Football is back as Blades set the standard and Bees miss out.

6 Aug

Another season begins, another round of opening day disappointment for Brentford. The Bees left Sheffield United on the wrong end of a 1-0 defeat which could have been more – the second of the hosts two disallowed goals subsequently being deemed very unlucky to be chalked off. Yet on a day dominated by home teams where only three away goals were scored in the Championship, including one for Hull City in their 1-1 at Aston Villa (as predicted yesterday – I’m still in shock), Bees fans should remain upbeat.

As ever, Sky have the highlights online already whilst the BBC, official, Beesotted and the likes are your place for match reports. This one moreso, where the long arm of the wife and her plans meant it would have been easier to escape from Alcatraz than TW8 yesterday. Yet despite an enforced absence from Bramall Lane, I was full of optimism.

Even the London Evening Standard had failed to put me off my stride on Friday’s journey back from work. Their typically supportive piece on the Bees highlighting our opening day win record. Or, rather, our opening day lack of win record.


And now make that six. Yet it so easily could have been at least a point.

Most people will point to the double opportunity presented to Nico Yennaris and Lasse Vibe in the second half. Understandably so. It was the proverbial gilt edged chance. With Jota’s shot from outside the box only parried by Blackman in the Sheffield United goal, and the aforementioned players in acres of space just yards out, the ball was headed first against the crossbar and then over.

I’ve rewatched it a few times. You can look to the looping trajectory and height of the ball as it approaches our players. Blackman did well to put them off their stride, too. Yet being honest, one would still have expected to see the net ripple. Only the good people at TheIntakeGroup, Pinders, H.E. Barnes and Sky Bet taking any pleasure from seeing this one again….

Lasse and Nico at Sheff U

If ever an image summed up an afternoon. Sky have it in full

That’s football. Let’s not forget the staggering miss from Lucas João at Griffin Park last August when that other Sheffield side, Wednesday, were the visitors. Just yards out and unmarked in front of the goal, the back of the net was at his mercy as a Fernando Forestieri pass found its way past Daniel Bentley. João was even afforded the luxury of having a couple of stabs at the before somehow conspiring to hoof it clear of the bar.

I could also refer you to Daryl Murphy at Ipswich Town a few seasons ago. One that still sticks in the mind as the Bees were, once more, the beneficiaries of an impossible to miss opportunity being somehow missed with goal gaping and an unmarked player just needing to tap it it in.

It happens. A lot. Obviously we’d have preferred a goal but I’m not going to get hung about it. Besides, overall performance comes across as a largely positive one with the Bees dominating possession and shots at 59%/41% and 12/9 respectively.

Probably not what our performance deserved” said head coach Dean Smith after the game and while he may well be right, as we’ve said many times on these pages that its balls in the back of the net being the only stat that really counts. Sadly for us, Sheffield United aced that column by 1 to 0.

Still, at least our head coach acknowledged this too, noting: “Unfortunately, it’s about putting the ball in the back of the net and we didn’t take our chances today. Billy Sharp’s had one and has ended up winning the game.” And you can read read/see his interview in full on official.

Screen Shot 2017-08-06 at 08.31.45

Dean does his thing at full time

Fair play to the Blades for doing so, too. The warning about their form and their packed house was there for all to see in advance. Safe to say they didn’t let the occasion get the better of them and, subject to the result of the Bolton – Leeds game, are one of eight sides on three points after this opening round of games.

I’d have loved three points. You can bet Sheffield United will be chuffed to bits with their win. And rightly so. On the plus side, we’ve now got a brace of home games in quick succession. Mark Warburton brings his Nottingham Forest team to Griffin Park on Saturday before we host Bristol City three days later. And there’s the small matter of the League cup first round at Wimbledon on Tuesday night.

After months of inactivity, the games are suddenly approaching us thick and fast. And I love it .

