If you promise the earth, then you’d better be able to deliver.

3 Sep

The morning after the morning after the night before. Jota, Harlee and Maxime Colin are still at Birmingham City and have left Brentford. It wasn’t a bad dream. It really happened. There’ll be more than a few eyes on the Championship’s 20th placed team when they visit Norwich City on Saturday. As there will be on the Bees for our own trip to Aston Villa.

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It really happened

So what to make of it having had 48 hours to take it all in? What do we think after Phil Giles has undergone a very gentle probing from Ciaran Brett? That, on a YouTube video that we’re probably all seen already but is further below.

Well, initial feelings from yours truly were of understanding our ‘model’ yet also a feeling of utter deflation at the way it has been implemented this time around. So close to the line of looking like we’d have an incredible squad, this has happened. Feelings of confusion as to how this tallys up to those previously quoted statements that included the proclamation from Rasmus that the goal is to get stronger each transfer window. Feelings that, whilst obvious, it really is just all about the money. I wrote a column about it – you can find it here – which has generated a lot of reaction. It was angry. It was passionate. It was what being a football supporter is all about.

It was packed full of typos. I apologise. Try writing on an iPhone in a Belgian hotel room. But sometimes, thoughts need to be documented. Moments need to be captured and that’s how I was feeling about what happened between Brentford and Birmingham City at that point. I’m certainly not going to apologise for giving a damn about a team I’ve supported since 1979. I know Matthew Benham can’t keep pumping money into the club to prop it up and revenue needs to come from elsewhere. Yet the whole thing felt so cold, so calculated, so businesslike and it hurt. That’s as much from the players.

Reading Jota’s subsequent letter he may aswell have just published a tweet saying ‘Kerchinggg’. “The football industry is a volatile one and I think my departure was the best move for all concerned” he told us in his latest farewell.

Really Jota? Really? I’d rather you hadn’t bothered. You’re just hurting us now. We know how passionate you can be and how much love you have. This is agent speak.  It was as opposite to “This isn’t ‘goodbye’ but more of a ‘see you later’ or ‘hasta luego’ as we say in Spain because I have just extended my contract for an extra year.” as one could imagine.

In time I’ll remember all those wonderful memories. Right now it still all feels too raw. Birmingham City can afford to pay him a reported £40k a week, We can’t. Simple economics and you can’t blame him for taking it. Yet after all the love for the club. All the support offered when we’d supported his loan return to Eibar, something which in his own words at the time, was “based solely on personal circumstances” , there was a thought that perhaps he might sign another year’s extension. Pay back that love and loyalty or even give the Premier League a shot with Brentford.

Yeah, I know. Cloud cuckoo land. I’m a supporter. I care. There’s the obvious mistake. It is based on fantasy rather than the balance sheet. That’s not how football works in the real world. This week has shown us that in spades. Without passion and heart it is nothing more than a money making machine. We emotionally invest in these players, we get their names on our shirts and then they chip off for the next big pay day. That’s football. It happens. It hurts.

But taking 48 hours away from the last column, it has given the club a chance to say a few more things. The video with Phil Giles has been published in which he explains how the reasoning for the sales was to keep the money coming in before contracts expired. That it had always been the plan to buy over the summer and sell just prior to the window closing. “Strategically it’s the ideal way to do it. Sell them late and buy them early.

As noted in that previous column, I know this is how football, especially at Brentford, works. I know we’re all about ’sustainable’. I understand a lot of what Phil, who acknowledged that fans will be deflated by the moves, was trying to say.

But what was as telling as anything else was what the video didn’t say. Whether because Phil wasn’t asked or couldn’t answer.

Fairplay to Ciaran for asking if we were stronger after this window. After a pause, the answer was a less than convincing one. “Well we retain a squad of young players. I don’t see weaknesses in our squad. I don’t see finished players. I see a strong set of B-team players ready to come through. So from that point of view it provides a really good platform. Not just on the pitch but for the sustainability of the club in the future. It’s not an old squad who’s depreciating in value

By which I read it as : No. But hopefully down the line we will be.

