Grow up or go support Manchester City.

4 Mar

Wednesday evening is proudly sponsored by a punch to the gut. A horrible low blow of a night that leaves Brentford still second, everyone, but now locked tighter than ever with Swansea City and Watford at the business end of the Championship. Norwich City an incredible ten points clear at the top after a thoroughly deserved 1-0 victory over the Bees. No complaints about how it played out at Carrow Road, beyond their gratuitous use of goal music, although what came afterwards left a somewhat numb feeling in the stomach. The usual suspects lining up to put the boot into one player – the apparent desire to see him fail and subsequent relish that accompanied what was, admittedly, a poor showing by his standards, very much a showcase for both the frustrating side of social media as it was their own ignorance as to how the season, the squad and the club work. A blinkered avoidance of the fact that, on the night, the entire team were very much second best to a  Norwich side that may aswell start ordering in their 2021/22 Panini sticker books now. 

No complaints. Sadly

It all started off so brightly. David Raya standing up to Teemu Pukki with the Norwich goal machine clean through. Barely minutes on the clock. He should have scored. Ian Moose would, no doubt, have gobbled that one up (or demonstrated how to do so on the training ground afterwards) but the Brentford goalkeeper maintained his composure and ensured we didn’t concede a customary early goal. 

Yet if this was to be a warning sign it spurred the Bees into life. Running 100mph at our hosts, Sergi Canos hit a stunning drive from distance that Tim Krul did well to parry away. The same player then guilty of a brutal looking miss after magnificent work down the right hand flank by Mbeumo. The winger squaring it for the Spaniard who, somehow, steered it horribly wide rather than stroking it home from his unmarked position yards out. Whether he slipped or got tangled up in his own feet, I’ve no idea. Either way, it should have been 1-0. Either way it looked awful.

Ivan Toney and Canos again had chances. The former perhaps with the better of the pair before it all went South. A sloppy pass from Sergi allowing Norwich to turn defence into attack. They broke at speed, opening up the Brentford defence as easily as they would a packet of biscuits. The ball found Emi Buendía who made no mistake, shooting through a crowd of players low into the far corner. 25 minutes gone. 1-0 Norwich City. Brentford very much on the back foot after a sterling start to proceedings. The social media hate mob now going full tilt for Sergi. A player who, at most, as suggested at half-time by Sam Saunders in the Sky Sports studios was guilty of nothing more than trying too hard against his former club. Sam’s right.     

And that was it. The first half ended quicker than you can say ‘keyboard warrior’. The second half saw Norwich City dominant. Mbeumo disappearing as quickly as he had sparked into early life. Winston Reid riding the gauntlet of yellow cards. Obvious changes with Tariqe Fosu and Christian Norgaard, amongst the players to come on, doing nothing to change the momentum of the game. Hello? Are we going to put the boot in? Hello..? Twitter..?  Both players powerless to stem the yellow tide. If anything, Norwich grew stronger. Brentford failing to even come within a sniff beyond a last minute surge when rough play in the box on Bryan Mbeumo went unpunished. Penalty? Surely? No!! I’ve seen them given, Clive. 100% VAR gets it right. 100%. The irony given what came later in the evening for Swansea City. 

Hmmm….

In short…. best team in the Championship proved why they are so far clear at the top. Established first team player has ad-hoc bad game and isn’t Benrahma. Rest of his team mates unable to do anything better against deserving winners.

Insert Face palm. We’re still second, everyone, but Saturday at home to Rotherham United is one where we’ll definitely be looking for a return to winning ways. Despite their own battle with relegation, I’m going into that game with an expectation of nothing more than three points. It’s a crucial time with the chasing pack breathing back down our necks and Swansea City boosted by a 95th minute winner at Stoke City. Kyle Naughton’s theatrical fall after Jack Clarke was deemed to have breathed on him being sufficient to earn the Swans a late, late penalty. Andre Ayew duly converted it to earn his side an additional two points after the scores had been locked at 1-1 for so long.

That’s football. Decisions go for you. Decisions go against you. We can’t change it and there’s no point crying. Get the inevitable frustration out and then look forward. For Brentford, that game with the Millers. Swansea host Middlesbrough and Watford entertain Nottingham Forest at lunchtime. We may well have been overtaken by the time we start and, if we are, that’s fine. The only thing that counts is how we perform at 3pm. On and off the pitch.

I do wonder what social media would have been like had it been as easily available in the Butcher / Rosenior eras, amongst others. When we were skint. When we had to have a fanzine buy us a player. When we were rattling buckets and kicking around the lower end of League One or Two. When the stadium was falling apart around us. 

Whilst I loved those times, unquestionably, let’s not pretend that things were always rosy. There was some absolute dross served up to go with, what was, an incredible bond between fans and players. We were all in it together. Fans united in our love for the club and brutal acceptance that we were where we were. Still with the dream of bettering ourselves. Still cheering our team and our heroes on. In person. Now, the keyboard warriors are out there doing their thing from the safety of their mummy’s house. 

