I gave you every break possible. You had a 50-50 chance. You weren’t even close.

17 Mar

A point on the road and avoiding defeat. Something you’d normally be ok with. Moreso with one of your main promotion rivals falling to a 3-0 defeat. Yet there’s nothing but a hollow feeling this morning off the back of as frustrating an evening as they come. Brentford were held 2-2 at Wayne Rooney’s Derby County in a game that saw us electric in the first half and anonymous in the second. Early goals from Ivan Toney and Sergi Canos setting our stall out but there was always the feeling that missed opportunities, primarily one from Bryan Mbeumo, may come back to bite us in the second period. Its Brentford, innit? Yet there was no legislating for how costly our inability to punish opponents when they were looking dead on their feet would ultimately transpire to be. The aforementioned defeat for Swansea City at Bournemouth providing scant relief in the face of our own disappearance and Watford cruising past Rotherham 4-1. Saturday’s game with Nottingham Forest will be huge. Another early kick off to try and lay down a marker. A chance to exorcise the demons of the second half.

Cripes, it all started so well. A return for Pontus Jansson alongside Winston Reid at centre back in his first game of the year. Wayne Roon etc etc  Derby County so anonymous in that opening period we could have filled the defence with a couple of paper bags fluttering around randomly in the breeze and we’d have been just as safe. Bryan Mbeumo and Sergi Canos, the other change to the team, driving us forward. Norgaard and, especially Janelt, imperious in the middle. Vitaly winning every ball and breaking with speed. Ivan Toney doing his thing from the penalty spot once more with less than ten minutes gone after Mbeumo had been felled in the box. No complaints from Derby and about as stonewall as they come.  

It was another one stroked home to the bottom corner. Another one preceded by that most heart stoping of almost nonchalant ambling up to the ball before unleashing a trademark precision strike. 1-0 up and soon it was double. Canos getting our second from the corner of the box with a fine shot, hit low into the corner. Tariqe Fosu may feel hard done by, and personally I thought he’d retain his spot following the game at Blackburn, but Sergi was there to to do what he does. To show the critics just why he deserves his chance.

2-0. Sergi did his thing…

In between these came the Mbeumo opportunity. Jensen bursting clear and squaring to the unmarked wideman. He was clear, albeit on the angle, but  somehow managed to hit it painfully wide rather than coming close to even troubling Derby ‘keeper Kelle Roos. It wasn’t the only chance we had in that period but certainly the clearest. The sort that might have had Ian Moose punching the directions to the training ground into his sat nav. With the pressure building and the Derby goal being peppered, it was the sort of half where we felt hard done by in ‘only’ scoring twice. Arrogant? Not really. More symptomatic of the possession we’d enjoyed and chances we’d created in one of the most intense periods of football we’ve played this season. Yet, as we all know, stats and chances count for nothing if you can’t turn them into goals. If the first half had been nothing but Brentford, the second period saw the baton handed to our hosts in quite remarkable style.

Wayne Rooney has been lauded for the triple substitution he made as the players returned. Rightly so. Derby hadn’t been at the races and drastic action was needed.. There was no messing around. No further opportunity for the no-shows to redeem themselves. Instead, a change in set up was the decision and what a reaction. Within minutes they’d pulled the first goal back. Nathan Byrne bursting down the right and squaring the ball for Louie Watson with the simplest of chances. He made no mistake as he steered home from close in. Now we had a game on our hands. Now we saw 2-0 and dominant become 2-1 and wobbly with almost the entire second period to play. Brentford resembling nothing more than punch drunk boxer. Derby raining strike after strike in a bid to find that knockout blow. The Bees on the ropes, offering nothing. Hanging on to a 2-1 lead and waiting until the final twenty minutes to start making changes. 

The arrival of Tariqe Fosu providing some respite as we began to open up the Rams but there was little end product from anyone to provide a genuine threat to Roos. The feeling that a second Derby goal was coming growing by the minute and then, with the clock reading 86, it arrived. Louie Sibley making the opportunity for himself and then unleashing a fine curler past David Raya. 2-2. Game over, man. Game over. A point gained but a match that feels like nothing except a gut busting defeat. Even having slept on it. We could have put it out of sight in the first half, true, but it was more our complete inability to even come close to keeping pace with our opponents in the second that is the real mystery. Our inability to get even close to the ball or hang on to it when we did pick it up that I can’t get my head around. You have to credit Wayne Rooney and his side, of course. Yet at the same time, it takes two teams to play a game of football and there was only one present in the second 45. Thomas is going to have to give the mother of all pep talks today in the build up to the TV game with Nottingham Forest on Saturday lunchtime. 

Win that one and we overtake a Swansea City team who then have their challenge with Cardiff City the visitors. Win that one and we close back in on second place Watford ahead of their visit from Birmingham City. Let’s hope Lee Bowyer is ten times the better manager than the recently displaced Aitor Karanka.

Yesterday started off badly with the sad news of Yaphet Kotto passing at the age of 81. To cinema goers, he was best known for his roles as William Laughlin in The Running Man, Parker in Alien and, of course, Doctor Kananga in Live and Let Die. The role that saw him face off against the best Bond, Roger Moore, trading one liners and high end fashion with 007. As full time went at Pride Park, I couldn’t help but think back to his own impassioned speech to tarot reader Solitaire (Jane Seymour) upon discovering her betrayal as he despaired, “I gave you every break possible. You had a 50-50 chance. You weren’t even close.

