon than grilling a head coach with the questions that everybody wants to know the answers to.
At the same time, keeping the cards close to the chest is no bad thing. If Brentford fans don’t know and the press don’t know then you can be sure that Antonio Conte and his Chelsea team don’t know.
On a personal note, there wouldn’t be a better stage to impress his would be employers than at Stamford Bridge. If West Ham needed any further incentive to loosen their purse strings and get into the real world, then a goal scoring performance in the backyard of the Premier League leaders would surely be the perfect audition.
Should Dean start him given all that has gone on? Forget Lee Hurst’s nonsense from yesterday – something that The Guardian took apart in such wonderful style. This is a real world situation and a genuine dilemma. Would you pick Scott?
For me, it is an absolute yes. We can’t be held to ransom. If nothing else, one could call it squad rotation. Especially with the Aston Villa game coming up on Tuesday. But what a way to rotate a squad, brining the likes of Scott Hogan and Jota into starting XI.
If Scott remains at Brentford then he’s going to play for us anyway, so let’s just carry on that he’s ours until such time as a proper offer comes in. Frankly, if he does the business against Chelsea then we’d be well within our rights to chuck an extra couple of million on the valuation
As Dean noted, “We know the pool of talent that they have but we will be going all-out to win the game. You only have to look at who could play.”
In my book, ‘all out’ means picking your best players. And that includes Scott Hogan. He’s 17/5 to score at any time.
Now where are the deeds to the house?