Cambridge follow Oxford in giving Bees the third degree.

14 Aug

Well that wasn’t great. Cambridge United reached the second round of the League Cup at the expense of a Brentford team chock full of new signings yet tinkered with to such an extent that it was almost at the level of  Marinus and the car keys in a bowl team selection of Oxford United from the same stage a few season back. Almost. At least this time we held on for a 1-1 draw before succumbing to fatal spot kicks taken in front of an ecstatic away support. On the plus side, the arrival of alleged Celtic target Rico Henry and long term signing Ollie Watkins put some much needed spring in the step to a game we almost won but, obviously, didn’t. 

Screenshot 2019-08-13 at 22.51.01

Griffin Park looked great under lights. Despite the result.

Upset? In a cup sense then of course but personally I slept well upon returning home. Dru Yearwood’s mistake early on presented Cambridge a chance from which they made no mistake but then they barely had a look in. Dru himself looked composed after that and grew into the game but the challenge of throwing so many new faces together was one that Brentford struggled with. Thomas Frank would later describe it as a disjointed performance and few present in the 5000+ crowd could argue with that.

Trying to look on the bright side this morning, there are still plenty of positives. Thomas was always going to play the new boys  – even this self-confessed numpty on the terrace called that one out yesterday – so it was a self-imposed challenge. The visitors came at us from the off and got the early goal as we struggled to settle in. Fair play to them in doing what they needed to but after that there was no more. Rather than turn into an Oxford style car crash (3-0 down after 12 minutes with Kemar Roofe’s 40 yard lob of Jack Bonham the ultimate slap in the face for the hapless head coach back in 2015) Brentford put the brakes on. Even though we struggled to get through our opponents, looking to walk it in rather than shoot, at least it stopped the goals going in.

Marinus Oxford touchline

Marinus and the Oxford fiasco (not a prog rock band). Never, ever forget

Thompson, Mbuemo, Valencia and Yearwood in particular all grew into the game and now have vital minutes under the belt. Zamburek and Racic stepped in and stepped up to a line up which was very much one for this evening only. Rico Henry and Ollie Watkins made a huge difference when they came on and showed what might have been had Thomas not used the game to try out new faces and give his starting XI a break after their exertions in the weekend win at Middlesbrough. Hull City on Saturday is going to be a tough one so you can understand why he has done this.

Outside of the rested faces, we’ve still got the likes of Said and Kamo to come back in to the team. And Marcus Forss scored another goal for the Bees. Huge news there with a starting berth possibly up for grabs in Thomas Frank’s all attack front line for Hull.

The subsequent second round draw saw Cambridge United drawn away to Swansea City. That in itself a reason to be grateful for crashing out. After last season’s horror shows against the Swans (home, away and FA Cup trip) the less we see of them in the short term the better. Besides, it also means we are now free to concentrate on the league.

And, of course, Celtic lost. Knocked out of the Champions League at home by CFR Cluj of Romania. Their own collapse at the death seeing them fail to make the group stages once more. This in itself of huge importance to Brentford, given the apparent interest in Rico Henry and the fact that their window remains open for a few more weeks so anyone could still leave for the Scottish top flight. Should they desire.

With the lure of Europe’s top table no longer available (as ever at this time of year), might a move to Glasgow be quite so appealing for Rico?  If, indeed, it was? The way he played last night, he is somebody who will surely be part of Thomas Frank’s plans this season so hanging on to him will be another boost.

Also, the cover of the programme looked great. Clutching at straws now, granted, but it was that sort of night. Some would say ‘couldn’t be bothered’ . Personally, I’ll go for slight over-tinkering in a bid to get new blood circulating. Another time we may have got away with it but not this time and there’s not much else to say, really.

Well done to our visitors. No gripes for me there. Bad luck Bees. We tried but much like Oxford, Cambridge gave us an education in how to play cup football and it was Brentford left with the blues. Nobody needs any further lecture from me on the subject.

Roll on Saturday and Hull City. See you there.

Screenshot 2019-08-13 at 22.50.41

Nice artwork

Nick Bruzon

5 Responses to “Cambridge follow Oxford in giving Bees the third degree.”

  1. MARK HIRIART August 14, 2019 at 8:28 am #

    I like the Swansea paragraph, so true !

  2. Rod Davidson August 14, 2019 at 9:04 am #

    Yes, no complaints here either, but there were some positives – I believe.
    Daniels looked OK in goal and in fact pulled off a good save in the instant before their goal.
    He was also performed well in the penalty shoot out, and was also a commanding figure, in dealing with crosses during the game.
    Racic looked steady at the back alongside Dalsgaard, and Henry when he came on looked excellent and showed his adaptability on the right hand side.
    Otherwise the ‘blend’ was’nt quite there. Once again the midfield failed to penetrate. Ball retention statistics must look good,but that’s easy if we continue to play in our half of the pitch.
    FORSS scored again, but, despite his movement the midfield rarely found him.
    Still it is what it is ! Work in progress – but more bravery from the midfield please -more responsibility- and perhaps a few ‘one – twos ‘ driving towards the penalty area. You may even you score yourself. Job done!

  3. David Carney August 14, 2019 at 12:43 pm #

    Who cares about the result. A good hit out for the new brigade trying to get to grips with the Brentford style – and yes – who would ever want to go to Swansea.
    After all the League Cup makes no money for Brentford, players risk injury and very few supporters are interested in the outcome anyway.

  4. Edward Soudan August 15, 2019 at 6:29 am #

    2/3 years on we still have no ‘plan’* in how defeat teams that ‘park the bus’. Time for more shots (albeit outside the box) than tip tapping through the middle of a crowded defence. Will Frank never learn?
    *Nothing to do with New player team make up.

  5. Anna August 15, 2019 at 2:10 pm #

    Did you find Jensen useful too when he came on? I’ve particularly enjoyed watching him so far, good movement of himself & the ball

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