Phil spoke about how Harlee had stepped up when number 26 was sold to Burnley. How we’d survived the Scott Hogan sale to Aston Villa. Indeed, we’d immediately gone out and thrashed them.

I’d love to have found out why we chose to sell three players to Birmingham City. What the strategic thinking in strengthening a team that sit just above us in the table was? Or were these simply the best/only offers for the players?

Phil says his piece. Very much like the Curate’s Egg

Reading Maxime Colin’s article in The Birmingham Mail he claimed that there had been offers from France that the club turned down. And he’d been unaware of the wider wheels in motion: “It wasn’t a plan or something prepared in advance….
“It wasn’t something prepared in advance and I wasn’t told about them, especially Jota which I didn’t know until the end”.

You know what? It feels somewhat redundant asking about it now. Phil’s video is quite clear about how we operate. Bring them through, sell them on and pay the wages at the club. That the definition of a post window squad is somewhat of a fluid one, open to interpretation. This is how Brentford FC works.

However, it would be nice to know what our aspirations are. Is Championship survival the way forward? At least until the stadium at Lionel Road is built? If that prediction from Rasmus of being in the Premier League by the end of this campaign is to come true, then selling established, settled players aren’t the actions of a club looking to make that step up. At least in the immediate short term.

I feel for Rasmus. He’s come out with some key mission statements that Brentford fans will not forget. If you promise the earth, then you’d better be able to deliver. Yet there has been no attempt to realign those aspirations. Short of the phrase #bignewambitions being airbrushed from history (and that’s no bad thing in anybody’s eyes). Why not just come out and talk to us? Speak to us openly. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again. And again. And again.

rasmus-goal-stronger

So here we are. The squad is what the squad is. No amount of wailing or gnashing of teeth will change that. I for one will be 110% behind the players when they run out. As noted on Friday, we have newcomers Kamo, Neal Maupay and Ollie Watkins already doing great things. We’ve got Ryan back in the team, the centre back situation is clearer and Romaine Sawyers has come out the blocks flying. The option of Flo Jo and Sergi out wide is a delicious one. Start to get the wins under the belt against Aston Villa, Sheffield Wednesday and Reading then this will all be a storm in teacup. Move along, the model works.

Let’s just hope the model doesn’t break….

Oh , and if Norwich City are reading (they aren’t ) you’ve no idea what a boost it would be at Griffin Park if you could please pick up three points next Saturday.

Nick Bruzon

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34 Responses to “If you promise the earth, then you’d better be able to deliver.”

  1. Charlie Mcmahon September 3, 2017 at 8:33 am #

    O’mara hurlock Nicky foster the list goes on but we are still here that’s because it’s our club and always will be come on you bees!🐝🐝🐝

  2. Bernard Quackenbush (@BernardQuack) September 3, 2017 at 8:59 am #

    I cant help but feel football agents have watched the goings on at GP with great interest. For them Brentford is a good place to get your players of potential into because if they do well there is a big pay day around the corner because Brentford will not stop them leaving.

    You mention Kamo, Maupay, Watkins, Woods, Romaine, FloJo & Sergi, but how many of them will be here next September? How many of their agents will now see their chance to cash in?

  3. Brian gregory September 3, 2017 at 9:32 am #

    Nice piece it hurts when it happens but it has to happen I’m Afraid it has to happen.
    I have no affection for players when they leave our humble club as footballers will always kiss the badge but easily through it away for the $$$ but hey who wouldn’t.
    Loyalty in football only exist with supporter’s not players it’s the way the game is .
    I will hold no affection for these player’s and would take pleasure in them now falling on there ars as it’s now all about who’s currently at the club .we have a very talented squad and sometimes when this happens players step up to the plate we are still doing better than I ever would have expected and thanks to mb who I trust .
    You reds

  4. Tim Rugg September 3, 2017 at 9:34 am #

    In summary ….
    Anyone anywhere that has the chance of trebling/quadrupling their wages on Monday WILL take that chance

    If we aren’t sustainable as a club and Mathew Benham decides to leave and sell the club to someone who isn’t a fan of Brentford be afraid be very afraid.