Nick Bruzon


8 Responses to “Football is back as Blades set the standard and Bees miss out.”

  1. Bernard Quackenbush (@BernardQuack) August 6, 2017 at 8:56 am #

    We got what we deserved yesterday. United were more up for it, fought harder, passed the ball better and had plenty of energy. We looked as if we have just played 8 games in a month. Knackered! Passes wayward, often backwards & regularly going into touch. Centre of defence porous, lead footed & prone to every attack. Finishing…well you saw clearly what our finishing was like!

    I did wonder about the team selection before the game. Colin & Barbet both dropped. In my opinion, unfairly. Maxime for me, Brentford’s best ever right back. Replaced by Dalgaard who had a debut to forget. Then there was the three across the midfield Kamo-Woods-Josh. None of whom you would expect to get themselves in the penalty area, leaving Lasse at times quite isolated. Although Ryan was ginger head & shoulders the best player in green.

    It was not until Nico & Ollie came on that there was finally some energy in the side. Their cameos could see them start on Saturday. Whereas Maupay was nearly an instant hit if it wasnt for the excellent Blackman.

    Great atmosphere in the ground although the many Bees were pretty deflated. Got to be honest though from what I saw of Sheffield, its quite a nice city.

    • Desmond Riley August 6, 2017 at 9:16 am #

      solid reply Bernard, fair and balanced as is the original author, Nick. I have hugely enjoyed reading his articles leading up to the game and post match, rarely have i seen such balanced and by in large accurate pieces written by an obviously talented an ‘in love with football’ journalist, he loves his Bee’s and football and long may that continue! live long and prosper guys, sure your football team will have some glorious days to come this season, your good enough to push the ‘moneybags’ teams all the way from what i see and read, keep the faith, support them and they will come good, nobody wins anything in August eh, although for us Blades every game is like the FA cup final lol! regards and best wishes guys. Tony. Blade 🙂

  2. Gordonbankole August 6, 2017 at 9:39 am #

    Dear All

    I was a touch baffled by the team selection yesterday in midfield and the centre of defence.

    Am I alone in thinking Barbet yet again has been really unlucky? He was criminally underused for much of last season until he took his chance with some style, yet here he is on the bench again. Not only is he the quickest of our fairly lumbering centre-backs, but he also uses the ball really well. It just seems as if DS feels he has to play our record signing (as he was at the time) despite his consistently underwhelming performances. Will be interesting to see what happens now Harlee is available for selection.

    i can’t really see how that midfield three offer much attacking threat. In many ways I think that DS finding the ideal combination in midfield will be key to our season.

    How bloody ironic that after scoring goals for fun pre-season, we fire blanks yesterday. Oh well…



  3. Gordonbankole August 6, 2017 at 5:14 pm #

    Dear Bernard

    Thanks for that. I feared I was going to be accused of some early-season moaning by some instead of throwing in a couple of questions for debate as it was meant to be.

    We seem to have gone through pre-season with a ‘we’ll score more goals than you’ approach (possibly a slightly dangerous one in this league), but then we seemed to abandon that yesterday and failed to score.

    DS has some solutions to find regarding ideal team selection and best combinations in certain areas. Given our current strength in depth, this is a different problem from anything he has had before here.

    For what you tt’s worth, we’re probably still stronger going forward than defending, so maybe replacing one of the defensive midfield players with a no.10 (e.g. Watkins) might be an idea.



    • Nigel Garrigan August 6, 2017 at 7:56 pm #

      Back to team selection and tactical nous then – again. I’ve seen enough of Bjelland for one season, and a battle in Yorkshire was never going to be a game for Josh McEachran. We have a really good squad, now it’s all about using it properly. I see Tom Field is off to Bradford until January, let’s hope we don’t have another issue at left back. Looking forward to to Saturday.

  4. simonsapper August 6, 2017 at 7:57 pm #

    Wise words Nick – thanks as ever

  5. oldbeesfan August 7, 2017 at 4:17 pm #

    Hope we give Warbs a warm reception on Saturday but no points .

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