Tonight is huge (again)….but not necessarily at Anfield.

24 Apr

Something, something, something, royal baby. Blah, blah, blah, Liverpool getting a semi. Those glory, glory European Anfield nights. Some perspective people, please. There are much more important matters afoot. Hey, Brentford aren’t even playing tonight and will have to be content with gorging on the memory of Saturday’s derby day victory over QPR combined with looking forward to the weekend trip to Barnsley. Yet if ever there was a case of ‘other results’ being of critical importance to The Bees then Tuesday night is that time as Derby County host Cardiff City and Nottingham Forest are home to Barnsley.


Sergi and Romaine amongst the architects of QPR’s doom on Saturday

We all know the current position in the Championship table. Middlesbrough in fifth, are on 72 points. That’s four ahead of Brentford and the aforementioned Rams on 68. Yet sixth placed Millwall have 69. I’m no Stephen Fry but even yours truly has sufficient mental acumen to know that’s a gap of one point. One. Point. With two games left to reel it in.

Yet, as ever, there is a potential fly in the ointment. Derby County do have that game in hand. And they play it tonight. Against Cardiff City. Victory will stretch the gap to an, albeit still catchable, three points. Cardiff, on the flip side, know that a win will give them a monumental advantage in the race with Fulham for an automatic promotion slot. Success will see them four points clear in second place with just two games to go.

This is huge. You couldn’t make up a game of this consequence. West London will be split down the middle tonight with Brentford no doubt hoping for a Cardiff win whilst Fulham fans will be mildly waving their clappers in support of Derby. Even QPR supporters will be praying for…. actually, they won’t as they’re long dead in the water.


Cardiff win tonight and I’ll even forgive them the hashtags

But if this one has impact on Brentford, then our attention is going to be split on two fronts. There’s also the game at Nottingham Forest where defeat for Barnsley will massively increase their chances of relegation. A win will see them leapfrog fourth bottom Bolton Wanderers and have the added benefit of dragging Birmingham City back into things. The Blues own safety net of five points will be a lot squeakier if that becomes three, once the remaining games level out.

Honestly, I’m not sure which result will be best for us here. No doubt Dean Smith would tell Brentford fans just to worry about ourselves. Yet with The Bees going to Oakwell on Saturday, do we want them with destiny back in their own hands and safer, or with that potentially demoralising punch to the gut having been administered by Nottingham Forest? In themselves, a team who have won just a single game out of the last nine, losing the other eight and managing just three goals in the process.

Is it better for us to go into Saturday’s game with Barnsley’s safety all but a mathematical miracle, potentially even hoping that Birmingham City could administer a mid-afternoon psychological blow to our opponents? Or is being the architects of their own survival a better option? Something that would then also see us in the utterly distasteful position of hoping for QPR success on Saturday, with the Blues heading to Loftus Road.

Sadly, having seen the ineptitude of the hapless hoops on Saturday I now have to declare Birmingham City safe. That hurts. But all good things come to an end. Bolton travel to fellow relegation candidates Burton on Saturday and then host goal shy Forest as the season reaches an intriguing denouement. I’m not even going to get close to calling those.

Instead, it really is a case of whatever happens tonight at the City Ground happens. Any result is both good and bad for us. It WILL have an impact but only Saturday at 3pm will tell what that is. Instead, the game of absolute importance will be the one at Pride Park.

I remember back in 1995/96, listening to BBC Radio 5 ( I think, sure the sport had moved on from Radio 2 by then) and Birmingham City v Bradford. It was the season that only one side went up and the Blues only needed two points to guarantee the league title from second placed Brentford. Their 0-0 with Bradford City was one of the most painful bits of self-inflicted torture I’ve ever sat through.  It was rewarded, briefly, the following weekend as The Bees were doing the needful at Bristol Rovers whilst Huddersfield Town took the lead against City. Sadly, results didn’t hold and we ended up in the play-offs. What I wouldn’t pay for that conclusion this time around…

So choose what you do tonight carefully. That Liverpool – Roma Champions League tie is, undoubtedly, a huge occasion. The Reds have a magnificent record in Europe that we can’t get close to. Yet. And if nothing else, the chance to play ‘Liverpool in Europe’ bingo is always a wonderful one.

But for me (Clive) it’ll a case of eschewing Anfield and BT Sport where, whatever happens, it will only be half time. At full time.  Instead, I’ll be glued to Sky Sports and the game from Derby. The prize at the end of that one could be of infinitely more importance in this little corner of West London…

Screen Shot 2018-04-24 at 07.01.31

Liverpool bingo – celebrating both history and cliche

Nick Bruzon

4 Responses to “Tonight is huge (again)….but not necessarily at Anfield.”

  1. Jonathan April 24, 2018 at 8:20 am #

    Great article Nick. I am in a quandary.
    Of course I want the Bees to win every game but watching us in the Championship over the past 4 years has been so fantastic I do not want it to stop.
    This is after watching us for over 60 years in the lower divisions.
    Promotion to the premiership will bring money and status but it will also bring constant fear of losing matches and relegation.
    So, what is the answer. I suppose it is to relax and not get too uptight about the other results and just see what happens.
    If we reach the play-offs and get promoted-Great. If not we just look forward to another glorious season in the Championship.


  2. Charlie Mcmahon April 24, 2018 at 8:54 am #

    As always nick most of us bees think the same way I’m in Zimbabwe at the moment so I’ll be watching derby v Cardiff Derby are perianal chockers while Nial warnock is in the hollowhead class of a grade a wanker but the devil has dealt us a hand where we want him to win as for qpr v Birmingham we will get a laugh at Who ever lose’s that one with the quarter pounders looking at relegation scrap next season so let’s hope that the fixture list for next season (if we don’t go up) puts us at the flea pit on the last day of the season and we win to send them down and us up as for Birmingham they are going nowhere fast low mid table for them next season but hey what do I know spirit of ‘67 🐝🐝🐝

  3. David Carney April 24, 2018 at 9:53 am #

    Emotion is an unwanted distraction at this point in time. The fact is we need two wins no matter what happens tonight. Millwall must lose or draw one. Deny must only win one of three. Brentford Canberra and should win two games. As for Derby and Millwall……I reckon they are vulnerable and I hope like hell they are.

  4. aussiebee53 April 24, 2018 at 1:17 pm #

    Villa’s two games can have a huge bearing I don’t think they’d fancy meeting us in the play-offs and they’ll probably rest players for the play-offs if they feel second place is beyond them,

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