A dismal morning and a dank afternoon as the form team keep on rolling.

3 Nov

No goals. No points. No complaints. Huddersfield Town came to Griffin Park on Saturday to round off a disappointing day of sport in our house. A day that had begun so brightly with the prospect of the Rugby World Cup final ended with defeat for both England and Brentford. For the Bees, a 0-1 home reverse came at the end of a game in which chances were at a premium and, it would be fair to say, Danny Cowley and his Terriers did a well drilled job on us. Creativity was stifled, the clock run down and the chance taken. Fair play to them. The Championship’s form team keep on rolling.

It was a really odd one to sit through. A nothing of a game where The Bees struggled to get out of second gear. The cold and rain not helping matters but certainly no excuse for our somewhat out of character inability to shine. The mercurial touches and wonder goals of theist few weeks nothing but a distant memory. The game, definitely one for the purists where Huddersfield did exactly what they needed to.

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View from the Braemar – a slippery pitch and tough conditions

Being honest, I’m struggling to remember much. Even having sat through the sub two minute highlight package. Something which, compared to the five or six minutes we sometimes get, tells you all you need to know about a turgid afternoon in dank conditions. Perhaps it was the early start to proceedings which saw pub breakfast taken in front of the rugby at 9am that left many of us feeling jaded. Nonchalant. Ambivalent even. And definitely nothing to do with the Guinness that washed down my sausages.

Besides, that early start time was perfectly legitimate. There are three social occasions breakfast alcohol is acceptable  – the last half hour before a wedding, as you wait with the groom in the pub across the road from the church. Crossing through passport control at an airport ; the exact split second that the laws of time are suspended and it’s five o’clock. Somewhere. Or the finals of a Southern hemisphere sporting event. Yesterday fitting into that last category where, perhaps, the result against a brutally strong team who out-thought their opponents could have been taken as some form of omen.

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It was five o’clock. Somewhere

Yet whatever the trigger yesterday, and whether the two were in any way connected, it just never felt like it was going to happen on the pitch. A game where subs were desperately needed but even their arrival did little to alter the path of an encounter that, once the visitors had taken the lead via Karlan Grant, Brentford never looked like getting back into.

Even then, the winner was a soft one. Nobody picking up a player who now sits just one goal, behind Ollie Watkins, occupying third place in the Championship leading scorers table. Nobody then closing him down as he hit one low past David Raya and into the far corner on the hour. It was one of few real caches, for either team, and it was the one that mattered. From that point on there was huff, puff, endeavour and desperation but nothing happened. Brentford very much flaccid in their attack. Huddersfield, operating the clock with all the precision of a Swiss watchmaker. Parking the bus with all the finesse of Jose Mourinho. The Bees had no way through. It wasn’t to be.

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Brentford had no way through the rain or The Terriers

Off the field of play, things were as wonderful as ever.  The opportunity to catch up with friends and even some of our regular visitors from the away contingent – always a pleasure. Bumping into the wonderful Woody and his family for a chat as the players went through their warm up routine. What a fantastic young man he is.

Then, a chance encounter saw HB offered a trip to the dressing room pre-kick off to talk tactics with Thomas Frank. Only at Brentford does this sort of thing happen. Long may it continue. I am sure the result was totally unconnected. Besides, any input offered by Harry would likely have been limited to the words Sergi and Canos.

Instead, we go away from this one empty handed. Any solace taken being in the fact that the table is still ridiculously tight. Victory yesterday would have taken us to the fringes of the play of race. Instead, we remain a mere four points off of fifth place. The season is stil far too young  – little over a quarter of the way through – to determine which way it will go . With 93 points still to play for, you can be sure this one is going to have plenty of twists and turn before we finish up against Barnsley in May.

For now, it wasn’t to be. Well played Huddersfield Town. Roll on Saturday and our trip to Wigan Athletic where, all being well, normal goalscoring service will resume.

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Pick Sergi. Then Canos. Sergi Canos. S Canos etc

Nick Bruzon

3 Responses to “A dismal morning and a dank afternoon as the form team keep on rolling.”

  1. Brighton Bee at 12:04 pm #

    A great week ended, not for the first time, when we failed miserably to beat a team that came to GP intent on stifling the game and relying on a breakaway goal or a piece of individual skill. Fair play to the Cowley Brothers as they had done their homework really well and recognised Brentford’s complete inability to beat team(s) with an organised defence. TF on the other hand in his post match interview again banged on about they must find a way to best teams who play like Huddersfield at GP. Maybe I am being harsh but hasn’t he had over a year to pick a team / tactics to do this? I am sure Huddersfield will not be the last team to play this way at GP, the question is – does TF have the technical nous and resources to counter act this style of play?

  2. simonsapper at 6:42 pm #

    Got some sympathy with the view above, and it’s a fair question. Even allowing for the weather, the game plan and the ref not finding his cards till it was too late, there were things we could have done better – lots of balls into the box (good) but often no one to get onto the end of them (not-so-good), and what seemed to me to be a lack of coordination between our front three. As you say Nick, it’s disappointing not disastrous. I’m both hoping and expecting things to be put right.

  3. Nigel Garrigan at 9:42 pm #

    Brighton Bee has got it exactly right in my opinion. As I’m sure you’re aware Nick I really enjoy your column, but I have written many times over my reservations of Thomas Frank’s ability or the lack of, particularly with tactics, the starting set up and tactical adjustments throughout the game. Organised teams seem to be a mystery to Frank, and although the performance was very disappointing but not disastrous on Saturday, it demonstrated the same shortcomings, particularly at GP, highlighting in my opinion that he’s not learning or developing as a “successful” coach in the Championship or EFL. The club has employed a very successful recruitment program for the playing staff which has reaped enormous benefits both in entertainment for the fans and financially for the team, it time to apply to same criteria to coaching staff – if we want to progress.

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