Bees get the point as Changchun Yatai get that Vibe. What next as Sunderland await?

11 Feb

Brentford 1 Preston North End 1. After that mini run of double defeats, here was a chance to get back to winning ways before the double header against two teams up to their hips and necks in the relegation quagmire – Birmingham City and Sunderland. Yet on a day which saw the long anticipated transfer of Lasse Vibe to Chinese Super League side Changchun Yatai for a fee rumoured to be £2m and a much changed Bees team lining up against promotion chasing Preston, in retrospect was it as disappointing as it felt at full time?


Any votes for ‘China in your hand’ on #BeeTheDJ ? Farewell, Lasse

No. In a word. As a fan, I’m always desperate to win no matter whom we are up against and whichever players are staring. Yet a first XI which, had it been picked during the transfer window would have had supporters screaming ‘conspiracy theory‘, more than held their own and arguably had enough chances and possession to have wrapped this one up. There was no Sergi Canos – suspended. Ryan Woods had to be content with wandering up and down the Braemar Road paddock, chatting to supporters and confirming he should be fit for the Sunderland game. Yoann Barbet was dropped to the bench whilst wunderkind Chris Mepham was awol.

Yet this was still a strong team with Josh McEachran having a very positive start before returning to the frustrating enigma that his performances so often are. When he’s on form he really is a talent and his forward passing is a joy to behold. Equally, there’s more sideways and backwards passing than down the road at Twickenham. Watching the England-Wales rugby after this one, I was half expecting our number 10 to put in an appearance. No irony lost, given one challenge he put in on Callum Robinson. Move along, nothing to see here. It’s a tough call for Dean how he crams that central midfield, who makes way and how he can get the very best from his available resources. Certainly, the arrivals of Lewis Macleod and Alan Judge were very welcome.

It was a game played out in front of a sparse crowd under drizzle soaked skies. It was a game that saw Brentford give away a goal out of nowhere. Tom Barkhuizen putting Preston ahead before Florian Jozefzoon levelled things up just eight minutes later with a goal described by Sky Sports (and you can get edited the highlights here) as a superb strike. I say this given I missed it, in circumstances described in the trade as ‘doing a JJ’. Still, anything for the cause. From then on, it was one-way traffic and I can’t wait to hear how the ever wonderful Mark Burridge described all this when the full fat package is available later *.


View from the Braemar: Andreas Bjelland v Preston – a Dane in the rain

With Greg Cunningham’s second yellow seeing the visitors reduced to ten men with fifteen minutes remaining, it was backs to the wall stuff. Ollie Watkins blazed just wide whilst Alan Judge came oh so close with a curling free kick in the dying seconds. Emiliano Marcondes added further threat from the bench and it is no surprise Dean came out with post-match comments that included his observation that, “We should have got three points today as our performance was good”.

Second half, it was good. Very. Although, equally, we can count our blessings The Bees didn’t go behind in the opening period. Tommy Spurr adjudged to have been marginally offside as he headed home for 1-0. But no. Instead it was that sweetest of football feelings – opposition cheers being snuffed out by the wave of a linesman’s flag. 0-0 it stayed, until Barkhuizen did the needful.


It’s an early shower for you, number 3. Cunningham walks.

As for Brentford, up front remains a tough one for Dean. Neal Maupay had one, clear chance when put through one on one with Preston goalkeeper Declan Rudd. The man in black (Rudd, not the ref – if Kitman Bob is reading, what ARE the rules on that?) quick off his line to smoother the striker’s shot from eight yards. Other than that though, there were slim pickings in what you’d deem a typical striker’s chance. One thing’s for sure, with Justin Shaibu on loan and Lasse sold without being replaced, Neal is in for the long haul. That’s no bad thing either. We saw early on in the season what an impact he had off the bench. Here’s hoping that given a prolonged run of starts he’ll push on and find the back of the net on a regular basis.

My other thought is in regards to Dean Smith’s post-match observations. Both in this one and the previous two games. The 3-0 Loss v Derby saw him note that, “We had the better chances… the score-line wasn’t a reflection of what I thought was two-evenly matched teams”.

The game prior, our 1-0 Loss at home to Norwich, saw him opine how: I feel that the better team got beaten” going on to add later that, “I think Norwich will feel fortunate that they have gone away with all three points”.

Yesterday, it was that we should have won. Personally, my take on it is that we could have won. What a difference a letter or two makes. At least Dean recognises the chances we are creating but as has been said a gazillion times on these pages, they count for nothing if you can’t put them away.

