We’ve finally jumped the shark. Off-pitch, at least.

5 Oct

Disgraceful. Appalling. Spineless. I’ve not seen such a lousy and shameful performance in a long, long time. And I’ve been supporting Brentford FC for over forty years. But hey. Enough about our yoof element and their Twitter opinions. Thankfully, the club is run by professionals rather than a committee of angry school kids. Just imagine if social media had been available in the Butcher, Rosenior, Noades, W£bb eras ! How quickly people forget about the Marinus experiment. And most of this ranting was before we’d even stepped out against Preston. By the time our 2-0 half time lead had turned to a 4-2 humping, the nuclear button had been long pressed all over the internet. On a day Manchester United were one short of being bracketed at home and Liverpool succumbed to that fate at Aston Villa (including an Ollie Watkins hat-trick), perspective is needed . Of sorts.

About the one part of Twitter we can reproduce – this, from ‘official’

If you use Twitter you’ve no doubt seen all the vitriol. The nonsense. The whinning self-pity or pathetic justification of the abuse being doled out to certain players. The expectation that we should be a Premier League side and somehow falling short of those lofty aspirations by not wining every game 20-0 is a cardinal sin.  The abuse handed out to other supporters for having the temerity to even question this. Those brave keyboard warriors wading in before their bedtime. 

Personally, I just find it utterly baffling. There’s clearly no ability to read a game, to understand our club or for that matter, football. And I say this prior to the Preston performance. Which was a disgrace to the word performance. Ivan Toney taking two magnificent goals that should have set Brentford on the way to 7th(seventh) place. Instead, the second period saw our defence fall apart like Leeds United on steroids.

That’s football. It’s inexplicable. Perhaps inexcusable. The team losing their way the second Christian Norgaard limped off. Only Josh Dasilva and Sergi Canos keeping us in it. But one man shouldn’t make that much of a difference and for whatever reason, they were off their game today. Marcondes invisible. Jensen likewise. Benrahma a shadow of the talent who electrified us on Thursday night. The back four leakier than Julian Assange. Sometimes it happens. When one or two go awol, the rest of the team can generally cover them. Do it en-masse and you bring on the inevitable. Which in this case was four goals conceded in 18 second half minutes. What looked at one stage like certain victory turned into a brutal humbling.

Credit to Preston, btw. They went for it and got what they deserved. Bang. Bang. Bang. Bang. Goal followed goal followed goal followed goal. Ivan Toney’s early brace rendered nothing more than a statistical nicety. The opportunity was there and they took it. No complaints here. No sour grapes.

For me, the big take away was Brentford fan social media. Genuinely, I don’t get it. My longevity as a supporter doesn’t make my opinion or viewpoint any more relevant or important than that of those who have jumped on the Brentford bandwagon in more recent years. We want the club to grow. We want our stadium full. We want new supporters. 

I’ve seen a lot of awfulness over those forty years. I’ve had a lot of fun, too. Yet until Matthew Benham came along we know that the good times were very much the thin end of the wedge. A genuine playing talent something that came long once every five years and was inevitably sold the second we received our first offer.

Now, we’re generally winning for fun. We’re turning vast profit on our transfer business as though that was the BAU model for any football club. Watching Ollie Watkins and Ezri Konsa destroy Liverpool at Aston Villa on Sunday evening just another reminder of how well our former players do when making that next step. How much we make, funds vital for keeping alive a club that was shaking buckets in easy living memory, when they take that leap.   

So why are ‘fans’ now so quick to turn on a team that have already reached the quarter-finals of the league cup and had picked up 4 points out of 9 prior to what was an absolute debacle? Why the hate campaign from certain quarters against certain players? Why the expectation that we should win every game? Why the calls for Thomas Frank’s head? Of course people get upset about losing but this has been going on well before that. It’s almost as though they relished the excuse of a diabolical showing – we’ve chucked in a couple a season as long as I’ve been coming – to really then let rip.

I can’t answer that. Lonely? Self-indulgent? Craving attention? Small penis? Who knows? Brentford were bobbins but it was one game. But for those arbitrary moments on which football turns we would have drawn or beaten Birmingham City. Millwall away is never easy but we still took a point. Huddersfield were annihilated. We were shocking against Preston. All round. But one lousy performance in weird circumstances does not even come close to justifying some of the abuse being dished out. And yes, there is a mute button. Or a block. But this isn’t about that. It’s about trying to get the head round why anybody who purports to be a fan thinks this is even vaguely appropriate at any time. Let alone when we have a new stadium, a team that came so close last time out and a solid start to the season. For me, Clive, this really was the moment they jumped the shark (and kids, if you are somehow reading – if you can read – go look that one up).

