The morals of a psychopath. The teeth of a great white shark.

22 Mar

Just eight games to go. Our first Premier League campaign racing towards an exciting denouement. Brentford may have gone down to Leicester City by the odd goal in three on Sunday but as it stands the table shows the Bees 8 points (and superior goal difference) clear of third bottom Watford, a somewhat gargantuan 18 off the European places but 6 away from the top ten. Don’t @ me – the table doesn’t lie. Whilst Europe is too much even for an optimist such as yours truly, top ten for Brentford is still a feasible possibility. I know many fans are still looking over their shoulders, understandable from some respects, but glass half full and all that. Next up Chelsea. Assuming the padlocks haven’t gone over the gates of Stamford Bridge by that stage. Then West Ham at home. Nobody said it was going to be easy at this level, that’s for sure.

First up, Leicester City. What can you say? The post match debrief and top five players can be found here. For me, Clive, one incident stands out. They say ‘fine margins’ make the difference at this level and wasn’t that the truth? James Maddison came into this game with all eyes on him following his performance in the reverse fixture at Lionel Road. He may aswell have been wearing a top hat, cape and twirling a waxed moustache as he strode out on to the pitch. 

One could almost hear the Mwah, ha, ha, ha of a panto villain’s laugh as he backed into Mathias Jensen, threw himself to the ground and then got back up to hit a screamer past David Raya. No doubting the quality of the strike – one to rival Timothy Castagne’s opener for The Foxes  – but whether he should have even been in a position to hit the ball remains very much open to debate.

It had seemed questionable at the time – they always do, though ! However, the video clip that has been doing the rounds on social media and has since been taken down really does beg the question as to what the heck was going on in the VAR booth? The ‘official’ highlights c/o our friends at Sky Sports cut straight to the goal itself rather than the cause. Somewhat frustratingly. That’s the polite term for the goal that allowed the Foxes to double their lead.

It was Jeremy Clarkson who said, “The fox is not a little orange puppy dog with doe eyes and a waggly tail. It’s a disease-ridden wolf with the morals of a psychopath and the teeth of a great white shark”.

I’ll just leave that there.

A clear ‘foul’

So, we lost. Wissa’s late strike not quite enough to drag us back in to things. The pressure on Leicester building but Kasper Schmeichel doing his thing. The absent Christian Eriksen likely to have made a big difference but there was still enough about us in the second half to suggest that had we pushed up (Brentford) a bit earlier and harder then the result could well have been different. 

The other frustrating thing of the afternoon was the inevitable response to the team line up from certain quarters on social media. Nobody can doubt that Christian Eriksen is a cut above just about any midfield options we have. He has been immense. Covid robing us of the chance to see him in action. Likewise, his absence from the squad meaning a return to the starting XI for Mathias Jensen. The negativity around each point as predictable and evident as ever. 

Hey, I’m all for opinion and if somebody has a bad game then we need to talk about it. Absolutely. What I can’t get my head around is this putting the boot in before a ball has even been kicked. Perhaps its just a generational thing. Perhaps I’m just blindly naive and don’t know how football works. Likewise, I know that players don’t see any of this but, equally, negativity spreads. Transmits. The vibe kills. The groans and mutters every time the current ‘target’ goes near the ball sound louder. Become infectious amongst the lemmings not wanting to be seen backing the ‘bad one’. 

Ah, I don’t get it. We’re all experts and its super easy from the safety of the stands, the pub, social media or wherever you follow your football. The opinions are great. The opinions are needed. The pre-determined negativity just baffles me. Whilst its easy to say look away, this stuff just pops up all over the shop.

Anyway, like a cracked record and all that. For what it’s worth, I don’t think we’re going down. I still believe we can end the season in, or around, the top ten. I don’t think the team selection warrants this level of negativity. I’d LOVE Christian Eriksen to be playing – who wouldn’t – but I’m not sitting poised over my keyboard to drip poison the second he isn’t available. Etcetera, etcetera etcetera. I’m not going to change. Nor, I suspect, are others. As ever, the simple question remains – if somehow given the opportunity, would you say what you type to to the manager or the player’s face ? Hmmm.

Now we’re on to a fortnight of down time. Two weeks to rest and recover. Two weeks of International ‘break’. Most eyes will be on the Spain squad to see if David Raya makes his first international start. His displacement of David de Gea symptomatic of both our own man’s ability and the current crisis at Old Trafford. 

Then, its the short hop to Chelsea. The lucky few Brentford fans with tickets awarded in that first, pre sanction, tranche needing to be even louder than ever. The state of the team for that one not even close to being discussed yet. If nothing else, we’ve a whole gamut of players on international duty. David with Spain and then most of the midfield with Denmark  – Jensen, Norgaard and Eriksen all swapping red and white stripes for, errr, red and white. Fingers crossed everyone returns in high spirits and unscathed.

Until then, we’ve the Leicester debrief to catch up on. Enjoy.

Nick Bruzon 

2 Responses to “The morals of a psychopath. The teeth of a great white shark.”

  1. HerzyBee March 22, 2022 at 9:41 am #

    Nick

    Couldn’t agree more on both your main points, Maddison has been performing this shithousery consistently for Leicester, I called it out from the back row of our area 75+ yards away. I also screamed for a defender on the post where the ball ended up. As you say, WTF is VAR for if not to call out ‘obvious errors’ like that. I probably deserved a yellow card for simulation….

    Also on MOTD later none of the ‘experts’ called it either, which really entrenches the almost, paranoia of the EPL ‘New Boys’ treatment we have received, with so many matches being moved, not just for tv, although the 20.00 Boxing Day call was appalling, I doubt if any other London club would have agreed to that.

    I’ve no doubt Maddison congratulated the ref for the wisdom of his decision.

    I agree with you ref the hard- of -thinking yobs having a pop at Jensen, he’s not been at his best this season for sure, but he’s a Bees player and nobody selected to play should be derided by the IQ negative boo-boys.

  2. Tim March 22, 2022 at 2:06 pm #

    I agree bad mouthing players pre-match is not constructive …. also dissing them throughout a game not helpful.
    The fact remains we’re in a scrap and Jensen above Onyeka, Baptiste or Fosu? 🤔
    We have three teams to play below us …. all 6 – pointers … I think we still need 2 wins and 2 draws to just be safe ….. just to be safe …. not being top ten …. just to be safe.
    Two of those wins and a draw must come from the three teams below us …. if we get some more wins and a few more draws against the other fixtures a bonus … a big bonus.
    You don’t want to be going into your last two games (away at Everton then home to Leeds) needing wins to be safe.
    We’re not a scrapping team …. and because of these two fixtures we won’t be able to out football these teams. Because it won’t be those sort of games especially if Everton and Leeds need either a win or a draw to save themselves.
    Watford away a difficult game to call. Chelsea away and West Ham and Spurs at home will be difficult if European football is at stake for WHU and Spurs. Man U away and Southamton at home …. so out of those 8 games we need a minimum of 8 points …. both Man U and Southampton could be challenging for European places.
    If we beat the three below us then I think we’ll be safe …. draws won’t be good enough. Leeds beating Wolves and Everton beating Newcastle and us losing were body blows. I don’t go for the other teams tripping up as it’s still in our hands. Let’s make sure it stays that way rather than having to support other teams trying to do us ” a favour”. Though in this league when you’re as small as Brentford you sometimes have to wear a hat of many colours!
    If we manage to pick up points before the Watford, Everton and Leeds fixtures I’m sure those three fixtures will still be 6-pointers.
    COYB’s

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