    I love Griffin Park and don’t want to leave in an ideal world …reality check it’s not an ideal world!

    Lionel Road will have no (hopefully) property developement attractions when completed. Safeguarding the clubs existance hopefully for a very long time (read MKDons for when it goes the other way)

    If players don’t want to be at the club let them go for the maximum you can get.
    (As a longstanding fan, emphasise on standing (sic) I’ve seen Brentford suffer more than most when the tables are turned i.e. half your squad leaving for free after play-off defeat re: Millenium Stadium Stoke)
    If the latest lot of ex-Brentford players wished to leave at the end of last season then the club has handled the situation extremely well with maximum money coming back to the club.

    A lot of people laud Harry Redsnatch but with other peoples money he has bought 13 yes13 (a team and two subs) in this transfer window and at the most expensive time! Obviously Birmingford have a bottomless pot of cash!
    If they’re in a relagation dog fight come the final stages of the season do you think he’ll still be around? see QPR-souls for reference.

    No-one wants people at their club who don’t want to be there. I’d only have the arse-ache if Brentford sold players when they absolutely didn’t need/have to sell.

    We as fans don’t know what goes on behind the scenes …personality clashes, wantaway players etc. all I do know is I have never seen such a large, talented Bees squad. We’re not in a position (financial/or otherwise) to keep all of them.

  5. KevinO September 3, 2017 at 9:57 am #

    Whether we like it or not football is still a business and you have to work at it or go under. Personally I think the squad is stronger after the transfer window. We have had a problem at centre back back because we have been trying to fit four good players into two openings (playing one at full back is never a satisfactory option) now we can match either Egan or Bjelland with Barbet and they should perform well, it is the right left combination that matters more than which two are playing. We were all calling for a defensive midfielder which we now have. We bought the replacement for Colin before we sold him. Jota’s head had been turned by his agent before the season started so how much of a loss he would be based on this season’s performances time will tell. I was very enamoured by the argument that we need to make the route through to the first team much more obvious for our B team to avoid losing out better youngsters and believe me we have some very promising youngsters coming through.

    Popular wisdom is that the time to judge the team is after 10 matches and we are only half-way there. I live abroad so it is harder for me to see the team play but I am led to believe the results do not match the performances. I will know better after the next two matches as I will be at both but we should all know by now what the club has to do to survive.

    Two of the players sold would have been able to go for nothing at the end of the season so between £8-10 million in the bank seems a good compromise. Colin was different because he was not out of contract at the end of the season but Dalsgaard has been preferred this season as a starter and we also have Clarke who can play there. There was a rumour about a Czech right back as well which didn’t happen but at least the club are working hard all the time to maintain the integrity of the squad.

    I believe Giles hesitated when asked about whether the squad was stronger after the transfer window because he felt the answer he probably wanted to give would hit a nerve due to timing.but Henrik Dalsgaard, Luke Daniels, Kamo Mokotjo, Ollie Watkins, Emiliano Marcondes, and Neal Maupay replacing Alan McCormack, Philipp Hofmann, Harlee Dean, Jota, and Maxine Colin seems like strengthening to me but time will tell.

    What is the alternative? Do we hang on to our players, pay them wages we cannot afford, and then go into administration? You see how much we get for our players then

    • Rob September 3, 2017 at 12:07 pm #

      Bang on Kevin. The sale that grates the most to me was Colin’s, and even then I remember an article from him (before Dalsgaard was signed) saying he was happy at Brentford but didn’t know where his medium term future was. At this point he had put his house up for sale.
      Jota’s Ill advised however well intentioned comments about only leaving if a PL club came in for him for big money as he wouldn’t want to play against a team he loves also exacerbates the anst us fans are feeling right now.
      I would question the merits of selling over a quarter of our first team to one club however.

      We all know that a big reason we attract these promising young players from the lower divisions is that a) they are likely to get game time instead of sit on the bench and b) if they perform well and a big offer comes in they will be allowed to leave. We are a stepping stone club.
      Maybe there is a growing realisation that without LR being in place the current financials only allows us to survive with fees from the sales of our best talent. Don’t forget that although we had an incredibly successful first season in the Championship, we would have broken FFP without the subsequent sale of Gray to Burnley.

