Luke rushes to save his loved ones. Will Raya force a move?

13 Sep

That was quite frustrating. We outplayed them and outbattled them, created four major chances and they did nothing. We had 13 shots, they had one and our keeper hardly touched the ball”. Not my words but those of Brentford head coach Thomas Frank after going down 1-0 in the season opener to Birmingham City…… in 2019. Fast forward 12 months and it was a case of deja-vu. Lesson not learned and chances not taken. Blues running out 1-0 in winners in a game where they created few opportunities but did the all important thing of converting. No complaints. Well done. With the Arsenal & Aston Villa talk still hanging around like a bad smell, David Raya missed this through injury. In a game of few opportunities created by the hosts we could have played Luke Skywalker rather than Luke Daniels and it would have made no significant difference (one sharp save early on aside). The goal, when it came, as much due to non-existent marking. It was an opening gratefully accepted by Jeremie Bela as he headed home a corner at the near post just prior to half-time.

We created seven big chances today……They scored on the only big chance they had, they had maybe one or two half chances and didn’t create anything besides that.” Those WERE Thomas’ words after this one and he’s right.

Sergi was on fire throughout and hit the crossbar with a bicycle kick in the second period after Josh Dasilva had rattled the post in the first. Mbeumo Barbet’d one in the first half and flashed a shot across the face of goal in the second. That’s not to mention two very strong penalty shouts – one in each period. First, Harlee Dean with all the finesse of a juggernaut and then Pontus Jansson unceremoniously man-handled later in the game. That’s before we even mention several scrambles where rock solid, last-gasp defending prevented Blues’ line form being breached.

I’ve no issue with the result. Well done Birmingham City. They did what they had to at both ends and that’s how you win football matches. Pretty play and passing counts for nothing if you can’t convert. The league table doesn’t have an additional column for ‘deserving to win’ (except, perhaps, at Aston Villa – oh Dean, I do love your post match conferences). Brentford sit on Played: 1, Points: 0 . That’s a fact.

Yet, at the same time, we’ve a team re-finding their feet. Put Raya to one side. Whether injured or half-way to Arsenal, it was in the attacking third that things didn’t quite work out yesterday. That cosmic understanding between the BMW disrupted by the fact that only one of them was on pitch. Whether Benrahama will return remains to be seen but the smart money is on planning for life without him.

That goal busting form will come once more as the new look line up starts to gel. Sergi Canos was chomping at the bit and Mbeumo are into it. There’s already the option of Marcus Forss on the bench and, let’s not forget, it wasn’t as though we didn’t create chances. We did. Sadly for the Bees, Birmingham City were equal to the task. The woodwork taking heavy punishment. Referee Tony Harrington choosing not to award a spot kick. On another day…

The season Newcastle United were Champions they lost the first two. The year Bournemouth bought their way up, it took until November to start firing. Even Brentford had the slowest of starts last campaign before we hit that wonderful hot streak. The doom and gloom already being seen one game in is, of course, to be expected (it wouldn’t be football otherwise) but I’m more frustrated than in panic mode.

The talk this morning is that Emiliano Martinez is Aston Villa bound. Arsenal have, apparently, agreed a £20m deal with Aston Villa following the decision that Jay Leno will be first choice at the Emirates. The scrutiny on the Bees will only increase should that transpire. If David Raya IS injured then we wish him a speedy recovery. If he wants to be a number two then that’s his call, of course.


I’d love him to stay. I’ll happily take the cash if he doesn’t want to be a part of this. No matter how cynical one gets about pre-season injuries and trips to the beach for our coveted players, this team always finds a way to grow. Look at how Ollie Watkins stepped in to cover off Neal Maupay last time out. Could this end up being the same opportunity for Luke Daniels? Or will David be back for the visit of Huddersfield on Saturday?

It wouldn’t be Brentford if it were any other way.

And finally… e-book, season review etc etc. If you’d like to read more then you can still pick up 2019-20 for free, here. Time really is ticking on this one now so move fast before Amazon stick a price back on them (at which point any proceeds received go to the Community Sports Trust). From Birmingham City to Ollie Watkins and beyond….


