We’d have gotten away with it if it hadn’t been for that meddling defence.

25 Oct

Hmm. Move along, nothing to see here. Quite literally, thanks to the machinations of I-follow. Brentford went down 4-3 at Preston in a game which, by all accounts was nowhere near as close as the scoreline suggests. Then again, going three goals down in the opening twenty minutes will do that to you. Instead we are left with a second successive defeat for Thomas Frank. One which is now followed by Saturday’s trip to play-off chasing Norwich City – themselves midweek victors over Dean Smith and Aston Villa. One which in the heat of being beaten, produced the greatest bit of photoshop since Marinus and the unicorn.

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Marinus and the unicorn. Has it now been bettered?

I can’t say too much about the performance. If indeed it was one. Prior commitments meant a midweek trip to Preston was never on the cards. Lack of access to Sky TV meant the ‘red button’ option couldn’t be brought in to play. Instead, it was the iFollow route which was taken. Albeit despite prior confirmation and subsequent purchase, then declared ‘Video blocked in your country’. Hmm, that’ll be the same country and device I was able to subscribe from/on? Go figure. Perhaps it was just driver error but the net result was no action on show. But enough about the Brentford defence.

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Small mercies?

Crisis? Meltdown? Missing Ryan Woods? Or simply a better than expected start to the season now seeing the balance redressed? Whatever the answer, 7(seven) games without a win isn’t the best form yet, equally, is the sort of blip we saw at least twice in the Dean Smith era. That this straddles two head coaches and comes immediately after such a magnificent start is probably bringing things even more into focus. Yet, and this has been said on these pages many times already over 2018/19, the talent in this squad is vast. Channeling it and getting them firing at the same time is the challenge Thomas faces in the immediate short-term.

I’m not panicked. I’m not throwing the toys. I truly believe this team will make the play-offs. Albeit a return to winning ways would be nice.

Yet at the same time, I’m not hypocritical enough to pretend that Ryan Gaffney’s effort on Twitter at half-time didn’t have me smiling. A lot. The greatest use of social media since Ross from Friends went shopping for beer. Regardless of whether views are shared, one can’t help but admire magnificent use of photoshop. Ryan’s hit all the right social media buttons, that’s for sure. If ‘Jim’ll Paint It’ did football….

We’d have gotten away with it if it hadn’t been for that meddling defence…..

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Harsh from Ryan? Or spot on satire?

There’s not much more really to say here. Neal Maupay got another goal whilst Sergi had hit a first half stunner to give faint hope. Yet chasing a game from 3-0 down is a Herculean task beyond just about any team. And last night was no exception despite a final five minutes of hope after the division’s leading scorer had added to his haul. Sadly, there was to be no repeat of the miracle at Burton this time.

Norwich City are next up in a few days time. Our trip to Carrow Road at least having the recognition of being too tough to call. Certainly, if you follow the bookmakers where there’s no huge favourite – for any result. That, if anything, as much an indication of the potential and ability in this team.

How Thomas can unlock that and return both confidence and winning ways to his boys will be compelling stuff to watch. Preferably, after last night’s attempts, at the game itself. Does he stick with the captain’s musical chairs or hand duties back to the clear leader, Yoann Barbet, aided and abetted by a core sub-group?

Bring on Saturday for an idea of how he starts. See you there.

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The bookies can’t call Saturday

Nick Bruzon

15 Responses to “We’d have gotten away with it if it hadn’t been for that meddling defence.”

  1. Moriarty October 25, 2018 at 10:54 am #

    PNE, weren’t a great team and BFC looked like a League Two team in the first half.
    Shambolic defence, terrible goalkeeping with constant risky interchange with the defenders and shedloads of backpasses, playing across the defensive zone and poor distribution; no midfield, wayward passing, universal panic , cluelessness and ill temper.
    Watching the game, it looked like a terrible performance, the worst this season, so the catch up goals, gave faint hope for a result.
    There must have been a huge dip in morale amongst the team, which must be the result of Smith’s desertion; I thought the team looked extremely jaded and tired; overtraining?
    It all looks like a huge crisis for the season is in play.

  2. Brighton Bee October 25, 2018 at 11:23 am #

    I thought it was absolutely shocking performance. No cohesion, no running off the ball, little skill on show, defensive frailties, goalkeeping howlers. Now having watched extended highlights of WBA v Derby you can clearly see that we are nowhere near Derby’s levels of performance. It may have cost a few quid to put that team together but as the saying goes “you only get what you pay for” Unless something is done pretty quickly we will be looking at another mid table finish at best. I support Thomas Frank but are the club? Where are the assistant head coach appointments? It all seems to have gone quiet on that front and I would suggest that he needs help to move us forward

  3. Mod October 25, 2018 at 1:00 pm #

    Bees have night to forget ,appear to have lost our mojo .many players look jaded.sawyers who made us tick at start of season was a shadow of himself and may need a rest against Norwich .midfield completely over run .only canos had a good game .probably best to forget it and move on quickly ,still have good players at club and need to be positive.

