To cap it all, they had a drum. A f***ing drum.

31 Mar

It really was that bad. Brentford and Wigan Athletic played out as insipid a 0-0 draw as one could imagine when Championship football returned on Saturday afternoon following the International break. The scintillating football which has been a trademark of Thomas Frank’s team in 2019 nothing but a distant memory in a game that was as awful as the smell wafting over the DW stadium. For the record, chicken manure from a local farmer – no manners, but what a critic. To borrow a phrase. Instead, it is nothing more than a case of scratching around for positives as the Bees are left chasing a fifth, successive top ten finish and a midweek trip to Swansea City. This before Frank Lampard’s Derby County ™ are next up at Griffin Park.

I’ve watched the highlights. If anything, the 1minute 47 seconds offered up by Sky are overly generous. The other 88 mins 13 were as turgid as it comes. Wigan were determined to strangle any life out of the game. Brentford, unable to find a way through as any attacking intent was choked out of the game. Paul Cook’s team administering a vice like grip around the throat of the Bees. Whenever Neal Maupay got in the box there were three men on him. Saïd was closed down every time he got on the ball. Several players seemed off the pace (first half Henrik and Ollie in particular – sorry, but..) whilst the team were desperately crying out for the fluidity of Romaine Sawyers to guide the ball through the midfield and open up play. And, Wigan had a drum. A f**king drum. At home. That was worse than anything we saw on pitch or smelled off it. At least we had Harry Potter up our sleeve to counter the moribund banging. Nice work, Simon.

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A lone drummer is no substitute for a home atmosphere

Instead, we ended the game with a solitary shot on target. According to the stats. I was struggling to remember even that although the highlights have duly offered it up. Our hosts had three, with Brentford very much grateful to Luke Daniels for keeping us in the match. Three times he retained parity including one effort from distance in the first half that looked as though it might catch him unawares and drift in to the top corner. Instead, it was guided to safety as our virgin goal remained unblemished.

Thomas was bang on the money at full time when he noted “It was a game of very few chances and I think it was a fair result.…. Our normal fluent play between the lines just wasn’t there and we weren’t good enough to play around them”. Not ideal reading but it was exactly what happened and infinitely better to have a head coach who acknowledges what we could all see rather than trotting out the usual “We deserved to win this”.

Look, it wasn’t great. There’s no real action of note to talk about and to compound matters, we lost Yoann Barbet just a few minutes into the second period. He’d needed treatment late on in the first after a nasty looking fall and was clearly limping as he emerged after his half time cuppa. The boos from the home supporters whilst he was being treated both unfair and uncalled for. Something that was consistent with any of our players going down after a lot of rough treatment.

There was little protection offered from the man in neon yellow, referee Andy Woolmer in a game that ended with him blowing up for fouls on 33 occasions. Just to put that into context, there were only 20 awarded as Birmingham City L went down at West Brom on Friday night and 21 as Frank Lampard’s Derby County came one short of hitting 7(seven) goal brackets against Rotherham.   

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View from the away end – about as close as it got

So Wigan stifled it. Brentford were off the pace. But can we take anything positive from this one? Well, the fact that Wigan played with such a negative style and formation shows the threat presented by normally free-scoring Bees. Indeed, as the clock moved on it felt like the sort of game that so many times in the past we’ve seen the team lose 1-0. At least this time around, Luke kept us in it with a number of saves that were as smart as the all red goalkeeper’s kit he was sporting. 

There was a return to match action for Lewis Macleod, too. His appearance as a late substitute for Josh Da Silva being the latest attempt to relaunch what should be such a promising career but one which has, sadly, been blighted by injury after injury. How unlucky has Lewis been? Here’s hoping he can put a few games under his belt and then hit the ground running next season. Indeed, even Josh starting this one and a very accomplished performance from Mads Bech Sörensen off the bench being further testament to a B-team system that is seeing players segue through to the match day squad.

What else. It was another game unbeaten in orange / brown (what jinx?) whilst the pub before and after the game was quiet magnificent – despite the bizarre formation of a canteen style queue to order the drinks. This a phenomena I’ve now witnessed twice in less than a week after having never experienced this previously. How has this been allowed to happen? Why? Did I miss a memo ? It’s quite bizarre.

