Bentley is the Lion tamer as Bees take three deserved points.

15 Oct

And we’re off the mark at home. Brentford took the unbeaten Championship streak to five games at Griffin Park yesterday. a 1-0 win over Millwall giving us 9 points out of the last 15 following on from the win at Bolton aswell as draws with Reading , Middlesbrough and Derby. Yet it was one of those games where, as ever, the scoreline only told half the story of the day – both on and off the pitch.

First up, the win. Dean Smith has been talking up his Brentford team for weeks. Citing ill fortune, huge possession and if onlys. On Saturday, we took our chances and our rub of the green. Aided by superb performances by both Romaine Sawyers and my man-of-the-match Daniel Bentley, the Bees were serving of their win although would have had few complaints had the visitors snatched something late on.

The penalty incident awarded to Millwall after Jed Wallace was adjudged to have been fouled by Henrik Dalsgaard looked questionable (even as to whether it was inside the box) from where we sat. But as referee Lee Probert pointed to the spot, Millwall’s Lee Gregory fired home.

Alas. For the Lions. No goal!! Manager Neil Harris was incensed. As were their supporters. As were their players. Instead, a spot kick was awarded despite the protests from The Lions. And it was that man Bentley, diving to his right, who was able to push Gregory’s effort away and keep his virginal net intact.

Screen Shot 2017-10-15 at 09.19.47

Probert points to the spot. Definitely not a goal

Should the goal have stood? Who cares! We’ve been at the rough end of enough refereeing injustice in our time to take a lifeline when it is offered.

The penalty aside, Probert had it tough yesterday and was given little support from his assistants as he earned the ire of the home supporters whilst an aggressive Millwall team got stuck in. A second half foul from George Saville on Ryan Woods in particular seeing the Millwall man very lucky to stay on. There was only one winner in that central midfield battle all afternoon and what a shame the former Bee had to resort to such cheap tactics.

What shame this all distracted from Romaine’s wonder goal. A beautifully hit shot from distance, straight after half time. He struck it hard and low into the bottom corner after taking a pass from Dalsgaard. It was so soon after the restart that many supporters hadn’t even taken their seats. Including yours truly. Finishing half-time refreshments on the forecourt, Cousin Charles turned to me and said. “Let’s go. There’s going to be a transformation in the second half”. And as we turned, the cheer went up. How it helps to have friends in high places. How it helps to have a cousin whose win/attendance ratio is the sort of stat money can’t buy (and this was mentioned yesterday!)  How it helps to have the highlights to subsequently catch up on so we can see what was missed.


View from the Braemar – Brentford press on after Romaine’s opener

Being honest, whilst the stats show the Bees dominated and the highlights (currently available here on Sky) show we peppered the Millwall goal in the first half, that opening period didn’t feel a comfortable one. It was disjointed and the visitors more than had their share of play. And chances. Bentley had to be on top form all afternoon as despite a Romaine and Ollie being amongst those to go close, it never felt as though we were truly in control or nailed on to win.

But football turns on moments. Romaine’s goal was followed by another identikit chance moments later that went just wide. The addition of Lasse vibe from the bench brought a palpable buzz to the crowd in a game we really had to win. Victories for Birmingham City last night and Bolton that afternoon meant the teams below us were threatening to drag the Bees into it. But win we did. Bentley made two more fine saves as Brentford continued to push but couldn’t find a way through despite coming close on numerous occasions.

Lasse was as happy as the fans

We’ve bemoaned the lack of shooting in recent weeks. Fairplay to Dean’s boys, nobody can say we didn’t try that today. Whilst ‘deserving’ counts for nothing in football, the effort put in by the team was definitely rewarded at full time. A 1-0 win is still a win. And don’t forget that as much of winning a football match is about not conceding as it is about scoring. Thanks to Dan Bentley, we certainly nailed the former part yesterday.

The other point of note from Griffin Park was the new electronic advertising boards on Braemar Road and behind each goal. These are part and parcel of modern football. Anybody who has seen a televised game in recent years will be well aware of these. The signs are already second nature to many and with the pre-install article on ‘official’ telling us they are able to be lifted up to Lionel Road, expect them to stay.

As a means of reeling in the additional revenue then I can understand why we have jumped on board. It makes sense for the club and sponsors to have these positioned within the arc of the TV cameras. As long as the players aren’t distracted then they are only going to be a permanent fixture.

What I can’t fathom is the logic in having the smaller, crowd facing display. Whilst the club did warn us these were coming, the video they sent through to prepare those sitting right in front of these, and showing static adverts, was not anything like what was delivered.

Instead, we had a non-stop cavalcade of distracting and slightly blurry, scrolling messages that lurked in the peripheral vision like somebody flashing a multi-coloured torch into the corner of the eye for 90 minutes. There were enough adverts for LeoVegas and Utilita already on display – from shirts to programme to the stands to the dugouts – without the need to try and further sear these names on to the retinas of those sitting in the first few rows of the paddock.