  4. David Carney. October 25, 2018 at 1:23 pm #

    The Brentford defence has been shaky since the days of Rosler and at times is now playing as though they have lost confidence playing with Bentley behind them.
    A bad performance against a Preston team that is far better than their position – just like Brentford at the start of last season.
    The resilience and quality of play to haul back after the first 23 minutes should not be overlooked, nor the relief of the Preston players at the final whistle. That showed just how good Brentford are and the team should be given every credit for the way they performed.
    23 minutes of bad play will not define the season, but if they play like the remaining 67 minutes every game then promotion is there for the taking.
    Don’t underestimate the quality of this group.

    • Moriarty October 25, 2018 at 8:16 pm #

      PNE, could have had more goals on the night: Watkins goal was a fluke and the Canos strike, was a brilliant individual and rare , for him, effort, but not the result of any team credit. Maupay was virtually redundant the whole game! That says everything.
      PNE are a bottom team; BFC struggle and lose against them; forget any progress upwards – the old “consolidation”, is the probable best route.

  5. Andrew Wrigg October 25, 2018 at 4:04 pm #

    Looks like your cup final at ER took more out of you than you realised! Had you run out of money to buy off the ref?

    • Moriarty October 25, 2018 at 8:21 pm #

      You are a very sad and vindictive little Leeds Town person.

  6. Berksbee October 25, 2018 at 4:13 pm #

    Good article Nick, as ever. I always enjoy reading them.

    I’m not sure I agree with the doomsayer replies you’ve received though. I didn’t see the full 90 minutes, but I did see the highlights and the one thing that struck me was just how fortunate Preston were with all three of those goals. A massive dollop of good fortune in each of them, which on another day would have produced nothing.

    The first one was a result of a very kind deflection dropping right into the path of an advancing Preston player who just had to pick his spot. The second took a deflection that wrong footed Bentley and the third a lucky pot shot from outside the area that just happened to nestle nicely in the corner of the net, on another day it would have hit the post, a player on the way though or missed completely. The xG bears this out. Three goals scored from 0.27 expected goals? No way should you be conceding three goals from 0.27 xG.

    There’s a lot of luck in football as Mr Benham says and Preston had a large dollop of it last night. They’re a much better side than their league position suggests and they’ve had their own bad luck with player injuries who are now starting to come back into the side. Their fortunes will improve.

    We’re on a lean run at the moment, which shouldn’t come as a surprise to anyone because it’s happened before where Lady Fortuna deserts us and it’s hard to see where the next win is coming from.

    I have every faith in the players and coach in turning this around and with a little bit of good fortune we can start notching up wins again. They’re too good a squad of players to not be up there pushing for promotion.

    Keep the faith.

    • hobbo October 25, 2018 at 7:36 pm #

      I thought the same as you most of the luck seems to be with the opposition at the moment(not sure the god given right Leeds moaners, Mr Wrigg included would agree) Mephams sending off on Saturday being a prime example, looked at it several times was never a second yellow,
      He was missed last night, why no appeal?

    • Moriarty October 25, 2018 at 8:07 pm #

      You really are stretching it, calling us, who actually bothered to watch this dreadful game, derogatory names; no watchee, no mouthee!

  7. Jay October 25, 2018 at 6:53 pm #

    ‘promotion is there for the taking’

    ‘They’re too good a squad of players to not be up there pushing for promotion’

    Priceless…….

    • hobbo October 25, 2018 at 7:54 pm #

      Same players that took four points off you last season postcode boy, concentrate on your relegation battle or that song will start rattling round Griffin Park again,priceless…….

  8. Bernard Quackenbush (@BernardQuack) October 25, 2018 at 7:19 pm #

    Its clear something isnt right in the camp. Could it be a young team looking for someone to show them the way. With big gaps in the coaching team you wonder what guidance is going on on the training ground. Additionally, with the captain merry go round, there are few leaders on the pitch.

    100% agree on the captain issue. To be captain is not just about having your pic taken with Buzz & Buzzette. If that was so we may as well name young H.Bruzon as captain!! Captain is to lead and we just dont see the captain for the day leading during the game. More often than not its Yoann who acts as the wise head, stepping in, calming people down, before expressing his opinion to the ref. For me he is the stand out leader of the side.

    You were one of the lucky ones Nick, not to get to see the game, it was an awful performance with only 1 or 2 exceptions. One of those who put in a stinker was Bentley, who must be wondering if he will be warming the bench now at Norwich. Romaine is another who has been on an awful run of games marked by yet another petulant booking, 1 of 2 in the game, and something that Frank needs to deal with, quickly!

  9. Moriarty October 25, 2018 at 8:09 pm #

    Yet, as last season, the “B” team, outperform their senior colleagues.
    A better coach in charge?

  10. aussiabee53 October 26, 2018 at 5:03 am #

    Hobbo I think that you can appeal a red card but not a yellow as Mepham got two yellows no appeal was possible. We have undoubtedly been playing well below our capabilities hopefully we can turn it around soon. Yes Watkins goal was helped by a huge deflection but he was due a slice of luck after his post hitting shot against BC inch to the left would have gone in inch to the right would rebounded to Maupay. PNE,s third goal also had a favourable deflection possible from an offside leg and their fourth suspiciously offside as well.

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