Roll up. Roll up. Get your sour grapes and injustice here.

25 Oct

Monday morning. Half-term. Brentford very much schooled by Leicester City in the dark arts of football yesterday afternoon. A 2-1 defeat for the Bees at Lionel Road one which left a very empty feeling in the pit of the stomach at full time. Whereas we’d walked off with heads held high after battering Chelsea last week, this time the Bees were undone by the midfield axis of James Maddison and Simon Hooper. The player spending so much time whispering sweet nothings into the referee’s ear, one can only presume his eventual substitution was in order to go and run a warm bath for the pair of them to share. If ever Gareth Southgate needs somebody to gob off to the ref then Maddison is a sure fire selection to add to his solitary England cap. The only time he wasn’t prodding Mr. Hooper, he was busy going arse over tit in a style that suggested the poor man’s Jack Grealish was playing in carpet slippers. Not even Linda Lovelace went down that often.  There was no irony lost in his sole contribution to actual football being the winning goal. As JJ (of goal inducing bladder fame) nailed it afterwards in his always succinct style, “If ever the phrase ‘an utter fanny’ was invented for a footballer then it’s him.” Cripes, even hearing the scoreline from Manchester United in the pub afterwards failed to raise flagging spirits. Liverpool breaking Terry Christian’s heart but failing to complete a bracketing that 5-0 up after 50 minutes and playing ten men suggested might be in the offing.

It’s 07351 62……

Instead, the only 7(seven) we got was time added on in the second half at Lionel Road. The bizarre thing being that the Leicester City players only seemed to be injured when they were ahead. Sorry, only seemed to be ‘injured’. At 0-0 and 1-1 the game was fast flowing and attacking. Yet whenever they had the lead, the visitors collapsed with an ease and regularity that suggested Fred Dibnah had taken over as Leicester head coach. 

Or if not the champion steeplejack, perhaps Brice Samba. Such was the time wasting, gamesmanship and general flow disruption that only years in the Premier League can teach you. Oh, if only Mr Hooper had been wise to it. Alas not. Too busy exchanging phone numbers with Maddison, I suppose. We’d been worried about him going in to this game and came out of it no happier. Another hugely frustrating performance from the man in the middle but you can’t blame Leicester manager Brendan Rodgers for having his team play like this if the ref was going to allow it.

Post match interviews with the BBC’s Lauren Moore

Brentford came out of the traps flying and picked up where we left off against Chelsea. Surely a goal would come? Surely? There it was but the offside flag ruled out an early opener from Ivan Toney. There was no need even for VAR but it did, at least, give hope that we’d kick on.

This, after Pontus had been denied an early penalty for thrusting the side of his face into the outstretched fist of goalkeeper Kasper Schmeichel rather than guiding the ball into the net. Draw your own conclusions….

Eventually the goal did come. Not as expected though. The Bees undone by a rare incursion into their half from the visitors and an absolute howitzer from Youri Tielemans. The player, a midfielder who does know what it is to be picked for regular international duty, showed all his ability and skill with about as wonderful a goal as you will see. My. Word. What a hit. What a strike. It’s probably still moving even now. Sometimes, one just has to doff the hat and say, ‘Bravo, sir”.

It was a wonder goal that left David Raya no chance. All the early pressure from Brentford undone in an instant. The stream of injuries and ref chat which then followed disrupting any form of attempt to get back in to the game. The Bees desperately missing Vitaly Janelt in the centre. His return cannot come soon enough. Bryan and Ivan linking well but neither able to trouble Schmeichel with the final touch, one Toney header aside.

Half time came and went. Brentford back out and on top. Attacking the East stand after the dirty trick of ‘changing ends’ had been pulled following the coin toss pre kick-off. Yet despite it all, we were level on the hour. Zanka the man who managed to evade to the flying fists and flick home a corner. 1-1. Lionel Road erupted. Scores level. Bees on top and pushing for the winner. Here we go. Here. We. Go. Pressure rewarded. A goal scored and only one possible outcome from this point. Or so we thought…

Football. The game we love. The game that kicks us in the nuts time and again. This time it was the turn of Leicester City to be the ones breaking our collective hearts. Tielmans and the hero of Moscow, Patson Daka, teaming up to catch the Bees on the break. Ripping us a new one with electric pace and there he was. None other than panto villain Maddison to restore their lead, despite the best efforts of David Raya. 2-1 up. The goal deserved with the Bees so focused on breaking forward, we’d been exposed across the rest of the pitch. The visitors picking their moment to strike and what a clinical way to do so. Maddison leaving the field shortly afterwards. He may aswell have worn a cape, top hat and twirled his moustache. Instead, he applauded first his own fans and the Brentford faithful behind the goal.

Despite the final fifteen minutes and prolonged period of time added on, there was little could be done. Foxes back in their hole and the door bolted. Ultimately, doing exactly what they needed to and despite the clear frustrations from all around the ground, nothing more than ‘job completed’. Regardless of the means. A third win on the bounce following those against Manchester Untied and Spartak. Another defeat for the Bees against wily opposition. The absence of Wissa, Baptiste, Josh Dasilva and the aforementioned Janelt wrecking our midfield but still a game where we walked out feeling mugged. Experience at this level definitely something in short supply and, perhaps, another lesson in the fact that nice guys finish last.

Sometimes, a bit more guile needed. If the refs are going to be like this then play to them rather than any moral code. The sole consolation being the sight of Pontus ploughing through James Maddison with impunity later in the second half. But nice though the moment was, and it was, brief smiles don’t win games. Goals do. And on this occasion, Leicester City did just what they needed.    

