We’re Brentford, not Manchester City. Was football’s dirtiest trick delivered off pitch?

18 Feb

Well done. Well done everyone. After 30 games Brentford sit second in the Championship table. Only Norwich City above us. Still just over a third of the season to go and the Bees find themselves higher than just about everyone else in the division. Look at Birmingham City, for example, who lost again last night to further strengthen their grip on the relegation spots. Ten times better indeed. Look at Bristol City, who have just sacked their manager after losing six on the bounce. The fact of the matter is that we did go down to QPR last night. A 2-1 reverse thanks to a brace of rapid fire second half goals after we’d gone in for our cuppas leading c/o Ivan Toney, but if was only our fifth reverse of the season. Coming off the back of the Barnsley result , and at a time we’d hit the top spots, of course it’s going to look dramatic but am I bothered? No. Stressed? Definitely not. Frustrated at an opportunity lost? Absolutely. With the other teams around us all winning it wasn’t a great time to drop points but by the same virtue, the table doesn’t lie. Cliche alert: the league is a marathon not a snickers. Could we please all just try to avoid meltdown.

The look on Sergi’s face says it all

Positives from the specific 90 minutes in Shepherds Bush? Another goal for Ivan Toney. The most sublime of touches on the half hour to steer home a free kick from Matthias Jensen and give Brentford the lead. In an open and fast paced game, at complete odds to the turgid slug fest when Barnsley came to town, it was a breath of fresh air. Moreso the somewhat unusual concept of ‘scoring first’. It was a lead which reflected the balance of play and suggested usual form had returned as quickly as it had departed. You know, doom mongers, the form that saw us go unbeaten from late October through to a Sunday in the middle of February.

The second half , however, saw our hosts decide to turn it up. Its almost like they had a Plan A but decided to do it better. Nothing really changed beyond the arrival of Sam Field from the bench. It took just over a quarter hour into his home debut to level things up. A strong finish which saw his side take the scores to 1-1. Cardboard cutouts making more noise than the regular support could ever hope to i.e. none. Urghh, back to square one. Or should that be square minus one as just moments later Charlie Austin made it 2. A defection assisting his effort but they all count. The lead taken. Minutes earlier we’d been sitting pretty. Now we were in the catch up position with just a quarter hour to go. Sadly, we couldn’t . Catch up, that is. It ended 2-1 to QPR. Go to the BBC, Beesotted or ‘official’ if you want a full match report. We’ve all seen or heard what happened already.

A painful night. As much as anything else because Swansea City, Norwich City, Bournemouth and Watford (on Tuesday) all won. Brentford the only team to drop promotion points. I cold moan, gripe and whine but there’s no point. It won’t change anything and, besides, what’s the benefit? Is it even needed? Of course not. Only Swansea City have lost less games than Brentford all season (their 4 to our 5).  We’re not Manchester City. We don’t have infinite riches and talent. We’re not Glasgow Rangers or Celtic. The Championship is the toughest division in Europe in terms of relative strength of participants. This is anything but a case of flat track bullies in a league deprived of any genuine opposition. 

Let’s not forget, either, that players must be knackered. Not just from Brentford but from all clubs. Another set of two games a week and no end in sight. Our next set of games without a midweek fixture comes between 6 and 13 March ; it stretches back as far as a I care to remember and the fact that we are even in contention is nothing to be sniffed at. That we’ve kept up this relentless run of form vastly impressive. At the end of the day , Clive, we’ve lost two games. Hardly shot the dog or bedded our best friend’s other half. If it has to happen then better for it to be now than, oh I don’t know, say in the last two games of the season.

I’m not a (complete) idiot. I’d obviously rather have won. I’m gutted to have lost to that lot and their low brand shenanigans. We were accused of bringing 200 fans into the game at Lionel Road. That’s well documented. I can’t condone who, or what, they smuggled in last night. Or possibly photoshopped. Just what the heck was this all about? Definitely not funny but I suppose when cheap shots are all you have to play for then take the victories where you can. If any younger viewers are reading then look away now. Thanks to the GPG for spotting this one…..

