What to do on FA Cup weekend? The best (and worst) of football film plus an offer for the fans.

18 Feb

With Brentford having gone missing in action at Chelsea last month, it means we’ve got a free weekend. Instead of a league game against Wolves at Griffin Park, our would be visitors host our FA Cup conquerors in a fifth round encounter that has all those classic ingredients to serve up a potential potato skin. As for Bees fans, we’ll need to put the tinfoil back to regular use and find something else to occupy us until we visit Wednesday on Tuesday. Sheffield, that is.

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For Brentford fans, the tin foil has now reverted to normal use until next season

So? What to do ? Of course, there are still the televised games. These include the aforementioned encounter at Molineux aswell as the one at Turf Moor where Andre Gray, James Tarkoswski (is he still even there?) et al provide the Goliath role as Lincoln City pay Burnley a lunchtime visit.

That one’s well worth a watch, purely for the novelty factor of seeing Burnley playing the role of giants. Yet, at the same time, I’ve got a sneaky feeling this will be the one where we have a weekend shock. Whilst the ties at Wolves and Sutton United are the obvious TV draws, expect the top class opponents, and also Arsenal, to go through. Yet with motivation, form and the entire country behind them, Lincoln look remarkable value.

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But if watching Chelsea is a painful reminder of what might have been then could I suggest an alternative? A football film. Regular readers, should such a thing exist, will know of my love of these. The pinnacle of the genre being Escape To Victory.

This has it all. Actors playing football, badly. Footballers acting,very badly. Michael Caine alongside Pele. Sylvester Stallone sharing screen time with Bobby Moore. John Wark’s moustache is worth the entrance fee alone. Come for the facial hair; stay for the Ardiles flick.

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Pele scores as the Allies escape to victory.

Yet for every Escape to Victory and, to a lesser extent, The Damned United, Fever Pitch, Mike Bassett: England Manager or even TV’s Dream Team, is a Green Street, a Soccer Dog (and the even weaker sequel, Soccer Dog: European Cup) or The Goal Trilogy. The football film is a veritable minefield of weak acting, poor script and overly laboured cliché.

Aside from Luis Figo doing ‘Just for Men’ (still got it, Figo) the only on screen football to transcend both good and bad is, perhaps, When Saturday Comes. It is a film so loaded with cliché it is fit to burst. Hard drinking park footballer Jimmy  – played by 37 year old Sean Bean  – eventually gets his break for Sheffield United after stuffing up his first trial before taking on Manchester United in an FA Cup semi final.

It is a film so loaded with inaccuracy (an FA Cup semi final at The Blades home ground, in the middle of winter, being just one of many) that you have to wonder just who gave this script the green light. And, of course, it is a film with Emily Lloyd displaying the worst Irish accent this side of Alan Partridge telling TV execs, “There’s more to Oireland, dan dis” .

Yet this underrated classic is so bad it’s brilliant. It goes beyond nonsense and into the realm of unintentional comedy gold. No mean feat for what, on paper, should be a complete car crash of a movie.

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If you haven’t seen this, you haven’t lived.

And thus talk of football films brings us, with all the subtly of an Alan McCormack challenge, bang up to date and back to Griffin Park.

Next Tuesday, 28th February,  sees Brentford and Sky Sports joining forces for an exclusive screening of the film Wonderkid.  The short film looks at one of football’s biggest issues – that of homophobia in the modern game – with Brentford doing their part to help raise awareness.

It is a cause we’ve always looked to promote and now the Bees are tackling this from a different angle, through the medium of cinema. The football film is a tricky enough genre to get right as it is, let alone with the added pressure of a serious issue. Yet, at the same time, I can’t wait to see how this goes and how it is received.

Full information about the event, including how to get free tickets, is on the club website now. See you there.

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Nick Bruzon

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8 Responses to “What to do on FA Cup weekend? The best (and worst) of football film plus an offer for the fans.”

