Eriksen update tops surreal afternoon of drone, parachute and a Bankes robber.

23 Jan

Where to even start after the most ludicrous, incident filled, crazy game of football we’ve ever witnessed? Waking up on Sunday morning and the brain is still fizzing off the back of a 2-1 victory for Wolverhampton Wanderers over Brentford at Lionel Road in which what happened between the two teams was probably the least of the talking points. With the Christian Eriksen story also feeling like a done deal now (perfect timing with Manchester City away, our next Premier League fixture) , the goals and game almost feel like an after thought.

Is Christian about become a Bee?

So let’s start there. The actual game bit. Well done Wolves. Defensively organised and solid. Taking advantage of a cautious Brentford side in the second half to go for the jugular and score three goals with the Bees defence standing off. Static. Shots from the edge of the box all flying past Jonas Lossl. That the final one was removed by VAR for offside doesn’t disguise the fact that we were left exposed time and again. Ivan Toney brought things level midway through the second half with a wonderful strike for 1-1 but just when it looked like we’d haul ourselves back in to it, the Bees shot themselves in the foot. Whilst the ‘player review’ is now online here, for this page let’s focus on the other stuff. And my word, that other stuff didn’t stop.

First up, the referee. Peter Bankes. Robin Bankes more like. A game of football stolen from the fans. He was horrific. Awful. For both teams. Wolves and Brentford united in their chants of ‘Can we have a referee’. Did I imagine it? Well, no although if you’d been reliant purely on Match of the day, yes. The only concession to anything vaguely contentious being the comment that, “The afternoon gets more and more bizarre.” Not my words Carol. The words of BBC commentator Jonathan Pearce.

This, after Toti Gomes had scythed through Kris Ajer and been shown straight red for dangerous play. That the decision was, in hindsight, correct to be reversed added further injustice given the fact that play had been immediately halted with Bryan Mbeumo clear though in the box. No sending off (come on Alex Austin, you’re by the VAR seat for a reason) and no attempt at goal possible. 

Amazingly (its Brentford, innit? and we’ve all been here way too long) the restart saw Toney’s wonder strike. Justice done but through nothing to do with the man in the middle. That said, Mr. Bankes would eventually get to wave his red card but we’ll get there shortly. 

Yet this was just one of a collection of strange events in a game which I wouldn’t be surprised if the phrase ‘irregular betting patterns’ was eventually used to describe. First up, the drone. There it was, hovering over the pitch midway through the first half and once spotted Mr. Bankes had no choice but to pull the players off. For fifteen minutes.

Peter Gilham helpfully explaining over the p.a. how Premier League rules state that “In the event of an unofficial drone over the pitch” he had to clear the field of play. Eventually adding, “Don’t blame the referee. Don’t blame the players. Don’t Blame me. Blame the drone.” He’s right, of course, and the ref did the right thing here. (Not a typo) . “Who’s the wanker with the drone?” sang the crowd before it eventually disappeared to be replaced by a police chopper. 

It meant a colossal 15 minutes of time (at least) was wasted with the players then having to come back out for a warm up before the board showed the first half would conclude at that point. After an additional +19 minutes of time added on. How he came to this conclusion I have no idea. Outside of regular incidents we’d already had a huge stoppage for the horrific injury between Rico Henry and Matthias Jensen. The pair of them both going to clear the same hoofed clearance and colliding with each other in a sickening clash of heads.

Lengthy treatment followed before both were eventually guided from the field of play and subbed off. Blood everywhere. The photos doing the rounds not pleasant. We’ll opt for a claret free choice c/o MOTD. How this stoppage was meant to signify a mere 4 minute delay I have no idea but perhaps Mr Bankes has a different watch to the rest of us.

All being well both players are ok this morning but if nothing else, it gave Peter Gilham his first opportunity of the afternoon to delve into the the official Premier League rule book and explain that both players had been replaced as ‘concussion substitutes’, meaning they didn’t count towards our tally of three permitted changes.


Eventually, half time came. Peter telling us, “We’ve had a drone this afternoon. Now you can hear me drone on…” before prefacing the second period with the deadpan comment, “Just remember the date. Saturday 22nd January. 2022.” 

If his youthful apprentice Stu SoccerAM is ever to inherit the mantle of full time announcer, he’s  got a lot of learning to do if there’s any desire to match this level. What a teacher to have, though. Amazing. Yet that’s the experience that being at the helm since 1969 gives. Even his closest rival on the experience stakes,  George Sephton at Anfield whom we all heard last weekend, can’t hold a candle to Peter. Long may he continue. Zingers that money can’t buy.

