Tag Archives: 1-3

Who shone against Manchester United? Who should be picked for Wolves?

20 Jan

A 3-1 reverse for Brentford at home to Manchester United only tells one part of a evening in which the Bees did everything but score, visiting number 7(seven) Cristiano Ronaldo had a quite spectacular hissy fit and Bees fans were left genuinely frustrated not to have beaten the ‘biggest club in the world'(TM). As ever at this point, it’s time to look at who the best pf the Bees’ players were. Who is a nailed on start for the game with Wolverhampton Wanderers on Saturday ? Has anyone broken into the season long top 5? Do you agree with the selections where there’s a few whose inclusion may cause some surprise? Have Matthias Jensen, Sergi Canos and Mads Bech (all of whom made the starting XI this time around ) done enough to hang on to their places for Wolves at the weekend?

The post match player review can be found here. Plus a few more thoughts on the overall Brentford performance. Sure, Manchester United won (no denying that) but, much like sitting through an episode of My Family, there was nothing particularly comfortable about it.

Enjoy

Nick Bruzon

Jamchester United. Bees miss out after storming performance.

20 Jan

What can you say? Brentford went down 3-1 at home to Manchester United in the proverbial game of two halves. The first seeing us utterly dominant. United, apparently the ‘biggest club in world football’ made to look like a bunch of Sunday league part-timers. The only one to emerge with any credit being David De Gea in nets who twice denied Matthias Jensen when it seemed odds on the Danish midfielder would score. The fans were on their feet in anticipation of him burying one of them but, yet again, Thomas Frank must be left wondering whose black cat he has run over. Like Chelsea, a blood and thunder performance saw us thwarted by a ‘keeper at the very top of his game. Christian Norgaard also with the best of the chances in an opening period that saw 6 decent efforts and the memory of our blank at Liverpool nothing more than that. A memory. This was a team reacting at the top of their game. A team breathing in the atmosphere at Lionel Road and then using it to super charge our drive forward.

Bryan was on fire. Matthias too, to be fair. The frustration of inconsistency rearing its head when the ball was lost or the chances spurned. The brilliance of him at his best coming through in patches. Perhaps that’s what the prospect of Josh Dasilva and Christian Eriksen breathing down your neck does. United left looking tattered and one of the worst teams to visit Lionel Road this season. We were that good. They were that bad. De Gea aside. The visitors not even testing Jonas Lössl who had replaced Alvaro Fernandez in goal.

Then , the second half happened. A sloppy first goal conceded with Lössl unsure whether to stick or twist as the ball was played forward and ended up doing neither. A despairing stretch was powerless to stop Elanga heading home. Ronaldo chesting it forward for Fernandes to give his only meaningful contribution of the evening in the build-up to the second. The ball then played through to Mason Greenwood who, despite a suspicion of offside, made no mistake. Marcus Rashford made it three late on.

The goals all well, well taken and the consummate lesson that chances can’t continue to be spurned. United weren’t even close in this game but rode their luck to the max. All we had to show for it was Ivan Toney’s late, late consolation goal. A long throw working for the second time this season. Brentford throwing everything and anything from the kitchen sink to Stephen Pressley’s socks at the United goal but nothing more followed.  

Look positive. This was Manchester Untied we were up against. It was miles improved on Liverpool. We didn’t concede form a corner either. Mads Bech coming in for Kris Ajer looked strong. Ivan is back on the score sheet whilst who didn’t enjoy the sight of Ronaldo’s hissy fit. Trudging off in what the BBC described afterwards as “a ridiculous show of petulance with a slow stroll off, some very obvious muttering and a burst of anger on the bench after he was substituted with 20 minutes left”?

In your own time, Cristiano

A case of ‘And this isn’t Ronaldo territory?’ Frankly, a two headed tortoise would have been quicker leaving the field. The chants of “winker, winker, winker” being directed towards the player showing that he hadn’t been forgiven for his World Cup shenanigans back in 2006. At least, I thank that’s what was being chanted.

Thomas would talk afterwards about how we absolutely destroyed them in the opening period. How he was hugely disappointed not to grab the win against a top team. All true. All true. Feelings felt by the majority of a fanbase who absolutely ripped the roof off Lionel Road. Kudos too, for the West stand breaking in to a chorus of: “Live round the corner. You only live round the corner.

The deeper dive player review is now up and can be found here. Otherwise, it’s a case of waking up and wondering how we came away empty handed. Of being taught a lesson that opportunities need to be grabbed when they come along. Something Manchester United are still masters at and which they demonstrated three times last night.

So head held high and all that but, at the end of the day Clive, a blank on the points tally. That’s football. All we can do now is bottle if for Wolves and, err, go again.

See you there  

Nick Bruzon

Can Brentford keep the Wolves from the door?

23 Feb

Another day, another game. With Brentford’s form going downhill faster than Eddie the Eagle, we face a Wolves team who find themselves in a similar position to the Bees. Both locked on 40 points in the middle of the Championship table, current performances are a mile away from what supporters of both clubs have been used to in recent seasons. Can The Bees turn it around tonight? Or will Kenny Jackett inspire his team to inflict more pain on the Griffin Park faithful?