      I’ve been critical of the DoFs in the past, particularly when leaving us unprepared after the raft of sales precipitated by Warburtons departure a couple of seasons ago, but I really do think they’ve learnt from that. I don’t think there was a choice to keep Jota and Dean and anyone who argues that they could have stayed for the remainder of the season and probably lost them for nothing in the summer is thinking with their heart and not head. So let’s wait and see what happens over the coming months, have faith that if things aren’t looking great in Jan measures would be taken to rectify that and hope that scenario won’t happen. Whilst I don’t think we have a stronger first 11 after this transfer window, I do think we have a stronger squad, right down to the B team

  6. steve b September 3, 2017 at 10:00 am #

    have to say that reading Jota’s farewell speech his command of the english language after a short stay in london is impeccable….words straight from his heart…..brilliant tome from the PR team

    • Rob September 3, 2017 at 12:15 pm #

      Exactly what I thought! He was foolish for saying he wouldn’t want to play against a team he loves and would only go to the PL. Everything he now says will be taken with a pinch of salt

  7. David Carney. September 3, 2017 at 10:13 am #

    I find both of your posts both naive and ignorant of the basic facts.
    Three players stated they would not sign contracts to continue playing at Brentford, effectively stating they no longer wished to play for Brentford once the contracts ran down. They could walk away at contracts end and Brentford would receive nothing. You seem to accept this simple fact.
    This is an unacceptable situation and would threaten the long term viability of Brentford, therefore they were sold to the highest bidder – Birmingham.
    Just what is the issue here and how could the DOF done anything else except extract maximum value.
    Do you seriously believe it would be sensible to allow players to walk and lose 13 million or thereabout?

    • James B September 3, 2017 at 10:29 am #

      100% correct. Lots of people moaning and whining but what was the alternative plan of action that didn’t risk our future existence as a club ?

    • nickbruzon September 3, 2017 at 11:16 am #

      Thanks for your observations David. Disappointing you have to take cheap shots. I’m the first to admit I’m naive. Likewise, I AM understanding of the basic facts at play here. However, if you’d chosen to read what I’d actually written rather than what you chose to believe I’ve written its all in there. As much as what I’m looking for is to try and see how what we’ve been promised by DOFS – such as top flight football, an ever stronger squad – marries up to our current situation.
      Of course their hands are tied. Money talks. I’ve said as much myself, too.
      I know full well our financial.
      I’ve quoted my admiration for, and support of, Matthew many times. We all know where we’d be without him. But I’ve also been a supporter for close to 40 years. I think I have a right to ask some questions and look for some communication as to strategy every now and again rather than just glaze over and accept everything I’m told at face value.
      If they can’t do what they’ve discussed then fair enough. The world changes. Things change. Just look at Lionel Road.
      But I’m sorry, I’m not going to stick my head in the sand and pretend these things were never said

  8. Red Rose Bee September 3, 2017 at 10:25 am #

    Please could we have a break from the relentless negativity of some supporters?Remember where we were 10/15/20/25/ etc years ago.The people running the club are giving us our best times since the 1930s.How about giving them some support and understanding instead of these knee jerk reactions which show little appreciation of exactly what they are doing and what they hope to achieve.

    • the ain't September 3, 2017 at 11:14 am #

      de team from 76-78 was a good one sweetzer phillips and mcculloch etc! goals galore and packed ouses!

    • nickbruzon September 3, 2017 at 11:16 am #

      Please see my reply to David Carney. Key point being:

      As much as what I’m looking for is to try and see how what we’ve been promised by DOFS – such as top flight football, an ever stronger squad – marries up to our current situation.
      Of course their hands are tied. Money talks. I’ve said as much myself, too.
      I know full well our financial.
      I’ve quoted my admiration for, and support of, Matthew many times. We all know where we’d be without him. But I’ve also been a supporter for close to 40 years. I think I have a right to ask some questions and look for some communication as to strategy every now and again rather than just glaze over and accept everything I’m told at face value.
      If they can’t do what they’ve discussed then fair enough. The world changes. Things change. Just look at Lionel Road.
      But I’m sorry, I’m not going to stick my head in the sand and pretend these things were never said

  9. Tony Ryan September 3, 2017 at 11:11 am #

    Its a fact of life (and. has been forr some time) that since Bosman, the players hold most of the cards come transfer deadline day. We simply cannot compete with these wages, not without allowing short term ambition to rule over longer term stability.

