Monsieur Lamouchi’s Boys do what they need. Ref loses cards and watch.

29 Jan

That was awful. Horrific. A brutal assault on the senses that despite there being, technically, a winner nobody could honestly admit to taking any pleasure from. The crowd favourite somehow pushed into second place. But enough about Mrs. Brown’s Boys beating Fleabag to the best comedy award in last night’s National Television Awards. At Griffin Park, Brentford went down 0-1 to Nottingham Forest in a game that made Brendan O’Carroll’s alter-ego seem like the height of cultural sophistication. The only consolation to be taken was the confirmation at full time that West Bromwich Albion had continued their awful form as they lost to Cardiff City. Even Leeds United picked up 3 points (not a typo) although had to come from 0-2 down at home to Millwall. 


How could this happen?

Just like at the NTA ceremony, there was nobody laughing at Griffin Park. A game of few chances saw the visitors bludgeon us into submission with all the subtlety of a man in a wig and cardigan masquerading as an alleged popular Irish mammy. With Nottingham Forest time wasting and fouling from the off, referee Tim Robinson needed to get a grip on things immediately. It was something he failed spectacularly to do. Assisted by fourth official Keith Stroud and two linesmen who may aswell have not been there, Sabri Lamouchi’s boys were allowed to run riot – and they did. Why not? We’d have done the same. Play the conditions. If the referee has left his cards, glasses and watch at home then you’d be a fool to ignore that.

That’s not to be overly sour, although obviously it will come over that way should any away fans stumble across this page. Brentford were well, well below their best. It’s been a long time since we’ve been up against such stern opposition and, sadly, we couldn’t find a way through. Forest pressed tight and were quick on the break. Any attempt at creativity was snuffed out before it could begin. The Bees looking off the pace and stifled for huge swathes of this game, unable to adjust to the situation.


A rare moment of space under the lights

In a game of few chances, the only goal came early. Joe Lolley left unmarked on the edge of the box and his weak shot from a corner took a wicked deflection off of Julian Jeanvier to loop past David Raya. Urghh. Less than a quarter hour gone and on the back foot. The clock already being run down with Forest goalkeeper Brice Samba soon booked for time wasting. Mr. Robinson then appearing to lose his cards as Brentford were given no protection or help. Left to fend for ourselves, we couldn’t cope. As one Braemar Road observer would later put it, Sammy Ameobi on Rico Henry was like watching Mick Fleetwood and Samantha Fox at the Brit Awards. Now that, unlike O’Carroll and his brood, WAS comedy. Albeit of the unintentional variety.

Being quite honest, the six point nature of the game didn’t even cross my mind once proceedings had got under way. It was just another match and one in which, sadly, we fluffed our lines after having the usual script ripped up. If only Mrs. Brown could do the same. Forest did exactly what they needed to and so took the points. That’s how football works. They are the ones now sitting just two points behind West Bromwich Albion. We’re the team in fifth. All the looking at the table and gnashing of teeth isn’t going to change that today. All the frustration at the officials just  wasted energy that can never be claimed back. 

Peter Gilham’s subtle as a brick announcements towards the end of the game telling us all we needed to know. “The referee has indicated there will be just three minutes of additional time. Just three minutes” and deep into the 93rd, ”A substitution for Nottingham Forest”. It felt like even he’d had enough, with all his customary courtesy and enthusiasm long out of the window. Even the emphasis on “Thank you for your TIME” as the crowd was announced saying more than any match report could.


The referee and his assistant ignored all reminders of both the rules and timekeeping

Just about the only positives to be taken are another defeat for West Brom and more of that Leeds United leaky defence. That said, even they had the temerity to regain top spot after that comeback at home to Millwall and are surely, now, over their huge wobble. Surely?

Thomas Frank summed it up nicely at full time, using his interview to note that “From minute one you could see they wanted to make it a slow and scrappy game..we didn’t handle that well enough today.” HB in the Braemar Road cutting to the chase almost as eloquently…. 

He’s already watched far too much football for a six year old..

There’s nothing else to say this morning. Well done Nottingham Forest, I suppose. They took the points and rightly celebrated. The important thing being what we learn from this and where we go from here. Hull City being the obvious answer. A televised clash on Saturday lunchtime being the next test for Team Thomas. 

Let’s hope the Tigers prove to be bigger Fleabags than Monsieur Lamouchi’s Boys. I could do without another unpopular victory. Until then, here’s the ‘highlights’..

