Time to stand up and be counted. This is huge.

13 Apr

The weekend is almost here. Friday morning is upon us, meaning just one more sleep until Brentford travel to Fulham. One more sleep until The Bees have the chance to continue the push for the play offs against second placed Fulham. With the gap between the top two teams 11 points, should the Cottagers fail to win then Wolves will be crowned League champions. Otherwise, they’ll need to wait until Sunday and their own game with Birmingham City. With Barnsley hosting Bolton, the pressure at the basement end of the table is only sure to get even bigger. What a weekend awaits.

Dallas montage Brentford

Another trip to The Cottage awaits

Elsewhere, I’ll need to direct you to a story on the Telegraph website and then a subsequent petition. It is a story that given both our own ground development at Lionel Road and great away following, is of supreme relevance. Moreso given our predilection to stand up at football – whether on the road or in our current Griffin Park home.

First up, Fulham. Putting to one side a £35 ticket price that is approaching Leeds United levels of mickey taking – something even more shocking given the game is on TV – this one is huge. There’s so much riding on this. For Brentford, the chance to keep our play-off push alive. Three successive 1-0 wins, despite the absence of talismanic midfielder Ryan Woods, have seen us move to within just four points of fifth place with Derby County having blown one of their two games in hand.

There’s also the chance to continue a fine recent run against a Fulham side who have only beaten us once in 7 (seven) games since our paths crossed in the Championship. From Jota in the last minute back in 2014, through that season’s 4-1 destruction at the Cottage all the way up to this campaign’s 3-1 home win it would be fair to say that Brentford have had the upper hand. The only blot on the copy book being a November 2016 win at Griffin Park for, what needs to be acknowledged, was a very impressive looking outfit.

Jota Fulham last minute

Gone. But not forgotten.

But what a time it would be to notch another three points on the bed post. The previous encounters have all had that huge emotional significance, of course. You can’t beat the passion of a West London derby – even if one part of it is taking place in the neutral stand, with clappers and behind the Gin bar. This one, of course, will have all of that but it will have more. Much more.

A Fulham side packed with some homegrown talent and clever use of the loan system have been relentless in their pursuit of automatic promotion. Slowly that gap has been reeled in until last weekend they made it. They’d hit the top two positions. How delicious would it be to push them back out whilst continuing our own climb. You couldn’t have written a better script in the build-up to this one.

For Brentford, there’s nothing to lose and everything to gain. We’ve played with freedom and talent as our team has come together following the early season stumbles and triple transfer swoop by Birmingham City. Yet, perhaps as much motivated by ‘that’ ten times better  claim, the fans and the squad have been galvanised. We’ve been loud, proud and kept on churning out the results. Now, we are on the threshold of magnificence. More importantly, we are on the threshold of that bold predicton from Rasmus Ankersen coming to fruition.

I’ve mentioned this a lot on these pages but they are words that I’ve never forgotten. Back in Spetember 2015 he told supporters, “It is not an option to not be in the Premier League. It has to happen in the next three years…. At the moment there is no Plan B. we’ll be in the Premier League in three years.

They are words that have been hard to swallow at times. I’m the first to admit that. Yet, at the same time, they are THE marker post. That three year period comes to an end with the conclusion of this campaign. For all that some supporters have struggled to get used to our new set up at Griffin Park. For all that even I’ve had my doubts a t times. For all that we’ve seen a whole host of huge names sold for vast sums of money. For all of this we’re still going. For all of this we ARE in with a chance.

The absolute inner belief in this club is that Brentford are a Premier League Club. I know this for fact. Just speaking to our senior figures  – as anybody can do; they are always very accessible – you can feel the confidence and the self-assurance of the journey we are on. There is no doubt in which direction this club is heading. How incredible would it be to take that next step at Craven Cottage? See you there.

Phil and Rasmus half and half

Get it right and Rasmus really will have his face on a scarf. Half and half or otherwise

Could I also crave your indulgence to take a look at both the aforementioned Telegraph story and then ask, if you feel it appropriate, you sign the ‘safe standing’ petition. We all know what happened in the past but football has moved on so much since then. We all know football supporters still stand – it is as much part of just trying to see the game at times Yet our own Sports’ minister seems to have her head in the sand as to what supports want and to what advice she is being given.

The Telegraph quotes her as saying “The answer to dealing with persistent standing is not necessarily to introduce safe standing….There are regulations to deal with persistent standing – I would like to see them enforced.

What is the answer? To continue with the successful standing zones introduced at the likes of Celtic and several Bundelsiga clubs? Or encourage stewards to take an even tougher stance at physical enforcement? Kick supporters out of the ground?

