Ten times better than we could have hoped for – although perhaps not the shirt. Final Griffin Park game revealed.

21 Jun

Well that’s been an interesting few days. Hot on the heels of Yoann Barbet and Garry Monk, the Championship news keeps on coming thick and fast. Brentford fans can now start planning their away days – in theory – after the league fixtures were revealed yesterday. The computer has been very kind to us, even allowing for  early trips to Leeds United and Middlesbrough. Things kick off with a visit from Birmingham City and finish with a final game at home to Barnsley. Elsewhere, we have a new goalkeeper shirt (as Ibuprofen sales go through the roof to cope with the impending migraine) whilst yesterday’s League Cup draw, from a supermarket (as you do) sees us gifted a 24th chance to experience Griffin Park one more time as Cambridge United are the visitors.

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We have a new GK shirt – sunglasses not included.

The excitement levels ahead of the 2019/20 campaign cranked up a few notches now we know when we’ll be playing who. It’s fair to say that the fate handed out to us by the legendary ‘fixture computer’ is ten times better than anybody could have asked for. A visit from troubled Birmingham City, now bereft of both Jota and Garry Monk, kicks things off on August 3rd. Regardless of any discontent currently being experienced at St. Andrews, I am sure that Blues will have got their house in order by that point. Thus leaving us with as compelling an encounter as one could hope for at any point in the campaign, let alone to get things underway in the late summer sunshine.

Whilst we always trot out the line about waiting ten games until the table has truly been deemed to have ‘taken shape’, August offers a stern test of our credentials that could well give a firm indication of how we are set. Aswell as hosting Birmingham we’ve got away trips to Middlesbrough and Leeds United (sure to be moved for TV, given there’s a ‘Y’ in the day) along with visits from Hull City and Derby County, technically still Frank Lampard’s Derby County, although those Chelsea stories just won’t go away. Plus there’s my favourite of all ‘away days’, the trip to newly promoted Charlton Athletic.

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That first month of league fixtures in full

There’s a return to Griffin Park for another fixture favourite – the Boxing Day game. Swansea City are the visitors on December 26th. I can’t see it being one to trouble Sky and run the risk of being shifted. If for no other reason, Leeds United aren’t involved. QPR away is October 26th and they visit on January 11th. Fulham come to Griffin Park on December 14th whilst we get the chance to pack out the away end and neutral stands on March 14th.

Rounding it all off is the visit from Barnsley. May 2nd is the final game at Griffin Park. Thankfully it is one which doesn’t have the additional significance of a local derby or a traditional rivalry – unless, of course, Toby Tyke fancies donning his spikes for a rematch of that infamous mascot race against Buzz Bee. Things are going to be emotional enough on that day without adding to the pressure by chucking in the likes of a Fulham or QPR. Albeit, knowing Brentford we’ll probably make the play-offs this time around, just to give us an additional final game and throw all carefully laid plans for saying goodbye into disarray.

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Did he, though?

Next up, the goalkeeper shirt. Cherry Tomato red? Lurid Orange? Definitely electric blue. Definitely ‘different’. Quite how it falls into the ‘retro’ category that the club have been touting, I’m not sure, unless we are talking about a throwback to the garish days of David Button and Graham Benstead?

I have to be honest that my gut reaction was one of abhorrence. It’s not going to fly off the shelves and I’m not going to be rushing out to buy one (except, perhaps, as a Christmas present for Mrs. Bruzon who thinks it’s gorgeous). But having given it a bit more consideration after the knee had jerked, I think this is a smart move from Brentford. And by smart, I mean intelligent rather than stylish.

Screen Shot 2019-06-21 at 07.07.50Goalkeeper’s shirts aren’t traditionally designed to be mass selling items. As long as there’s no clash with the home shirt then bring it on. It has drawn our eye and perhaps the logic here is that it may do the same to opponents. If the colour scheme gives even a fractional advantage then go for it. Who am I to knock kitman Bob’s methodology? I ’m sure he and the club know exactly what they are doing with this one – even if things didn’t work out quite so well for us when ‘that’ Hummel shirt was in use….   