    Despite Benhams astute running of the club, we are still small fish swimming in a very big pond. To continue to do so,and to have a chance to swim better and faster (ok, I have killed that metaphor), we cannot allow players to walk away at the end of a contract.

    We have some fantastic young players and we will be more than ok. Let’s move on.

    • nickbruzon September 3, 2017 at 11:17 am #

      Tony. Thank you and well said

  10. Spanish Bee September 3, 2017 at 11:26 am #

    Glad to see that you have calmed down Nick, I’m sure that the Gibraltar result didn’t help your frame of mind much either.

    I don’t think the club has “promised the Earth”. They have stated their aims and they have explained how they want to try and achieve them. It’s very clever, it’s very difficult, but it does stand a chance.

    Everybody has been very positive about the players who have been brought in and they were brought in early because they knew as soon as the window opened who they wanted and did not get into a bidding war. They knew what they wanted to buy and went out and did it. If you are a young, talented footballer and you want to progress, Brentford is one of the best places to be.

    Rather than get bullied or grab the first hand of cash, as we always used to in the past (Towers, Francis, O’Mara, Cross, Holdsworth, DJ Campbell etc. etc.) they hung on to the end to get the best price for three players who had decided they wanted to go. Who gives a monkey’s where? We all know why.

    I have been quite critical of the club in the past, but I really think they have played a blinder.

    • nickbruzon September 3, 2017 at 11:28 am #

      Than you Spanish. Very measured, very considered.
      Personally, I think we’ve made some bold claims in the past. And people haven’t forgotten them. Why not just come out and redraw the battle-lines ?

  11. steve b September 3, 2017 at 11:33 am #

    I can’t imagine Exeter City fans were too impressed with us either getting Ollie at a bargain….i would love to see more faith put in the B team and give them a real break as they seem to be coping well in their own environment..time for them to step up a grade and show us their promise while the season is still young…These days thankfully we are no longer a one man team and as much as i loved seeing Jota/ Maxim and Harlee play they are not invincible…roll on the next generation of players

  12. Rod Davidson September 3, 2017 at 12:48 pm #

    The dust has settled a bit I suppose.
    The problem was the shock factor generated by the one club destination of those three players.
    I can remember something similar many years ago when we sold our souls to Gillingham.
    At that time it was Paul Smith, Barry Ashby, Carl Asaba and Robert Taylor if my memory serves me right.
    And there I suppose lies the answer, because at that time Gillingham had aspirations under their Chairman Paul Scally to ‘up their game’ too.
    Things have changed dramatically for the better since those days, and we have a much better chance of upping our own game under Matthew Benham.
    He has put in place an excellent regime, and tremendous credit must be given for that.
    Perhaps we now understand the ‘transfer model’ during the ‘window’ periods a little bit more than we did previously.
    So buy early and be extremely happy, and sell late and be devastated.
    I’m heading for a nervous breakdown!

