So….who fancies going to Swansea beach and who’s staying at home?

2 Aug

The last knockings of pre-season. There’s just a couple of days to go until things kick of in anger once more for Brentford fans. On pitch, that is, where Saturday sees the visit of Rotherham United to Griffin Park. Off-field it seems to be a case of Swansea this, Swansea that. All served up with a side salad of Leeds United and a smattering of Middlesbrough as the transfer speculation, gossip, guesswork and predominantly click bait continues at pace. As we sit tight and wait for the transfer window to ‘slam shut’ ™ the likes of Ryan Woods and Sergi Canos are the ones very much in the shop window and heading out of Griffin Park. If you believe what you read. Which I don’t.

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Griffin Park looked gorgeous during the week

Urghh. Transfer crud. Every season it is the same. Somebody will go. It always happens. That’s how we work. But there’s no point getting upset over whom it might be, to where or when. Besides, even if we do survive unscathed after August 9th, the European clubs remain able to to buy players from any league – including our domestic ones –  until the end of the month.

Yet with John Egan and Florian Jozefzoon having already departed for fees reckoned to be over £6million, might we have already completed our outward business? Might it be done, dusted and hidden in plain sight? Unless, of course, it is a player who wants to leave rather than the club needing/choosing to sell?

One thing Brentford fans should have learned over the years is that we’re bloody good at picking up players and selling them on for much, much more than we have paid for them. As importantly, unearthing talent to replace those that have gone before. That’s not to say I’m advocating a wholesale clearing of the decks. Quite the opposite. My own preference would be to shut the gates now and have Buzzette imprison the first team squad in the changing room for a week. But enough about my fantasies.

Of course last year was the ultimate leap in faith for Bees fans but it was one which was more than amply rewarded. Once the dust settled. The manner and timing of magnificent Maxime, talismanic Jota and, erm captain Harlee to Birmingham City tested the best of us. I’d absolutely include myself in that group and would be more than happy to eat those words now. It was Brentford who were left with all the money, almost hit the play offs after a lousy start to the campaign and had a ten times better season. Birmingham only just swerved relegation and now have a transfer embargo in place.

I hope nothing happens. Absolutely. But if it does then it’ll just be a case of ‘C’est La vie’, as former hit parade favourites B*Witched once sang. Although perhaps with just a shrug of the shoulders rather than a clunky segue from stone cold pop classic to Irish jig interlude* . If nothing else, I can’t do the kind of stress and angst as we saw when Harry came knocking last time around.

On a totally unrelated note, Swansea beach does look quite magnificent. You can see more at visitswanseabay.com .

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Swansea – has a beach. A nice looking one, too

Two other bits of business for today’s article. First up, fantasy football. And no, I don’t mean Buzzette. If anybody is playing in this year’s official Fantasy Premier League game then I’ve set up a Last Word League. It would be great if anybody wanted to take part and join in – see which Brentford fan has the best knowledge of a division we’ll, no doubt, be aiming for.

It all kicks off on Friday August 10th so there’s time to get your team in still. You can sign in at fantasy.premierleague.com, and then the league details you need are…

League name: The Last Word – Brentford

League code: 707088-156816

If we get a few people in before their big kick off, I’ll see if I can dig a prize out of the cupboard. And if not, we’ll just pretend this conversation never happened.

IMG_5044And finally, FourFourTwo magazine launched their season preview edition yesterday. You can pick this up now from all good newsagents. And probably some bad ones too. It is worth picking up as much for their in-depth Championship preview where they are tipping Brentford to finish 3rd. That’s third (not a typo).

Whether it happens or not remains to be seen – although personally I’ve called us fourth in the ‘fans’ segment of the Bees preview. However, it’s just nice to be recognised for four successive top ten finishes and be seen as a side now ready to look at taking that next step. Certainly, the opposite to that infamous quote from Mr. Holloway. Or that other one from Harlee Dean.

