From the ridiculous to the sublime. Did that just happen?

18 Mar

Burton Albion 3 Brentford 5. Let’s just repeat that, for clarity.  Burton Albion 3 Brentford 5.

Now let’s look at the half-time score. Burton Albion 3 Brentford 1 (not a typo).

“The whole of the Smith era summed up in 90 mins”. They aren’t my words but those of regular Last Word correspondent Bernard Quackenbush. In a season where Brentford’s search for consistency has been one of the themes on these pages, BQ seems to have hit the nail on the head. For every Rotherham ‘away’ has been a win at Brighton. For every Wolves ‘home’ has been victory at Nottingham Forest. And now for every first half at Burton has been a second half at Burton.

I can’t comment on the game specifically. I wasn’t there. I should have been. We have a rule in our house that once something is on the calendar, that’s it. It is agreed and set in stone. When I check it even now, there you go. Saturday 18 March and one word. ‘Football’.


Does anybody have any plans for Monday?

But then something happened. A rogue entry appeared on the schedule. Also on Saturday 18 March. And in our family only one person wears the trousers. Without naming names let’s just put it this way – there’s only Pepe 2 behind your’s truly in the pecking order. And he’s a cat.

So my attendance at today’s game has had to go for a Burton. Still, what was the worst that could happen? Indeed, at half-time I was that close to thanking Mrs Bruzon (I mean, Person X).Brentford were on the wrong end of a 3-1 deficit that, from watching the subsequent video highlights on the internet c/o Sky, was as close to a masterclass in how not to defend set pieces as one could expect to see.

Then half time happened. With tweets including the phrase “We go again” already being prepped and the Bees facing an even more ignominious fate than being humped by Burton, that of being overtaken in the table by QPR, there was no way back. Surely?

Yet four goals without reply put the Bees on the brink of brackets and has sent Twitter into meltdown. I have no idea what Dean Smith said in the changing room but credit to him for sticking with the same XI that started the first. They got us into it, could they get us out? The answer being an emphatic “Yes”.

Soccer Saturday on Sky would describe Sergi’s second, that to make it 3-3, as being scored from an impossibly tight angle. Whilst it wasn’t quite a volley akin to Marco Van Basten or Gary Alexander for Crawley against Peterborough (I’m not joking), the angle was as acute as you could expect. More was to follow with who else but Jota adding to braces from Sergi and Lasse Vibe. Albeit in the 86th rather than the last minute. Hey, that’s just being picky.

Screen Shot 2017-03-18 at 17.36.40

Jota. Who else. Sky TV capture the moment.

Check out the BBC , Brentford ‘official’ or Beesotted for the match report. Or just watch the Sky highlights. Personally, I can’t wait for the Mark Burridge infused full-fat YouTube clip tomorrow lunchtime.

Brentford. From the ridiculous to the sublime. At times we are infuriating. We’re very much inconsistent. But nobody could deny we aren’t exciting and there’s never a dull moment.  And this one was up with the best of them. Even following from home you could sense something special unfolding. One can only imagine how wonderful to have been there for this one.

Indeed with fans on the way home reporting Sergi Canos, one of the men of the moment, at the railway station and posing for photos with supporters it just tells you all you need to know about our club.


Yes. He really was. Sergi – what a man

With Bristol City next up, who knows what will happen then? You’d need to be Nostradamus to call that one and, frankly, I’ve given up trying.

Well played lads. If ever a reminder were needed that football is a game of two halves then here it was. As official noted at full time….

Screen Shot 2017-03-18 at 18.21.20

I can’t top that. A safe journey back to all those fortunate enough to have travelled.

Nick Bruzon


6 Responses to “From the ridiculous to the sublime. Did that just happen?”

  1. Rob March 18, 2017 at 8:03 pm #

    Just bizarre! We’re so inconsistent we cant even complete 90 minutes playing a similar style from start to finish! At the beginning of the season i really thought we had about as good a set of defenders as we’ve had in a long long time (probably since big Tel Evans and “You’ll never beat Keith Millen”. But we have an achilles heal, or to be more precise an inability to win headers with balls into the box! Apparently the half time pep talk was a threat to have them in for traing during the w/e of the international break. Inspired? Well it had the desired effect at least. What’s so frustrating is that if everyone gives 100% every game we have a team with the ability to do very well in this league and with 3 or 4 additions most definitely top 6….but…cut out the lapses of concentration, always give 100% and please do more drills on how to defend set pieces!
    Well done Bees on bouncing back today though…. CoyBs!

