The Brentford BMW has a new M as Fulham are flayed. Again.

21 Jun

Well that was just magnificent. It wasn’t the same as being there, let’s not pretend otherwise, but Brentford were nothing short of incredible as they destroyed Fulham at a more atmospheric than usual Craven Cottage on Saturday lunchtime. Benrahma and Marcondes doing their thing in Jota time to send the TV audience wild and silence the home team’s tannoy. Scott Parker was left looking as though he’d caught Alexsander Mitrovic red-handed going through his fridge whilst one can only imagine the scenes that would have played out had we been in the away end for this most incredible of denouements. I believe what the kids would call ‘limbs’. Even Pontus was smiling at full time. Not a typo. His former club, Leeds United, have already been displaced at the top of the table and the gap to our next opponents, West Bromwich Albion, reeled in by two points.

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The smile says it all

Imagine choosing not to watch that. What else were you going to do on a Coronavirus Saturday lunchtime? Online shopping? Cleaning the house? Or sit in your social bubbles with a few drinks to see if the impossible might become possible. Could Brentford pick up where we left off in March and keep up the push for ‘automatic’?

Well, a 2-0 win for the Bees means we are now eight points off West Brom and Leeds (albeit Bielsa’s boys have a a game in hand at Cardiff today) with the Baggies due to visit Griffin Park on Friday night under the lights. That one’s going to be huge but let’s not get ahead of ourselves. There’s the small matter of destroying Fulham to talk about first.

Brentford took the game to our hosts from the off. This, despite Thomas Frank confirming that Bryan Mbeumo would be missing out as the individual who had tested positive for Coronavirus. The player has shown no symptoms but is self-isolating at present whilst the rest of the squad had all come back negative on their subsequent tests. Take care Bryan and see you soon. But if his absence might have felt like a blow, it wasn’t impacting the team. Tarique Fosu stepped in and the hairy Bees (Benrahma’s bouff, Dasilva’s beard and Jensen’s top knot – oh dear) went for it.

Both keepers were in good form as the hosts, in the unusual situation of being  roared on…by their p.a. system…. found a way back in to the game. Being honest, David Raya kept us well in it at times whilst they probably had the better of the first half chances. Despite our possession, drive and one close effort from Josh, it was Decordova-Reid who hit the bar whilst Knockaert and Mitrovic both came close. The later even found the back of the net in the second half although was correctly adjudged to have been well offside. The linesman’s flag being lowered with almost slow-motion accuracy to chalk off the rotund striker’s effort.  

And with it, their chance was gone. The arrival of Shandon Baptiste and Emiliano Marcondes breathing new life into Brentford as we kept on pushing. Break followed break until, with the game well into the clock 88th minute, Emiliano played a ball across the box which Benrahma guided home from close in. Yessssss!!! The scream from our house probably loud enough to wake the dead. It was a noise replicated across this part of West London as the Bees moved into a (surely) unassailable position.

No word of a lie, there was calm in our house. This is not the Brentford of old. The Brentford that cock it up late to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory. Thomas Frank’s brand of football is part Kevin Keegan (minus the meltdown), part confidence and a huge dollop of faith in his players. We kept going. If the ball is up the other end then the opposition can’t score. And sure enough, they couldn’t. Fulham left very much in second place as Marcondes wrapped up the points, and his own man-of-the-match award, late into stoppage time with a cool finish. Not bad for twenty minutes work.

Fulham were broken. Battered. Down and very much out. They retain third place, for now, although have the Bees breathing right down their neck and a trip to Leeds United next up. Either way, something has to give there. With the visit of West Bromwich Albion to Griffin Park taking place the night before, that Elland Road game could turn out to have even more significance than already. Especially if Cardiff City can pull a favour out of the bag today when Bielsa and co resume their own campaign.

