Bees win at Bolton but Barbet wins at Twitter

24 Sep

And relax. Brentford thumped Bolton Wanderers 3-0 at the Macron on Saturday to record an opening league victory and move out of the bottom three. With Birmingham City failing to win (again), this time at a Derby County side who come to Griffin Park on Tuesday, it marked a quite wonderful afternoon for Bees fans. And players – for whom three stunning goals scored by Ollie Watkins, Nico Yennaris and Yoann Barbet were the icing on the cake of a performance that head coach Dean Smith has been promising for weeks.

If it was vindication for Dean Smith then what must it have been like for Yoann Barbet? The Frenchman started on the bench after taking what was, quite rightly, considered to be one of the all-time worst penalties ever seen at Griffin Park on Tuesday night. How he got such height from just 12 yards out was beyond the laws of physics in itself.

An early substitution for John Egan (Dean Smith telling BBC Billy Reeves that “He felt dizzy, felt coming off was for the good of the team” after getting a cut lip) saw Yoann enter the field of play. It saw him leave it at full time having been named ‘STAR of the day’. Not my words but those of the official EFL twitter feed. Although words I’d happily agree with.

Barbet EFL

Took his chance – and then some…

Sometimes, you just have to hold up your hands. Tuesday’s penalty was horrific. It lead to my own post match column noting that : “We’ve a tradition of centre backs hoofing dead balls over the bar. See also that ill-fated period of giving spot kick duties to number 26 … Likewise Miguel Llera and his attempts to channel Sam Saunders but which were more akin to Jonny Wilkinson. Why not just give it to a striker? A player whose job it it to strike the ball. To find the back of the net“.

Hmm. Ok. That’s why I’m the numpty on the terrace and Dean is the head coach. Clearly there’s something that we don’t see on the training ground because this effort, to open the scoring, was just about as good as it got.

Pick that out. Just about unstoppable and given the space available on the other side of the goal, the last thing any of us expected. More importantly, the last place Bolton expected it to end up. It was a truly wonderful effort.

It was an effort that would later see Yoann win at Twitter. For all the cracks from supporters about the Norwich effort, he nailed things with a clear demonstration of that team spirit Dean has been telling us about week in, week out.

Barbet Bolton tweet

Yoann wins Twitter

It was a strike that made the final four of ‘goal of the day’ on Sky Sports news and was joined by our second. Step up Nico Yennaris. He doesn’t seem to do easy, that’s for sure. If the one against Birmingham City at St. Andrews last season was special, then this just about blew it out of the park. How does he do it? And so often?

You really had to feel for Ben Alnwick in the Bolton goal. If there had been little chance with Yoann’s curler, then he was left equally helpless here. They could have had two goalkeepers and it still would have gone in. 2-0 up and surely, now, the points secure.

But with the first half delayed by 7(seven) minutes and the second half starting late due to a kids penalty competition still taking place whilst the players were lined up to start, this had all the elements of squeaky bum time in it.

Anything but. Here came Ollie Watkins to heap further misery on Bolton. Ben Alnwick must have run over a cat on the way in because here was another thunderbolt to take the back of the net off. What a strike. You’ll have to catch the highlights on Channel 5 for that one but do take a look. They’re well, well worth a viewing. I’ll update this at mid-day once the Mark Burridge version goes up. It promises to be something very special….

Yoann and team do their thing, officially 

Three nil. Three points. Brentford finally finding their shooting boots and keeping it tight at the back. Dean Smith’s faith was unshakeable, as demonstrated in that aforementioned interview with Billy.

Our head coach was also honest enough to tell ‘official’ that: “I didn’t think we started very well in the opening ten minutes. They got into our faces and we didn’t move the ball as we would have liked but after that we took over the game.” This, before going on to enthuse about “three valuable points with three wonderful goals.” Do check out the full article. It’s been a while coming.