As has also been said, who’d be a manager? Very much a case of damned if you do and damned if you don’t. Overall, He and his team are doing just about most things right. Certainly, there are no huge complaints from where I am sitting. Quite the opposite. We’re pushing it against the best in a phenomally tough division and more than holding our own.

Actually, there’s nothing wrong with not winning a game. We all want to. Myself included. I remember league two days. No money etc. etc. etc. I saw a reference on Twitter the other day to the Eddie May/ Micky Adams relegation season. Grim stuff. We’re more spoilt now than we’ve ever been. Moreso with the new stadium plans really gathering pace. But the football fan is never happy. We always want more. We live in hope of what might be. We all have a dream. We always want better.

I understand Dean’s passion and desire but I also know what I see when I’m watching the same game he is. Too much of the ‘we deserved to win/ should have won’ starts to lose impact after a while.

Hey, it’s a small gripe. At least he’s got faith in his team and is constantly reinforcing that positive message. If it’s the worst thing Dean does then we’re in good hands. He has tough decisions ahead, that’s for sure, and I don’t envy him picking the team to start against Sunderland. Likewise, his substitutions, whenever they happen….

But these are nice decisions to have to make. There is competition for the starting berth in just about every position. Yoann Barbet, in particular, must count himself very unlucky to have missed out this time around (albeit I love seeing Josh Clarke out there). No doubt he’ll be amongst those hammering down Dean’s door this week. Metaphorically speaking.

I’ve no clue who Dean will start on Saturday at Sunderland. Could this be Alan Judge’s time? I can’t wait to find out though. Given their own late comeback from 3-0 down to earn a point at Bristol City on Saturday, it’s not going to be as easy as the table suggests. That’s for sure.

There’s nothing more dangerous than a black cat backed into a corner and desperately fighting for survival. Bring it on.

As for Lasse Vibe, there’s not much more that can really be said. We all knew his contract was up. We all know what he has done for us over the last few years. How open and friendly he is. How enthusiastic and dedicated to the cause whilst at Griffin Park. Talking to supporters yesterday and reading through social media, I can’t see anybody wishing him everything but the best.

I can’t think of any other club or any other player where losing your main goal threat has been treated with nothing but universal good vibes. Yet that’s Lasse.

THANK YOU. Here’s to the World Cup..

* until then, here’s the post lunchtime update with the ‘official highlights’. Great job on the comms, too…


Nick Bruzon


14 Responses to “Bees get the point as Changchun Yatai get that Vibe. What next as Sunderland await?”

  1. peterwot February 11, 2018 at 11:07 am #

    Always enjoy your views.

    Apparently only four teams in the FL have never been in the Premier.

    I remember watching Brentford playing Sheffield Wednesday in 1952 with 33,000 others at GP.


  2. Bernard Quackenbush (@BernardQuack) February 11, 2018 at 1:12 pm #

    A draw was about the right result and like you felt we could have won it not should of. Not sure what Yoann warranted being dropped. Although official said the change was ‘forced’?? Playing McEachran was the right call. As far as I can see he should only play if Woods cannot. But yet again a complete enigma. He just doesnt do enough for me. Maybe its time to consider Kamo as Woods’ direct replacement. Maupay played his best game in a while but still lacks that killer instinct. And how much did we miss Mepham. Its remarkable in such a short space of time he is head & shoulders a much better player than Egan, who was a bit all over the place yesterday. We really came alive once Marcondes & Judge came on and we have to start with these 2 up at Sunderland, with Nico, who had a poor game, and Maupay dropping to the bench.

    Interestingly the PNE fans on Twitter felt it was 12 v 11, with the ref. I thought the ref wasnt too bad. If anything I thought he was lenient and let 1 or 2 PNE tackles go unpunished. He certainly would have Guardiola moaning about lack of protection.