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The crowd facing side of the new system is a huge distraction

I’m sorry. This is a BAD move. This is supporter unfriendly move. This is something that, having actually made the effort to alert fans about in the build up, is then nothing like what we were shown it would be. See the video below. This is something that totally ruined the football experience.

The build up article to these on the club site promised that they would “add to the matchday experience for fans.”

So nobody is in any doubt. In my opinion, they don’t. They are horrific. They are distracting. Out of principal I will never, ever buy or use any of the products being beamed into my face whilst this is up and running. And that goes for now consigning this season’s shirt to the back of the wardrobe. Which is a shame. But there you go.

I want to watch football. Not soft focus advertising that looks as though it should be found on one of those digital displays in the window of a local taxi office. How does this add to my matchday experience? My matchday annoyance, perhaps.

I appreciate the club is looking to maximise revenue opportunities. But there is a way and a means. And this crowd facing digital aberration is definitely not it. If anybody from the club is reading , is there any way these can please be switched off or toned down?

On the plus side, no more half time trips to the bottle bar for me.

What has been delivered is not what we were told about. No scrolling and in focus

Nick Bruzon


7 Responses to “Bentley is the Lion tamer as Bees take three deserved points.”

  1. Bernard Quackenbush (@BernardQuack) October 15, 2017 at 11:49 am #

    It was about time we got some luck and we got it yesterday. I do wonder if Wallace had not made such a swan dive then Probert wouldnt have blown. Millwall were doing it all game, falling at the mere suggestion there was a Bee in the vicinity and it kind of bit them on the arse in the end, which is were a lot of them were spending their game.

    As for us this was a much better performance, the passing was there but so was speed, we were moving it forward quickly, although it helped that for some reason Neil Harris decided it was pointless to put anyone anywhere near Ryan Woods. We were far more 3 dimensional in our approach.

    Saying that, despite the possession etc we still only had 1 goal to show for our efforts, and of course we nearly blew it and needed Dan to put in a MOM performance. Maybe with Lasse fit things will change. Immediately after he came on you can see the difference he makes as he opens up space in the penalty area. Maupay had a good game in his battle with Hutchinson but Lasse gives us something extra. And with the blond bombshell that is Sergi Canos soon to come back, we should see more goals.

    Despite that we are still weak in defence. Why Yoann & Mepham was dropped I have no idea. Bjelland in particular gives me a lot of concern due to his lack of pace and movement. Dalsgaard too, seems to give his opponent a lot of space & will drop back if he gets beaten given his opponent 5 yards. But, Josh Clarke was excellent & should not be dropped for next weekend.

    The LED screens. I did find distracting too, especially one ad when I kept thinking there was a flash of lightning! Like you I cant see the point of the inward facing ads & must be very distracting for those in the front row. Cant these not be used for half time scores, stats, and things like GOAL! Yellow Card , subs etc? This will only change if people contact the club.

    Come on Nick be honest, you were late to your seat second half because you were signing autographs and discussing CBB with your agent

    • nickbruzon October 15, 2017 at 12:06 pm #

      BQ – on the mail again. With the exception of the autograph part. That said, the ‘duck’s head’ did come up in conversation on the forecourt at HT.
      In all seriousness though, I agree with your observations on the inward boards. They could be a good idea. IF used correctly. And at the right time

  2. John October 15, 2017 at 1:12 pm #

    Thank god we held on yesterday. We definitely need Canos back and what is the news on Judge, seems to have gone quiet? We all know the Championship is very tight and top can beat bottom. I can see the table looking very different come 23 games played with the top 6. No guarantees this year of top 2.

    • peter lumley October 15, 2017 at 2:30 pm #

      On tenterhooks for the whole of the 90 plus minutes ! Very irritated by the way George Saville and others fell to the ground every time a Bee came anywhere near them ! No protection from a “poor” referee. A good all-round team performance with Dan Bentley and Romaine Sawyers outstanding closely followed by Ryan Woods and Josh Clarke. Also another promising display by Ollie Watkins. Let us hope for another 3 points on Saturday

  3. the ain't October 15, 2017 at 3:02 pm #

    so de Bermondsey crew ead sarf of de river wid dere tails between dere proverbial legs ope de same applies to de macken nxt week why-o-why only 9600 dere for a local derby support de club!

  4. Paul Berman October 15, 2017 at 6:57 pm #

    Nick, great article as ever! On the new advertising boards whilst from the New Road (roe D) we didn’t have crowd facing displays, we did have advertising rolling around the whole of our sight line and it definitely affected the viewing experience of the game, and not in a good way. If it is to stay as I’m survisctgd case, then the intensity needs to be turned down and use less animation during the match. Static displays during that period would be much better and a good compromise – one for Mark Devlin?

  5. Martin October 18, 2017 at 9:27 am #

    Being dead level at the time, I was half way through calling for offside as the ball broke before the very soft penalty was given. The ref could not have given advantage anyway. I on that score, I Millwall were not hard done by.

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