Yeah, we lost. Tears at bedtime. That’s just from H but he was over it by the time we got to the next chapter of Harry Potter and the Expecto Fartus spell (having got through a ton of books, we’re now having to improve home made stories – and they stink). All is fine this morning. Perspective regained. Frustration still lingering but that’s no bad thing. The desire to keep going and do better now key. 

Ethan Pinnock, dropped for this one, will I’m sure be back for Coventry on Saturday. That’s a lunchtime kick off and so by the time Norwich and Swansea run out at 3pm one could well imagine the ever-changing table to have another new look.

We can’t change what happened last night. Sh*t happens. That’s life. That’s football. What counts now is how we react at the weekend then at home to Sheffield Wednesday and Stoke City. We’re still second in the Championship. Second. In. The. Championship. That’s huge. Brentford still have to play Norwich City, amongst others. Let’s just focus on ourselves for now. Remember how we got there. Starting this weekend.

As Thomas said in his post-match conference, “It is very important that we are calm … we have not suddenly become a bad team, you could see that first-half.” Who am I to say otherwise? Now bring on Coventry City.

The table doesn’t lie

Nick Bruzon   

9 Responses to “We’re Brentford, not Manchester City. Was football’s dirtiest trick delivered off pitch?”

  1. Brighton Bee February 18, 2021 at 8:02 am #

    Another hugely frustrating game last night and I kind of agree with your comments Nick but I am left wondering if our failure to adequately strengthen in the last transfer window (unlike our closest rivals) is having a detrimental effect on our team. Like you, I hope that there is a positive response on Saturday.

    • Andrew February 18, 2021 at 10:40 am #

      Central defence in the continued absence of Pontus is the main area of concern and likely to remain so until his return.

      • Max February 18, 2021 at 9:42 pm #

        I think that we have decent enough players at centre back but we badly miss a leader.

  2. ROY 75 year Bee February 18, 2021 at 11:26 am #

    Let QPR have their moment of glory we are STILL 13 places and 21 points ahead, we will come back, come on you BEESSSSS

  3. Richard Garratt February 18, 2021 at 1:00 pm #

    I’m a Norwich fan and full of respect for Brentford over the last goodness how many seasons. Always there and thereabouts and should have been promoted previously. Like Norwich you have an identity and a stable vision of where you want to be. Excellent manager and possibly the best (and sadly most sustainable if you – like Norwich – have to sell every so often) transfer model. Brentford recently has been the game I have looked forward to and been pleased and relieved when we have got points. Looking forward to next season – dare I say it….(well I won’t tempt fate but you know what I mean). Looking forward to seeing your new ground.

  4. Jack P February 18, 2021 at 2:16 pm #

    Nick, I am surprised that as someone who had the brass neck to pull the very amusing stunt of getting himself featured in a rival’s match day programme as a long time ‘supporter’, you didn’t feel it appropriate to recognise in a more sporting fashion the cheeky swipe at us courtesy of the cardboard PG (photoshopped or otherwise), who popped up in the ‘crowd’ at Loftus Road last night. I am as sore as you at the defeat but have to acknowledge a creative bit of shithousery when you see it.

  5. Ken Luckett February 18, 2021 at 4:26 pm #

    Where has the Brentford passing game gone? In the last two games they have resorted to route 1 hoofing the ball upfield towards a lone striker, which then comes straight back through a mid field dominated by the opposition.
    I know they have players out and one of the best managers, so perhaps this will be sorted out.

    • Maybee February 18, 2021 at 9:40 pm #

      Absolutely agree with this . The aimless hoofing in the 2nd half v rangers was worrying. We need to get back to passing the ball. Maybe the return of a fresh norgard will help .

  6. Brighton Bee February 18, 2021 at 11:13 pm #

    In my first response I was trying to remain positive but I have to agree with the comments of Ken Luckett and Maybee. Whether by design or getting dragged down to QPRs level, the continued absence of our consistent passing game was very worrying. Hoofing the ball aimlessly forward will never win football matches, I thought we also resorted to this tactic against Barnsley. My other pet gripe was that I lost count of how many times Jensen lost the ball or put in a misplaced pass, particularly in the second half. Yes, I know we are still second in the league, yes I know we have more points than this time last season but TF needs to turn it around on Saturday otherwise I really fear that this current poor run (for us) will become a habitant none of us want that!

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