Next, up the draw for the league cup took place yesterday. The tournament sponsors continuing their trend of ‘unusual’ locations/times for the draw and hosting it in a supermarket. Presumably, this is to get people talking about it and mentioning their names so, out of principal, I won’t. Moreso, given that in Brentford at least, the aforementioned supermarket survives only by reason of having no competition rather than customers going there through choice. If their usual empty shelves and ‘borderline’ use by dates was anything to go by, you’d have been forgiven for expecting several of the balls to be missing or the likes of Bradford Park Avenue or Middlesbrough Ironopolis to be included.

Anyway, nonsense aside, we’ve been given a home tie. Cambridge United. In a draw which I’m amazed isn’t rigged – given the number of big-name ties that seem to come out every time the balls are pulled – the first round also sees Wimbledon play MK Dons and the ‘media love-in’ derby between Salford City and Leeds United. One can only assume those two will be picked for TV coverage. Leeds on the box – who’d have thought it?

And finally, as unsubtle as ever, if you’d like to read more (to coin a phrase)….. please do download a copy of the Last Word season season review – containing the least bad of these columns from the World Cup to Aston Villa deserving to win the play offs. It also includes the World Cup aswell as all the ‘Park Life’ articles submitted for the matchday programme and so not previously available on these pages.  

ALL proceeds received are being donated to the Brentford FC Community Sports Trust so what better way to remind yourself how brilliant 2018/19 was? To kill a bit of time on the commute to work / on your summer holidays / on the toilet etc You can download it , now, for your kindle , iPod telephone or other electronic reading device here.

At £1.99 it’s cheaper than half a pint so what’s to lose? Apart from £1.99 – which then goes to a great cause anyway. Many thanks again. And enjoy.

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Nick Bruzon

 

5 Responses to “Ten times better than we could have hoped for – although perhaps not the shirt. Final Griffin Park game revealed.”

  1. Bernard Quackenbush (@BernardQuack) June 21, 2019 at 10:27 am #

    I dont think the fixture list could have been better, well nearly.

    Our final scheduled game at GP against Barnsley was just as I wished for. A game against a side where we dont have any vicious rivalry or would be considered to be one of the giants of the division. We will have all those matches over the previous 9 months. Of course the ground will be packed for a match which may have had gaps totalling 3000. Im sure the Tykes will be down in force as well, and it should be a tremendous occasion.

    My only quibble is that i wished it to be the penultimate game of the season, to make sure it would be a Saturday at 3 kick off. Instead, who knows when the game will be. I assumed it would be Sunday at high noon but as statistician Jonathan Burchill pointed out that in previous fixture releases the Sunday factor had been taken into account. So from this we would assume that the game will be Saturday lunchtime or teatime.

    The Brucie bonus is a game against the 10 times better Birmingham City, now devoid of manager and marquee signing, and Boxing Day against the new bogey team, Swansea City.

    I had no idea the League Cup draw even took place until i read the column. I must admit the 1st & 2nd rounds are the only games i dont make the long trip to GP for, but very happy with Cambridge.

    As for the keepers kit. I do worry that you would even consider buying a goalkeepers kit for your loved one at Christmas!

  2. Spanish Bee June 21, 2019 at 2:44 pm #

    For me it’s a perfect ending to my love of the ground. My first ever visit to Griffin Park was a cup game versus Barnsley in the late fifties. It would have to have been a cup game as we were Third Division (South) in those days and they were Third Division (Up North). We won 2-0, Towers and Francis a goal each in each half. For some mysterious reason at that point in my life I abandoned my previous dalliances with Chelsea and Spurs and became a Brentford fan forever. Despite all the ups and downs I have never regretted it.

    • nickbruzon June 21, 2019 at 11:53 pm #

      Awwww. Feeling even more nostalgic/ emotional and the season’s not even begun

      • Spanish Bee June 22, 2019 at 2:12 pm #

        Absolutely, but it really was tough to hack into that fixtures computer

  3. HerzyBee June 22, 2019 at 1:00 pm #

    As is tradition now, by the BBC sports website…..Middlesborough have been re-named…..Johnathan Woodgate’s Middlesborough……..

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