  13. Richard September 3, 2017 at 12:56 pm #

    Love your posts Nick & long may you post them. However I feel we are stronger than we were at the end of last season Whist I’m only a numty at the opposite side of the world getting my Bees fix by watching / listening tho the live broadcasts, watching the highlights/replays, beesotted podcasts and reading posts such as yours , my take is this.
    Whilst Colin may have had the edge in class over Dalsgaard the latter does provide an extra bit of height and as he likes to get forward this applies at both ends of the park. I therefore would have had no problem had either been on the team sheet at RB Clarke remains as cover he has down well when given the opportunity and will undoubtedly continue. He could of course play in Jota’s position ahead of Dalsgaard from where I have no doubt he would respond & cover much quicker in instances where we loose possession going forward.
    I have always liked Harley however Egan is not that far behind him ,is already giving us more goals and particularly as he is also getting exposure with his National team he carries more potential. Barbet , Bit of class there and what about those last ditch tackles he has put in over the last games.? I haven’t seen as much of Bjelland as I would like but the fact that he was our most expensive signing and that he and Dalsgaard have just played 90 minutes for Denmark in a world cup qualifier against a strong Polish side & kept a clean sheet suggests that he is far from a weak link in our squad,
    Much has been said about Jota & we will indeed miss his magic moments but I dare say we missed Ryan Woods’s overall effectiveness over 90 minutes more in his recent absence,
    Yes it was disappointing to farewell those three but would I bring them back & ship out Watkins ,Maupay (what a goal against QPR & what about the pass from Sawyers) , Dalsgaard. & Kamo not a chance. I also think we will get the defender we missed out on this time in the January window.
    As soon as Judgie gets his first comeback goal we will be saying Jota Who?

    • Kaysman September 3, 2017 at 3:55 pm #

      I get my Bees fix via the same outlets living in Western Canada.
      I attended my first game in the 1946-7 season although I do not recall the score.
      I have learned that football will happen no matter the players at Brentford. Tommy Lawton came and went as did so many others.
      This model is different, it can work, the owner is a supporter, our squad is talented – get on for the ride.
      One item that tends to get overlooked is the element of luck. How many posts have we hit so far this season? How many random defensive knees have deflected “nailed on goals” for a corner. This, of course,runs both ways and we will benefit.
      Meanwhile COYB

      • nickbruzon September 3, 2017 at 3:58 pm #

        Thank you. COYB seems to be the ‘buzz’ word of choice at the moment. Hmmm. Might even use that next time out…

  14. David Carney. September 3, 2017 at 1:05 pm #

    No cheap shots Nick, just facts.
    A few more facts:
    1. If Premier League clubs had believed the three lost souls could add value they would have gone to the Premier League Clubs. There were no such bids so they stay in the Championship. The DOF’s are building for the Premiership.
    2. To use a Warburton phrase when referring to why it was necessary to sell Foreshaw, ‘his head was turned’. The same applied to the three who departed, maybe for different reasons, who knows, but their heads were no longer in Brentford.
    3. If length of support gives credibility to your comments, then I have an additional 25 years supporting Brentford on your time – yes, since 1954. One day supporter or 75 year supporter should have equal respect of views. We can disagree, but we should always stick to facts and not be over emotional with interpretations of them.

    • nickbruzon September 3, 2017 at 1:29 pm #

      Not sure if you have deliberately chosen to ignore my reply. Oh well.

      We can all quote facts and I agree with the financials.

      But I stand by my assertion that the DOFs have previously laid out a course of action that would no longer seem to be the direction.

      I stand by my assertion that we have lost strong, settled players. Whilst players that look like they will be quality have come in, it is still in the potential stage. The reasons they have gone are clear – money on both sides – but that doesn’t make us stronger. Currently. All being well our team will live up to the potential I believe it has.

      As for your suggestion that we take emotion out of it. Well, why bother even coming to football if you remove that aspect? Jota was happy to play that card before. Why not have that naive expectation he might have done so again.

      Thanks for your observations and taking the time.

    • peter lumley September 3, 2017 at 2:03 pm #

      Hi.,Nick. Unlike one or two of your “critics”I could not find fault with your latest contribution already attracting near record numbers of responses. I know you will not be intimidated or silenced by them. Like you and many others,I have now had a chance to digest and reflect on the events of last week. I have already accepted that the club had virtually no option other than to let the players go and that it has retained a very talented squad of players who,if well directed, will continue the improvements achieved over the past ten years. Nevertheless,I believe many fellow supporters will share some of the misgivings listed.1) Did I want Jota to leave GP to join a Championship rival? No I did not ! 2)Did I want Dean and Colin to join him at Birmingham? No I did not! 3) Do I think the money received for the players will enhance our chances of obtaining PL status? No I do not! 4) Am I happy with the results achieved so far this season? No I am not ! 5) Am I confident that the team will be able to “turn things around” and eventually finish in the top six? No I am not! 6) Do I hope my misgivings will prove to be unwarranted and overly negative? Yes I do! COYB

      • nickbruzon September 3, 2017 at 3:35 pm #

        Thank you, Peter. This, for me, is just about as perfect a summary as one could hope for. Well said.