Nobody expects blind loyalty. That’s as dangerous as failing to recognise consistent poor performance or accepting it because we used to be genuinely awful. Yet the over reaction from certain quarters to what was, absolutely, a mistake littered performance was shameful. The blinkered, hypocritical witch-in-chief leading the charge to put a hobnailed boot in once more. Take a look at yourself, learn to read a game, learn to recognise that a football team still has ten other players and that a season lasts for 46 games. Learn to accept that, perhaps sometimes, the opposition might just be a better team than us. Learn how our club works and that nobody has infinite supplies of cash. Then grow up or go support Manchester City.

I know I’m shouting into the wind here. Just as they are. The players and staff don’t read that crud. Or this. But it doesn’t make it right. Now, time to move on and focus on Rotherham. And breathe. Perhaps updating the social media ‘follows’. Nobody needs that nonsense either.

Nick Bruzon

18 Responses to “Grow up or go support Manchester City.”

  1. Simon Sapper March 4, 2021 at 7:17 am #

    Well said Nick!

  2. Max March 4, 2021 at 8:07 am #

    Agree with this nick.Norwich deserved to win and deserve to go up .we probably should of had a pen ,swans do seem to get them .no point digging out one player (especially one that loves the club and has genuinely played well for us) .just the names rosenior and butcher send shivers down my spine .Now on to the next game as we are going to need the sort of points at the end of this season that we have had in the last two seasons.

  3. Brighton Bee March 4, 2021 at 8:53 am #

    Entirely agree with your comments Nick, Norwich deserved their win on the night. Yes, Sergi should have scored and yes he shouldn’t have attempted that silly cross field pass that lead to their goal. However, it’s a team game and there were 10 other players (plus subs) on the pitch last night that could and should have had more of an influence on the game. Collectively, except for a 15 minute spell in the first half, they just weren’t at it last night. So we move on to Saturday where hopefully we can get a vital win to keep our second place. We cannot influence what the likes of Swansea and their questionable tactics do we can only concentrate on ourselves which hopefully will be good enough at the end of the season.

  4. Esher Bee March 4, 2021 at 9:28 am #

    Well spoken Nick. We would have taken this position at the start of the season, and don’t forget we are still missing several key players.

  5. Levenshulme-Blue March 4, 2021 at 9:38 am #

    “Grow up or go and support Manchester City”? What does that mean? What are you implying? That we’re glory hunters or something? The Manchester City that has traditionally amongst the biggest home attendances in the country and still holds the biggest attendance record for a game outside Wembley since 1934? You cheeky bastard. There’s no glory hunting here, they all support Liverpool or Manchester United.

    Cheeky twat. Apologise, right fuckin now!

    • nickbruzon March 4, 2021 at 1:23 pm #

      AS previous, implying nothing more than you being the form team in Europe at present. Cracking run

  6. Blue Mancunian March 4, 2021 at 9:42 am #

    We don’t need any more bandwagon jumpers. Stay where you are. And if Norwich are coming back up, make it worthwhile this time

  7. Minky Bee March 4, 2021 at 10:57 am #

    Succinctly put Nick. We move on…..

  8. Rod Davidson March 4, 2021 at 11:27 am #

    Sergi is a confidence player, the trouble is there isn’t always someone around to throw an arm around his shoulders. His hat trick earlier in the season was greeted with glee by all of his teammates, so his ability is not necessarily in question – but his consistency is.
    The passion seems to have ebbed out of the team – there is something is not quite right in my opinion.
    Question: Where is the fervour and edge previously shown by Ivan Toney. He was previously acting as a self appointed and in your face spokesman, an additional captain if you like, an inspiration that was most welcome.
    In the team there are too many misplaced passes, two of those, almost identical – and in quick succession that went out of play, were from Ethan Pinnock bringing the ball out of defence. There was no pressure – so why?
    The lack tempo, the lack of chances being created for Ivan Toney and lack of overall sustained pressure perhaps affecting Ivan as well – hence his less passionate spurring on of the troops, needs rectifying
    But that should be ‘butt kicking’ time – someone to say for goodness sake get this thing right.
    We are second in the league, so have a talented group of players but we don’t put teams under sustained pressure anymore ( we did in the final 10 minutes it’s true) but we seem to have lost any physiological advantage we previously had over teams and leave it too late in games to try to exercise that once held advantage.
    Come back Pontus – you are desperately needed for your presence ability and most of all VOICE.

