Romaine and Kamo lead the charge as magnificent Bees dominate and ‘jinx’ rules are established.

12 Jan

Brentford 3 Stoke City 1. Where to even start with this one? It was a performance that was every bit as dominant as the reports will suggest. It was a game that saw Thomas Frank make it 6 unbeaten as his team scored two quite magnificent goals following a calamitous o.g. opener from Ryan Shawcross. Yet most importantly, we got as emphatic an answer as one could hope to the question, “Does the ‘manager-of-the-month’ curse travel if the winner changes clubs after being nominated?”. This, after Nathan Jones had of course scooped December’s League One honours for his ongoing heroics at Luton Town.

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Stoke were second to everything all afternoon

Brentford were magnificent. Slick. Irresistible. Irrepressible. Like a greyhound out of the traps, they were in the face of the visitors for the off. Much like the ball. With just 7(seven) minutes gone the Bees were ahead after an attempt to clear a corner (correctly taken ‘not short’) was simply hoofed into the face of Shawcross and returned straight back in the direction it had come . With interest. Boom. One-nil Brentford and more to follow. Neal Maupay almost made it two, forcing Jack Butland into a full length save to push the Frenchman’s goalbound strike from just inside the corner of the box around the post. 

With Brentford continuing to push (up) it wasn’t long before the lead was doubled. There was little over a quarter hour on the clock when Said Benrahma made it two. An exquisite first time connection from a slide rule pass into the box, delivered with aplomb by Romaine Sawyers, saw the ball steered wide of Butland for two. The crowd erupted. Benrahma followed suit, running half the length of the pitch to celebrate with his family. You could see the what this one meant from the smile on his face. It was a delightful moment but one which owed as much to the ball played in from his captain. 

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View from the Braemar – Said celebrates

Romaine may not have made the headlines today but he had a a game he’ll never forget. There were tackles, passes and sublime moments of skill that looked as though they had been made with the proverbial ‘ball-tied-to-foot with a piece of string. He was every bit of his very best, turning in a performance that has to be amongst his top three in a Bees’ shirt. Equal praise must be handed out to Kamo, who absolutely bossed the midfield. Looking through supporter comments on social media afterwards, MOTM award seemed to be very much a two way battle.

Yet nobody should be overlooked after Brentford put in what was about a complete a performance as they come. Thnas Frank will sleep well tonight, that’s for sure. Nathan Jones will still be having the nightmares that must have begun to haunt him within a minute of kick off.  Benik Afobe pulled one back in the first half but it was his and Stoke’s only meaningful contribution all afternoon. The rest of their game saw a reversion to the agricultural style of play we’d seen in the corresponding fixture up in the Potteries back in August.    

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Romaine was flying today

And then Rico Henry happened. The second half started much the same as the first had done. All Brentford. The highlights are up already c/o Sky but they don’t even begin to do justice to our play or the build up to Rico’s sizzling run that saw him cut into the box, keep on cutting before unleashing a low drive into the bottom corner. If the crowd had gone crazy for Said’s they were all on their feet for this one. What a move. What a noise. What a goal. 

It could have been more. Neal Maupay and Ollie Watkins both hit the crossbar in a period that saw Brentford continue to take the game to their opponents. It finished 3-1. It could have been more. Like Oxford in the cup, it was never in doubt. The defensive trio of Jeanvier, Konsa and Barbet as rock solid as they have been since Thomas Frank changed our formation and his fortunes.

One does have to wonder how Chris Mepham will get back in to this team if they continue to play like that. The confidence emanating from the back line flowed through the entire team. Frankly, this is the easiest post-match column I’ve had to write in months – we really were that good.

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Neal pushed but didn’t get a goal his performance deserved.

How nice, also, to see the goals starting to come from other areas of the pitch. To see chances created by players other than Maupay. To see Jeanvier really starting to deliver and Kamo back to last season’s best. 

The other thing to come out of today’s game was an answer to the question posed in the previous column. Namely, “Is the manager of the month curse transferable? Or does it stay with the winning club”. This, after Nathan Jones – then of Luton Town –  was named as one of the nominees for League One manager of the month for December. He subsequently took up the reins at Stoke and picked up the award itself on Friday. Just over 24 hours later the trophy holder proved that the jinx travels. He saw his new charges played off the park to add another notch in the ‘L’ column whilst Luton picked up a point in the League One top-of-the-table clash with Sunderland.

But, to be fair, the Bees were so good today that Thomas Frank could have run over a black cat on the way to the ground whilst ducking under a ladder and we’d have still got the win. Even Mrs. Bruzon was allowed back into Griffin Park (by Harry) to see us at our very best.

Long may it continue. Roll on Rotherham next weekend when we find out.

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Mrs B. and Harry enjoy the moment as Rico makes it 3

Nick Bruzon 

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8 Responses to “Romaine and Kamo lead the charge as magnificent Bees dominate and ‘jinx’ rules are established.”

  1. Aussiebee53 January 12, 2019 at 10:33 pm #

    The Barcelona of the lower leagues are back or is it the Man City of Middlesex ?

  2. David Carney. January 13, 2019 at 6:11 am #

    Brentford is Brentford – no need to even think about any other team when Brentford is setting standard of off field and on field standards for the future of football. You just cannot lead by looking to follow the example of others – that is called a follower.

  3. VeeBee January 13, 2019 at 10:07 am #

    A magnificent performance, improving every game. Let’s hope that Thomas F doesn’t win Manager of the Month !

  4. Bernard Quackenbush (@BernardQuack) January 13, 2019 at 10:08 am #

    We saw us getting back to our best against Norwich and then this time it was awarded with a win. It was an outstanding performance from start to finish.

    So what went wrong for most of the season? The answer was on the pitch in purple. Not so much the absence of Ryan Woods, but that we built a system around him, despite the fact he had left! Since we have changed formation to drop one of the ineffective CM’s & strengthen the weak defence, mostly with the outstanding Jeanvier, we have looked a completely different side to the one that capitulated against Swansea. Even Dalsgaard had a good game!!

    But what a performance in the middle from Romaine & Kamo, neutralising Woods & Allen. Jeanvier a force to be reckoned with and Yoann just getting stronger and stronger with each game. He has to be offered a new contract. Lets keep it going and finally get that away win!

  5. Brighton Bee January 13, 2019 at 11:12 am #

    A superb performance from all our players. I felt that everyone was on their game and gave 100% plus which I don’t think has been the case recently. Onwards and upwards

  6. Moriarty January 13, 2019 at 12:53 pm #

    Good result, but let’s keep a level head and see if the “360”can be maintained, over the next five games.
    Caveat; Stoke are in flux, straight after sacking their manager and there was still a defensive error, which let in the goal, the only shot Bentley had to try and save. It was a promising and good team performance, led by a bang- on form Sawyers.
    A laurel wreath, to the “B” team, for their excellent victory at Bayern Munich, in freezing temperatures.

    • nickbruzon January 13, 2019 at 6:12 pm #

      I can’t wait to see the performance that inspires a positive comment.

      • Martin January 14, 2019 at 12:16 am #

        I can see where Moriarty is coming from, as there were reasons why Stoke were so disjointed. Decent enough, but not in the areas where it really counts.

        A certain manager once said not to get too high with the highs, or too low with the lows (or something like that). But yesterday’s performance made that very hard to do. Sometimes it is great not to over-analyse and just enjoy the moment.

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