Was Sunday the moment we finally jumped the shark on social media?

It’s not been electric in the league but we are getting better as our team adjust to a new striker and an absent Benrahma / Raya. Sunday WAS horrific but it was one game. Look at Nottingham Forest whose record reads LLLL. Look at Manchester United – shipping six goals at home to Spurs. Liverpool took an absolute tonking at Aston Villa. Even I’d agree with Dean Smith that his team ‘deserved to win’ this one. Not everybody can do it every game. Although, apparently, Brentford must. 

I could go on but, really, what’s the point? I’d love to win every match but that’s just not how football works. If you are of the mentality that bullying certain players, calling for a successful head coach to be sacked and abusing fellow fans is justifiable then this won’t change a thing. If you are in the other camp then we already agree.  Players have off games and it is absolutely right and proper that we can comment on it. That we can analyse a game. See who might have done better or been switched. But that requires a brain. Requires a genuine opinion. Requires the ability to reply without having to resort to ‘f*ck off’ or ’n*nce’ as your counter argument to anyone trying to defend our team.

We had a stinker. No question. It was rancid . But it was also one game. Get over yourselves, kids. Try showing a bit of support. Try enjoying yourself. Teams don’t win every game. Team have off days. Players have shockers. Looks at Manchester United. Look at Liverpool. Errr, Klopp out?? 

Hey, perhaps he can take over from Thomas Frank. Alternatively, get a grip.

At times like this there can be only one explanation

Nick Bruzon

6 Responses to “We’ve finally jumped the shark. Off-pitch, at least.”

  1. Jonathanm October 5, 2020 at 8:29 am #

    I agree with you Nick. Supporters are people who SUPPORT the team. That means through thick and thin. These morons on social media are not supporters but people who have jumped onto the Brentford bandwagon when it suits them.
    Performances like yesterday used to be regular occurrences that supporters watched week in and week out but still kept supporting the team.
    Now that defeats like yesterdays are rare is not an excuse to turn on the team or on individual players.
    We are still the best team in the championship.
    UP THE BEES.
    Jonathan

  2. Jonny October 5, 2020 at 8:43 am #

    I’m so thankful to my past self for deleting Twitter about a week ago!

  3. Vee Bee October 5, 2020 at 1:53 pm #

    Oh well at least 6 goals a game isn’t boring, if nothing else. Meanwhile we’ll done to Dean, and the other Villa Bees: will Ezri or Ollie be the next Bee graduate to pull on an England shirt?

  4. Bernard Quackenbush (@BernardQuack) October 5, 2020 at 4:39 pm #

    Embarrassing
    The Bees performance yesterday. Defence asleep. Emiliano & Jensen missing. Mbeumo awful.
    Embarrassing
    The comments and hatred from some so called supporters directed at Sergi, Emiliano and Thomas before a ball was even kicked
    Embarrassing
    The nastiness aimed at Nick and others who dared express an opinion different to theirs. In particular to the vile comments made to the 16yo girl who encouraged them to get behind all 11 players

    I am pretty sure its probably the same group of people who had the YouTube fight against Millwall. A fight so pathetic and laughable that i have seen drunk women in high heels outside a beachside bar throw more convincing punches. Now that was truly embarrassing

  5. Edward Lloyd Hutchinson October 5, 2020 at 9:51 pm #

    After approximately 25 years as a third tier club (which I actually enjoyed, it felt as homely as the team and surroundings), being where we are now is still a shock to the system, and all thanks to Mr. Benham. Okay, it feels weird that, without fans allowed in, Brentford have achieved their highest league placing for 73 years and reached the League Cup quarter-finals for the first time. We’ve not started brilliantly in the League (and the last 45 minutes of Bees play merited an ‘X’ certificate), but we managed just 12 points from our first 11 games last time out and look what happened. Fancy ditching the Great Dane for a return of My Old Dutch, who did the un-English thing and blamed a player by name for a goal conceded? I’ll stick rather than twist, thanks.

    • hobbo October 6, 2020 at 6:56 pm #

      l would love to shove the morons keyboards somewhere the sun don’t shine Nick ,sideways in fact. real supporters they are not.

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