Nottingham Forest 4: The invisible defence. And is this the Lionel Road news?

13 Aug

1-0 up on 40 minutes. 3-1 down after 47 minutes. Brentford not so much threw this one away as gift wrapped it, wrote ‘SWALK’ on the label and hand delivered the points to Mark Warburton in the Nottingham Forest dugout. One of only three teams in the Championship without a point, the Bees will be looking to get off the mark against Bristol City on Tuesday night. Moreso, given so much of our attacking play in the opening two league games has suggested we deserve an awful lot more.

But regular readers know the drill here. Deserving counts for nothing. Balls in the back of the net are all we look to when the points are being counted up. Likewise, the table only starts to take on a real shape when we are ten games into the campaign.

And if you’d like to read more whilst helping the Brentford FC Community Sports Trust …. the rest of this article can now be found in the Kindle e-book Ten Times Better. Brentford FC Season review: 2017/18. Inspired by ‘that’ interview it contains the least bad of these columns in one, handy volume as it looks at our own campaign as well as wider divisional life and the promotion / relegation races.

As a bonus there’s a whole host of new material. New that is, for my pages. Specifically, all the programme articles submitted (both home and away where, if nothing else, you can get the original versions of both Birmingham City and Millwall).

In addition, There Is No Plan B. Brentford FC Season reviews: 2013/14 – 2017/18 takes us all the way back to the start of this latest leg in the journey. That penalty. League One. Harlee Dean was a hero. Jota was something we thought happened to the temperature for one week in July. Alan Judge had joined on loan whilst the Marinus Experiment was something nobody had contemplated. Bringing things bang up to date by the inclusion of this year’s volume alongside the four previously published campaign round ups, it has five seasons in one weighty tome. As weighty as a download can be, that is.

Relive the memories. See how often the same material gets regurgitated. Remind yourself about the likes of Betinho, Martin Fillo, Javi Venta and Marcos Tebar. Certainly, if there’s no Marcos Tea Bar at Lionel Road it will be an opportunity missed.

All proceeds from any sales will go to the Community Sports Trust. For less than the cost of a half / pint respectively, they may help while away some time on the commute. By the pool on holiday. In the bathroom. Who knows? It will certainly do some good for the Trust, whose work has been well documented at Griffin Park but you can read all about it on their site.

And if that wasn’t enough, I’ve been given something very special. A 2017/18 third team shirt with Lewis Macleod’s squad number on the reverse in the EFL typeface. Anyone with half an interest in Bees kits will know that these were never made available in the club shop.  Anyone who has read any of this before will know what a kit nerd yours truly is so when I say this is rare, take that in good faith!

To be in with a chance of owning it, download a copy of either before the end of June 2018 and you’ll go into a draw to win this. Just DM/tweet me (@NickBruzon) a copy of your purchase confirmation mail and I’ll add your name to the list before selecting a random Bees fan to win this on July 1st.

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View from the Braemar – Rico Henry helps Brentford ‘push up’ in the first half


Brittas Warbs

Mark Warburton – always one to pursue new options


Lionel Road monorail

Could THIS be the Lionel Road news?

Nick Bruzon


10 Responses to “Nottingham Forest 4: The invisible defence. And is this the Lionel Road news?”

  1. Peter Lovelock August 13, 2017 at 8:06 am #

    I cannot for the life of me understand why, when having arguably the best right back in the league, we do not start with Maxine – contract difficulties or not. We were far too vulnerable on that flank.

    • peter lumley August 13, 2017 at 8:28 am #

      Agree with Peter’s point.Nor can I understand why Ollie Watkins is not played from the start !

  2. the ain't August 13, 2017 at 8:34 am #

    mebe eads should roll if dey don’t beat Bristol. 17500 aint big enough for a premiership venue why bovver moving in dis case

  3. Gordonbankole August 13, 2017 at 8:36 am #

    Dear All

    I think we saw the dangers of the ‘we’ll score more goals than you’ approach yesterday.

    That was a defensive display straight from the Marinus era. I realise it’s a game of opinions etc. etc., but why we are playing our 3rd and 4th choice centre-backs I just don’t know.

    The boy Dalsgaard? Now whether playing him as an auxiliary right-winger was a deliberate ploy or not, I’m not sure. If it was, the management need an urgent rethink. If it wasn’t, he showed the tactical understanding of an Under 8 player as regards his defensive duties. I lost count of the times he went AWOL. All this with Máxime Colin on the bench, who really must be wondering what’s going on. Frankly Clarkey looks a better defender on that showing.

    Am I the only one who thinks Bentley should have done much better with that trickier which hit his near post (the second goal)? He seemed to lose his bearings big time.

    Mokotjo looked excellent, and we played some decent stuff at times going forward. But when you’re chasing the game, it doesn’t half put pressure on the forwards to perform.

    Finally, on Lionel Road, do we know the reasons behind he change of plans?



    • RebelBee August 13, 2017 at 1:09 pm #

      Agree on Bentley & commented on it yesterday, thought he was beaten too easily more than once. Poor advert for the division I felt, 2 average sides on the day – bees slightly more error prone & Forest a bit more fortunate.

