Inevitable? Waking up the morning after.

5 Aug

Sometimes I think that being a Brentford fan should have been outlawed by the Geneva convention. Or, at least, being a Brentford fan in the play-offs. Never have we got closer to the top flight than this season. Never has it felt further away than it does this morning after waking up off the back of a 2-1 extra time defeat at Wembley. A torture and pain the likes of which, right now, feels like it has actually gone as far as outdoing Huddersfield ’94-’95. Our magnificent team on the verge of greatness yet now everyone fearing they are on the verge of being broken up. The vultures will be gathering. Chelsea looking at Benrahama has been the rumour for the last few months. Raya to Arsenal. Watkins to who knows where. Will it happen?  

play off 3

Pliers. Rack. Hot poker. The play-offs

I love this club. Love this team. Would do anything for it. Always try to exude positivity. But my word, it’s hurting today. One can’t even begin to imagine what it is like for the players and the staff. For Matthew Benham. For Peter Gilham. Twitter is being given a wide berth for fear of biting at our opponents. Very brave of them, once they’ve won (although, personally I’d be focussing on celebrating the moment. Go figure). Thankfully, there’s no work to go to today as the well-meaning platitudes and sympathy won’t help. Anything but. 

Nine bites at the play-off cherry. Nine defeats. I’ve been through them all and I think this is definitely the worst. Huddersfield and Stoke City narrowly just behind. The only glimmer of hope I can take this morning is that we kick on in a style akin to the Yeovil loss. You know, the season of ‘that’ penalty. The mid season break is short and whilst the window IS open, we’ll be back in league action in little more than a month. At least there isn’t a long summer to dwell on this.

Going out to Yeovil after coming so close in the regular campaign was sickening. The following months even longer. Yet the next season was just incredible. Celebrating like we’d won the FA Cup as we went up alongside Wolves. Look where they are now. The return of Marcello Trotta. The excitement of beating Preston to finally make it. Could we have the same reaction now? Could we kick on once more? Might the team stay together or are departures inevitable? Might Chelsea now get their man? Too soon to know. Too torturous to stress about. I’ve got a small boy who was dealt a double blow yesterday and there’s going to need to be a lot of shoddy parenting to try and put the smile back on his face today. Let alone mine.

The flip side is that we implode in a post-Stoke style. The team broken up before it was even back on the coach outside the Millennium stadium. The way the club is run these days gives hope that won’t happen. Or, at the very least, there are replacements stepping in and stepping up.  Oh, for a crystal ball to see what will happen. To have some way of easing the empty feeling in the pit of the stomach.  At least we will start the campaign on a sound financial footing, unlike some of our divisional rivals. Just look at Sheffield Wednesday and Wigan. Could others follow?

Regardless, this is just all too soon and all too raw. Match reports? You’ve seen it. Harrison Reed and Aleksander Mitrovic both lucky to avoid game changing red cards for blatant thuggery. Where was Keith Stroud when you needed him. Oh, the irony. A late goal giving a miniscule feeling of hope before the moment was gone once more. But we were second best on the night and, much as it hurts to admit that too, one can’t deny what played out. Outmuscled by a team that knew our tactics. Beaten by a freak free-kick. Sadly.

I’m all over the shop today. A broken man. I want to be magnanimous but it’s not possible. Well meaning tweets about playing well and going again aren’t helping any. I’ve no complaints about our team and the tremendous effort they have put in over a 13 month season. They are heroes to a man and have brought nothing but smiles, excitement and hope over a dark time. Yet right now, that all feels a million miles away. It will return, of course. I just hope it is sooner than later.

Trying to focus on the good times right now

Nick Bruzon 


32 Responses to “Inevitable? Waking up the morning after.”

  1. Charlie the bee August 5, 2020 at 9:22 am #

    We are rising make no mistake we are playing good football and the club is building for the future sometimes there is a bump in the road sometimes a bloody big pothole but while the 3 clubs that went up to the promised land look forward to a nightmare of lots of defeats and relegation when we do go up it won’t be on loan keep the faith 🐝leive

    • Jon August 5, 2020 at 11:40 am #


      • nickbruzon August 5, 2020 at 11:41 am #

        Piss. Partridge?

