Another defensive copy/paste but at least we’re getting good at kick-offs.

11 Nov

QPR 3. Brentford 2. What can you say? Not much. Try the BBC, Beesotted or ‘official’ for your match reports. Results saw The Bees end the day in 15th whilst our next opponents, Middlesbrough are up to second after their own win. Only Norwich City, our previous ‘away’ opposition, stand between them and the table top. Nobody said Championship life was easy, that’s for sure. But those goals against yesterday. Ewww. Not pretty. It felt like Preston all over again. If you want to see them once more then the defensive highlights are below.

Defensively challenged

It had all promised so much. The Bees back to winning ways and picking up the first points for Thomas Frank after steam-rollering Millwall last weekend. The team flying once more after being bundled (and rained) out of it at Norwich City. QPR with the somewhat dubious lure of having just seen Steve McClaren named as October’s ‘manager-of-the-month’. We all know what ‘should’ happen after that.  Everything was in place for another win. And then disaster struck as the defence went walk about for a ten-minute spell in the second half.

You were there. You don’t need me to repeat the obvious or dissect this further. It was something that Thomas had no choice but to acknowledge in his own post-match interview –  which you can see in full further below. That chat, one which looked like it was taking place in front of a room previously occupied by the Loftus Road firing squad.  

Yet more agonising was the fact that this was the second time in the last three away games that we’ve gone awol for a short period, during which time three goals have been conceded and the game effectively lost. Don’t forget there was also the trip to Preston last month where the score reached 3-0 to the home team before we’d even left the changing room.

Screen Shot 2018-11-11 at 07.55.29

Thomas  updates us. (But has anyone seen Ian Holloway or Chris Ramsey, recently?)

That we almost turned that one around and gave ourselves hope yesterday when the World Cup’s Henrik Dalsgaard of Brentford made it 3-2 with 82 on the clock makes it all the more frustrating. All the more confusing. Similar happened at Deepdale. We can score goals. We play beautiful attacking football at times. Our young centre backs are quite magnificent whilst it’s wonderful having Moses Odubajo back aswell. We all know how strong Daniel Bentley has been for us. Just why do we have these blips?  

Well, as Thomas noted in that video, “The most important thing for me at the moment is the desire to get better”. Likewise, his comments on the BBC after both yesterday’s game and the one at Preston have a very similar feel.

Preston: Three goals away from home should be more than enough to win three points but we need to defend better in general. In this league you need to be on it.

QPR: In the second half we had a blackout more or less for 10 minutes, where we defended way too soft for all three goals. We need to do that better in general.

Doom and gloom from me? No. Frustration and confusion. That’s for sure. As much due to the injuries. Ollie Watkins, who had a blinder after he came on against Millwall, was missing due to what Thomas described as, “A toe issue where the joint in the toe is twisted“. So nothing to do with any rumoured transfer interest, which is good….

Yet it was those injuries that occurred once the game had started that caused as much concern. With Brentford heading towards half time one up c/o Neal Maupay (now up to 12 Championship goals already) things were looking good. Then, with the tea brewing, he collapsed to the floor unchallenged and ended up being stretched off. The concern was palpable and was later confirmed as the result of a concussion.

Sadly there was worse to come with Said Benrahma taking his place on the stretcher after rolling his ankle in the build-up to Henrik’s goal. Thomas would later confirm that the Algerian had rolled his ankle although, as yet, there’s no prognosis as to severity or recovery time. Here’s hoping it’s not as severe as first thought. The only saving grace here being that we’ve two weeks off thanks to International break for that recuperation process to begin in earnest. And to practice defending…..

From 1-0 up on fifty minutes, Brentford were then given three further attempts to perfect our kick off routine as the clock reached the hour mark. Whilst we’d lost Neal Maupay, that shouldn’t stop goals going in. Should it?  

Well, with no viable alternative then taking the option to push Sergi (or anyone) up top would only ever have an impact on the shape. But who else was there to fill that void? With absolute respect to Alan Judge, we’ve tried him there at Loftus Road and things didn’t exactly work out well for the team. The lack of alternate striking option has long been flagged on the terraces as a concern. Moreso, with Ollie also sitting this one out. In this instance, the percentages backfired.  