  15. Dave Washer September 3, 2017 at 4:42 pm #

    It’s been a tough few days to be a Brentford supporter and I can fully understand the emotions behind Nick’s posts – both this one and the last.

    I think it’s somewhat churlish to chastise him for simply giving vent to his feelings… feelings shared I’m sure by many Brentford fans right now.

    I agree with the assertion that the club have raised our hopes with previous comments about aiming for the Premier League by 2018 and that the sale of three important players to a Championship rival appears to contradict much of what was said, particularly by Rasmus.

    Having said that, I can also see the sense in these three sales in terms of getting as much money as possible before their contracts run out. The thing that hurts is, I think, that they have all gone to another Championship club – and one that has finished below us for each of the past three seasons.

    So naturally, we are all feeling a bit hurt and a bit confused. For all the talk of it being good business (which it undoubtedly is) there are still emotions involved. And as Nick says, if you lose those, then what’s the point of going to watch football anymore?

    I would bring two players to mind – and they’re both called Alan.

    Whilst Jota’s lack of loyalty and love of money feels like a big kick in the balls, let’s not forget the example set by Alan Judge. Yes, I know he’s still injured, but the general consensus was that he would leave rather than sign a new contract. However, that’s not what happened. Alan Judge signed a new deal because he felt settled at the club and, I like to think, wanted to show a bit of appreciation for how the club had stuck by him and given him the best possible care during his time out. That sets an important example for me and gives me a slim sliver of hope that not every player will always go for the dosh.

    The second Alan I would mention is Alan McCormack. Let’s not forget that the club were perfectly happy to dispense with his services at the end of last season. Personally, I would have offered him at least one more year and still think he could do a job for us as a much needed midfield enforcer. However, despite his key role in our promotion winning side and the solidity he helped bring to the team during Lee Carsley’s salvage mission, Brentford were more than happy to cast him adrift. Playing devil’s advocate, might I suggest that we cannot have it both ways. Getting upset when we don’t want someone to depart, but being perfectly prepared to let a player go when it suits us?!

    Despite the pain that many of us have felt since deadline day, and as devoid of emotion as it might sound, this is modern day football in 2017. We have done it to other clubs ourselves (Watkins and Exeter City, Gray and Luton Town, Woods and Shrewsbury, Egan and Gillingham) and now others continue to do it to us. It’s part of the game.

    I think that Rasmus’ words were poorly chosen two years ago but sometimes you overreach because maybe that’s what you think people want to hear.

    The fact is, we ARE punching well above our weight and, if not for Matthew Benham, we would probably be playing football in League Two. The club’s financial model is what it is and, as long as it helps us sustain our Championship status, then I for one am not going to criticise.

    In terms of the individual players themselves, Harlee and Maxime I wish the best of luck. Jota I wouldn’t give the time of day. After the way the club treated him, I think he owed it to Matthew especially to stay for at least another season (and sign a new deal with us). Everything about his move stinks, and from that point of view, I can 100% understand Nick’s comments.

    For me, we now have the opportunity to move on and move forward. Personally, I wouldn’t have played Dean, Colin or Jota against Wolves, and I think Jota’s open goal miss and subsequent substitution says everything. He had already given up. Now we have players who actually WANT to play for us and the uncertainty is over. Make Woods skipper, play a left back at left back (Ilias or Henry instead of Colin), play a committed Egan next to Barbet (instead of the want away Harlee Dean) and give Clarke a chance in attack (instead of the kind of under par performances Jota has given us this season). Far from dividing us, I actually believe the events of last Thursday will bring us closer as a team, and serve as the defining point in our season.