  2. Bernard Quackenbush (@BernardQuack) August 5, 2020 at 9:37 am #

    I too am struggling to pick myself up from that one. Although, most of my work emails this morning seem to be from colleagues commiserating! They arent so bad that Bournemouth lot!

    We will need time to grieve, but with a new season only a school holiday length away, we will need to try and focus quicker than ever.

    Inevitably, we will lose players. Ollie, which my girlfriend will be gutted about, and Said. OK, this is where i will be shot down, but i dont think selling Said for £30m plus will be a bad thing. Other than the huge return, Said does lose the ball a lot. Over showboating. It looks great when it comes off like against Bristol City, but for every one of those, there has been a dozen where he loses the ball when a pass would have been the better option.

    Ultimately, we will still have the nucleus of the team and with some canny acquisitions we will be there or thereabouts come May.

    I just hope that we can eventually get to see it!!

    • Phil A August 5, 2020 at 10:57 am #

      It won’t be me shooting you down about Said; I have thought exactly the same for a while now. My worry is we sell too many key players and a complete team rebuild required that will take a while to gel. I would be surprised however if Brentford had not already had a contingency plan in place if we hadn’t gone up.

  3. Vectis Saint August 5, 2020 at 10:05 am #

    I’m not a Brentford fan Nick (Southampton if you’re asking) but I think every neutral fan was pulling for you last night.
    I can’t even say I feel your pain as you Brentford fans seem to have play off pain pretty much off to a fine art.
    All the platitudes may not help now but Brentford have been brilliant to watch this season and you would have been a great addition to the Premiership. I do support a club that is regularly raided by bigger (not better, just bigger) clubs and hope you can either avoid this or you continue to find these great players and will do so again.
    I really wish you good luck next season and hope you go up then.

  4. Rob August 5, 2020 at 10:09 am #

    The Gods have a cruel sense of humour when it comes to our club.
    Martin Lange, our previous owner, introduces the playoff concept and now we as a club, are officially the worst club above all else in the competition.
    An unprecedented pandemic ruins our farewell to Griffin Park season
    We close in on West Brom in the most unlikely of chases only to fail to get any points from 2 teams in the lower part of the division on the last 2 games of the season
    We have a player red carded, unfairly, yet manage to come back when staring down the barrel
    And then we lose to what I genuinely call the arch rivals, given my age, at the richest game in football because we could not cope with the enormity of the position we find ourselves in.
    Lessons can’t really be learnt with the player turnover we tend to have

    It’s the hope that kills you….

    The good?

    New stadium next season, which is only just around the corner, albeit without supporters / limited supporters.
    Players will be sold but I suspect, perhaps with the exception of Rico and Raya the back line will remain pretty much the same, the midfield too, perhaps with a few peripheral players leaving and new ones brought in, and then probably 2 of the BMW. That will likely swell the coffers (though £18m clause in Ollie’s contract is a bit upsetting if true given his performance this season) and I still think we’ll have a team capable of competing near the top of the division.
    This division, on paper, looks to be the weakest it’s been for a while

    The future is still bright

  5. sheffbee August 5, 2020 at 10:10 am #

    ……and I don’t want to add even more pain but you know that Gypsy curse you were on about ? Well weren’t there gipsies camped on Lionel Road

    • Rob August 5, 2020 at 10:29 am #

      Gypsies have probably been camped everywhere at some point in history 🙂

  6. Spanish Bee August 5, 2020 at 10:43 am #

    Well like many other Bees supporters I have received lots of messages of sympathy. I go back to the fifties, and my feeling is that we just aren’t quite ready to go up and there is no point in coming straight back down again, parachute or not. We will need to do what we show signs of doing in the past, learn and progress. We will get there, and probably soon, but the point is to stay there when you are up.