Screen Shot 2018-11-11 at 07.35.31

Recent periods of the defence going awol have been a gift for our opponents

But I still maintain we have absolute quality in this squad. On its day, our first team is about as strong as we’ve seen. Talking to a fellow dad (and former Bee) at Harry’s football training in the morning, he was enthusing about the quality of football he’s having the pleasure of watching at present. On the way home from that, we happened to spot Neal Maupay whose enthusiastic hello to HB and chat about what was coming up that afternoon suggested everything was set for a fairytale ending.

Sadly, it wasn’t to be. A frustrating finish to a day that had promised so much but, equally, one step missed in a longer journey being taken. The forthcoming Middlesbrough game is about as tough as they come. Moreso, given our own recent form against them. It would be great if for that one the defensive blips could be cured on the pitch rather than afterwards in the post-match analysis.

We’ve two weeks to really figure them out and get our players fit again. There’s been a hell of a lot of football played in the space of a few weeks. Perhaps all of us recharging would be for the best.

In the meantime, here’s that interview with Thomas…

Thomas talks

Nick Bruzon

17 Responses to “Another defensive copy/paste but at least we’re getting good at kick-offs.”

  1. simonsapper November 11, 2018 at 11:38 am #

    You sum it well, as always Nick. But yesterday was disappointing for more than that 10 minute black-out. I know the weather conditions were atrocious but where was the movement off the ball? Where was attacking intent? How many times did we pause and pass it backwards? Our set pieces were shocking, we struggle (as we seem to have on a number of times this season) to get a decent cross in, and Benrahma seemed to give up in the second half long before his injury. As you say, at least we have a fortnight to put things right, and looking at the next four fixtures we certainly need to.

  2. David Carney. November 11, 2018 at 11:46 am #

    Brentford is missing a tough and uncompromising onfield leader who also has a strong leadership role to fulfil for the rest of the week. The wishy washy ‘lets have a pretend different leader every week’ experiment by Smith was never going to work because it was all care and no responsibility. Unfortunately the chickens have come home to roost and Thomas Frank has the task of sorting it out quickly.
    Nevertheless, I am with you with this squad and have no doubt this is a promotion year.
    As for Middlesbrough, someone has to pay for performances at Preston and QPR, so it may as well be them.

    • nickbruzon November 11, 2018 at 12:04 pm #

      Succinct but wonderfully put. Thank you

  3. Max November 11, 2018 at 3:25 pm #

    How many goals are we to ship to a hopeful ball into the box .need to stop the ball coming in .maybe our famous high press is letting us down or maybe we are missing woodsy .feel sorry for our two young centre backs who have little in front of them for protection and a goalkeeper who appears short of confidence behind them .moses does not appear to be a left back and is continually caught dribbling with his right foot (unable to shield it with his body) .still think we have a good squad but frank needs to shuffle pack .if the young lad from arsenal was brought in to replace woodsy he needs a run before Jan window and the left back position needs sorting .most of all we need to concentrate for the whole game if we are to continue with the high press .small problems are costing us big .

  4. Moriarty November 11, 2018 at 6:16 pm #

    Thomas, has visibly aged ten years, since taking over, with good reason.
    Deeply flawed defence, against set pieces.
    Hopeless, at taking corners.
    Panic inc., after every goal shipped.
    Woeful “leadership”, from picked captains, incapable of the role.
    Shakey defence,guarding a keeper, confused and lost.

    • hobo November 11, 2018 at 10:32 pm #

      Keep up the positive vibes Brian,what do you reckon relegation beckoning? still look on the bright side you could always spend more time watching the creepy crawlies

      • Moriarty November 14, 2018 at 6:07 pm #

        Your comments, arise from your craven, boot brush ignorance, as ever.
        I respect good local clubs, who fight from nothing, to rise in the league. Brentford, needs that guts, dedication to the local history, etc, but will that come from the confused foreign recruitment programme?
        It is doubtful.

  5. Jay November 12, 2018 at 4:54 am #

    ‘No doubt this is a promotion year’…………and still it continues; superb stuff!

