A terrible morning after a frustrating night before.

7 Apr

Another game unbeaten. Third placed in the Championship table. A clean sheet. Clear of Swansea City on level games. Ordinarily one would be ecstatic to be in this position heading in to the final seven games of the campaign. Yet a 0-0 for Brentford against Birmingham City, a fourth successive draw for the Bees, has left nothing but a feeling of deep frustration. An opportunity spurned. The gap to second placed Watford 9 points. As if to underline the gulf in class at the top end, Norwich City took the opportunity to inflict a 7(seven) – 0 bracketing on Huddersfield Town. The Terriers on the receiving end of what happens when the opposition actually take their chances rather than just create them. 

There’s no disguising the final score

Brentford are now closer to 7th(seventh) place than automatic. Bournemouth currently sitting five points behind as they look to break in to the play-off zone. We’ve been saying for weeks that automatic is possible but failure to look over the shoulder has cost us – both Barnsley and Watford storming up and, in the case of the Hornets, through. Whilst the play-offs are the more realistic option for the Bees now (albeit, I’ll never say never until it’s mathematically out of sight) even falling over the line into that final-four shoot out isn’t as cut and dried as once it looked. Comments on Twitter to any post from ‘official’ were the usual mix of FrankOut and calls for Fosu to start. The Messianic pressure being heaped on Tariqe’s shoulders as odd as Thomas Frank’s refusal to mix things up and give his man a start or even just a bit more than a late run.

Instead, the only change from Saturday’s draw at Huddersfield saw Mathias Jensen start in place of Saman Ghoddos. To be fair, it looked good. Pressure built. Chances were created – Jensen blasting over before Sergi Canos had the very best of them. The Spaniard timing his run to break clear straight down the middle, only to Clayton it when one on one with ‘keeper Etheridge. There were others, too. Yet it already felt like ‘one of those’ as we headed in to half time. Lots of pressure and neat play. A statistician’s dream but no clinical finish or even ‘out and out’ chance, the Canos opportunity aside. And the longer the game went on the more it lacked any cutting edge. Brentford looking flat, muted, impotent. Ivan Toney rarely getting a sniff. 

Clearly we’re missing the threat offered by Rico Henry and Josh Dasilva. Two of our three best players missing for weeks now. No coincidence the results have slipped away with their injuries. The added absence of Henrik Dalsgaard further limiting our attacking threat. At least we kept it tight at the back although still had to be grateful to the woodwork after Scott Hogan caused merry hell in the box, freeing up Gary Gardner close in on the angle. Thankfully, the Birmingham player saw his shot cannon clear off the post and the Bees survived. It was part of a sequence that saw our visitors take the game to Brentford early on. Clearly, they weren’t here just to throw 11 behind the ball and with that level of open play we should have had enough about us to convert something of our own. Instead, it was another case of ifs, buts and maybes. A definite feeling of two more points dropped rather than one gained.

Bryan Mbeumo had one of his best games in a while. Coming close himself aswell as creating opportunities, such as they were. We might have had a few good shouts for penalty kicks – Mads Bech Sorensen in particular – but ultimately it was an evening where full time came with a feeling of emptiness. Of lethargy. Of bang average performance rather than one of having seen us kept out by a combination of cat like ‘keeper, shonky refereeing, ratlling woodwork and all those other things that so often come together to aid the opposition. This one was down to us and us only. When the time came, we couldn’t rise to the occasion. 

When Watford had finally left a glimmer of light we were unable to take advantage and close down what, this morning, feels less like a gap and more like a chasm to second place. It is one we can still cross, and let’s not forget that as part of a tough run in, they also have a six pointer at Lionel Road. Hopefully, things won’t be too late by the time that comes around. Ultimately though, every passing game sees it more reliant on maths than it does on our own ability to play football.

I was genuinely full of optimism yesterday.About both the game and our longer term prospects but even having slept on it, the feeling of self-destruct and now being really up against it that hit home at full-time remains. All being well it’ll go by the weekend when we travel to Preston.

I’m not sure what Thomas does from here to help his team rediscover their clinical edge. Short of a miraculous return for Rico or Josh, his squad remains as it is. The clamour for Fosu remains loud on social media and whilst teams have never been picked by fans before, something needs to change. Some fresh blood needed to reinvigorate a team who are so tantalisingly close to the ultimate dream yet, for whatever reasons, so far off the pace at present. There is still time to turn it around, even if it is just our form that returns. Anything else beyond there, from anyone else, nothing more than a bonus.