Ok. So this is full of sour grapes today. I readily admit that. Despite the need to be humble and sporting, sometimes the feeling of being absolutely played or of having a ref offer less protection than a continuity announcer failing to announce “And now on BBC1, Mrs Brown’s Boys” is just too strong. Too over bearing. Even having slept on it. If that makes me the bad loser and poorer for it then fair enough. I’ll take it on the chin. Much like Pontus.  C’est la vie, as popular music’s B*Witched once reminded us in such wonderful double denim toe tapping style. 

For now, heads down. The Premier League experience has been a wonderful one so far. At times, an education but we’ve not looked out of our depth at any point. A bit more luck with the injuries and the refs would be nice. A bit more guile, too. Next up we’ve got two away trips.  Stoke City in the league cup and then Burnley in the Prem. If the chance of playing against number 26 again doesn’t get the blood pumping, what will ? Bring it on.

My only other positive and last thought from this one. At least our Harry is the bigger man. I’d expected upset and tears at full time. Instead, we got the opposite when he went to catch up Woody on the way out of the ground.

Full time. H better than his dad

Nick Bruzon

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13 Responses to “Roll up. Roll up. Get your sour grapes and injustice here.”

  1. Loxton Fox October 25, 2021 at 7:33 am #

    Great article – we’ve all been there! I’m not sure if it is much consolation but Brentford have already won plenty of admirers and will continue to do so for the way that they play and the way that they have approached life in the Premier League.

    There’s a long way to go obviously but what a great start and I sincerely hope Brentford continue in the same vein and are rewarded by staying up

    • nickbruzon October 25, 2021 at 10:02 am #

      Thanks. Appreciated. You did what you needed to and that’s how games are won. As for that first goal, a thing of beauty. Now bring on the rematch

  2. Crossy October 25, 2021 at 7:37 am #

    Sour grapes…you lost and I think you should learn to get over it otherwise it will be a long and torturous season for you 😂

    • nickbruzon October 25, 2021 at 10:03 am #

      We did lose. Well done. Will reserve judgement on who has the long and torturous season though.

  3. teester100 October 25, 2021 at 7:49 am #

    Wow, just wow…
    If you lot learn how to put the ball in the net when it matters then you would have won the game.
    It’s the premier league get over it, it’s nothing like the championship.
    Are you expecting to finish top 6?
    I think where you are at the minute is a good start to the season.
    There will be plenty more games like this to come you will see.

    • nickbruzon October 25, 2021 at 10:06 am #

      Absolutely agree that goals are what count. Been saying it for years. ‘Deserved’ is irrelevant. Equally though, a level playing field also helps and I’m afraid that yesterday it was more than just 10 blue shirts and one in yellow we were competing with

  4. Jon October 25, 2021 at 9:08 am #

    Welcome to the EPL.. you’re not the first, won’t be the last to feel ripped off.. it was certainly a smash and grab from us (Leicester fan for over sixty years).. lost count of how many times I’ve had the same feeling.. enjoyed your article, it made me smile.. but not as much as the three points we picked up.. ouch!!

    • nickbruzon October 25, 2021 at 10:04 am #

      Fair play Jon. Appreciated. We did the same to West Ham at their place the other week and there’s no finer feeling. Enjoy

  5. Bee Serious October 25, 2021 at 9:32 am #

    Your boys offered next to nothing and got a Premier League level schooling. Thanks for the 3 points and good luck against Stoke and Burnley. A reminder for both those games that your team are playing in red and have the whinging manager on the sideline; since your style won’t be much different to theirs…

  6. Bernard Quackenbush (@BernardQuack) October 25, 2021 at 10:01 am #

    I do feel similarly.

    Instead of saying that was our worst performance of the season, i would say that was out least best! We werent bad, but we wernt amazing.

    Leicester did a job at us, without looking particularly great themselves. Aided by Hooper, who should never have been promoted to this level (or even beyond League 1), who seemed easily influenced by anyone in blue. Maddison always the pantomime villain. It appears he is as much a twat at Leicester as he was at Norwich, and he was one of the most twatish of players of our time in the Championship.

    Saying that we didnt help ourselves at times. Too many mislaid places, one too many flicks. Jensen just not making the step up to the pace of the Premier, and a lack of service to Ivan and Bryan/Marcus. A frustrating afternoon which looked so promising after we carried on straight from the final whistle of Chelsea, until it took Tielemans to do what Tielemans does. Never give the ball to him on the edge of the area! Its a bit like never allowing Arjen Robben to cut in from the right. There will only be one result.

    We just have to put it behind us and focus on Stoke on Wednesday, with an opportunity for the likes of Forss, Roerslev & Ghoddos to step up and push a claim for a starting place.

  7. Ryan Kearns October 25, 2021 at 10:12 am #

    The fact that perez almost had his leg broken by your player and escaped with a yellow card doesn’t come into, or how many late or high tackles went in by Brentford players doesn’t come into it, everyone knows tielemans hits them from there and lcfc are one of the best on the counter, u were not good enough and should have finished with 10 men

    • nickbruzon October 25, 2021 at 11:41 am #

      Thielmans goal something that nobody could have prepared for. A world class strike. As for the rest of it, and who tacked hardest/fairest, that’s a matter of conjecture.
      At the end of the day, Leicester scored twice . No complaints about that side of things. You won. Congratulations.
      I’ll bang on all day long about a selective ref and his not telling Maddison or Schmeichel to get a grip, get out of his ear and try playing an actual game of football

  8. Martin O'Brien October 25, 2021 at 12:12 pm #

    Nick, the article is perfectly titled. Some replies are twaddle, but whining about referees every game, and the opposition’s time wasting (as opposed to our game management) invites it.

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