  7. Paul Klein August 5, 2020 at 11:08 am #

    As you say it’s too early to be objective and we need to remind ourselves of the positives in that we have a new stadium to move to, a sound ownership model and we have the best team I’ve seen in the 54 years I’ve supported Brentford. When the dust settles I hope the club will look at the remaining weaknesses that prevented us getting promotion. A lack of experienced players to blend with the young ones, a goalkeeper that will always have a mistake in him during the big games and the fact that we have no plan B when a team has worked us out, as was shown last night.

  8. Rod Davidson August 5, 2020 at 11:34 am #

    What a bag of balls,- failure, disappointment, -out fought, -neutered, -impotent.
    How many more times do we have to experience the rubbish of not fulfilling our hopes and potential.
    The scene was set: 1/Favourites 2/Great media profile. 3/ Blue shirts/ not stripes 4/Exciting team to watch. 4./BMW 5/ Would be a credit to the premiership. 6/Flowing football 7/Great characters 8/ Make history 9/ Excellent manager. 10/ Fans expectations ( including a 101 year old woman dressed up at home in her Brentford kit.)..VERSES… FULHAM.
    Fulham – a team who looked good away to Cardiff but who at home in the second leg looked very ordinary indeed. We had beaten them twice already in the league for goodness sake.
    For all the platitudes, the writing was on the wall. Stoke, Barnsley and now Fulham. Three bites at the cherry? How many bites do we need? You can add these THREE bites to the never ending list of dark moments- How dark has it got to get before blindness set in.
    I want someone to explain what it was that happened to Stoke, Barnsley and then Fulham, that they were able to do something that we weren’t able to cope with.
    Fine margins have been mentioned, but in those three matches we just went through the motions until it was too late to get our act together.
    David Raya? Don’t forget the earlIer excellent save he had to make.
    And if it’s true, as Fulham claim, that they spotted a chink in our armour with David’s positioning – why didn’t we ?
    These last three opponents spotted something in our approach and make up which they each exploited in their own way. And they all got the results they craved.
    Did we think to exploit the failings in those three teams in the same way ? Or did we just tinker at the edges and fail to find the small margins needed. We came out fighting home to Swansea but otherwise we badly let ourselves down.
    A previous manager said that he didn’t have a plan ‘B’. Well other teams have had to find one out of necessity to beat us- and they did. Perhaps we should have one in the locker as
    well. And it needs to be obvious too. It needs to send a message that we will only go down screaming and shouting- a bit of rough treatment please or margins might become a chasm.
    The hurt goes on for everyone.

    • Rob August 5, 2020 at 1:28 pm #

      “How dark has it got to get before blindness set in.” Great line!

      In all honesty, I don’t think other teams worked us out, I genuinely feel we under performed and let them walk all over us. We lacked intensity, accuracy in our passing, tenacity in winning the second ball and terrible decision making. We HANDED it to them because we were unable to cope with the enormity of the situation. Fulham weren’t fantastic last night, but what they did do is settle and compose themselves. We couldn’t and were going sideways and back rather than forward at speed.

      Warbs said plan B is doing plan A better, and had our plan A been up to scratch it was there for the taking. We can’t as a club take pops at “Leeds are falling apart” when we’re now out on our own as the kings of bottling it in play off history

    • Dave Washer August 7, 2020 at 11:19 am #

      Brilliant comments, Rod. Spot on.

  9. Jon August 5, 2020 at 11:36 am #

    When it actually mattered your small little club came up short AGAIN lol and are going to stay where you belong. Love the way you slate FFC and then get proper done up by the far superior team. Keep it coming losers. We will take Benrahma and Watkins off ya and all. Mugs.

    • nickbruzon August 5, 2020 at 11:42 am #

      Small penis?

      • Jon August 5, 2020 at 11:46 am #

        Yep. You probably sucked a few of them. Lol

    • Paul Fletcher August 5, 2020 at 2:34 pm #

      Why don’t you stick your paper clapper where the sun don’t shine Tarquin ! Try not to waste another £100 million this time around either !