    • Rob September 3, 2017 at 6:46 pm #

      Dave, totally agree with the overall sentiment in your comments here (see my response to Kevin’s post), however, RE the two Alan’s, from a different perspective I believe that if Alan J had not broken his leg then no way would he have signed a new contract. It suited both parties for him to stay, with Brentford perhaps taking the bigger risk. Our medical team rehabilitates him and hopefully he comes back as the player he was (there in lies the gamble), gives another 1/2 – 1 season and we sell him for good money. Whereas for him, he has a stable income guaranteed for another 2 years, gets the best medical treatment and gets gently brought back in to football / shop window (delete where applicable). Don’t get me wrong, that’s no criticism of AJ who has been brilliant for us and hasn’t disappeared on loan for a big chunk of the time he’s been here, it is, however football.
      For Big Macca, I agree, he’s shown exemplary “manners” for all his time since being a Brentford player, and but for some really niggly injuries may well still be here. However it wasn’t to be and at the wrong age from this new model point of view was released. That hasn’t stopped him from making a good move across to Luton, and I for one would love to see him back at GP We may well see Sammy Saunders back as a free kick specialist at some point too!

    • nickbruzon September 3, 2017 at 7:28 pm #

      Thank you Dave. Thank you so much.
      How wonderfully encapsulated.

      The last three days have been wonderful for many reasons – namely showing how much our fanbsae care. Likewise, showing how much they understand. Regardless of whether my commentary is something they relate to or think is naive, ill-educated etc etc

  16. Pete Bailey September 3, 2017 at 5:35 pm #

    I seem to remember reading in Uwe’s book that we use the shop window argument to persuade young players to join us rather than the likes of Leeds

  17. Martin September 4, 2017 at 5:37 pm #

    Sorry Nick, but the title of your article is caught between drivel and dishonesty. No one running Brentford has promised anything. They have been open about goals and ambitions. I have goals in my job, I am sure you do too. But if I missed one and my boss said I had broken my promise I would immediately think – well let’s not go there: it would not be complimentary.

    • nickbruzon September 4, 2017 at 6:20 pm #

      No need to apologise Martin. It’s all opinion. We’ve made some pretty bold claims over the last few years. Enthusiasm, perhaps. Maybe wanting to get the buy in of the fans.
      Specifically about the squad (stronger each window) and the Premier League(that we will be in it by he end of this season).
      Nobody is in any doubt as to how far we have come. That we are up against it financially.
      That just to compete on these terms is a wonderful achievement.
      But my title , and content, refers to these claims. It hurts to lose the players we have done – whatever our necessity/ their motives.. we’ve bought into the club model and just when it looks as though we would have a squad that would meet the aspirations made, Crown Jewels are sold. Again.

      I’d love to just here these recinded. Updated. . Revaluation.
      Our squad is now potentially stronger but I would disagree that in having had to sell who we have, it is not currently stronger. It may well be down the line.
      Likewise, making those sales (whilst again clear why we’ve done so) is not, in my opinion, the sign of a team aiming to accomplish that Premier League claim.

      That’s not to say what we are doing isn’t great. It is. But it would also be great to have a reality check about where we’ve come relative to what we told supporters our ambition was.

      The lure of the Premier league and the riches that come with it are a huge draw. A huge prize. I’d certainly call a claim that we’d get there by the end of this season promising the earth.

      It may be unrealistic but it was said.

      You can call my content drivel – that’s fine. You aren’t the first and won’t be the last. It’s just an opinion on either side.

      I can’t wait for Thursday night to hear what our club officials say. I’ve backed them many, many times and will do again. I’d just like an honest evaluation

  18. Laurence September 4, 2017 at 6:44 pm #

    Birmingham are 20th on 4 points just 2 points above us. Harry is doing his usual. Spending owners money with no recourse to himself. Look at the money hes spent elsewhere and contemplate. Anyone with half a brain can employ that as a strategy. Where are Birmingham going in realistic terms I wonder. Jota was aiming for Premiership football and has sold out. Has got the wages but nothing more than a presumably a promise from Harry. All a bit shallow and I’m a big big Jota fan. As for selling on mass to a Championship rival that cannot be right under any circumstances. What on earth are we doing?

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