The current stats don’t make great reading for Brentford. Whilst I did something similar in the build up to the Derby game, looking at the BBC match preview (who give us the first detail below) it highlighted a huge part of the current challenge we are facing.

No Championship side has faced more shots on target this season than Brentford (168).

The Bees have conceded 10 goals in their last 3 league games.

Only Fulham and the three teams in the dropzone have conceded more goals than us.

2016 has seen us lose 7(seven) out of our 9 games.

Only David Button, Harlee Dean, Jake Bidwell and Alan Judge remain from those who featured in the 4-0 thrashing of Wolves at Griffn Park last season. Moses Odubajo, Tony Craig, Jonathan Douglas, Jon Toral, Toumani Diagouraga, Alex Pritchard, Andre Gray, Stuart Dallas and Jota are no longer with the club for a variety of well documented reasons.

This was only last season

That makes the afternoon complete, revenge for last year” opined Mark Burridge when Andre Gray’s wonderful strike made it 3-0. Yet still, there was more. Who else but Jota , doing what only he could do late on. It was a wonderful performance against a Wolves team who, the season previous, had run out 3-0 winners at Griffin Park en-route to deservedly steamrollering all comers for the League One title

Watching the highlights, the difference in confidence and playing style from then to now is just world’s apart. Yes, we’ve had to change the make-up of our team but seeing the class of 2014-15 in action just emphasises what a tough job their replacements have faced . Gone is the excitement, gone is the open attacking play, gone is the feeling that when we put our minds to it we could carve teams open for fun.

4-0 Wolves Dallas goal

View from the terrace – Dallas does Wolves for 4-0 last season

Yet if we are currently struggling to recover from a dip in form, then the same could be said of Wolves. Talking to supporter Steve Darby (whose help in tonight’s ‘kit obsessive’ programme article is much appreciated ), he tells me : “This has been a frustrating season for us too. Injuries haven’t helped, neither has the owner putting the club up for sale. We are in limbo with no real investment”.

Morale seems low whilst formwise they haven’t won in 6 (3L 3D). Indeed, it all sounds a bit like the build up to the Derby County game where the visitors were on an equally poor run. There, David Button kept us in it before Alan Judge gave Bees fans hope. Sadly, it wasn’t to be as the Bees turned 1-0 on 80minutes into a 1-3 defeat.

I can’t call it this evening. A clean sheet would be a start. But for David Button, Saturday could well have seen a 7(seven) goal bracketing. He was just that good.

Genuinely, I expected a reaction against Derby. It just wasn’t to be. I’m not sure how Dean Smith can pick the lads up from here but I hope he does . I hate to sound negative about our performances and I’ll be giving it as loud as anybody in support when I’m out there tonight. But, also, I’m realistic.

Quite simply, we haven’t matched the standards from last year or earlier in the season when Lee Carsley had the Bees’ engines purring like a contented kitten .

We have to get out of first gear soon. Let’s hope it begins tonight !

ccc

Bees fans make their feelings known on Twitter

Nick Bruzon

Tarky – Our new Bjelland

16 Jan

Oh, the irony. A game featuring Joey Barton in which the former QPR man was only the second biggest w*nker on show. Burnley beating Brentford 3-1 (and well played on that front – seriously) was but the mere sideshow as former Bee James Tarkowski gave his very best demonstration of how to lose friends and alienate people.

What a colossal wand. His pre-match hissy fit and refusal to play against the club so publically courting him have instantly graduated the player formally known as ‘Tarks’ to Martin Rowlands levels of popularity.Never have I known such anger, frustration and incredulation amongst the Griffin Park faithful. It was disappointment on a level approaching a post match article about the development squad.

For a player under contract, and whom we have turned down a bid for, to then refuse to play smacks whole heartedly of the last time he has pulled on the red and white.

To be honest, having taken things to that level he probably doesn’t give a monkey anyway. With agents pouring money and sweet nothings into his ear, along with the prospect of a move North, offending his employers and supporters was probably the least of his concerns.

Well, James. This one’s for you. Call me Kevin Keegan but I tell you this. I’d love it. I’d absolutely love it if Mr. Benham leaves you to rot in the reserves. You’re under contract and so we don’t, actually, have to sell you.

Sure, the lorry load of cash that Sean Dyche will now have to drive up to Griffin Park would be nice, but sometimes principals are the better part of valour. You’ll never be able to play for Brentford again, that’s for sure.

I just hope Matthew is in a position where he can really tell you to do one. Five months of doing laps around the youth team training pitch would be a wonderful return for this complete slap in the face to those supporters – young and old – whose shirts bear your name.

The game tonight went to the deserved team. Burnley produced three class goals and, being honest, we were lucky that’s all it was. Brentford put in a complete first half no show as the visitors were allowed to run riot. How Andre Gray didn’t join the scorers (or The Bees were able to contain it to just three) we’ll never know. Yet Alan Judge’s goal, early in the second half, raised the roof and gave us hope that the impossible may just happen.

