Goals mean wins see. No matter how they come.

14 Mar

There’s not much you can say after that. Cardiff City beat Brentford 3-1 in a game that was as much a victory for the much derided tactics of manager Neil Warnock as it was for his players’ ability to find the back of the net. With Aston Villa being thumped at home by QPR (how?) and Wolves finally getting back to winning ways, the top two are going to require a horrific stumble to be caught. But at least there was something for us to smile about at the bottom end of the table. A point for Barnsley in their ‘game in hand’ along with victory for Hull City has increased the pressure on this month’s Birmingham City manager Garry Monk and his team.

We can only start with Brentford where there’s not much more to be said. If you weren’t there then you’ll have likely caught it on TV (unless you were busy swooning over Sam Saunders in the pundit’s chair). The Bees came flying out of the blocks at 100mph. Neal Maupay with a wonderful chance to have opened the scoring whilst most people were still taking their seats before finding the back of the net for 1-0 with little more than five minutes on the clock. Cardiff a goal down and on the ropes. Brentford continuing to spread the ball amongst them as they couldn’t cope with our free flowing football. Surely a second goal was only a matter of moments away?

And on twenty-five minutes it came. To the visitors.  Sol Bamba with a quite wonderfully taken turn and volley that left man of the match Dan Bentley beaten all ends up. It was a finish one can only doff the hat to, no matter how begrudgingly that feels, yet it was one that  let the visitors back into the game. From that point on, they started to really make their presence felt.

Hooooofffff” went the crowd as every ball was humped forward out of the back. “Crunnccch” went the challenge as Warnock’s team made themselves known in the most agricultural of styles. There was no real help from a referee and his assistants who seemed set to random mode. I don’t envy them their role but they need to do it properly if they step up to the challenge. Dean Smith seemed incensed by some of the decision making and inconsistency at full time. As were the crowd throughout a second half that saw Sergi quite perplexed (that’s the polite word) with the officials on more than on occasion.


Sergi saying what we were all thinking

But for all that the men in the middle didn’t help, a goal on the stroke of half time gave the visitors a lead which they would never surrender, whatever the cost. Football very much coming second to the three points. They fought us in the penalty box. The fought us in the middle. They fought with growing confidence and growing strength in the air. A style of football that ended up being little more than scraping and spoiling. Despite our own 67% of possession, they mopped up everything and made sure there was no way through. With a third goal sealing the deal just shy of the hour, there was no way back for the Bees. The clock was carefully run down and it ended 3-1 to the visitors

It was a triumph for Warnock and his team. You can’t deny them their current run or the win that their methodology presented. 7(seven) points clear of third placed Aston Villa suggest they are doing something very much right in terms of getting the results. At the same time, for all Dean was rightly frustrated at full-time, perhaps this was a beneficial lesson in the long term. Our ability to play against the more ‘robust’ teams in the division has been questioned before. The first twenty minutes, with the Bees at full flow against a team we dictated the pattern of the game to, were quite beautiful to watch. The final seventy had a painful inevitability.

Next up for the Bees, the visit of Middlesbrough. Whilst they are looking to consolidate their sixth place, if Brentford are to have any chance of reeling in that 8 point gap then Dean was quite clear about how it needs to be done. Every game is going to be a cup final for us,” he said at full time. “If we want to hang onto the coat-tails of those above us we have to make sure we win games, starting on Saturday”. It’ll be a tough one that’s for sure and if for no other reason than our failure to beat Boro’ since paths crossed in the Championship. Six defeats (including two play-off semis) and a draw are the best we have to show. But what a time to break that record Saturday is. What a chance to show that although we struggled against a Warnock team, we’ve learned from this and can do it against a Tony Pulis side.

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View from the Braemar – the Bees were outmuscled last night

I’ve woken up this morning feeling disappointed and frustrated more than anything else. I’m still immensely proud of what our team have achieved and one has to remember that Cardiff City are where they are for a reason. At the end of the day (Clive), and as one visiting supporter noted last night on Twitter: “Goals mean wins see“. I can’t argue with that.

Besides, looking to the lower end of the table a gap really is starting to form in the relegation zone. Barnsley’s draw with Norwich City last night sees them open up a three-point lead over Birmingham City. When you factor in the Blues’ inability to score and wonderful propensity to concede, the goal difference is so significant as to effectively make that difference four.

They entertain (sorry, that’s surely a breach of trades descriptions) they host Hull City on Saturday. With the Tigers running out 3-0 victors at Ipswich Town last night, they are surely safe. Three more points would all but secure this and what a time to get them.

I can’t wait for the weekend. The atmosphere is going to be huge at Griffin Park where it really is a case of win or bust in the race for the play offs.

See you there.

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The gap is starting to grow

Nick Bruzon


4 Responses to “Goals mean wins see. No matter how they come.”

  1. Bernard Quackenbush (@BernardQuack) March 14, 2018 at 9:54 am #

    Quite frankly we were outplayed last night. Cardiff fully deserved their win. Although we played the better football, they played football better. They were stronger, they were faster, they were cleverer, they managed the game better, and they managed the referee who was poor. With Warnock overseeing the whole thing from the sidelines constantly in the referees ear. Warnock is the Dick Dastardly of football, with a greater success record. Constantly laying traps for the opposition and officials to fall into. I guess that makes Kevin Blackwell, Muttley!

    We didnt help ourselves at times either with a few average performances. Watkins, Sergi, Nico and in particular Clarke all had bad days. How we needed FloJo & his pace down the wing last night, and as for Daniel Bentley, wow, outstanding performance, couldnt have done his international hopes any harm at all.

    Last word on the ref Linnington. Appalling! Just didnt have a clue. Managed through the game by Cardiff. Made bad decision after bad decision. Yet i still quite cant get how it is an advantage if the ball is passed sideways into a crowded midfield. Seemed so obsessed about where Bentley should take a free kick yet couldnt give a monkeys if Cardiff defenders were only 7 yards back and way in front of the line he painted when a free kick is taken

  2. Moriarty March 14, 2018 at 5:00 pm #

    Yes, Bruzon, even one if your favoured “contributors”, states, “Quite frankly, we were outplayed last night”, yet you say nothing to him , yet pick on my assessment , in your previous pre-match post; you really should act in a proper manner and be a neutral and fair arbiter on your site, otherwise your nothing but a meaningless, prejudiced ego vehicle.

    • nickbruzon March 15, 2018 at 6:00 am #

      Aww – thanks for taking the time Brian. I’ll ignore your personal jibes. I’ve had far greater nonsense spewed at me over the years.

      Thanks, likewise, for telling me how I should be running my blog page where I give my opinions on things I write about. You will forgive me for breaking your ‘rules’.

      In my eyes, it’s simple. If you don’t like my ‘meaningless, prejudiced ego vehicle’ (that’s a good one – cheers) then don’t read it. Perhaps you may prefer somewhere like GPG or ‘Brentford FC loyal’ on Facebook as more your sort of place.

      I’m all about openness here. Even if my opinions may not always be well received. Hey, you can’t keep everybody happy.

      • Hobbo March 15, 2018 at 4:13 pm #

        El wimpo rules ok

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