    • James Harrington August 5, 2020 at 5:14 pm #

      Very thoughtful post, thanks for reminding us that there are still too many fools in football.

    • beesyellow22 August 7, 2020 at 11:29 am #

      What a wonderfully original comment, ‘Jon’. Really original. And how marvellous to be a troll too! Your mum and dad must be so proud of you! I’m not sure we slate FFC but we certainly HATE FFC with a burning passion. Where we belong?! Hee hee! You and QPHA ‘fans’ are really very droll! (Dunno wot ‘droll’ means, thicko? Look it up.) You are so threatened at what has happened to us since Matthew Benham took over. New stadium. Great coach. Brilliant players. And, no matter how may of them leave, we JUST. KEEP. COMING.

      Have Benhrama. Please. Have him. His mind’s gone anyway. We’ll take 25 mil off you mugs. Ollie? Er, probably not. Why would he want to join a shit show comedy club like yours when he can go to an established Prem side and actually STAY UP instead of fighting relegation all season?!

      Anyway, enjoy your latest cameo appearance in the EPL. You’ll be in the bottom three all season and be back WHERE YOU BELONG a year from now. And when we pass you on our way up it’ll be all the sweeter.

      Oh, and it really isn’t a good idea to still be sucking on your mummy’s boobies at your age. Give your manager a call and see if you can suck on something else instead.

      • Jon August 9, 2020 at 10:49 am #

        Lol. Great comments. Really showing true scummy Brentford colours there pal. I do love sucking my mummys boobie’s but your mummy’s piss flaps taste much nicer lol

  10. aussiebee53 August 5, 2020 at 11:38 am #

    at this point the only thing that would console me is if they announce that there will be VAR in the championship next season

  11. David Carney August 5, 2020 at 11:56 am #

    Yesterday was indeed a very difficult day for Brentford and everyone associated with Brentford, from Benham to the newest supporter, but…………..this season has been the most successful since, well before I started supporting in 1954, so why the gnashing of teeth, the wringing go hands, the words of despair? We should all be congratulating the players, Frank, the DOF;s, all backroom staff and of course, Matthew Benham. The reality is Brentford did not quite make it, but is and will continue to build, that some players will depart, that others will arrive and more ‘B’ team players will rise to make their mark as Brentford progresses ever upwards in a very structured way. I just don’t get the despair written by so many people. Any Brentford supporter pre Benham knows what failing to achieve looks and feels like, but week in, week out we were all still there cheering on the Bees, either at Griffin Park or wherever we happened to be.
    The only thing that has changed is the unstoppable progress year by year since Benham started to show the football world how to run a football club successfully.
    Just look at Leeds last year. Did they give up because they messed up the play offs last year, or did they refocus and go and win the League this year. If Leeds cn do that then most certainly Brentford can.

    • Martin O August 5, 2020 at 2:21 pm #

      Leeds and the post Yeovil Bees kept the key elements of their squad together. I don’t see us doing that, so I cannot draw on that for comfort. Ignore the odd twattish troll (we have a few too). The better team won. Hats off to them, and good luck in the Prem. For us: let’s not turn in on ourselves. We were good, but not quite good enough, though it may take a bit longer than a year to get another shot this good. Hope I’m wrong. Certainly won’t be the 1st time

  12. John Randall August 5, 2020 at 2:23 pm #

    Like a lot of supporters I have been following Brentford for a long time. 63 years in fact nearly as long as Peter Gilham. I have seen good times as well as bad (QPR trying to take over) that was big news then and we were even being reported on BBC Grandstand that was a first for little old Brentford. A lot of my fellow supporters remind me saying a few years ago we were shaking buckets collecting money for the club well since Matthew Benham has taken over we have moved a million miles since then spending a reported £30 million last year on players, that is not the signs of a small club. We are only a small club in attendance numbers.
    It hurts a lot losing but not just on one game we had three chances this year as we did a few years ago. Perhaps the officials could be a little bit more consistent in future should have been at least one sending off last night. Penalty or two in the Stoke game, Rico being sent off at Swansea Just maybe there is a jinx on us when we are in a big game I remember the final at Cardiff when we got the lucky dressing room!!!! we soon changed that.
    Anyway onwards and upwards I hope, I didn’t think we would have a new ground but we have one so I suppose anything is possible.

