The new era begins with some familiar themes. Can we go again?

21 Oct

What is there to say after that?  Frustrating. Niggly. Poor decision making Awkward. Just not quite firing on all cylinders. But enough about referee Robert Jones – the latest in a long line of stinkers to grace Griffin Park this season. With Dean Smith firmly ensconced at Aston Villa (who themselves beat Swansea), new Brentford head coach Thomas Frank saw his tenure begin with a 1-0 home defeat to Bristol City. This, after the Bees were reduced to ten men following a second yellow for Chris Mepham and then conceded the only goal of the game in the 89th minute. It was a game that started brightly for the Bees but soon settled into a lethargic vibe with Brentford just not savvy enough to avoid getting sucked into some cynical play from the visitors and the arbitrary card waving of a referee whose default setting had been switched to ‘Stroud’.


B&W to protect the retinas from Bristol’s kit

We can moan about the ref but it’ll make no difference now. Chris Mepham’s second yellow seemed innocuous at best from where we sat. The subsequent video highlights from Sky don’t show anything more to support Mr. Jones’ decision. Unless, of course, there was some back-chat that he deemed significant enough to warrant this level of sanction. Yet this was par for the course on an afternoon, second period especially, where just about anything that could be given the wrong way, was. Where minimal protectin was offered to a Brentford side who – Kamo and Romaine in particular – came in for some harsh treatment from both opponents and officials .

What’s the problem with your flag, lino? Too heavy to lift up?” They’re not my words but those of the legend we simply refer to as ‘angry dad in the Braemar Road paddock. His rapier wit, constant keeping in the ear of the officials and dead-pan sarcasm are always a joy to behold.  And he was right. They were words which received a round of applause from all around.


Free kick to Bristol City. They were also awarded a free kick.

Yet it is as important not to get sucked in to a game of blaming the officials for everything. Bristol City did their homework and had the ball in the net twice before Niclas Eliasson stroked home their eventual winner with the fourth official readying his board. Their young goalkeeper Max O’Leary had a debut to remember on the few occasions we did get shots away. And on the one instance he was beaten by Ollie Watkins diagonal shot, he was saved by the ball bouncing back off the inside of the post.

How it didn’t go in, I’ve still no idea. But it didn’t. Instead, it was another late goal given away (see also: Aston Villa and Leeds United) to deny Brentford point(s) that it seemed we would claim. Thomas Frank has wonderful talent at his disposal but sorting out the approach to late pressure and our own discipline is going to be as much a challenge for him as reaching the Premier League. That’s not to say he/we can’t overcome it. Moreso, with two away games to come in quick succession (Preston on Wednesday and the Norwich on Saturday) he has every opportunity available to get back to winning ways.

We don’t do full fat match reports on these pages. Try the BBC, Beesotted, official etc. Probably a good thing too, based on yesterday. It was definitely one for the purists and best consigned to the statistical pages of history. Playing opponents we’ve had a great Championship record against, even Marinus Dijkuizen beat them, and the excitement of welcoming Thomas into the fold perhaps it could be said there was an air of, if not complacency, perhaps over-expectation. Well, there we go back down to earth with a bump.

There’s not much else to say on that one. So I won’t. See you at Norwich. And kudos to those of you on the midweek expedition to Preston. Here’s hoping you are rewarded with the points.


A glorious afternoon. If not result

Nick Bruzon

10 Responses to “The new era begins with some familiar themes. Can we go again?”

  1. Martin west October 21, 2018 at 9:22 am #

    Too true nick,hard to pinpoint reason for defeat but there are always 2 teams out there and when closed down there’s too much side football,not advocating booting ball anywhere,our football is what we want to see,just a wee bit quicker.

    • Moriarty October 21, 2018 at 9:36 pm #

      BFC form , falling away, for some time now. Draw, draw, draw, etc.
      Even heroic efforts, eg Leeds, spoiled by amatueurish failure to close out the opposition, in the dying minutes.
      I liked Frank, in his interviews, but he must kick these complacent players up the arse, if things are to return to a promotion passage, which I doubt.

  2. Michael Ohl October 21, 2018 at 10:43 am #

    I have a round trip of 300 miles these days and it isn’t often I come back thinking I’m not sure if it is worth it but yesterday was such a day.
    Yes the ref was appalling, yes the opposition were nasty and cynical but a lot of teams are. But our players get sucked in and show poor discipline when provoked.
    Plus conceding a goal right at the end. These are things we can do something about. All the talk of chasing for Premiership and the new stadium has distracted us. The reality is we haven’t won a game since Wigan.