Then, when things couldn’t get worse, they did. I’ve woken up to the club highlighting the racist abuse once again directed towards Ivan Toney on Instagram last night. The club published their own reaction, one mirrored by all of us with brains.

There are no real words and no excuse to justify what was written by the perpetrator. ‘Frank Out’ is easy enough to ignore or even laugh at but this is totally different. Spineless. Cowardly. Hateful. Ignorant. Here’s hoping they catch whomever it is and use all the powers available to deal with this. How anyone thinks that sort of language about a fellow human being is acceptable remains beyond me. I can’t imagine how utterly horrific it must be to have this directed towards you. It’s awful enough reading it.  A crappy end off the pitch after a frustrating evening on it.

So I’m done. Here’s to a few days of ‘down time’ from social media, from football, from all this nonsense and then back to it for Preston. I think we could all do with a reset.

Nick Bruzon  

15 Responses to “A terrible morning after a frustrating night before.”

  1. Rod Davidson April 7, 2021 at 7:47 am #

    The courtroom was packed as the Judge looked down at the accused.
    “ Thomas Frank – You are a thoroughly decent man, but you stand here accused, together with your fellow defendant Brian Reimer, of not getting the best out of the assets at your disposal “ How do you plead ?
    As he was about to reply – the lights went out !
    How will Thomas plead ?
    Will Thomas still be groping around in the dark or will a shaft of divine light provide him with the inspiration to lead him to the promised land.
    Tune in next week !

    • Martin West April 8, 2021 at 7:51 am #

      I think that Perry Mason will save the day by bringing a surprise, 3 points at Preston to get the ball rolling again

  2. Brighton Bee April 7, 2021 at 7:57 am #

    A truly abysmal performance last night overseen by a Head Coach who seems to have run out of ideas. We are still third in the league but going nowhere on the basis of the last few weeks. Totally frustrating for all Bees fans.

    • Martin West April 8, 2021 at 7:58 am #

      I can’t agree that it was abysmal, we created so many more opportunities with far more crosses of late, on another day with success. We have to accept that the opposition have a part to play, they are not coming to just roll over. This league is tough

  3. Brighton Bee April 7, 2021 at 8:24 am #

    Apologies for the second comment but I’ve just watched TF’s post match interview. Did I hear it wrong – he was happy with a clean sheet against the lowest goal scorers in the league who also have the second worst GD? I’m even more frustrated now

    • Mark Soudan April 7, 2021 at 8:39 am #

      As i said before, nice guy as he is (he stopped to chat with me at Cardiff away last time I was there and was happy to send a message to my kids and I’ll always remember that), he is still coming out with stereotypical cliches and attitudes which makes me believe that things have gone stale. He HAS however been dealt a rough hand and the majority of blame should fall at the feet of Giles and Rasmussen (maybe he’s got the hump with them, and rightly so). This does not excuse this numpty on the terrace giving him a nudge to mix things up (cough, cough, start Fosu..???), change formation, give Forrs more minutes, cripes no wonder the kid looks anything but self assured, especially as he is moved out wide when deemed fit for him to come on. Thomas Do something radical next time out for petes sake, we’re only i think five points (maybe six with G/D) away from slipping under that line beneath sixth and are potentially in danger of ‘doing a forest’.

  4. Anthony Okun April 7, 2021 at 8:37 am #

    So here we go again TF is not mentally strong enough to take us over the line the team needs a shake up yes fosu links up well with Toney I also think what about Presley in b team scoring goals looks a bit like the great Andy mac come on TF have the balls to change it what have u got to lose the captain never see him vocal

  5. bcfcblues1152 April 7, 2021 at 8:39 am #

    As a Birmingham fan I want to wish brentford all the best gutted that fans still not allowed at the ground was hoping to come to the new stadium this season. Having been to old ground a couple times I must say that brentford is run like a propper club. I only wish that Birmingham board was the same.. I realy hope you go up as you have been so close last season. Last nights game had 0-0 all over it from start. Think brentford have enough in the team to catch Watford if not win play offs. Once agin good luck for the rest the season.