As if to underline the date, the second half was then delayed just as the game was set to start with Mr. Bankes leaving the field of play. A problem with his earpiece meaning he couldn’t communicate with his assistants. On an afternoon of arbritary decision making to match the worst of what we’ve seen in all our years, it would have needed more than an earpiece to help him communicate. Oh well. 7(seven) minutes later and with the players having gone through a second mid-game warm up, we were back under way.

The surreal events continuing later through the half with a small parachute descending to the pitch in front of the North stand. It happened right in front of me and dropped straight down. This was not thrown from the crowd.

In lieu of ‘Action Man’ or whomever would have been held beneath the canopy, it appeared to be carrying what appeared to be a pair of frilly pink knickers. Granted, my eyes are poor but this was the ‘best guess’ consensus from those sitting around us. Whether the drone had returned to drop off a cargo of lingerie or some other reason, it rounded off a Daliesque afternoon in more confusion.

Or should that be, almost rounded off. Full time eventually came at the end of a game that had seen a total 26 minutes of additional time. Thomas Frank, understandably, frustrated after a game which had seen our early momentum stopped dead by the aerial visitor and then Brentford unable to repel Wolves in the second period. With the players being applauded off the pitch, there appeared to be confrontation in the middle with Bankes brandishing the yellow card now once but twice. Our head coach sent off. Ejected from the field of play. His explanation to the press afterwards revealing…   

I got a yellow because confronting one of their players. Fair enough. And then I turned around and said to Peter, “You can just give me another one”, because I was very irritated But its not because of this… just asked the ref and apparently I was too aggressive. Look back and if you think I was too aggressive then I can just put my hands up and say that’s not good enough. I tell my players not to keep their emotions get stupid cards and of course that was stupid by me.”

Thomas aggressively responding to Peter Bankes

A flat, flat ending to a surreal afternoon all round. Then, light at the end of the tunnel. Bright light. Christian Eriksen IS signing for The Bees. It is as nailed on as one could expect with a series of posts on social media detailing the move. And that’s just what has been shared so far. This IS happening. My word. It will be immense. We’ve got a break next weekend, followed by Everton in the FA Cup in a fortnight. Then there’s the small matter of the trip to Manchester City. 

Things are never dull at Brentford, that’s for sure. This crazy end to what was already up there as one of the craziest day we’ve ever experienced proving that yet again.

One of several posts from the GPG

Nick Bruzon


15 Responses to “Eriksen update tops surreal afternoon of drone, parachute and a Bankes robber.”

  1. Garry Shrimpton January 23, 2022 at 9:25 am #

    What was up with Norgaard yesterday?

    Watch both goals again (that stood), you have to die in there. I see no appetite for trying to stop the shots coming in. The best you see is a half hearted effort at dangling a leg in.

    We’ve been sloppy at the back for weeks, and it needs to change quickly.

    • Michael Ohl January 23, 2022 at 10:42 am #

      Nick you seem more upbeat about the Bees than I do at the moment.

      Frankly I am getting fed up with Frank’s we deserve to win view point.

      Maybe my expectations were set too high by our start. Yes we’ve had injuries in the end but then that just goes to show we have a lack of depth in our squad.

      You can only win games if you can score goals and stop giving goals away, something which we obviously aren’t doing. Suicidal dicking around at the back, consistently giving the ball away, and yesterday Wolves won every 50/50 challenge.

      It was good to see Toney score, but both our key goal scorers are struggling at this level. We badly need a good goal keeper, preferably one that doesn’t take an eternity to distribute the ball and when he does, puts the recipient under pressure.

      We are losing games, slowly going down the table, and other teams have played less. If teams below us start to win (as Newcastle and Norwich did), then we will be in real trouble.

      • nickbruzon January 23, 2022 at 12:04 pm #

        Understandable some people are getting a bit less comfortable but for me, look at who we’ve played: Wolves (8th and climbing, on a real roll), Manchester United, Liverpool, Manchester City. WE’ve got City up next aswell, so expect a probable L. That’s just a fact of how good they are .
        The only real striker was Brighton away.
        Ray and josh are on the way back. Christian is on the way in. The games in hand also need to be won.
        Chill 🙂

    • Max January 23, 2022 at 4:17 pm #

      Norgaard we all know is a quality player but for me has been off the pace for the last 3 games ,i feel he is trying to get forward and help out too much to bridge the glaring attacking mid problem we have had all season ,instead of just doing his defensive job .massive fingers crossed the signing of his fellow Country man sorts it out. Also the return of the number 1 goalkeeper can’t come soon enough. I believe he would of saved at least one of the two yesterday.