Simon Moore famously went to Cardiff beach

Nick Bruzon


7 Responses to “Luke rushes to save his loved ones. Will Raya force a move?”

  1. Max September 13, 2020 at 7:00 am #

    Fully agree nick we were unlucky at Birmingham, The front 3 will take time to gel, and Marcus forss is a very good plan b. although I still am not sure about sergi on the left, he is obviously a quality player but appears all back to front to me. As for raya, it will be very disappointing if he asks for a transfer one year into a four year deal just so he can go and play with his friend. We do have the no dickheads rule in player recruitment at Brentford so let’s hope raya makes the right decision, some would also say that he owes us after the play off final.

  2. R Smith September 13, 2020 at 7:26 am #

    Yes you were the better team, against, lets remember a Birmingham team that had hardly played together before.
    Brentford will have a good season in my opinion and as you play good football, and as Blues are not going to be in the promotion fight I hope you do well. That said I do wish your players would cut the play acting. The second “penalty” was so clearly a lets throw myself over and hope that he did not even try to make it look realistic and it was embarrassing. a couple of other dives were not even professional standard, Sadly Brentford have previous in this regard, at least against us you do. I can only assume you were taught these dark arts by your Villa supporting ex manager, I’d put nothing past him. The first penalty I grant was a foul.
    Anyway have a good season, enjoy the new ground when you can go, and up the Blues.

  3. Ijaz September 13, 2020 at 9:55 am #

    I disagree with your comments on the ‘penalty’ when Harlee Dean won the header and took out the man with his follow through. He got to the ball first and that’s never a pen. The second one was and as happens so many times the ref bottled the decision. We had our own penalty shout where Pederson had his shirt pulled off as your defender held him back.
    Tbh I wasn’t expecting anything from this game especially since Jutkiewicz has been injured and missed all of preseason and we’ve been playing a makeshift striker. I was impressed with the new players brought in Friend was a rock and they way Clayton kept the ball moving. I don’t think he lost the ball once or misplaced a pass. Sanchez was very good too and he looked absolutely knackered when he come off. The young keeper Jeacock wow, at this rate he’ll keep new signing Neil Ethridge out of the side. Anyway thanks for the three points and all the best for the rest of the season.

    • Martin West September 13, 2020 at 11:46 am #

      If that challenge happened on the deck it would have been punished, when a tackle is made the follow thru is taken into account,

      • Max September 13, 2020 at 6:17 pm #

        Quite agree, you can’t do that in the modern game. Not even sure if he got ball first and definitely not with his head.hope these things even out over the season.

  4. Bernard Quackenbush (@BernardQuack) September 13, 2020 at 10:50 am #

    Come on, Birmingham first game of the season. Did any of us really expect us to win?

    We all knew how the game was going to play out, and it played out exactly as we thought. We having chance after chance, and Birmingham hitting us with the sucker punch. No complaints about the result. It wasnt quite like the injustice of last season where a trial at The Hague would have been justified, but an excellent away performance for the home team.

    Still plenty to sort. I thought Sergi was one of the better players. Mbeumo showing moments of brilliance and ineptitude and equal bouts, and unfortunately a tendency to be narky. Dasilva & Emiliano went missing for large parts with Clayton doing what Clayton always does against us. Jensen possibly having the worst 5 mins ever in a Bees shirt! I dont have any issue with Luke deputising. He has shown every time that he is more than capable to step in.

    First pen shout. No. Harlee fair & square. Second, Definite yes. Astonishing referee ineptitude. We are definitely still 1 or 2 players short. With midfield the key, although Frank’s obsession with Jensen still baffles me

    • nickbruzon September 13, 2020 at 11:21 am #

      I think Jensen has a cracking start to life in a Bees short but definitely went off the boil towards the end of last season. Perhaps injury and a reset could be best all round.
      Can’t really argue with anything you have to say though. It’s the first game of many and we’ll absolutely come good once the ineptitude element gets ironed out and the players remember who each other are 🙂

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