Now that, Alanis, is ironic.

9 Aug

A strange, strange feeling. Football began at the weekend yet there was no involvement for Brentford. At least, officially. Whilst Fulham and QPR both earned 1-1 draws in the Championship, the Bees were missing. That’s because we’re in the Premier League this season. I’m not sure if it has been mentioned yet but, quite frankly, it cannot be repeated enough. At least in our house. We don’t start competitive action until Friday evening when Arsenal visit Lionel Road. (Home games with Brighton, Liverpool and Chelsea follow). Finally, the dream has come true. We’re there. The top flight. The West London derby one which will take place against the Champions of Europe, Chelsea, rather than at the other end of the 237 bus route. The whole thing is nuts and I can’t wait.

It’s normally at this point in the season that Brentford have lost that opening game of the campaign – strong starts were never our speciality. We’d be getting ready to berate Gary Lineker on the forthcoming Saturday night when he tells Match Of The Day viewers that “Football is back.” No Gary, it was back last weekend when the EFL kicked off. Now, we’re the ones who are going to be on the BBC’s flagship football programme. For the first time since, well ever. A few fleeting FA Cup performances aside. All being well, shown at the business end of the schedule rather than slipping down the pecking order to the final few games. Hey, I’m a lightweight and have usually fallen fast asleep on the couch by the time Arsenal and the other clubs outside the top six are being shown.

The Bees on Match of the Day in 1989 – ‘That’ FA Cup quarter final at Liverpool

Instead, we’re waiting to kick off the campaign and already having games moved with abandon. Aswell as Arsenal (h), Wolves (a) and Liverpool (h) those with Leicester City (h) and West Ham (a) both being put back a day as a result of our opponents’ European adventures. Traversing the length of the Jubilee line on a Sunday to watch football from 100 yards behind the goal. Sounds fun.

Likewise, the home game with Chelsea due on October 16th remains a Saturday but now has a 5.30pm kick off to accommodate TV coverage. Saturday 3pm very much becoming an aspiration rather than a lifestyle choice. Something we always expected but what an intense way for it to kick in. 

Hey, at least the trips to Crystal Palace and Aston Villa kick off when we’d expect. Assuming we are able to buy tickets. Come on already. The game at Selhurst Park is on Saturday week and no sighting (as it stands). Not that I particularly want to have to use the overdraft facility but if it needs to be further decimated then what finer way than a trip to South East London?

Safe to say we’re excited. The game against Valencia saw our family able to sit together for the first time since Brentford were playing at Griffin Park. Sheffield Wednesday, in March 2020. It’s now August 2021. Cripes, that’s been tough. For all of us and for so many reasons. Each different. Each as hard as the other. Harry loved it. Even Mrs. B was impressed with our new seats. That’s no reflection on her or Lionel Road but, more, the relief. Yours Truly having been assigned the role of donning the virtual reality headseat back in January 2020 to choose seats on behalf of our group.

The fate of 7(seven) supporters resting in the hands of my dodgy eyesight and the reliability of the Brentford FC super computer. Thankfully, both worked to perfection. It’s been a long wait for that seal of approval to be delivered. If for no other reason knowing who will be sitting along side us. Knowing who will be replacing Alex, Courier Man and Missa Partridge in our immediate vicinity. So far, so good on that front. Hello Mary, John et al.

Computer simulation v actual reality

Talking of Alex (Austin), regular readers to this column will be well familiar with the enjoyment that came from his dishing out advice to the referee and his assistants. Those timely reminders of the actual rules of football. Those helpful explanations as to how a flag should be raised. Advice which, whilst hilarious to those of us sitting in the proximity of the touchline, was probably the last thing they wanted to hear. The sigh of relief from FA headquarters almost tangible as finally the move to Lionel Road and everybody being assigned new seats meant that gauntlet was one that no longer needed to be run.

The referee and his assistant often chose to ignore all reminders of the rules

Except…. Post of the week came up on Facebook during the Valencia game. Alex and his family are still on the touchline. Yet, if anything, in an even better position to dish out the helpful advice. Not only to the lino but, now, the fourth official. In his own words, “Referee review screen. I guess they asked for this to be in-front of me given my years of helpful advice to the linesman on the Braemar Road.” 

Sure enough, the accompanying picture is one that already tells its own story. Now that, Alanis, is ironic.