    • Stephen January 23, 2022 at 8:11 pm #

      Depending on the referees report but from what I saw yesterday and the highlights played back today, it doesn’t seem as though the Ref gave TF 2 yellows. It looks to me like he gave the 1st, then just gave a straight red to TF without showing another yellow, so very possibly yet another mistake he made on an afternoon to forget all around for all involved.

      Surely TF and club could challenge that in it being issued incorrectly?!? Especially if the Ref has submitted his report saying he gave him 2 yellows before the red!

      But worrying times right now. We’ve gone from being like Mike Tyson coming out of his corner in no frills black shorts and boots and the opposition irrelevant to him walking right though them, to a few week old puppy cowering in the corner and frightened to lay a glove on anyone. The attempted ‘closing down’ on the opposition is at Jensen levels of non-commitment with no one wanting to go tough tight or let the opposition know you’re there at all. We’ve become too nice. We started the season knowing we earned our right to be in the Prem after years of hurt…. Now we’re playing like we’re almost apologising for teams having to play us.

      We need to get back to coming off the pitch knowing 100% our work rate, desire and passion have beaten the other team on the stats bases and then, if we have lost, we at least can show it wasn’t because of a lack of fight and desire. Right now, it’s nowhere near it unfortunately and TFs outburst yesterday, shows he’s cracking under the pressure of it too. Dress it up anyway you like, he’s rattled cos Im not sure he knows what the answer to it is at the moment either. We have CBs who are all on the slow side, to revert to 2 at the back would seriously expose our lack of pace. We then don’t have a right back consistent enough to rely on. If we use Noegaard and Janet to protect the back 4 (if we change to it), then we have no one at the club right now who is creative enough, which means Toney is now dropping too deep to pick up the ball. We would see better results from Mbuemo if he goes back to the wing coming in off it but we are desperately lacking that no. 10 player to link midfield & forwards and slip those passes. Could Erikson be the answer. I really hope so. And clearly TF doesn’t think Forss is good enough but would it be madness to give a young, hungry, confident, goal machine in Nathan Young Coombes a try and we could see raw results and a hunger, desire and gratefulness of being given a go and you just never know….. He could be foil for Toney up front or at least give him some competition so he then has to kick on again with his Performances.

      Those 3 games starting on Feb 26th against Newcastle at home, are huge to whether we enjoy all this again next season…..i really bloody hope so.

  2. Brighton Bee January 23, 2022 at 9:47 am #

    Nice summary Nick but we should not loose sight of what was a truly awful performance yesterday. That’s a mere 3 wins in 16 league games, relegation form. The early season brashness, willingness to attack and sheer power play has long disappeared. Without additional help, this team is sleep walking back into the Championship. I really hope that the sole D of F and MB have something up their sleeves to halt what has been a fairly rapid decline from where we were after the West Ham game. A couple of weeks off now to re group before the cup game and an opportunity to bolster resources and re discover our mojo – hopefully!!

  3. Rod Davidson January 23, 2022 at 9:57 am #

    It certainly was, not only a bizarre experience but very frustrating one too.
    And the frustration is beginning to show with some of our fans. I’m not too sure as to origins of the frustration, but in one of the premium seated area’s – Kew Bridge end of the South Stand – a confrontation had to be broken up by stewards who were dealing with some very angry people with the incident spilling over into the premium lounge area.
    The word is that some Wolves fans had been able to infiltrate the Premium seated area.
    If that is the case, how can that happen ?
    Bearing in in mind there are families there with their young children – what sort of example does it set for them to see grown men squaring up and hurling abuse, and foul language at each other. It’s just not acceptable!
    Frustration on the pitch too – somebody please have a snap shot now and then and test the opposing goalkeepers.
    Ericksen would be fine, and a definite bonus, but how about now giving Forss a run in the team before it’s too late. An additional penalty area presence is desperately needed.
    More midfield runners of finishers – answers on a postcard please !

  4. Bernard Quackenbush (@BernardQuack) January 23, 2022 at 12:12 pm #

    For starters, This is my first dalliance on social media since witnessing one of the bizarrest games ive ever seen, so i have missed all the Eriksen talk, but i will only believe it once his name is on the dotted line.