      Lots to work on & pronto or we’ll be in the annual DS slump a bit early.

      As for LR, worst kept secret in town depending on who you know. Very poor that certain groups know before we plebs are told anything. An email update to all on the database would have been enough in prep for Tuesday.

  4. Rod Davidson August 13, 2017 at 9:23 am #

    The defence at one time was our springboard for attack where the keeper would ‘roll’ the ball to an always spare man. Now it seems Bentley is kicking long much of the time, where Vibe is expected to win an aerial battle. Not his strength I would suggest !
    The introduction of Dalsgaard, our Danish full back into the team, has also encouraged Bentley to seek out his head wide on the right. If you consider the accuracy of these long Bentley ‘ wing’ kicks, – which aren’t always spot on, then you begin to see problems of our own making. We concede possession and have to start all over again.
    The whole joy of watching Brentford these days is the mobile brand of possession football produced, but if our central defenders are pressed, and have to battle, it can be a problem for us, and our flow and tempo, suffers as a result.
    The talent is certainly there but the balance is not quite right yet.
    Nevertheless we are in the best overall shape I can ‘ever’ remember, and all credit must be paid for getting us to where we are today.

    • nickbruzon August 13, 2017 at 9:57 am #

      Thanks Rod, Absolutely agree with you here. IF we can get the balance right then good things await – certainly, it is a squad to die for. On paper….

  5. Bernard Quackenbush (@BernardQuack) August 13, 2017 at 10:33 am #

    The invisible defence. Indeed. Leakier than a Max Boyce show. I made what turned out to be an unexpectedly incendiary suggestion on Twitter that Colin, Barbet & Dean were better choices than Dalsgaard, Bjelland & Egan. I am aware than certain players are in discussions about the future, which also includes Jota, but the fact remains that they are still paid employees of Brentford FC until at least next summer and there is no evidence to suggest that anyone is doing what a former No 26 did, so why are they not being picked? Id suggest that being left out of the side when inferior players are making a hash of it is not going to encourage them to sign a new contract.

    Get them into the side! Colin a player whose mistakes in his Bees career you can count on one hand and still have fingers to spare, to do what I dont know. Get Ollie Watkins in. He has shown already that he has the potential to be even better than Jota. When Woods is ready, get him back int he side too and Lasse needs to step up as Maupay certainly knows were the goal is. And get Jota firing as so far in the first 2 games he has been a shadow of the Jota we love.

  6. Dave Washer August 13, 2017 at 11:17 am #

    Am I the only one who thinks Jota didn’t look interested yesterday? To me it looked remarkably like he was going through the motions. Could it be his mind is elsewhere perhaps? Such as the London Stadium (and I’m not talking about Spain’s performance at the World Athletic Championships). As good as he is, if his head isn’t right, stick him on the bench and give someone else a chance. Personally, on Tuesday, I would play Watkins. He looked hungry for it when he came on yesterday. And what’s the point of paying nearly £2 million for one of the hottest young prospects in the EFL and then not playing them?

    Talking of not playing, I agree with all the comments re Colin. Great player who deserves to play. Dalsgaard looked pretty good going forward yesterday, but was directly responsible for Forest getting the free kick which led to their first goal. A rash challenge that kind of summed up his somewhat devil may care approach to defending.

    I understand it’s all about rotation and keeping the whole squad fit and happy, but I think Smith cocked up by not playing the team that beat Wimbledon. That was the team that had the momentum… not the team that succumbed to Sheffield United. Barbet, Colin, Daniels, Dean, Sawyers, Watkins, Maupay… they had the bit between their teeth after Tuesday. For me, they should all have started yesterday. Along with Jota, I thought McEachran was largely invisible. I also thought that Vibe could have phoned in his performance, he was so ineffectual. Give him a rest against Bristol City and give Maupay a go. Thought he looked great when he came on. Fabulous goal too.

    Agree with all the comments re the defence. At the end of the day (Brian) it’s a pretty simple game. Stop the opposition scoring and score at least one yourselves. With Maupay, Watkins, Sawyers and Jozefzoon (and Canos to return) I don’t see scoring as the issue. But defensively we were abject. To me, Bentley looked less than reassuring and I would give Daniels a chance on Tuesday. I also think Barbet should come in for Bjelland and Dean for Egan. And yes, let’s pay Dean what he wants, get him back as the leader we so desperately need and get back on track against Bristol City.

    PS. The reaction to Warburton was a non event. He was largely ignored, with Smith having his name sung.

    PPS. Re Smith, I know it’s only been two games, but I’m already getting twitchy. Leadership? Passion? Tactics? Motivation? Not for me. I know coaches like David Wagner don’t grow on trees, but at some point I think Benham has to ask himself what he sees as ‘success’ for this club. Top 10 in the Championship every season? An incredible achievement given our revenue, size, scale, etc. More than that? Never gonna happen with this manager.

    • Beesfan August 13, 2017 at 6:11 pm #

      Great article nick, just have to say that many of our more effective players were probably feeling the after affects of 120 minutes on Tuesday. Hence why they were benched. Roll on Tuesday, to use an old cliche, we go again…

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