  9. David Carney March 4, 2021 at 11:42 am #

    Excellent piece, except…..I struggle with your words ‘…Nobody expects blind loyalty…’ because at a time when things do not go well, or in fact go absolutely pear shaped, then loyalty is very important. It is precisely at those times of that support and loyalty is so very important. The players are human, they have feelings and they need support mores when things are not going well than when they are winning easily.
    Unfortunately there is always a miserable, negative minority that seem to celebrate and thrive upon another persons adversity, most likely because as individuals they have achieved so little in life, are bereft of ability themselves and, as a generalisation are fairly miserable and sad individuals with few friends who go through life being mostly ignored. The one thing they become expert in is abuse and in the turbo charged emotional world of Sport their criticism is heard.
    It is these miserable peoples moment in the sun and they relish the attention. The best thing to do is ignore them but because they are like a boil on the bottom, constantly there, constantly irritating – in reality they are a pain in the a…
    So, loyalty is a requirement of being a supporter because there will be bad times and good times. I have seen my fair share of rubbish since 1954, but that only made me a stronger supporter because I have yet to see a Brentford player that did not give their best in every game, whether they were good or not so good players. Although I have lived in Australia for 4 years I am no less loyal than the time when I was at every home game at Griffin Park – one before those brainless individuals you described more politely had Social media to use as a megaphone.

    • Levenshulme-Blue March 4, 2021 at 11:51 am #

      Message to Nick.

      What do you mean by stating “go and support Manchester City”? Is this supposed to be a negative, implying that we are gloryhunters? I think you should apologise for this slur. City are well known for the loyalty of their crowd, we had attendances of over 30,000 back when we spent our one season in Division 2, as it was, in 1998/1999 beating the large majority of the Premier League teams at that time. We hold many crowd attendance records, to this day, and have had many many crowds of over 20,000 MORE than Anfields top attendance. We STILL hold the record crowd attendance of over 84,000 for a game held at Wembley.

      You want glory hunters? Head to Old Trafford and Anfield.

      You should apologise for casting untrue aspersions.

      • nickbruzon March 4, 2021 at 12:45 pm #

        Errr, no. It’s a recognition of the fact you are winning game after game after game. A level of success some of our fanbase tank we should have as the norm. Chill your jets and congrats on winning the title

      • Martin O'Brien March 4, 2021 at 2:26 pm #

        Lev, if you will forgive such familiarity. The comment is a criticism of some of our more spittle bedecked supporters who sulk and who love to have whipping boys when things go wrong. The reference to City is aimed at them. If Liverpool had matched your remarkable feat they would have been referenced, same with Man U or even Sheff U, if they had done it.

        As your affectionate friend dare I suggest you follow your own advice, and apologise.

    • nickbruzon March 4, 2021 at 5:30 pm #

      Thanks David – to clarify by ‘blind loyalty’. I support my team and am never going to put the boot in like so many do, but… I also think it is vital to remain cogniscent of the things we could have done better.
      How else do you improve?
      There is a distinct difference between analysis/ awareness of the good/ bad and just plain, blinkered vitriol.
      I guess that’s what I’m trying to put across but perhaps a different phrase would have made it clearer

  10. Russell Sheldon March 4, 2021 at 1:38 pm #

    Excellent piece and so true.
    I remember the 60s and 70s. The financial traumas ; the hard tackles; Hoofing the ball high in the sky down the pitch. Going to all the finals, leaving deflated and dejected. Leaving the ground on a cold winters Tuesday evening, chilled to the bone. Seing Brentford lose to Bury 3-1. Yet, we cheered our hearts out during the match.
    Who the could have imagined 60 odd years on we would be witenssing the beautiful game we see today at Brentford. The skills, thrills and artistry we now enjoy. Yes we get upset when we loose, but that is passion and it will ways be there.
    One thing whichl hope will remain is the warm, friendly family club it has always been.
    Thank you Thomas, the team, management and staff for bringing to us a truly wonderful experience, one we could only have dreamt about all those years ago.

  11. Martin O'Brien March 4, 2021 at 2:35 pm #

    The fuss about Sergi’s pass is over the top. In that area you should be ambitious. It is a risk and reward thing. Given the amount of players who could have defended our goal better, I think the blame needs sharing.

    Disappointing result with a mixed performance. Understand some criticism, but not a bad showing. We need to show some manners and pay respect to the opponents as well.

  12. Alan Truman March 4, 2021 at 6:28 pm #

    I agree with everything you said Nick you were spot on.

  13. Charles Lyons March 5, 2021 at 1:48 pm #

    There has been a very noticeable drop off in performance for the last 12 or 14 games, mainly unforced errors and unable to cope with the high press and professional fouls. Don’t mention the Wycombe game where we struggled for a hour or Reading where Reading ran out of steam. I have seen no evidence of a planB or any changes to stop the drop in performance . The last 20% of the season has arrived and if we are to get promoted something will have to change as we will playing teams fighting for survival, who certainly will not allow Brentford to slowly pass the ball around. I do not blame individuals but hope that as a group they can sort this out. Statements which can be seen as arrogant or spin do not help.
    I have been following the Bees since 1954 and seen it all. Or nearly!

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