    Wolves did a job on us, but watching both teams you can see what the difference is between Premier and Championship football. At times we still have a Championship mentality. The movement in our opponents was outstanding with Neves & Moutinho at the centre. Wolves, always moving, always showing. Brentford so so static. And this is where I am controversial (which Nick loves). We need to move on from being a Championship side, and I dont think we have. With the exception of Ajer, our side is the same side as last year, and dont get me wrong, the players have deserved an opportunity, and have on occasions shined, but have not been consistent enough. Im thinking Pinnock, Pontus, Jensen, Baptiste, Roerslev, & Canos. Sergi has played out of position all season, and other than that moment of brilliance against Arsenal, his frailties are obvious to the point that a CM has to come across to support, and thus leaving gaps in the middle for skilled predators to take advantage of. We need a right sided full back deperately. Sadly, Roerslev is not the answer, showing a Coventry style performance yesterday.

    Living in Bournemouth, I saw at first hand their demise, and it was that they could not seem to move on from the past, and kept sticking with those who got them there. It was only halfway through last season they finally recognised this, and finally moved on. We must not fall into the same trap.

    Additionally, referee Bankes was horrendous. Im always suspicious of Premier referees as they always seem to want to curry favour with the established and famous. They dont want to upset them otherwise managers are calling for them never to referee their matches. Bankes seemed to pander to Wolves throughout. The perfect example being the sending off that never was, with Bryan through on goal. An absolutely shocking decision, and throughout the game we were subjected to poor decision after poor decision. The example Rod Davidson mentioned, another excellent example.

    These next 8 days are crucial. We need new blood. We need a full back. We need Raya & Dasilva to continue with their excellent progress. Above all, we need a moment to take stock and examine where we have been going wrong (corners, being pulled wide exposing the middle, any kind of pace), and come up with solutions. These 2 weeks will be where Thomas and his team will really earn their Premier credentials.

    • Nigel Garrigan January 23, 2022 at 1:04 pm #

      In my opinion this is an excellent and very realistic summary of where we are.

  5. Paul Fletcher January 23, 2022 at 1:52 pm #

    Firstly it is clear that David Raya is a huge miss with neither Fernandez or Lossl adequate replacements for different reasons. Add to that the lack of a specialist RB & Sergi filling in as a wing back when he struggles to defend on numerous occasions we are obviously vulnerable to conceding goals.
    I struggle to understand why Henrik Dalsgaard wasn’t replaced in the summer & to me that was an unbelievable oversight . Injuries have of course hit us hard but it has been obvious for a while that some quality reinforcement’s were required.
    Maybe a change in formation is required but for a while now you could drive a bus through our defence whilst when we go forward it is slow, predicable,and not at all slick .
    The arrival of C E if it happens ,will of course improve us going forward & will hopefully free Christian Norgaard up to concentrate on his defensive duties in midfield .
    However that’s just part of the problem & whilst I know we can’t go out and sign someone like Trippier at Newcastle signing a decent quality specialist full back is a must !
    Here’s hoping we get the required points for another go at this level !

    Finally just a word on TF . There is no doubt he has done a great job & thoroughly deserves a new contract .However, he is deluding himself if he thinks we were at the same level as Wolves yesterday . We are in free fall & something needs to change either tactically, from a playing personnel perspective or a bit of both !
    Hopefully TF & his team will sort things out because after 74 years trying to reach the top level it would be a travesty if we relinquished it after 1 season .

    • hobbo January 23, 2022 at 3:16 pm #

      No mention that we were the better team up until the head clash on 27 mins, Rico was a big miss in our back line and going forward.

      • Michael Ohl January 23, 2022 at 4:30 pm #

        We still can’t convert being better to scoring goals and that is the problem. We were superior to Man U in the first half but still went in 0-0., Man U got their act together in the second half and that was that.

        Maybe we shouldn’t think we can beat the elite in the Premier League, but I think have a chance against teams like Wolves and Brighton.

      • nickbruzon January 23, 2022 at 4:41 pm #

        Teams like…. And there’s the trap we fall into. Cliche alert but there really are NO easy games at this level. We’re a;so up against the best of the best of the bets (SIR!!!) when it comes to GKS. We’ll come good, of that I have no doubt. Albeit the sooner David Raya is back the happier I’ll be

      • Paul Fletcher January 24, 2022 at 8:15 am #

        That’s true but we have been the “better team “ on a few occasions,Man U being the most recent and still came away empty handed .

  6. Max January 23, 2022 at 4:17 pm #

    Norgaard we all know is a quality player but for me has been off the pace for the last 3 games ,i feel he is trying to get forward and help out too much to bridge the glaring attacking mid problem we have had all season ,instead of just doing his defensive job .massive fingers crossed the signing of his fellow Country man sorts it out. Also the return of the number 1 goalkeeper can’t come soon enough. I believe he would of saved at least one of the two yesterday.

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