  6. Vtom November 12, 2018 at 8:26 am #

    QPR were playing the high press for most of the first half and we defended brilliantly including that clearance off the line, which makes the 10 minutes of defensive surrender all the more odd. Maybe it’s the on-pitch leadership issue. On the plus side DaSilva looks very promising as he did against Millwall and deserves more of a run.

  7. Brighton Bee November 12, 2018 at 8:47 am #

    Nice article Nick and I agree with the comments of Simmonsapper and David Carney. On paper we have one of the best squads I have ever seen but at times I think our build up play is slow, laboured and pedantic with no real plan B if things go wrong as they did on Saturday when Maupay went off. I agree with a lot of people in that we need another striker to offer an alternative, if you think about it, we never replaced Vibe for example. I also thought that Saturday showed, as good as it may be, how paper thin our squad is with no real game changers coming off the bench. Plus I have been saying to those around me in the Braemar Paddock for ages that we need a leader on the pitch, a grizzled, seasoned professional who can cajole, inspire, motivate and lead by example whilst protecting our younger players. To my mind, we have not replaced players like Douglas and McCormack in this respect but I recognise that these players cost money, perhaps even more than a decent striker? In midfield, I really think that we are missing Ryan Woods, his ability to over turn defence into attack with one killer pass is something that others we have in the squad cannot do. Lastly, I don’t really know much about Thomas Frank but I trust that the DofF will support him in the next transfer window by holding onto our best players whilst investing in the squad to ensure we have a chance of making up the points difference between ourselves and the play off places before the gap becomes unachievable and the season peters out.

  8. Moriarty November 14, 2018 at 6:01 pm #

    Sorry to hear of Mr Rowan’s premature passing. Good man.
    On other matters, predict a mini-exodus of players, in the next window, because BFC are going nowhere, again.
    Mr Frank, who comes across as a cultured and multilayered personality, (albeit modelled , superficially, hairstyle-wise, on the visual image of “Mr Germany”), which is welcome in this sphere, will have a massive task, to save the season.
    Thanks, to all my fans.

    • hobo November 14, 2018 at 9:30 pm #

      Predictable prediction Brian, because its coming from you, and we have done just that virtually every window since being in the championship (which by the way i’m more than happy to continue competing in) out of financial necessity. Fan not fans Brian appears i’m the only one ever bothered to reply, how does that feel? Ever thought of being a guest blogger as you ramble on here rather a lot, i’m sure Nick would be up for it for a laugh.

      • Moriarty November 14, 2018 at 9:48 pm #

        You are a craven conformist , with nothing to say; I’ll always think fondly of you, as “boots”.

      • nickbruzon November 14, 2018 at 10:19 pm #

        Ah. Brian. Still here? Sadly, we can’t time warp back to the Butcher/Rosenior/Webb/QPR eras when there would be something genuine to moan about. One does have to wonder why you exert effort commenting when the only benefit would seem to be in providing you an output to revel in results not adhering to a WWWWW record.
        It’s all got a bit boring and, almost, pastiche now.
        No problem with people having an opinion but how about you exert it? What are the ‘solutions’ to the ‘problems’ which the readership are, frankly, bored of hearing you bleat about.
        Ah. You have none. Of course .

        You are the weakest link. Goodbye

  9. hobo November 14, 2018 at 10:32 pm #

    “Bootsie” your #1 fan, i like it Brian ,not bad it could be a lot worse? Thank you.

    • Moriarty November 16, 2018 at 6:09 pm #

      Little nicki is on my case, I’m so scared, only what he agrees with goes, no I don’t think so; I am giving credit to you nicki, in that your site, to-date, apart from your, inexplicable deletion of my genuinely well meant post to GW, doesn’t set in place a “discouragement barrier”, shall I call it, on “”Beesotted”, where comments, whether to your liking, or not, in my case, are censored, by default. EG, there are no comments anymore, when there were many.
      By the way, “Liberal Nick”, in the latest post, gets attacked by his fellow, intoxicated bloggers, for daring to suggest that things are so poor, that BFC will lose the next three games. Shoot the messenger, eh nicki!?
      ATB, “Moriarty”.

      • boots November 17, 2018 at 1:34 pm #

        Get a life Brian, you really are one angry nasty negative humourlles individual.

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