  13. Peter Hills August 5, 2020 at 5:03 pm #

    It has been a long and exhausting season. Last night was really disappointing as we put in such a poor show. I have been waiting nearly 70 years to get back into the top flight so I guess I can wait another season, not many other options!

    We will miss Griffin Park but like everybody else have already organised my season ticket at the new stadium which is located in the same road as my old primary school. Which brings me neatly back to my first match when I somehow managed to get a day off from Lionel Road Primary School in February 1952 to join 30,000 at a replayed third round tie v Luton Town. The King died that morning but the match went on. So I have been watching Brentford for exactly the same time that Elizabeth has been Queen!

    Thank you fro all your blogs, Nick.

    • nickbruzon August 5, 2020 at 6:49 pm #

      Perspective. Thank you so much

    • beesyellow22 August 8, 2020 at 5:19 pm #

      A wonderful post, Peter. You are a true Bee sir, and a true gent! Hopefully we’ll get back to the promised land one day, and you will be there to see it. You deserve it more than anyone. Onwards and upwards!

  14. James Harrington August 5, 2020 at 5:16 pm #

    Nick, thanks for all your work.

  15. beesyellow22 August 8, 2020 at 5:17 pm #

    Brilliant blog, Nick, as ever. Not a lot more to add. I’ve read that we got what we deserved for being ‘arrogant’. I don’t think we were arrogant in the slightest. Perhaps the way TF comes across sometimes could be seen to be a bit ‘arrogant’ but I honestly think this is just the way he speaks English, which isn’t his native language.

    I really thought we’d do it on Tuesday, but I guess I’m still naive when it comes to us and the PO’s – even after Tranmere, Huddersfield, Crewe, Stoke, Sheff Weds, Yeovil, Boro, etc, etc. I didn’t see the games at Stoke or versus Barnsley, but for all the glorious attacking football we can play, when a manager works us out, we don’t seem to have an answer. Parker got his tactics spot on but, as I have plastered all over Twitter for the last day or two, I never expected him to play what for me amounted to a kind of ‘anti-football’. Win at any costs. Do whatever it takes. Play with 10 defenders and throttle the life out of the BMW. Full credit to him. The prize was too great to try to turn it into a football match. Better to achieve their goals in a massively cynical way. Guess if it had been the other way round we’d have taken it. Do think that pens would have been the fairest way to decide things though, but since when has football ever been fair…?

    Overall, I’m trying to stay positive. We’ve achieved a lot and the club is in an incredible position from which to keep moving forward. I hope Benhrama leaves asap. His mind had already left by Tuesday night. He was absolutely awful in my opinion. Ollie did his best with no service. Mbeumo was appalling. Everyone else huffed and puffed to very little end. It all had a depressing sense of inevitability about it. And so it proved.

    Personally, I think maybe two or three will leave for the riches of the Prem. The main thing is that MB still has his incredible vision and that the Directors of Football will keep working hard to keep improving the squad. I really do believe we will mount another challenge next season and that we could get top 2. It will be tough but I believe we can do it.

    Anyway, it is what it is. 9 playoffs, 0 promotions, 9 failures. Maybe we’ll do it one day. Maybe we won’t. Like I say, I think top two has to be the aim next season. With Pontus and Pinnock and Dalsgaard and Sergi and Jensen and Norgaard and Marcondes I think it will be fun. Not as much fun as playing Liverpool and City and Spurs and United and Arsenal and Chelsea, but fun none the less. And if we fail again next season then we keep on going, because that’s what you have to do. And when Fulham and WBA come down and we pass them on the way up it’ll be all the sweeter.

    Bees forever.

    • nickbruzon August 22, 2020 at 6:08 am #

      Thank you. Sorry for not responding but not had the heart to even look at these pages in the last few weeks. Much appreciated 🙂

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