Sadly, it wasn’t to be. Whilst the follow up display was as good as the first half was bad, by that point we’d already been fatally holed below the waterline. The play-offs now look nothing more than a wistful flight of fancy whilst, with a fifteen point gap, relegation is surely too impossible to comprehend.

Instead, it simply remains to hope we hang on to all our transfer targets and eventually choose, under our terms, to sell Tarkowski to Wigan Athletic or some other such Northern non-entity.

Again, well played Burnley. You thoroughly deserved your win and no amount of Tarkowski related frustration will change that.

The alternate post-match exit music of Jessie J and her chart topping ‘Price Tag’ single was a very telling choice. Lyrics of “It’s not about the money, money, money. We don’t need your money, money, money,” were, I am sure, anything but coincidence.

As for the Bees, the next few days are going to make very interesting viewing indeed.

Tarkowski post Bristol City

Tarks – picture taken months ago rather than last night

Nick Bruzon

What have we learned the morning after the night before?

30 Aug

Reading were the first to try out the new pitch at Brentford but, for the Bees, it was a case of going over the same old ground as Marinus Dijkhuizen’s team slipped to a second successive defeat. A 1-3 scoreline was the net result of a performance that our head coach has described as “very, very weak on the ball” (in the first half), during his post match interviews.

If you want a detailed match report then, as ever, check out the BBC, Beesotted or the official club site. Let’s look at some of the other stuff.

Marinus is wonderfully honest in his post match analysis. There’s no looking to gloss over the facts or hide behind bland platitudes. The latest gentle probing administered by Billy Reeves produced an incredibly frank review of our performance in which he told the BBC man: “Today the first half was, I think, awful from our side. The second half was not brilliant.”

He went further, singling out individuals, “A couple of guys were not good in the game. Toumani was one… Phillip Hofmann has a big body but first half he lost too much fight

The flip side of Marinus, and something also noted in the analysis of the League Cup hammering by Oxford United, is his lack of body language, pitchside. I’ve got to be honest, I do find this unusual.

Perhaps it is just his thing. An attempt to generate an aura of calmness that will emanate through the team. The lack of any direction or animation, beyond berating the fourth official, seems unusual for a side on the back foot. Moreso, the lack of any acknowledgement of the crowd at full time.

Does it make a difference? One could argue that somebody waving his arms and directing the team like a drunken octopus conducting an orchestra is simply something that we are used to. That a bunch of grown men and trained professionals who know their game plan shouldn’t need a manager (sorry, head coach) to tell them what to do. And that if any on pitch direction is needed then that’s what the captain is for.

Yet, this still sits uncomfortably with me. It really will be something we all have to adjust to over the coming months. Cliff Crown, in his programme article describes Brentford FC as currently being in “times of transition”, before noting that ”Rome wasn’t built in a day.”

Whatever your thoughts at present, the Chairman’s article really gives some food for thought as he also discusses transfer policy, sales, contracts and the tough financial position that the club are in relative to our divisional rivals. If you read one page in the matchday magazine then do make it this one.

Cliff Crown - wrote a fascinating column in yesterday's programme

Cliff Crown – wrote a fascinating column in yesterday’s programme

That said, we’re barely into a season that has one hell of a long way to run. Ten games is the usual yardstick before we can give a real assessment of who are the title favourites and who might be flirting with the first division. I’m not even contemplating either option until this new look side and set up have had a time to properly gel. With the transfer window not closing until Tuesday, there still could be more in, or out.

One person we do know will be joining the club is striker Marco Djuricin, who Marinus confirmed is coming in on loan from Austrian side Red Bull Salzburg. With Lasse Vibe finding the net against Reading with a wonderful strike, could this further option up front provide more ammunition? I’m not sure if Marinus was showing a sense of humour or dead panning Billy when he answered the question, “What will he bring to the team?”, with the confirmation “I hope some goals“.

Sam Saunders is also fit again, making an appearance against Reading from the bench. With fellow substitute Alan McCormack back in the midfield role we first signed him in, along with a new starter in right back Maxime Colin both earning praise from the Griffin Park crowd, the set up is already seeing change.

Our polar number 7 (seven) returns to the Griffin Park fray.

Our popular number 7 (seven) returns to the Griffin Park fray.

It will take time for this all to come together. Have no doubt. That said, I’ve every confidence it will come together. Too much time and money has been invested in getting this club promoted to throw this away. Too many tears shed and heartache endured over the years to give up on this side, as many seem to be doing already.

If nothing else, we’re only four games in. Just four games. Let’s all get a grip.

There’s as much crazy talk out there on social media as there is level headed realisation. We’ve got two weeks to all catch our breath and take stock before the trips to Leeds United and Middlesbrough.

The club has adopted a risky strategy, that’s for sure, but one which has our long term best intentions at heart. All this change is bound to unsettle some supporters.

Let’s just please give things a chance.

Nick Bruzon