Will a miracle be needed to take anything from Jesus and co?

28 Dec

Well, this is about as big as it gets. Brentford go into Wednesday’s game at home to Manchester City, with a well-documented injury crisis and morale potentially down after a first half no-show at Brighton on Boxing Day. Very much a case of turkeys handing our presents and getting stuffed – at least in the first half. That was then. It’s been and gone. You can get the leftovers (or, rather, the player review – granted the festive analogy is starting to get stretched now) here if you want. Instead, all we can do is look forward to another clash with a team at the business end of the Premier league. Having already hosted the rest of the top four and won (Arsenal), drawn (Liverpool), narrowly lost (Chelsea) are there grounds for optimism? Could this one see the mother of all upsets? The paper thin squad taking on the League Champions and current table toppers.

The season has seen some amazing moments so far….

If Brentford are to get anything out of this game its going to be an upset to rank alongside the time we beat, errrr, Manchester City in the FA Cup. And that one’s going back to January 1989. The gulf in class is beyond the stuff of Fantasy football dreams. Rock solid at the back, indefatigable in the middle and a likely front three of Jack Grealish, Phil Foden and Jesus. That’s before you factor in a bench likely to include the likes of Raheem Sterling, Kevin de Bruyne and Riyad Mahrez. Assuming they don’t add to the challenge by starting.

Contrast that with our missing list: David Raya, Christian Norgaard, Kris Ajer, Josh Da Silva, Rico Henry, Bryan Mbeumo and Vitaly Janelt being the 7(seven) names you’d guarantee to start should they be available. Instead, they join a list of further absentees, untested players and those on the way back from Covid to add to Thomas Frank’s selection headache. Does he stick with the wing backs or rejig the formation? Does he have enough players left to even consider a change in set up? Who partners Ivan Toney up top? And can anyone even get the ball in the general vicinity of our joint top scorer?

That’s the bad news. The obvious stuff. We’re going to take a kicking if you believe what you read. A 7(seven) goal bracketing is on the cards should Manchester City fulfill their potential. December has already seen them administer one to Leeds United whilst they fell a single goal short of the magical mark against Leicester City on Boxing Day. 

The one thing that all the stats and data in the world can’t buy is a sense of occasion. A sense of purpose. That game-changing X-Factor which only Lionel Road can bring. Whether the Thomas Frank inspired play-off semi-final atmosphere which saw 4,000 sound like ten times that against Bournemouth or those more recent big game events. Cometh the hour, cometh the Brentford fans.

Arsenal – obliterated on the opening night of the season. Chelsea – kept alive by a miracle man in nets. Liverpool – held 3-3 with Ivan denied a late winner by the lino’s flag. The roof ripped off in that one. Metaphorically speaking. Lionel Road at its very best is next level. The atmosphere indescribable. All the superlatives and written word no replacement for being there. For feeling that noise pulsating through you. For being unable to hear the person a few seats down such is the sound ringing around.  And yes, whilst our more illustrious opponents may be used to big games, as we’ve already seen its amazing what a great leveller chucking them into the mix of a full house and a crowd that are on top of the pitch can do.

Will the crowd be enough to drag Thomas Frank’s patched up team over the line? To inspire them to even greater heights than those already ascended this campaign? Let’s not forget that despite the blips of Burnley and Spurs away or the Brighton first half, we’ve taken several big scalps, topped the table and are currently sitting in 13th. Had Covid not put a boot into our momentum that would arguably be even higher

Might Manchester City have an off-day? Are we looking at a proverbial hare and the tortoise? A game that is, on paper, so far out of sight that the favourites take their foot off the gas. Can we bring Gary Blissett out of retirement?

Questions, questions, questions. It’s going to be a night where we’ve nothing to lose and everything the game. Everybody already has us beaten. This is a game in a pressure and consequence free environment. A game that will be played out in a cauldron of noise where the one other trump card up our sleeve is that this is all new for Manchester City.

Will it be enough? I can’t wait to find out. Bring it on and see you there.

Will there be a late call up for Bliss?

Nick Bruzon

3 Responses to “Will a miracle be needed to take anything from Jesus and co?”

  1. Maybee December 28, 2021 at 9:11 am #

    I am expecting tf to come up with some crazy team selections for this one .samman as a wing back as a minimum.anyone got any other ideas

  2. Bernard Quackenbush (@BernardQuack) December 28, 2021 at 11:08 am #

    I think you are right Nick, we are looking at a shock as big as 89 if we do anything other than lose. On paper, it should be a stroll in second gear for City, but this is where we need a crowd as passionate as Bournemouth and Arsenal to step up. Make Hey Jude loud and even the slightest intimidating. Be brave, try and take the game to them otherwise we will have 90 minutes of Ivan defending, as good as he is in defence, id like to see him in the other penalty box.

    The team may end up picking it itself. I cant see a change in formation. Jensen taking the Norgaard role and Onyeka alongside him, with Wissa in for Bryan, then whoever is left on the bench

  3. David Carney December 28, 2021 at 11:51 am #

    Oh ye of little faith.
    There is a simple reason why Brentford will host Manchester City – because Brentford are a premier league team and became so by merit.
    The fact is City top the League Table by a fair margin and the odds are in their favour, but, that does not make a City victory a certainty, or if Brentford win a miracle. It will be typical football.
    I remind you that in the 1988/89 season (which I think was the season Brentford beat Manchester City 3-1 in the FA Cup, Manchester City (and Chelsea by the way) was a Second Division teamed Brentford a Third Division Team.
    What does all that mean?
    I think it means whilst Brentford may well lose because Man City are backed by enormous sums of money, have a very good Manager/Coach and have lost only two games this season, but……they have lost.
    You are far too critical of Brentford this season and don’t seem to grasp the fact that Brentford earned their place in the premier League because they were good enough last season. You correctly identify injuries and Covid as causing problems, and there will be inconsistent results this season because the premier league is a tough place to live, many players are young, but please do not believe every team with a big budget should be held in awe by the lads from the bus stop in Hounslow.
    Wednesday will be tough, very tough, but it is not a foregone conclusion and I very much doubt the scoreline will reach anywhere near the brackets you love so much.
    Also, there is no point dwelling upon the first half at Brighton because it happened and will never change and is of no relevance whatsoever to a Wednesday match yet to happen.

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