And for our next trick, watch as the dog makes this homework disappear.

2 Jan

New Year, same Covid. Brentford saw this afternoon’s game with Bristol City canned last night after the visitors declared that due to a number of their squad apparently exhibiting Corona virus symptoms, and the testing laboratory being closed for the bank holiday so they couldn’t know for sure, they would be unable to safely fulfil the fixture. The timing of the sudden outbreak of symptoms to an injury hit squad (at least 8 at the last count) combined with the inability to perform any testing is one which had supporters up in arms. Fishy is not the word. Jose Mourinho would describe the late cancellation of Spurs game against FulhamL as being like Under-13s football. One can only imagine what the Tottenham boss would make of this one.

Everyone at Brentford FC sends their best wishes to Bristol City for a safe and speedy recovery to all those who are affected.” (as opposed to infected ) said the diplomatic blurb from Official on Twitter that went with the announcement. I do wonder what they made of the situation behind closed doors but the narrative on the BBC home page regarding the three games impacted by Corona Virus said it exactly as it was. Read into this what you will.

The BBC website last night

Genuinely, one hopes nobody is ill. The frustration here being the late cancellation of a game in what reads as somewhat murky circumstances. The story is one that, at face value, is about as fishy as Michael Fish dodging a salad to eat fish and chips in Dodge City whilst listening to the greatest hits of pop music’s Dodgy. A Bristol City team who had been pushing for the play-offs but fallen out of contention after losing four of their last five games. A team decimated by injury. A team due to travel to the Championship’s form club. A team who the day before the game suddenly declare an out break of ‘symptoms’, not confirmed cases, but are unable to prove this due to an inability to get tested in this brief window. Hmmmm. Read into this what you will.

An artist’s impressionif it’s good enough for them

The club won’t say anything. They don’t need to. Thomas Frank will, of course, avoid getting himself or us into trouble. Perhaps there will be good wishes to our opponents and then that will be it. Brentford now facing a sudden gap in the fixture list and needing to crowbar this in somewhere else. A Bank Holiday Saturday now cut short and the chance to spend some more time  in our own company now upon us instead. Urghh. We’ll have to do something.

The flip side to all of this, if I can grasp for any positive, is the chance to restore some fitness. Next Saturday is the FA Cup game with Middlesbrough and one in which, no doubt, the team will be made up of fringe players and those normally used to starting on the bench. With our next league game the trip to Reading on January 16th, it does mean we’ll have had a break of over two weeks without Championship action or international call ups. Might it tempt Thomas to start at full strength against Spurs on Tuesday night? If for no other reason than to keep things ticking over. The selection for the League cup semi-final was always going to be a divisive one, whichever way he went. Show faith with those that have got us this far or strengthen the team even more? After all, the ‘W’ place in North London is only 90 minutes away.

My own feeling is that he would have stuck with the Newcastle side. Now, he’ll go for the one that beat Bournemouth. Perhaps with the exception of Luke Daniels. Our reserve ‘keeper more than earning his own chance on merit this season and, were it not for the outstanding ability of David Raya, would surely have had more starts.

That Tottenham game is all to come. For now, we have an afternoon off. A chance to watch the other results roll in as Brentford sit tight. Time spent kicking our heels instead of looking to extend that unbeaten run further. Perhaps evening finishing off our Christmas holiday’s homework, assuming the dog hasn’t eaten it.

The closest we’ll get to anything at Lionel Road today

Nick Bruzon

3 Responses to “And for our next trick, watch as the dog makes this homework disappear.”

  1. Brighton Bee January 2, 2021 at 9:58 am #

    We would all hope that nobody has contracted this awful virus at Bristol City but I agree with you Nick, the circumstances about how this postponement has come about seem highly questionable. A possible silver lining is that it may give our lads a much deserved rest but I’m sure TF and the players would have preferred to keep the momentum going.

  2. Roy Bolter January 2, 2021 at 11:15 am #

    This story probably made headlines in the Angling Times

  3. David Carney January 2, 2021 at 12:44 pm #

    What an absolute sham.
    Bristol City should be made to play the game with players that have been tested and are clear of Covid, even if that comprises boys from the Academy.
    If it smells fishy it almost certainly is fishy.
    Bristol are a team that on current form would be in a relegation place in the League Table and, as you noted, a visit to Brentford right now has spooked them.
    I would have thought that with a modicum of effort Bristol City could have managed to get players and officials tested for Covic. After all, it is not as though Covic has suddenly arrived. Don’t they have a first class Medical support crew at bristol. is the Club managed by crisis with no planning, or did they not realise that over Christmas and the New Year period they would have needed to plan for their players welfare and meet their obligations to the EFL and other Championship teams to ensure they were capable of fielding 11 players and a handful of substitutes for fixtures they have known about for months.
    I could go on, but those that should be turning the screws on Bristol are probably on holiday at the EFL. After all, the EFL is responsible for running one of the most competitive Football Leagues in the World. The EFL should be managing the process so that people like Nick Bruzon and others do not need ask obvious questions.
    If Bristol City are not up to turning up for a scheduled match, prepared to stand up to the contest then they should forfeit the 3 points to Brentford and something like a 2 goal margin as well.
    As it stands, Brentford will likely be penalised later in the season for, s you say, crowbarring a fixture into an overcrowded fixture list, whilst Bristol City try to somehow get their team to again play above their ability later in the season and try to sneak a point they don’t deserve.

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