I do wonder if this showed up on the magic helmet or whether the footballing gods have simply delivered the most unexpected of helping hands? Either way, a year and a half on lockdown means we all need to sharpen our skills if the VAR performance on Saturday was anything to go by. No pressure, Alex. Keep it loud against Arsenal.

View from the seat…

Nick Bruzon


4 Responses to “Now that, Alanis, is ironic.”

  1. Brighton Bee August 9, 2021 at 8:44 am #

    Some great thoughts Nick. Thinking about Match of the Day, I just hope that Mr Lineker has learnt who we are by Saturday night. Remember that cup game against Leicester City when Lineker and his cohorts could only talk about Aston Villa to pundit Dean Smith as he (Lineker) didn’t have a clue who we were. It was totally embarrassing for the BBC. I give Alan Shearer a bit more credit as he apparently watches a lot of football outside the EPL. Hopefully by Saturday night Lineker will know exactly who Brentford are! One other thought, did anyone feel like me watching the Championship games over the weekend when it all felt very surreal? The Championship without the Bees felt very strange – I expect I’ll get used to it!!

  2. Andreas P. August 11, 2021 at 9:49 pm #

    Dear Nick an All,
    don’t know if you remember me, Nick. I’m Andreas, your former German colleague in the Frankfurt branch of our employer at that time. Back then we talked about football and although i had always followed the English leagues i have to admit that i never heard about Brentford FC before we met.
    But believe from then on i always had an eye on your team and i suffered heavily witnessing the loss of the relegation game last year against Fulham. I hate relegation games and my favourite team lossed in the past in GER as well.

    But at some point you will be rewarded for all your efforts and passion and therefore i am honestly delighted to congratulate to the promotion of Brentford FC to the Premier League.
    To the club, to the team and supporters like you all with your love, passion and patience over all these years.

    And i am even more delighted because fate wanted it that we both can celebrate.
    My favourite team – VfL Bochum – promoted to German Bundesliga after a long, long time as well so we may join each other in rejoicing it.
    And do you know what is on top ? Our former Bochum player, Vitaly Janelt, is now a team mate of yours and helped promote Brentford – i heard he even scored legendarily against Bournemouth did he ? He even started with Bochum last season before leaving for Brentford last september.

    So let’s sum up : we are all glad that our teams being outsiders compared to the top teams of the respective national league have fulfilled their dreams and now challenge european top teams. and as said we have a link in person of Vitaly Janelt. Isn’t that fantastic ?

    Alright then : let’s cross fingers for each other (you starting Arsenal at home right ? we abroad at Wolfsburg who qualified for Champions League !!!) coming weekend and all the season.
    Let’s hope that our teams will stay in the league against all odds in the first year, consolidate in the second and after it qualify for a European competition. And if fate wants it the draw says Brentford FC vs VfL Bochum. If so i will come to London and you will come to Bochum for the games (admiting that this is 250 km from my home but well….)

    Cross my fingers for the The Bees !!!!!!!!!
    We will beat Covid and everyone else !!!!

    Kindest regards from the land of Krauts. Take care everybody !

    Andreas P.

    • nickbruzon August 16, 2021 at 6:39 am #

      Mr Pfleiderer… What a pleasure 🙂 How could I forget. I still keep an eye for Bochum and moreso because of Vitaly. He is incredible.
      For both our teams, this is going to be an exciting season. Brentford did play Arsenal and we did beat them. Top of the Premier League for a night (until Manchester United started to score goals for fun). I saw you went dow to Wolfsburg but a tough start. I will keep watching !
      Thank you SO MUCh for getting in contact. Speak soon. Take care

      • bocbrent12 August 16, 2021 at 10:08 pm #

        Hi Nick,
        thanks so much for your reply. I am so impressed.
        You know what ?

        No joke… on the Twitter account of VfL Bochum they released today a “best video of the weekend by far ” showing the coach and players of THE BEES – amongst which as well Vitaly – after their win against the Gunners giving a high five to a boy in the audience – have to scroll down a bit ref_src=twsrc%5Egoogle%7Ctwcamp%5Eserp%7Ctwgr%5Etweet

        I think you’ve got a new supporter in GER. Because i have reached 25 years of having a subscription with SkyTV they donated me a full year to watch games of the Premier League for FREE !!!
        Believe me i will watch the one or other game of the Bees.

        All the best. Go on and beat the sh.. out of CrPalace next WE !!!

        All i have to do is to organize my accounts. I am in here twice –
        as Andreas P. and bocbrent 12, confusing.

        See ya

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