  6. Bazzathebluenose April 7, 2021 at 9:22 am #

    Another Blues fan in peace. A balanced article overall but I think I noted a hint of “Oh they’re bottom four, lowest scorers, etc. The simple fact is Birmingham should be nowhere near the relegation places with the squad available to them (which is the best we’ve had in a while, remarkably!) but they are because of gross mismanagement and coaching and inept administration from the CEO. We sacked Aitor Karanka ten games too late in my opinion but hopefully still in the nick of time to give Lee Bowyer, an ex-player and club legend a chance to save us although there is still work to do. Our problem this season has been the woeful home form since we’ve been pretty decent away from St Andrew’s. Last night was a case in point. I have to confess that I missed the first half hour as my internet decided to go glitchy and needed rebooting and swearing at! When I did get the stream I was just in time to see Canos miss that gilt-edged chance that he really should have buried. Apart from that, Brentford simply didn’t do enough to win the game and a draw was a fair result. It could have been worse of course if Leko had made the best of his opportunity in the very last seconds. I echo bcfcblues1152’s comments by saying I wish you all the very best for the rest of the season and hope that you make it through the play-offs and into the Premier League. Vibrant, rising club, new ground, decent players; a recipe for excitement. I fear it will be a while before I can say the same about my famous old club!

    • Martin West April 8, 2021 at 8:09 am #

      What a couple of great comments from Bazzarhebluenose and bcfcblues1152, thank you both. So many fans don’t accept that there are 2 teams out there.

      • bcfcblues1152 April 8, 2021 at 8:24 am #

        Hay unlike some fans as a blues fans I’m happy to admit when a club is not only being run well but also invested in especially under the circumstances of a global pandemic. Never had a problem with brentford fans. Like blues it’s a propper working family mans club. maybe in a small not of note of jealously because way are club is being stripped limb for limb by foreign owners who have forgotten what club means to fans. I do wish you all the best in either the play offs or for automatic promotion.

    • hobbo April 8, 2021 at 10:17 pm #

      A couple of opposition fans who rate our club and management more than some of our own fans says it all about some of our so called supporters.

  7. Bernard Quackenbush April 7, 2021 at 11:46 am #

    An incredibly frustrating night which led to anger with news of yet more racist abuse via social media. I just dont get people sometimes.

    I think we can all congratulate Norwich and Watford now on their well deserved quick return to the Premier League. But what concerns me is that it is still no guarantee that we will even make the play offs. We just do not look like we are capable of putting the ball in the net at the moment. Opposition sides have become wise to us and the way we will play, the way we always play. There is never any variation. We just do not get the ball up the pitch to Ivan quick enough for him to cause havoc, but instead by the time the ball does get to him, he has a defender on his shoulder.

    We so miss those barnstorming runs by Josh that panics opposition defences. Ghoddos is turning into the new McEachran, Jensen has gone from brilliance to meh in a space of a couple of months, Janelt is trying so hard to adapt to his new role, and Emiliano appears unable to stay on his feet and will be falling out of Lionel in the summer.

    My biggest concern lays with the full backs. Rico’s loss is huge & no matter how hard Sorensen valiantly tries, he is no full back. Its Barbet all over again. But Henrik’s injury is just as big a blow. His strength, defensive know how, big runs forward, set play nuisance & ability to join the attack are all currently missing. Roerslev just isnt up to scratch. Contributes little, gets caught out of position, turns backwards, and clears the ball into dangerous areas.

    We need to freshen things. Need new ideas. Need to play to our strengths with the players who are available. Why not play with Fosu & Sergi as wing backs. Why not see if Ivan & Marcus can work well together as a front 2. Lets just give it a go. You never know, it might even work!

    • Andrew April 7, 2021 at 3:36 pm #

      Yes , Bernard, at the business end of a season the lack of squad depth is being exposed cruelly. We have been told we are not Man City and constantly about „fine margins”. Prefer to listen to Graham Potter at Brighton when he talks about „emotional intelligence” in facing difficult and challenging situations and responding to them. Yesterday,without a LB or a RB and Toney socially isolated up front the end result was sadly predictable.

    • Martin West April 8, 2021 at 8:13 am #

      Hear Hear Bernard

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