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No pressure, Dean

Predictions mean naff all if we can’t turn performances into wins but it means we start on an optimistic note that, for once, extends beyond well beyond the normal bubble of self-confidence that is TW8. Keep the likes of Romaine, Meps, Bentley and Sergi together and who knows? I’d be partial to a little bit more of Woodsy too, of course.

For the record, Swansea are tipped to finish 13th. Just saying.

Nick Bruzon

*Note to self. Pick this for #BeeTheDJ v Rotherham

 

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3 Responses to “So….who fancies going to Swansea beach and who’s staying at home?”

  1. Moriarty August 2, 2018 at 9:33 am #

    Looking forward to the first League game; expecting a defining performance from the team.
    Swansea beach isn’t that nice; I never met anyone who swam in that water, when I lived there. Gower, is the place to go, Nick, should you ever venture there, on your family holiday.
    Ian Holloway, recently advised that the club must hang on to the key players (he especially noted Woods in that category), or it will forever be, a season of “well done , but no cigar”.
    I think he is right; however, as I have said before, in my opinion the owner is timing the big push, for the completion of the new stadium, as the logistical problems created by a promotion whilst at GP, would be massive and involve unwanted financial investment in upgrading the old home. So, it is quite possible that some really good players, like Woods, will be sold soon, for financial reasons and maybe they want to move on to clubs who want to go up, like , this season?

  2. David Carney. August 2, 2018 at 12:32 pm #

    For the record the beaches north and south of Middlesbrough are very nice, but as with Swansea, who on earth would want to spend time on them.
    No doubt the DOF pair had most of the departures planned before the season ended (probably well before) and replacement strategies in place (either internally and externally). A central defender and winger were bought and then, surprise, surprise, a central defender and winger were then sold. Was that a coincidence? I think not.
    There are perhaps four drivers why players leave:
    Firstly,a fee talked about of 6 million is nothing special, so perhaps Woods is not seen as a player capable of cutting the Premier League mustard. Sure a tidy some, but not by Premier League standards and interest only seems to be coming from Championship clubs. Could it be that Woods has fallen into the category of very good Championship player but that the two DOF do not see him meeting their Premier League criteria?
    Secondly, the player Manager needs to earn fees, hence the constant lookout to place his stable of players in new destinations. A fee from the buying club, probably a fee from his client and a second stream of fee income driven from a higher wage.
    Thirdly, new Managers need immediate impact (unless there is a clear strategy such as at Brentford where permanent long term improvement rather than the results of the first three months of a Manager’s tenure is the measure) and needs to demonstrate to supporters, Chairman and the Board alike that he has a strategy based upon throwing out the bathwater (together with good players) and replaced by new ‘more exciting and skilful’ players that will deliver salvation. Swansea have a (another) new Manager and Middlesbrough, Leeds, Derby all new or relatively new Managers. Club Managers talk to player managers and start the feeding frenzy to try to hold their jobs for at least two years by recruiting. Surprise, surprise, each manager offers a list of ‘ideal’ players, all from their own client base.
    Thirdly, Footballers have a very short life of high earning potential and understandably want to maximise income during the few years of high earning potential. Couple that with the player managers need to trade players and increase their income so that there own income is both comfortable and growing. Many moves are driven by the size of the pay packet rather than a strategic career plan.
    Fourthly, any player may want to leave for a variety of personal or professional reasons and that is perfectly reasonable for their wellbeing.
    Brentford have not missed a single player departure in the past five seasons at least, so if Woods goes, all the best, lets hope he achieves his dreams and thanks for all he done for Brentford.
    Personally, if Woods (and others go), it is unfortunate, but it also opens for an exciting prospect that recent history tells us will be an improvement.
    Wow, an exciting time to be a Brentford supporter.

  3. t0mbee69 August 2, 2018 at 6:44 pm #

    Hi Nick,
    Great idea having a Brentford fans fantasy football league, I’m in. Can I suggest the prize for the winner is being featured in a fan interview for your blog.

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