Nick Bruzon


11 Responses to “Monsieur Lamouchi’s Boys do what they need. Ref loses cards and watch.”

  1. Simon Sapper January 29, 2020 at 7:06 am #

    Thanks for this Nick. You’re right about the opposition (Clough will be turning in his grave) and the officials, but we were so below par it’s a bit worrying. As Beesotted tweeted, the season is by no means over but we have to do better.

    Look, everyone can have a bad day at the office but last night we were getting the simple things wrong – missed passes, losing possession, not tracking back, poor decision-making in the box. What we were doing wasn’t working so I was surprised to see just one sub – but in Thomas and the boys we trust. A true marker of how far we have come (and can go) is how they respond.

    • nickbruzon January 29, 2020 at 7:51 am #

      Well said and we’ll summarised. To a man we looked off our game. What a time for that to happen. I can’t argue with any of your observations although absolutely agree that it IS absolutely indicative of the constant progress we continue to make (and astound is longer standing fans with!)

  2. Stephen January 29, 2020 at 7:44 am #

    The highlights that you have kindly posted show that Forest should also have had a penalty, so there was nothing fortuitous about the result, which, to be fair, the thrust of your article recognises.

    • nickbruzon January 29, 2020 at 7:53 am #

      Hi Stephen. My reaction to the ‘penalty’ incident at the game was ‘move along, nothing to see here’. Having since caught it on play back I’d argue that, we’ll, we’ve all seen them given.
      It made no difference. You did an absolute job on us. The one you had to do. Here’s hoping some more rocks get chucked into the water when you play Leeds and WBA over the next few weeks. Feb could be huge…

    • Martin west January 29, 2020 at 8:37 am #

      I am not Nick’s spokesman but I think you missed his main points,he didn’t say you were lucky to win just a very lucky goal,you out muscled us and even you must recognise the time wasting. That happens most weeks and we were not good enough on the night to trouble you. You did a job on us, simple as that

  3. Brighton Bee January 29, 2020 at 8:01 am #

    Well said Nick. Certainly Forest are up there with a number of “anti football” teams we have played at home this season ie Birmingham & Huddersfield. I thought we were disorganised and at times weak last night. Never mind the officials letting Forest get away with it, I thought our young players did not front up to them. Could you imagine a McCormack letting Watson get away with his antics last night? Strangely, we also didn’t lay a glove on that clown playing in goal for Forest. We didn’t really test him or put pressure on him physically. Sometimes I think we are perhaps too nice and not aggressive enough as a team when we play outfits like Forest. It will be interesting to see if we bolster the squad before the end of the window as we were definitely missing something last night.

  4. Wakefield Red January 29, 2020 at 9:19 am #

    Time wasting is a championship disease – seen far worse than Samba’s last night go ignored by refs. Perhaps it’s because they have to play so many games and the division is tight!

  5. BerksBee January 29, 2020 at 12:49 pm #

    I’ve seen lots of comments like ‘we were off our game’ but were we? Let’s not forget we can only play as well as the opposition allows us to. There’s a distinct correlation between our performances against sides that employ the same tactics that Forest did and we never do well against those sides.

    As much as I hate to say it, but sometimes you simply have to give credit to the other side, they did a job on us. They knew exactly how to disrupt the play, stop the tempo and rhythm, time waste, niggle and foul. In the face of this we lost our composure to the point we couldn’t even get the basics right.

    If we have any hope or aspirations of getting an automatic promotion spot, Thomas Frank has to come up with a way of dealing with these tactics, far too many sides are taking points off us playing in this way.

    • Brighton Bee January 29, 2020 at 2:30 pm #

      Totally agree with Berks Bee

  6. Simon January 29, 2020 at 12:50 pm #

    There seems to bea general lack of awareness as to what football is. Brentford were tactically out thought. Shifting Lolley into the centre threw Brentford. Yes, Forest are compact but play a lot of attacking players who break at pace. And Samba Sow is a bit of a beast, certainly physical but not dirty.Throughout the game, it never looked like Brentford would score whereas Forest arguably created the much better chances. And the penalty? It’s not “Ive seen them given”, it’s “How the hell was that not given when he’s thrown in a wrestling move to bring down”. It’s the Championship. There’s a reality about being able to play against a range of teams. last night, Brentford were found out by good tactics.

    • Martin January 30, 2020 at 9:16 am #

      Tackling is still legal. Forest did not dominate the ball, as we like to say; they dominated us.
      The tactics made them look like Aitor Karanka’s love child. But let’s be honest, when the opposition do it, we call it time wasting; when we do it, we call it game management. I guess we “go again”

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