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Wigan – great beer, despite the queue

The lack of social element aside,  how do you see the full contents on offer across the whole bar front when approaching a fixed point in the corner. Moreso, when you are staring at the back of the prior punter? Why can’t the staff work out who is next up without looking ? Even then, service was still granted by answering the question “Who’s next?”.  Err, me. I’m at the top of the queue. All that was needed was a plastic tray for the full school dining hall experience . Still, as an away fan it made an alternative to being greeted with the words ‘Ow Much..?’ from the previous transaction ringing in the ears.

We digress, as ever and that’s a rant for another day. For now, we’ll file it alongside waiters describing coffee as Expresso and made up coffee words (what the hell is a ventissimo?). Team GB. The faux-verb “To medal”. Mrs. Brown’s Boys. People who think Roger Moore shouldn’t top a ‘Best Bond’ list. Star Wars Day  – that’s the one after May the third.  Ian Moose. iPod headphones. The England Supporters band. Indeed, any form of musical interlude at football. See also: goal music, drums, Mr. Portsmouth and his bell. John Bishop (he’s from Liverpool, apparently. If only he’d mentioned it in his routine). Use of the words Derby County preceded by Frank Lampard’s….

And relax. All of a sudden, a 0-0 at Wigan doesn’t seem so bad. Despite the drum.

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Thomas salutes the fans at full time

Nick Bruzon  

12 Responses to “To cap it all, they had a drum. A f***ing drum.”

  1. Dee March 31, 2019 at 8:12 am #

    Pretty biased report that. Criticising Wigan for being negative despite the fact that we had all the better chances. Being physical? At least half a dozen times Brentford players went down rolling around on the floor then got straight back up and had nothing wrong with them after a minute or so. Yes there were some fouls but quite a few of them were ‘bought’. Brentford looked one of the best footballing sides I’ve seen but also the softest and the biggest moaners. If you toughened up and just got on with it I think you’d be far higher in the table. As for criticising the atmosphere, we get a similar home support to you just in a far bigger ground. The away end was hardly packed, why do you feel the need to have a dig? Fair play to anyone that attended the game, it was hardly a classic.

    • nickbruzon March 31, 2019 at 8:15 am #

      Brentford fan focussing on Brentford in a Brentford blog. Or Biased ? hmmmm

  2. Brighton Bee March 31, 2019 at 8:13 am #

    Nice article Nick, I can feel the frustration and disappointment at yesterday’s performance coming through loud and clear in your words! 65% possession and 1 shot on target in 90 minutes against a team near the bottom of the league simply isn’t good enough. Not for the first time this season we seemed incapable of beating a team that sets itself up in a negative formation. Personally, I don’t think our style of play cannot cope with this approach and at times I really wonder if we have the right players. Also, I worry about our lack of plan B when we play teams like Wigan. We will have to play a lot better at Swansea and against Frank Lampards’ loan XI next week.

  3. Edward Soudan March 31, 2019 at 9:25 am #

    I reiterate. Season:- ‘Not with a bang but a whimper’

  4. Lichfieldbee March 31, 2019 at 9:56 am #

    Agree with yours comments about the match Nick but not the Wigan Central bar. I thought the “form an orderly queue system” worked well. Better than some pissed big mouth pushing in and being served because he can shout the loudest.
    Anyway I think today’s bar staff have lost the art of serving people in turn (rant over)

    • nickbruzon March 31, 2019 at 10:17 am #

      Cheers. Wigan Central bar WAS excellent. Enjoyed it pre/post match. It was more the phenomena of beer queues in general. Never had it before now yet seen it twice in the last few days. Seems from most feedback that this IS now a thing

  5. newroadEnder77 March 31, 2019 at 10:05 am #

    taff weel win deir darby weel win deir!

  6. Philip Marren March 31, 2019 at 3:23 pm #

    Stop whining ya old fart

    • newroadEnder77 April 1, 2019 at 4:43 am #

      Thank you

  7. Edward Soudan March 31, 2019 at 6:01 pm #

    Erudition not your strong point then

  8. Mark Edwards March 31, 2019 at 11:01 pm #

    yes Brentford you were the better team on Saturday good movement and smooth transitional from defence into attack .
    But as players representing Brentford football club were disgraceful in their antics
    of feigning injury.
    Wigan athletic are no more a physical side than many other sides in this league
    and are currently fighting for every point so bear that in mind when playing “lesser”
    teams.
    UTFT!

    • nickbruzon April 1, 2019 at 5:14 am #

      Feigning injury? Presumable we were at different games?
      Thanks for the comment – much appreciated. Good luck for the rest of the season

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