  3. Bernard Quackenbush (@BernardQuack) October 21, 2018 at 12:58 pm #

    We were poor yesterday and done by a combined sucker punch of a poor City and a poor referee. The sending off decision was shocking and so was a lot of Mr Jones’s performance.

    Thats not to excuse us. Raised eyebrows at the return of Bentley, but for me the bigger news was Kamo being dropped after a man of the match performance. I really didnt get that one. In fact the whole centre midfield were poor yesterday. Romaine has been poor for a while. Lewis having an uncharacteristically bad game and Josh possibly emotionally sapped after becoming a dad on Thursday. Its unlikely, but i would bring in Kamo, Nico & Alan for Wednesday just to shake it up a bit.

    Theres not many games i remember as a child, but one sticks out against City losing 1-0 in the last minute after both teams were poor. History repeating

    • Doggerlonian October 22, 2018 at 8:17 pm #

      Hi, I agree, we were really poor on Saturday, that was a relatively inexperienced Bristol City side with their 3rd choice keeper making his debut – and we gave him a very comfortable afternoon, and they gave us the run around – all the warning signs were there at 11 v 11.
      The midfield was frankly woeful, no pressing, no energy, no back bone, I’m really sorry, Josh McEachran is just too slow, too inaccurate, too weak and lacking any authority, what have Nico Yannaris and Kamo Mokotjo got to do to get a start – other than in tough away games ( that probably tells you all you need to know).
      Bearing in mind that before Saturday we haven’t won since we beat a 10 man Wigan side (and that was an erroneous sending off) why would a new manger not ‘Stamp’ his mark on the side?
      There is clearly a need for change, 6 games and no wins – duff officials, bad luck, and all the rest of it, surely that would ‘command’ a slight tweek just to demonstrate who’s the boss?
      In my opinion – for what it’s worth – we should stop this Under 12’s football nonsense as to who is Captain, it’s all very nice and lovely for everybody to have a go, and I’m sure everybody can be a leader – but let’s get a seasoned professional in, who can lead and nurture this young side and who has some ‘B……s’ Nico Yennaris, although not my favourite player would be a very good start.
      Let’s hope worrying times are not ahead – Preston will inform us.

      • Bernard Quackenbush (@BernardQuack) October 23, 2018 at 10:50 am #

        Now everyone has had a go at being captain, hopefully we can whittle the group down to 6 or 7. I dont see Romaine as one. Saturday case in point it was Yoann crossing half the pitch to see if his team mate was alright whilst having a ‘friendly’ word with the ref

      • Spanish Bee October 23, 2018 at 11:14 am #

        Yoann is definitely a leader but what happens when Henry comes back?

  4. Spanish Bee October 21, 2018 at 5:07 pm #

    I actually managed to come over for this so it was very disappointing as I was expecting a fast start. Not enough movement off the ball and I guess just one of those days. However, I thought the decision to bring Kamo on for the second half was a promising sign of better tactical management and might have worked without the sending off.

  5. Brighton Bee October 21, 2018 at 10:24 pm #

    Good summary Nick, it was a disappointing day yesterday when, once again, we were unable to cope or deal with a cynical approach by the opposition. It appears that teams have worked us out and we have been constantly falling into “their traps” I liked the Frank interviews, he talks a good game but I think but he needs to urgently sort out a) the team resisting the temptation to get sucked into a slugging match, b) the ill discipline of certain players, c) the closing out of games and not conceding late goals. Many of the teams we have played recently are packed with seasoned professionals who know how to play the game and exercise the darker arts, our very young team needs to grow up quickly if we are not to be left behind in the league. I am also worried that in the last few games (with the exception maybe of Leeds) we seem to have lost a lot of the pace and zip we showed in the early games of the season, maybe two games away from Griffin Park will enable the team to re discover this aspect of their game and re build confidence.

  6. Martin October 22, 2018 at 8:23 pm #

    Blaming the ref is becoming a default setting for us; let’s not become Leeds light. The person to blame for Mepham’s sending off is Chris Mepham. If you pick up an unnecessary and stupid booking, as a defender you are on a hiding to nothing. The second might of been harsh, but it was not ridiculous; and it would not have been significant if it was not for that stupid first yellow card.

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