At least Martin will be happy as fourth round offers an excellent chance of progress.

8 Jan

But for the drop of a ball. Brentford will travel to Barnet for our fourth round FA Cup tie at the end of January. It is a match that was immediately picked out as a ‘tie of note’ by the BBC production team post–draw, despite Gary Lineker’s own assertion live on Match Of The Day that, ”Barnet. I’m sure they wanted a giant. Perhaps they can get one in the fifth round if they beat Brentford… “. Whilst that came across as somewhat patronising given the huge divisional gap and the history between our two sides, I guess we should be used to the ‘Little Old Brentford’ / ‘Tinpot Brentford’ school of thought by now. Yet if you look at who was left behind in the draw: Portsmouth, QPR, Manchester United,  Arsenal, Spurs and Crystal Palace, one can’t help but feel supporters of both sides will have been dreaming of what might have been and, perhaps, this is where Gary was coming from. The only person 100% happy with this one will be Martin Allen, no doubt lining up his place on the Match of the Day or BT Sport sofas already.   

Martin Allen tank top

Martin has form at this stage

Personally, I’m very happy with this one. It represents a great chance of progression to the last 16 for Brentford. Something that I have no doubt Barnet supporters will also be thinking. They’ll have been buoyed by their own incredible victory up at Sheffield United and inspired by Newport County dumping Leicester City out on Sunday. They have a wonderful opportunity in a game which offers a massive divisional advantage to Thomas Frank’s team yet also a potato skin of the first degree. On paper there’s only one team should win it yet in practice we all know that’s not how it works in the FA Cup. Just ask Fulham.

I’m not a hypocrite. I’d have loved the chance to host a Manchester United or make a trip to Crystal Palace. Yet looking at the rest of the balls that were left when we came out of the hat, the trip to Barnet is so much more intriguing than what might have been.

Arsenal – already been there, done that, got the half and half scarf this season.


They really did exist – The Arsenal / Brentford half & half

Tottenham – they play at the ‘W’ place. Given our past form, let’s avoid going there until we have no choice.

QPR – nobody needs the vagaries of a West London derby when looking to progress.

Portsmouth – any opportunity to avoid the walking cliche that is ‘Mr. Portsmouth’ and his bell can only be a good thing.

Portsmouth bell

No Bell. End of.

So it is Barnet rather than Manchester United for Brentford. I can’t wait. I love the FA Cup and make no apologies for saying so. Always have done. From the making of a tinfoil trophy to the dreaming of what might come next. From the chance to make a name for ourselves in the upset stakes through to the eventual prospect of being there when our captain for the day lifts that most famous of trophies.

Even better, we now have the words of Gary Lineker ringing in our ears. Any motivational speech that Thomas Frank may have needed to make for this one has just become an awful lot easier. I genuinely can’t wait for this one and will be doing all possible to make the trip to North London – tickets allowing. We may not travel with the 8,500 that went to Arsenal  – (the capacity at The Hive is officially showing as 5,176) but you can absolutely guarantee this one will be a sell-out. Bring it on!

And finally, did you catch the piece about Peter Gilham on the ITV London news last night? What a wonderful look at a man for whom no words are needed! If nothing else, we got to see one of those famous goal celebrations in the flesh. Pity the ears of anyone sitting within 25 yards – excitement, thy name is Gilham! It was an excellent article, even allowing for the cameo from yours truly – shot from a somewhat unusual angle that only accentuated nostrils and double chin.

More importantly, the club announced on Twitter last night that:We’re looking to get the footage so we can put it out on our channels later in the week“.  Given the diversity of the Brentford fanbase, with supporters living as far apart as Swindon to Salisbury and Hong Kong to somewhere else beginning with ‘H’ , that’s something that will be more than welcome. Failing that, there’s always ‘ITV Player’.

Nick Bruzon


6 Responses to “At least Martin will be happy as fourth round offers an excellent chance of progress.”

  1. Michael Pitt January 8, 2019 at 7:59 am #

    Great piece as ever Nick. I am living in Vientiane, Lao PDR and it is always a joy to read your blogs. I have been a supporter since the early sixties and my only regret is that I now get so few opportunities to share these golden years at Griffin Park. Very best wishes Michael

    • nickbruzon January 8, 2019 at 9:11 am #

      Many thanks indeed. Great to hear

  2. VeeBee January 8, 2019 at 11:27 am #

    Nick, you can add “Ho Chi Minh City” as the other place beginning with “H”: Michael, maybe we can form an Indochina Supporters Group. Also enjoy the blog, Nick. Sadly won’t be able to get back for Barnet.

    • Michael Pitt January 8, 2019 at 12:27 pm #

      Hi – yes I guess we may be the only two out here in this part of the world> I was coming to Ho Chi Minh a few times when I lived In Cambodia but have not been since moving to Lao. What are you doing there/ My email is: Greetings from the Peoples Democratic Republic!

  3. Mike. January 8, 2019 at 5:03 pm #

    Another “H” place is Haysboro, the south western community of Calgary, Alberta, Canada in which I have lived for the past 47 years. Having attended my first Bees game when they were in the old First Division (not that I remember it since I was five years old) I look forward to seeing them in their new home and new league in the not too distant future.
    I attended the Swansea debacle and the Bolton win in December with my season ticket holder brother, when back in U.K. for his daughter’s wedding. Following the Bees is a life experience – it has its ups and downs. Looking forward to a few more ups in both competitions this season.
    Happy new year.

  4. Bernard Quackenbush (@BernardQuack) January 8, 2019 at 8:40 pm #

    I too, very happy with the Cup draw. An outstanding opportunity to progress, and always an intriguing prospect facing Barnet as the games usually end up pretty eventful affairs.

    I too will look forward to the Peter G piece as im down in deepest darkest Dorset, which is nearly as exotic as Viet Nam! Although a shout out to whoever was in the Bear Cross pub in North Bournemouth just after Christmas one lunchtime. As i walked back to my car, there in the space next to me was a car with a big Brentford sticker in the back. As Peter G would say ‘Come on…..BRENTFORD!’

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