  2. Andrew Anderson March 18, 2017 at 9:04 pm #

    You are going to be so in trouble with Mrs B Nick. Great blog though.

    • nickbruzon March 18, 2017 at 9:30 pm #

      What she doesn’t read can’t hurt her…..

  3. Dave Washer March 18, 2017 at 10:17 pm #

    Brilliant article, Nick. I was lucky enough to be there with my Dad – and I couldn’t have picked a better one to go to for my first away game since we got royally battered 3-0 at Charlton back in 2014-15 (as a rule I’m basically not allowed to go to away games… two small children, one wife… you get the picture…)

    Anyway, what a game. First half (Canos goal aside) we were bloody awful. No shape, no cutting edge, no incision, no creativity, no attacking outlet, no sense of purpose. I could go on. We basically got drawn into what I would call a ‘League One scrap’ – long balls, physicality, zero quality or technical ability etc. And then there were those corners.

    First one. Then two. In two minutes. Scored by the same player. In the same place. At the far post. Unbelievable. Awful defending. Really just terrible. After the free kick it looked like it was all over. Then the second half happened.

    As bad as we were in the first period, we were absolutely marvellous in the second. Right from the kick off, Ryan Woods sent an almost great ball out to Jota deep in Burton territory on the right. That set the tempo – and from that point, we didn’t look back.

    Vibe was electric. Jota was fabulous. Woods was tenacious. Sawyers was, er, Sawyers. Jozefzoon was a handful. Macormack was fearsome. Barbet was imperious. Dean was determined. Bentley was composed. Colin was on fire. Field was composed. Kerschbaumer was substituted. And Canos. Well, what can you say about Canos? He is quite simply a joy to behold. I can’t quite believe he is a Brentford player. His pace, control, tenacity, work rate and sheer exuberance and enthusiasm are truly wondrous. Alex Neill’s folly is our delight and good fortune. The way he celebrated his second sums the guy up. Passionate. Dedicated. Thrilled to be a bee. A legend.

    Needless to say, a great time was had by all. And the journey back down the M1 was most enjoyable.

    But the always insightful Mr Quackenbush is quite correct in his wonderfully phrased comment. It did sum up the Dean Smith era in one match. Sometimes breath-taking. Often appalling. Now and then inept. Occasionally magnificent. And completely and utterly unpredictable.

    When we play to our strengths (Forest away, Brighton away, Brighton at GP, today’s second half) we are quite simply unstoppable. In fact, I would go as far as to say we could – and should – challenge for the top two next season. But when we are bad (Wolves at GP, Norwich away, today’s first half) we are bloody awful. Relegation material awful.

    It is crazy and it is confusing and it is baffling and it is frustrating. Undeniably, it is exciting to watch, but at the same time, when August comes around (and it will, fast) we need consistency. A new striker to challenge Vibe, a hard tackling central midfielder and perhaps one or two more. If we can add them and keep Jota and Judge, we will seriously challenge next season. But defensively we need a hell of a lot of work, and Smith needs to take things up a level – a la David Wagner.

    Anyway, that’s for then and this is now. What a game. What a result. What a second half performance. What a crazy team we support. Brentford we love you… and I am THRILLED to be able to say, ‘I was there!’

  4. Bernard Quackenbush (@BernardQuack) March 18, 2017 at 11:41 pm #

    Was not there today but was kept in touch by Bees Player when it was working & not being sabotaged by an 80yo in a flat cap, but I dont ever remember seeing (or hearing) a side go from playing like an Irish priests over 70s side to Barcelona against PSG. But that performance was so indicative of the Smith era. It infuriates me why we have such extremes. Why does it happen? Why is it allowed to happen?

    Thanks to Mr Washer for his report, and as the founder of the Yoann Barbet Fan Club I was thrilled to hear he was actually starting a game and in his preferred position, possibly a first for a league game this season, but the team selection generally left me baffled. Nico, quite rightly was dropped for his own sake and replaced not by Macca or his B team equivalent but by Sawyers, an attacking midfielder. I cant help feel that this would have left the side rather imbalanced and Woods rather overloaded, which may have explained the 1st half display.

    But after everything today I am left intrigued by one thing. Who or what is Rae? Why did it need to be done in the evening. Or is it roe and a reference to a decadent caviar party?

    • peter lumley March 19, 2017 at 2:47 pm #

      Your blog,Nick, and the comments say it all.My only comment is that all I can say is that at least we are consistently inconsistent!!But am delighted for Sergi Canos One of the most exciting and enthusiastic players seen at GP in my lifetime.

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