    • Roy Christopher February 11, 2018 at 2:04 pm #

      I see in the highlights they have left out the rugby tackle that went unpunished

  3. Brighton Bee February 11, 2018 at 1:34 pm #

    I always enjoy reading your thoughts Nick. However, once again yesterday Brentford allowed a defensive minded, hoofball team to get away with a point at GP. (How can PNE be near the play off places?) In my view, we were simply not good enough again. Despite our possession play we had to little up front for most of the game. I feel sorry for Maupay as he looks to be a striker who needs to play with a bigger striker to feed off. To my mind there was no spark, no inventiveness. In short, nothing that could get around the spoiling tactics employed by PNE. Only when Judge and the other subs came came on combined with the sending off did we show something that may have given us the points. Why didn’t Judge start I wonder? Also, our failure to sign a replacement striker for Vibe indicates to me that the DofF / Owner have given the season up and are content for another mid table finish. Like many others I grateful for the intervention of MB as who knows where our club might be now without his input but I do find it frustrating that with a couple of additional signings we could be making a real attempt at the play offs

    • Moriarty February 11, 2018 at 1:52 pm #

      Good luck to Vibe, nice, intelligent player, looking after his family, building up his stash for his life beyond football, with the lucrative move.
      Your comment regarding the controlling interests at BFC, being disinterested in a promotion push, ties in with previous seasons behaviour, when in a similar position.
      If this stuff is carried over to the new stadium, then flack would be forthcoming and flying from myself, for one.
      However , the probability is that they are not interested in complications re promotion associated Premier regs, expenses and commitments, at the GP set up, so, let’s wait and see.

      • nickbruzon February 11, 2018 at 2:28 pm #

        Apologies – please can you clarify the statement: “Your comment regarding the controlling interests at BFC, being disinterested in a promotion push, ties in with previous seasons behaviour, when in a similar position.”
        Where has that been said in this piece?

      • Moriarty February 11, 2018 at 9:26 pm #

        The B Bee remarks, were the lodgement of my comment.

      • nickbruzon February 12, 2018 at 6:41 am #

        Fair enough. Appreciate your clarification although still disagree with the sentiment. Sometimes I underestimate the fact that this thing has more than one commentator, incredible though it is. Thanks very much

  4. David Carney. February 12, 2018 at 12:53 am #

    Silly comment Moriarty and one without any foundation whatsoever because you clearly underestimate the difficulties of getting to the Premier League if you think there is no interest in promotion. Benham has not only invested around 100k in hard cash, but a zero interest on investment, assembled a group of skilled operators to run Brentford better than ever in the history of the club, attracted and continues to attract skilful young players that develop better at Brentford than most other clubs, is building a new stadium and has got to the stage where finally, the prospect of never ending financial losses which inevitably lead to oblivion is now thankfully a thing of the past. The players bust a gut each and every match and again, do you really believe they are not trying their very best to gain promotion. Look at the numbers of the last 5 games – 8 points were lost. These points were enough to put them the same as the top six entry level. Look then at the teams around Brentford from Fulham to Norwich and you see only Fulham in the same period have won significantly more points. The remainder are similar to Brentford, except Leeds which is just awful and Bristol City that continue their recent form slide. That says quite clearly that whoever has a run like Fulham will be in the play off places and Brentford are well and truly in that mix.
    There are 15 games remaining, 45 points up for grabs and a deficit of 8 points against opposition in similar form as Brentford. Difficult though it may be, one good run of 5 or so games will gain position 5 or 6 – then anything can happen.
    I really believe your comment is not justifiable on any factual basis whatsoever.

    • nickbruzon February 12, 2018 at 6:45 am #

      Cheers David. Well said indeed.(Although I think you probably mean 100M rather than 100k). Having seen us go through crippling losses on and off the field , year after year, what is happening now is nothing short of incredible. More importantly, despite all our adjustment to players being sold it would be fair to say that those bought have largely come through. for a fraction of the price. I daresay Maupay will be the next in a long line whilst Marcondes could be the real deal.
      We all want to win. But at what price? Success has already come to Brentford. Listening to the talk about the stadium and seeing how this being managed, I can only imagine more will follow

      • David Carney. February 12, 2018 at 7:05 am #

        Yes Nick – my figures were 99.9M out, but you got the meaning OK!!

      • nickbruzon February 12, 2018 at 7:11 am #

        Cheers. I shouldn’t criticise (and its not meant as such). The amount of ‘fat fingers’ that go into putting this together….

  5. aussiebee53 February 12, 2018 at 6:19 am #

    Good report as usual Nick. I also feel a little uneasy with some of Dean Smiths post match comments. Whist a win might not have flattered us on another day we may well have got nothing.
    I really like the look of Marcondes & I’d like him to start against Sunderland.

    • nickbruzon February 12, 2018 at 6:46 am #

      Thanks Aussie. I think he may well. Although I’d suggest a full 90 from Alan Judge is too much of an ask, for now, It can’t be long though

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