Anything but a top draw afternoon.

4 Apr

Another point for Brentford. The draw at Huddersfield Town marking a mixed bag of results from the opening round of the Easter Championship fixtures. With Swansea City making it three defeats in a row at the hands of Birmingham City but Watford winning, again, the gap from the Bees in third to the second placed Hornets is now nine points. True, we still have that extra fixture and a visit from the Vicarage Road club to come but, for now, points in the bag are very much better than games in hand. For now… Who knows how things will or could change over the next few games?

We can only start with events at Huddersfield Town. A game which finished 1-1 after a first half in which we were frustrated by tenacious opponents and referee Oliver Langford. The man in the middle clearly set to ‘random’. Our case not helped by a shambolic opening goal conceded via a bit of defensive playmaking as haphazard and frustrating as the ‘officiating’ in the opening period. Raya playing out to Roerslev rather than booting it. The young Dane seemed to lose his footing before giving it away. Norgaard shoved before losing it and then Raya caught flat-footed after man of the match Lewis O’Brien reacted quickest. Just 7(seven) minutes gone and a goal down. Mere words can’t describe how awful it looked from start to finish. Dig out the video if you can do it to yourself. Anyone giving up the booze for Lent would have been forgiven for cracking at that point.

Help very much needed to get through the opening to the game

It was a goal all the more frustrating given Langford had adjudged Sergi Canos to have ‘fouled’ Demeaco Duhaney when running clean through on our hosts just moments earlier. Wonderful though he is, you’ve more chance of the Easter bunny displaying that level of dirty play. The Spanish playmaker one who very much embraces the positive side of attack, preferring to do it with the ball rather than his elbows. A player who trusts the referee to do his job. Sadly, the man in the middle failed spectacularly. See also the clear handball by Naby Sarr with Ivan Toney bursting clear or our man being bundled over yet adjudged to have conceded the foul. 

Let’s be clear, you still need to make your own chances but against opponents facing their own battle at the other end of the table, nothing is going to be handed over on a plate. The referee still needs to do his job and my word, Mr. Langford failed spectacularly in the first half. It was an opening period that actually had me yearning for the card waving discipline of Keith Stroud.

Our own cause not helped by Ghoddos and Mbeumo joining Dalsgaard in missing the game. At least the later had the excuse of being injured so not making it onto the pitch. Marcondes and Fosu amongst those given their chance far too late. Even Marcus Forss coming on for his 80th minute ‘subs by numbers’ appearance was as predictable as it was reactive. I’m no manager but the lack of impact and spurned opportunities in the opening period should have been a clarion call to action at half time rather than waiting until the usual 60-70 minute ‘Warburton zone’ to start proceedings.

Mr. Langford’s first half performance left a lot to be desired

Then again, we came out for the second period with a rocket having been delivered. Mads Bech Sørensen stabbing home the equaliser with just five minutes gone. Ivan Toney then hitting the inside of the post moments later. Surely, now, the pressure would build and the screw be turned? Surely? Alas not. Whilst Brentford had the lion’s share of the ball and possession, inability to carve out any further clear opening saw the game meander to an inevitable finish. Actual goals, rather than expected ones or retention stats, being what wins games. Huddersfield Town proving as resolute hosts as when they scuppered West Brom in game 45 last season. We weren’t complaining about their approach then. Perhaps it is something we might have done well to  remember.

Disappointed? Well, yes. Nobody has a divine right to win but Brentford just feel very samey at the moment. Our free flowing play and attacking intent parked in the sickbay with Rico Henry and Josh Dasilva. Games we might have won earlier in the season now turning into draws. Blame the ref. Blame lost chances (see: Nottingham Forest). Blame late wobbles (Derby County). Either way, the top two places would be infinitely nearer had we been able to close out any of the last three games. On the plus side, the meltdown ushered in by the FrankOut brigade after the Coventry debacle hasn’t seen Swansea City win their three games in hand to stride clear by the eight points predicted. Instead, we’re now ahead of the Swans whose current form reads LLL. Yet, like Barnsley, nobody has really kept tabs on Watford and they are the ones who have kept on churning out result after result after result.

What next? Watford travel to a Middlesbrough team who still have play-off aspirations. That, before another promotion hunting team in Reading, the derby with Luton and then Norwich away. Come out of those in any semblance of good form, off the back of an already mammoth run, and they deserve everything that comes their way. For Brentford, a visit from Birmingham City to set the pulse racing. Harlee Dean, Maxime Colin, Scott Hogan plus  Jon ‘and Toral must score’ amongst those likely to feature on Tuesday.

And Toral must score….

‘Automatic’ is still well possible but it is going to take a huge effort. Not just from those lining up against our rivals but from Brentford themselves. On and off the pitch. My word, if ever there was a time to return to winning ways then this it is upon us. Even Thomas seemed subdued after yesterday’s game, noting that “I would assess it as a decent performance. Not a top performance.

Here’s hoping for a return to winning ways and the chance to hear ‘Daydream Believer’ at full time. Oh, to be there on Tuesday.