I didn’t expect West Brom to drop points yesterday. I mean, Birmingham City? But it happened and that’s a dirty favour we’ll gratefully accept. These early games are going to be critical as teams rediscover there form and fitness. Accept the gifts whilst you can and enjoy our own moment. Beating a team above us in the table, whoever they are, is no small feat. Don’t let the derby nature of the game take away what we achieved. Likewise, Blues at the Hawthorns. No matter how it may feel.

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…Our squad is ten times better than yours ever was…

Yet for now it would be trite not to focus on our own performance. A never give up reminder that football is a 90 minute game. Football is a squad game and if you keep going to the very end, rewards can come.

I’d love to have been there. No question. It was a quite amazing finish to a fixture that always brings out the best in Brentford. Everybody from Jota and Stuart Dallas to Neal Maupay and even Brian Guest have written their own particular chapter in the Brentford- Fulham story. To that you can now add Emiliano Marcondes. The BMW found a new M when it mattered.

Screenshot 2020-06-21 at 08.00.09

We can’t celebrate in person but this was the next best thing

I’m desperate to attend on Friday but it’s not going to happen. Sadly. I’m not alone. Instead, it’s another shift in front of the TV and the genuine belief that the Bees will pick up where we left off. Yesterday was such a huge morale boost. Something that was quite evident in our own post-match Zoom chat aswell as from dipping in and out of social media. Wherever you went, there we were celebrating. And why not?

Roll on Friday night. Football Is back. It is very different and it is very echoy. But it also has Brentford winning and foe me, Clive, that alone is cause for celebration. Four derbies this season and four wins. Kings of West London. I’ll take that.

See you Friday. In spirit. 

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Nick Bruzon   

4 Responses to “The Brentford BMW has a new M as Fulham are flayed. Again.”

  1. Brighton Bee June 21, 2020 at 8:40 am #

    Spot on Nick. Sad that we couldn’t do our usual pub crawl from Putney Main Line Station to the ground but the lads more than made up for that. All the team plays well but I thought Pontus was immense yesterday. His organisation and motivational skills had been missing in the immediate gams prior to the enforced break but boy did we look a more solid unit at the back yesterday. Roll on a Friday!

  2. sheffbee June 21, 2020 at 8:55 am #

    Nicely put Nick. Really enjoyed reading this . You have captured the mood and sentiment of lockdown football and what it means for us Bees supporters perfectly.

    I have adjusted to it now. Like Mrs B I cannot stand the false crowd sounds. Way too tacky. After years of watching the Bees reserves back in the day I’m ok with the pin drop emptiness. But then I’m just plain weird ……… and it gets worse.

    I cannot stand listening to any commentator covering a Brentford game other than Mark Burridge ! Yes it’s that bad. To hear the Sky and BBC team continually mis pronouncing our players names , or even worse making up a version of the name to suit their taste is, well Mrs B said it ! eg Caneous…….. Bener rahma….. Doh ! and they know nothing of our history. I always synchronise Burridge’s audio to the tv coverage.

    Sorry Nick rant over. Went off on one there. But really enjoyed your piece.

    Roger. (sheffbee)

  3. Bernard Quackenbush (@BernardQuack) June 21, 2020 at 11:58 am #

    Well that was all rather pleasant.

    After 3 long months to come back to a near perfect away performance against one of the best sides in the division and to do a smash & grab with Emiliano starring, a player who has had to put up with horrendous abuse from alleged Bees supporters. Thomas has managed to find him a purpose in this Bees squad & his man management skills have nurtured a player whose confidence must have been at 0 and moved it to 100.

    With WBA & Forest only managing a point & Leeds down at half time, maybe the unthinkable is becoming possible.

    So its now the day after and with a beautiful day, what is going to follow lunch in the garden? Has to be a victoria sponge!!

  4. bryanukipheathrowvillages June 21, 2020 at 2:36 pm #

    Anyone can win at Craven Cottage. One of the best matches I ever watched was in the FA Cup when the mighty Hayes Town beat Fulham 0-2.
    20 yard screamer, free kick if my old head remembers, and the whole crowd singing “Dicks Out” at the end.
    Superb !!

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