The highlights are up. Somewhere. I’m not sure I can face watching them again today. The post match catch up last night was painful enough. No team has a right to win every game. It’s not the fact we lost, sorry drew, that hurts, but more the manner of our no show. Instead, perhaps time to crack open the Bond collection instead. Time to switch off from football for a few days.

See you on Saturday for Nottingham Forest. Maybe sooner.   

Deadly rivals face off.

Nick Bruzon


10 Responses to “I gave you every break possible. You had a 50-50 chance. You weren’t even close.”

  1. Brighton Bee March 17, 2021 at 7:50 am #

    A truely shocking second half performance that deserves no further comments

    • Mr Edward Soudan March 17, 2021 at 8:20 am #

      It does deserve further comment. It perfectly illustrated that Thomas Frank is unable to change formations WITHIN play as it was quite clear that Wayne Rooney FLOODED the midfield in the second half and Frank did NOTHING to stop it.This is not the first time that he has been unable to counter such changes in formation and it is a serious weak link in his coaching. He then blamed the players for not adapting to Derby’s change in formation. If you think this is just my view then try looking at comments on GPG.

  2. Max March 17, 2021 at 8:21 am #

    Oh dear frustration and anger for all bees fans ,the poor old keyboard warriors can’t even blame sergi. so what is to blame ,the terrible missed chances in the first half when the game should of been out of sight ,or the infuriating habit of trying to hang on to a lead ,drop back behind the ball and hoof it anywhere that we seem to do time after time this season .whichever it is we are still in a good position with loads of ups and downs and a massive game with Watford at the end of the season to come .looks like the only guarantee this season is pain. As always come on you bees

  3. Lichfieldbee March 17, 2021 at 9:42 am #

    I’am afraid last nights performance just confirmed for me that we are not good enough.
    Our game management is poor and has let us down on more than one occasion.
    Good luck to Watford they look good for second spot, its playoff heartbreak for us again i fear

  4. Rod Davidson March 17, 2021 at 10:08 am #

    Firstly let’s ditch the term keyboard warriors. Most sensible people can see it for what it is – including the match commentators on many recent occasions.
    The positives are that we are at the top of the league and have some great players – but there are problems- aren’t there?
    Fine margins Thomas says – true ! But is the pint glass half full or half empty ?
    Half empty in my view, with a dam great crack leaking the lifeblood out of all we have achieved so far.
    There are too many inconsistencies of performance within the team, and we are unable to react to them and change things when they occur.
    Take our three wide players : How Forsu is not automatically ahead of the other two is beyond me.
    Canos and Mbueno should be the pair fighting for the right to appear behind him.
    Their potential to cut inside and score has been rumbled. Defensive opposition coaches now ensure that this pair are shepherded outside to towards the touchline where there regular inability to deliver a good cross with their weaker foot is obvious.
    I grant you that Sergi did cut in and score v Derby, but after what must have been a half time roasting from his manager, the Derby full back put Sergi in his pocket which resulted in Sergi being subbed.
    For a man of Ivan Toney’s goal scoring achievements this is a problem – he is being starved of chances at the moment, and the answer has to be Fosu who has excellent close ball skills and who more importantly can go outside a defender and deliver a good opportunity.
    What is the point of missing ‘sitters’ – as has happened v Norwich ( Sergi ) and Derby (Mbueno) when another option could have put Ivan in those positions – would he have missed given the form he has been in ?
    Ivan Toney is a natural goal scorer but his recent goal stats have mainly relied on penalties.
    Please don’t let us kill off the goose that lays the golden egg.

    • Adrian Harris March 17, 2021 at 10:29 pm #

      Sergi 7 goals @ one goal every 379 minutes, 4th best
      Tariq 3 goals @ one goal every 637 minutes 6th best.
      Your argument about Tariq does not stand up even 5 minutes of scrutiny

      • Adruan Harris March 17, 2021 at 10:34 pm #

        Sergi – assists 5 – shots 55 – accuracy 47%
        Tariq – assists 2 – shots 19 – accuracy 42%
        I hold no personal preference but I am a bit tired of lazy criticism of a hard working and talented Brentford footballer when a few minutes looking at the facts prove otherwise.

      • Rod Davidson March 18, 2021 at 9:45 am #

        Thanks for that, but the point was to provide Ivan with better service and then to look at the best combination to achieve that.
        Bryan Mbueno’s stats would be interesting.
        Perhaps Sergi should play on the right.

  5. J J B March 17, 2021 at 5:29 pm #

    As distraught as I am at the odds tipping towards playoffs Nick I think your piece here was spot on, sadly. 50-50 chance and we fluffed our lines again.
    Please don’t put me through the hell of the playoffs again BFC.

  6. Nigel Garrigan March 17, 2021 at 9:54 pm #

    Interesting thoughts, perhaps we should sign Jane Seymour to play at Left Back, the performance wouldn’t be any worse and the view would be improvement – even at 70.

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