Nick Bruzon

9 Responses to “Anything but a top draw afternoon.”

  1. Max April 4, 2021 at 8:48 am #

    Agree with this ,very frustrating times for bees fans .The most important thing is for us to find some form as we have been slow and predictable over the past few games. The brentford statistics machine will say that when we have created three times as many chances as the other team ,sooner or later we will come good .supporters eyes tell them that the same players are missing the chances ,we only seem to score penalties or scrappy goals and lvan toney is not getting any service.teams seem to have a plan for our system, which is missing josh and Rico out wide so maybe we need to be able to change it (please no wing backs) .Even the subs are predictable, when was the last time a sub got us a goal ,marcus forss looks lost when he comes on trying not to step on lvans toes.

  2. Rod Davidson April 4, 2021 at 9:53 am #

    Agree with everything said by Nick and Max. Why can’t anybody else see this ?

  3. Ken Luckett April 4, 2021 at 10:40 am #

    This is a team that went 21 games without defeat, winning most of them. Injuries have devastated that team and poor old Mbeumo is going through a nightmare. There is still a good team in there trying to get out and we must back them to the hilt.
    Having said that if at the end of the day we don’t go up this season we are still in a very good league and apart from the money, isn’t it better to be competing for the title, than dreading the next result relegating us. Ask Sheffield Utd.

  4. Simon Sapper April 4, 2021 at 10:41 am #

    What was particularly noticeable yesterday, especially as the second half went on, was the lack of pressure/presence in the box. Ivan’s great but not even he can be in two places at the same time. As you say Nick, lots still to play for.

  5. Mark Soudan April 4, 2021 at 11:23 am #

    Cannot help but think that Thomas is just going through the motions these days (same/similar substitutions,starting line ups (how Fosu is not starting games is beyond me) tactics, formations – try something new for heavens sake) and is guilty at the very least a cavalier attitude and corny platitudes coming out of interviews at full time, not suggesting that a change at the top is necessary but a word in the ear from Matthew is, i feel, very, very much needed.That said, all the blame for the very sticky corner we as a club have painted ourselves into should be shared around. For all the good the DOFs have done for the club, the situation hasn’t been helped by a lot of inactivity by them (Loaning out Thompson, adequately covering right back for this league and non substantial replacement for Benrahma). Stupid mistakes from players (far, far too many, especially from Raya and he should be a beacon of confidence /reliability for our young R/B cover and Sorenson who i believe IS a good player but has been thrown into the deep end by the aforementioned lack of foresight by DOFs). And lastly the unhelpful, unwanted vitriol from fans constantly spewing out on twitter (see my own stepson for this). Sometimes it is justified, but it won’t help our cause. Ultimately Frank needs to step up, tinker a bit, stop being so predictable and give the opposition something to think about, maybe consider starting Forrs and Toney together /all three C/Bs, that surely is what he is payed to do?
    Worst case scenario is that we will drop out of the play offs and whilst i wouldn’t want that to happen, we need to approach them with a little more gusto and fire in our bellies that i know we have! COYBs!!! 🐝

    • Andrew April 4, 2021 at 12:02 pm #

      Agree with you Mark. Would just add that DOFs are losing their Midas touch. Once Toney is sold in the summer as appetite for another season in the Championship at his age is doubtful , they will be struggling to replace him. Pontus will be in the last year of his contract while Ghoddos surprisingly has two years remaining. Valencia, unable to get into the Legia Warsaw team, will return from loan with a further two contract years remaining. Arsenal are unlikely to be trying to sign Raya after the prolonged transfer saga last summer. Just my negativity coming through and hope to be shown to be completely wrong.

      • Mark Soudan April 4, 2021 at 12:40 pm #

        Absolutely spot on Andrew, we would be lucky to get 5 million for Raya now let alone the 10 that was touted by some that the gunners were going to pay. You’re right about personnel having too long/too little on their contracts and what about the conundrum about players such as Dervisoglu /Valencia, these could have been good and useful squad players, seems that the roulette, random decision making that Nick talks about is not restricted to just the ineffective, incompetent refereeing in this league…

  6. Brighton Bee April 4, 2021 at 5:27 pm #

    Well surmised Nick. I particularly agree with both sets of Mark Soudan’s comments. In my view yesterday was an abysmal performance. Yes, we miss DaSilva, Henry and Dalsgaard – who wouldn’t. But there was no excuse for the slow, pedantic build up play, the lack of press and at times lack of total commitment. It’s all very samey, you know how we are going to play, you know what subs will be used and in what minute – so do the opposition!!! TF’s post match interviews are becoming boring and repetitive, he says more or less the same thing every week and still does nothing about it. However, it’s not all TF’s fault as I still think he was let down by the Owner, the D of F and the Head of Recruitment (whoever he is) by not strengthening in Jan leaving us with a wafer thin, lightweight squad in numbers and physicality. We are sleep walking into the play offs and what seems like an inevitable further season in the Championship – unless something radical happens in the next week!

    • hobbo April 4, 2021 at 11:06 pm #

      Understand your frustrations fellas, but do you think Benhams not feeling it a little bit more than us after the millions hes spent getting us to were we are today, if anyone deserves a crack at the prem and the dosh it generates he does.

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