All very well and very easy to do after you’ve won. But still on message. We’ve criticised our indecision when it came to shooting after that Reading game. Even 7(seven) year old Felix Watts getting in on the act when he noted that , “The only thing we had to do today was shoot. Really quickly. When they were in the penalty box at Griffin Park all we had to do was shoot but we kept passing it.

What a way to answer that. But, more importantly, was it a flash in the pan? Or have we now turned the corner? The visit of Derby County on Tuesday night promises to be a huge test for the Bees. But a fascinating one.

Will Dean change his starting XI, again? This was our 12th different line up in 12 league and cup games. Might he have no choice if Yoann has played his way in past John Egan? Were Bolton Wanderers the cannon fodder that many expected or a strong team that felt the wrath of what can happen when we play as well as we’ve done in training, do it for 90 minutes and have that run of good fortune?

Without wanting to get ahead of ourselves, victory for Brentford would take us to within a point of Derby. Victory for the Rams would take them to within a point of the play-offs. This one will be huge and I can’t wait to see how it plays out. See you there….

And on a purely personal note, I’d like to thank Bolton for featuring my own thoughts as ‘away fan’ in the programme column yesterday. Moreso, the picture they used, in the Spall 87-88 away shirt. I apologise for the somewhat gratuitous size – nobody needs yours truly that close up. Yet it is included in today’s column as I’m pretty sure we’ve seen that picture and shirt somewhere before.

Fulham, wasn’t it…..?

Bolton and Fulham programmes

Nick Bruzon


6 Responses to “Bees win at Bolton but Barbet wins at Twitter”

  1. peter lumley September 24, 2017 at 7:38 am #

    The 3 superb goals reminded me of waiting for a 91 bus on the Great West Road !You wait a long time for one then 3 come along one after the other! A morale boosting win-hoping the first of many! COYB

  2. the ain't September 24, 2017 at 7:55 am #

    let de doubting tomases put dat victory in dere pipes an smoke it! massive victory! let us ope de smith out brigade wil recognise de eror of dere ways and apologise to de gafer! what mor do dey want? onto derby! so praad of dis team!

  3. Bernard Quackenbush (@BernardQuack) September 24, 2017 at 9:11 am #

    Relief! Finally, a win.

    This was the most important outcome of yesterday, 3 points. Didnt matter how we played, or whether we won with an own goal off someones backside, being Brentford we had 3 ‘eat my goals!’.

    Twitter afterwards was one of rejoicing, although some have been jumping ahead of themselves and talking of play offs. Lets bring it down to earth for a moment. We beat quite possibly the worst team in the division by some considerable distance. We are back to square one if we lose to Derby & Boro, lets build on this excellent result and use this positive momentum on Tuesday. If we can start to get a good run of results I would be more than happy to eat humble pie after my comments about the management set up.

    What a great response from Yoann. Still inexplicably dropped to the bench, comes off and finally puts in a free kick into the top corner, something he always seems to fail to do when practicising before home matches!! He is a worker, clearly trains hard, loves his football, and has a great rapport with the fans, thats why he is my favourite Bee even during the days of Jota and would always be my first choice CB.

    • nickbruzon September 24, 2017 at 10:02 am #

      Can’t disagree with ANY of that, BQ. I’m living for the moment but Tue/Sat are potentially even bigger

  4. Rob September 25, 2017 at 6:51 am #

    I read Barbet’s mum had heart surgery on Friday and he was in France to be with her. Hopefully that was the reason he was on the bench in the first place as apart from Norwich he’s been excellent. Well done Monsieur Barbet and hope your mum gets better. More of the same on Tuesday please!

  5. Rob September 25, 2017 at 6:56 am #

    I read Barbet’s mum had heart surgery on Friday and he was in France to be with her. Hopefully that was the reason he was on the bench in the first place as apart from Norwich he’s been excellent. Well done Monsieur Barbet and hope your mum gets better. More of the same on Tuesday please!
    And well done DS. He had confidence that we’d get a win sooner rather than later if we kept playing like we have. I think if we had lost and played badly that might have been the end of the road…results would have merited it but performances less so, so he must have felt under pressure.

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