  1. peter lumley February 18, 2017 at 12:00 pm #

    May I crave your indulgence,Nick, and take advantage of the Bees not having a game today by expressing a personal review of what has happened at GP over the past two years.February 11,2015 was the day that many Bees fans will remember for the rest of their lives.It was the day that owner Matthew Benham and Club Chairman,Clifford Crown,told us that if Brentford were to continue to compete successfully against the more prosperous Championship sides it had to embark on a radical change of managerial direction. That was the only way the club could hope to make further progress in its quest to achieve Premiership football.Just relying on human judgement and experience was not the answer.A far greater use of statistical analyses would assist in identifying the best coaches and players in the quest to achieve continued success and progress.Although many fans like myself were somewhat sceptical there was no alternative but to “buy into” the new regime. Were we right or wrong to have misgivings about the proposed change of direction?A very crude form of analysing statistics would suggest,I submit, that we were right The “stats” are these:- when the new approach was announced the club,in its first season in the Championship,went on to finish in the top six and made the play-offs.The following season we dropped to ninth and now it looks highly likely that we will finish in the bottom half this season. Maybe I am lacking in patience but the early evidence can only lead to the conclusion that instead of maintaining progress the club,in fact,has gone backwards I sincerely hope that next season will prove mme wrong. But I am not holding my breath!!

    • hobbo February 18, 2017 at 12:44 pm #

      Only going back two years? i suggest you go back to the loose change in buckets days ,thats a better perspective of were the Bees now stand Peter.

      • peter lumley February 18, 2017 at 1:27 pm #

        No quarrel with that retort. I remember when we jumped in and out of the old Third and Fourth Divisions.The purpose of my earlier comment was to look at what had happened since the “new regime” was introduced. Would you say we are in a better place now than we were in 2015?

  2. RebelBee February 18, 2017 at 1:09 pm #

    Timely reminder Peter, we all argued and agonised a lot over all that went on and in truth it took a year to get through it, I learned a bit along the way and modified my views with time. I’m now of the opinion that MB’s strategy is absolutely the right one for us, what I’m less comfortable about is its implementation. MB rarely wants or gets positive press but others have watched what we’re doing closely, and here’s the rub, they’ve done it better – exhibit A, Huddersfield, and B, Barnsley. If MB / RA had unearthed a David Wagner not a Marinus I’m convinced we’d be top 6 or better, notwithstanding all of the challenges we face against the moneybags clubs. Recruitment could be better imo, and the performance / results of the head coach has been moderate at best. I feel MW’s departure scarred MB, understably if all is to be believed, and as a result we have a collegiate, go along to get along Dean Smith. Everyone likes him, I suspect I would too, but is he able to squeeze the very best out of the talented players we have, and to manage upwards with the DoF’s & Mathew? For me ants where the debate is now, but what do I know. UTB as ever.

    • hobbo February 18, 2017 at 2:10 pm #

      Same place,less points, more money, new ground about to be built,thank you Mr Benham .Patience fellas,ive needed plenty of that supporting the Bees for 55 years.

  3. Bernard Quackenbush (@BernardQuack) February 18, 2017 at 4:08 pm #

    Only a couple of weeks ago I watched possibly the worst football related drama, ‘Tina & Bobby’, which featured an ageing Bobby Moore who didnt appear to age and an actor woefully miscast and factual inaccuracies everywhere. Any football mad school child could tell you where the tunnel was at the 1966 World Cup Final, yet this drama managed to get it wrong. Although it did have the highlight of an unintentionally awful Elton John impersonator.

    On a different note, after the retirement of Clattenburg from the refereeing ranks and obvious demotion of Roger East, im hearing that Andy Madley, David Coote & Chris Kavanagh are all to be promoted, possibly even immediately. I dont think we are going to cry abut any of those 3 being promoted, what a shame Norman Wisdom’s love child, Keith Stroud, didnt get the promotion who so ‘richly’ deserves.

    • peter lumley February 18, 2017 at 6:34 pm #

      I really hope I have not given hobbo the impression that I do not fully appreciate the tremendous financial contribution Matthew Benham has made to keep the club afloat over the past few years. But I am certain he would not expect to be absolved from any criticism,however slight, that might be levelled at the club’s senior management team and some of the decisions they have made over the past two years.As a supporter for 50 plus years hobbo will know that relatively speaking he also has made a tremendous financial contribution to the club,like myself over 73 years,and thousands of other Brentford fans. MB is too big a man not to appreciate that it is not only owners who help clubs to survive.Let us never forget that without fans there would be no need for owners!

  4. Rob O February 18, 2017 at 11:36 pm #

    Think we’re building for the 2019-20 season in the new stadium. If we get to the PL whilst still in Griffin Park it will be a logistical nightmare. So pencil in 2018-19 for the big promotion push.

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