It’s your shout. But the petition link is here if it is something you feel you need to make a stand about.

Many thanks

Nick Bruzon

11 Responses to “Time to stand up and be counted. This is huge.”

  1. Steve Griffiths April 13, 2018 at 8:46 am #

    “The absolute inner belief in this club is that Brentford are a Premier League Club. I know this for fact.”

    The problem Nick is that there are 40+ teams that believe that they belong in the Premier League and they won’t all fit. For starters everyone already there including historically smaller teams like Bournemouth, Brighton and Huddersfield obviously do. Then most of the Championship teams, which includes some genuine big clubs like Villa, Middlesbrough and Leeds. As a Wolves fan I think we do too of course and obviously this is going to be our year, along with Fulham and someone else (please not Villa!). Even teams like Blackburn and Wigan in division 1 would stake a claim. The 3 relegated teams are going to feel like they need to go straight back up of course.

    Being honest, if I was to list out the Championship teams who I felt belonged in the Premier League, which is always subjective, Brentford would be some way down the list. You would however be above West Brom, Aston Villa and Blues if it is any consolation!

    • David Carney. April 13, 2018 at 12:29 pm #

      You miss the point entirely.
      Brentford are in the position they are in (the cusp of being a Premier League team) because the Benham era has been one of leadership of ideas and leadership of implementation, plus the ability to adapt the operating model with minimum fuss whenever necessary. Forget history, because that will not change, but think of the now and tomorrow. It is on that basis that Brentford are leaders in ideas and why, very soon they will be a Premier League Club.
      You refer to ‘…genuine big clubs…’ by which you presumably mean a club with enviable past achievements and probably a larger ground and larger supporter base than Brentford currently enjoy. That counts for nothing if results are bad/unsatisfactory and the future is relegation, a dwindling supporter base and a decaying ground that is too expensive to maintain in the lower divisions.
      I suggest a genuine big club is one that has big ideas, a prosperous future and a growing supporter base. Currently, Brentford meet that criteria and as Brentford supporters we can all enjoy this wonderful period in the life of the club – and long may it last.
      Bye the way, Brentford also has a very proud history.

      • martinfrommolineux April 13, 2018 at 5:49 pm #

        What does and does not constitute ‘big’ in relation to a football team is always going to be somewhat subjective.
        From the perspective of an outsider looking in Brentford seem an extremely well run outfit and a team that always tries to play the game in the right way. I enjoyed our clashes since the days when we were vying for top spot in League 1 and wish you all the best for the future, especially against Fulham this weekend!

      • nickbruzon April 13, 2018 at 6:15 pm #

        Thanks Martin. We’ll beat Fulham if you do Birmingham. Deal?

      • Steve Griffiths April 13, 2018 at 10:27 pm #

        David,

        With all due respect I haven’t missed the point at all. You believe the model that is in play at Brentford is progressive and enlightened and I don’t disagree with you. Let me be clear that I am in no way dismissive of Brentford, I think the progress at the club has been impressive and I’ve taken more notice of you as a club as you’ve kind of “shared the same space” with Wolves for the past 5 seasons since our successful division 1 campaigns.

        However, nearly all of the fans of the other 40+ clubs who think they also belong there will also give a narrative on why they believe that. Some will be valid, some with be hopeful, some delusional and some fans will not even try to convince themselves, let alone others. But it’s a very fluid situation and things change all the time, if you’d have asked me 2 years ago to justify why Wolves belong in the Premier League, it would have been a difficult narrative to construct.

        I guess I will disagree with your statement “very soon they (Brentford) will be a Premier League Club”. If I’ve learnt anything in football it is that there are no guarantees, ever. Could it work? Of course it could. Equally, as enlightened and impressive as it is, it could also ultimately fail. Look back at the pre-season reviews and not many pundits picked Wolves for promotion. Too young, too inexperienced, won’t cope with the winter. Everyone is now saying of course we should have walked the league given our resources, but hindsight is a wonderful thing.

        But anyway, I wish you luck. I think it will be good for football if Brentford demonstrate that their model can work and you do get promoted next year. But whatever happens, carry on enjoying it.

    • Stephen Dockery April 15, 2018 at 6:50 pm #

      Small town on outskirts of a great city

  2. martinfrommolineux April 13, 2018 at 9:10 pm #

    Deal!

  3. martinfrommolineux April 14, 2018 at 10:02 pm #

    Well done Brentford and thank you!

    Now gatecrash the playoff party and join us.

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